How We Met
Jared and I have known each other since we were kids, having both grown up in the same area of Winnebago, IL. However we never truly took the time to get to know each other until my Sophomore year of High School. We were in a mutual Christian organization that met in the morning, and there was one day I just remember looking at him and thinking he was so handsome. During all of this, my mom and I were looking for a new church to attend near our hometown. His Dad just so happens to be the pastor of a church right outside of town, and my mom encouraged me to reach out to Jared to ask more about the church service.
I was seriously so nervous to text him, but I finally worked up the nerves and simply said Hi and asked about the church service. Jared responded with the answer to my question…and while I was hoping we could keep our conversation going, he actually left me on reading for quite some time. I figured he wasn’t interested, but 4 days later he texted me again and we’ve never stopped texting since. Jared asked me to be his girlfriend our sophomore year of Highschool on November 25th, 2016. He actually asked me in person, and I didn’t hear him. So he went home devastated thinking I didn’t want to date him. Obviously, this wasn’t the case, and after explaining the situation we were officially dating.
How They Asked
When Jared and I were juniors in our small Illinois Highschool, we shared the same band class. Band class was right before lunch, and often times we had ten minutes of free time at the end of band class. While we were waiting for the bell to ring to dismiss us to lunch, Jared looked at me and said, “have you ever seen Idaho?”
I remember laughing and replying with a simple “No.” I’d never really thought about Idaho, and if I did I had never taken the time to look it up for that matter. Jared smiled at me and quickly showed me pictures on his phone. The pictures were of gorgeous mountains, waterfalls, flowers, and so much more. “That’s Idaho?!?” I remember saying. Jared shook his head, yes and he looked at me and said “I’m gonna propose to you in Idaho one day.” I laughed at him because it seemed unrealistic that he’d be able to do that in Idaho, especially without me knowing.
Flash forward to 4 years later. We’re both Juniors in college, and we’re on winter break. Jared’s older sister had asked me 2 months prior if I’d go to a conference with her and help babysit her daughter. The conference was in Idaho, but she works online for a company out west. So I truly never questioned why it was in Idaho. I was bummed that Jared couldn’t come with me to Idaho, but he told me he didn’t have the money for a plane ticket, and that he needed to work so he could help pay for his schooling.
Jared’s sister, Lindsey, picked me up the morning of January 15th, 2022, and after a crazy morning of terrible driving conditions, a huge TSA line, and almost missing out flight entirely, we made it on the plane and to Boise, Idaho.
Lindsey had told me weeks prior that she had a fancy work lunch right after our flight landed, so we needed to dress accordingly on the plane. We both dressed nicely, fixed our makeup and such in the airport bathroom, and we were on our way to lunch. When we arrived at the place, Lindsey told me her coworkers would be arriving soon, but since our plane landed early we were the first to get there. She then asked if I wanted to take some pictures with the mountains being in the back. I said yes, and grabbed her daughter, Paislee, so Lindsey could take pictures of her as well. We walked down to a bench and as I was helping Paislee get situated on the bench of a picture I felt someone touch my arm. I thought I had run into Lindsey, but as I went to turn around: It was Jared. I was the most shocked I have been in my entire life.
He grabbed my arm and said “Hi Avery.” I was about to ask him what he was doing here, but before I could mutter any words he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring box. I can’t tell you exactly what he said to me at that moment, but I know there was an “I love you” and a “Will you marry me?” I obviously said yes, and he stood up and I excitedly hugged and kissed him. As I looked out to see where Lindsey had gone, I realized that Jared’s family and my family were both there as well.
They had all flown out a day prior to plan and surprise me with our engagement. There was no work conference, or lunch, or babysitting: it was all a huge elaborate plan to get me to Idaho so Jared could propose to me like he said he would in Highschool. He planned this engagement for months, and he was able to pull off the ultimate surprise. We spent the next two days hiking and exploring Idaho as we’d always talked about, and it was the greatest trip ever. I’m so thankful for how much time and effort Jared put in to surprise me, and I’m so excited I get to marry him!