Christen and Austin

Image 1 of Christen and Austin

How We Met

Before our relationship began, Austin and I knew each other – but were more acquaintances. We would always say hello but never had a true conversation until a few years afterward around a campfire. So how did we initially meet? Well, in college I was involved in a sorority, and many of my sisters participated in intramural sports. Of course, my uncoordinated and non-athletic self never played, but always enjoyed supporting my sisters at their games and practices. Austin, on the other hand, happened to be very involved – he was the coach for THREE years. He coached our flagged football, basketball, and softball teams. He was even recognized as our “Man of the Year” his senior year. Despite all of that, the two of us began dating after his intramural coach career. About a year after he graduated and the summer before my senior year, a group of friends and myself planned a float trip. It was my first float trip, so I had no idea what to expect. The trip essentially consisted of camping, floating down the river for an entire Saturday, a good time with close friends, and the start to Austin and I’s forever. By coincidence, Austin and his group of friends planned a float trip on the same weekend, at the same location. Knowing many of my friends from intramurals – Austin noticed our campsite of familiar faces. Being the outgoing guy he is, he had to come and say hello. That “hello” turned into our two groups intermingling or running into each other for most of the trip. As previously mentioned, Austin and I never spoke much until this weekend. Our first conversation occurred on our campsite, and while talking around the campfire, Austin told me, “by the end of tonight I am going to kiss you, get your number, and plan to take you on a date as soon as we get back to the city.” Romantic, right? Being caught off guard – I instantly grew a love interest in this man and knew I wanted it to happen. Unfortunately, that is NOT what happened. Instead, Austin later saw me speaking with a guy friend and automatically assumed him and I would never happen. Instead of getting my number and giving me a kiss, he simply came up and said goodbye with a fist bump. Yes, a fist bump…not so romantic as planned. However, that fist bump didn’t stop my interest in him. A few weeks later, I built up the courage and messaged him on Facebook with my phone number. Shortly after, I received a text message, and a few days after that we went on our first date. Some may say, “you had me at hello” – I like to say, “you had me at the fist bump.”

how they asked

If you haven’t already guessed yet, Austin enjoys sports. So when we plan a weekend visit to see his family, it’s pretty typical for him to go golfing. This particular weekend he had plans Saturday morning to go golfing with his dad and brother. While, I planned to hang out with his stepsister, stepmom, sister-in-law, and quite a few of the nieces and nephews. We had just started a movie for the kids when Austin called and said he had made a hole-in-one – he sounded so excited (and convincing)! To join in on the celebration and make sure Austin wasn’t playing a joke on us (he is quite the jokester) we all decided to walk over to the golf course. Conveniently, his dad and stepmom live right next to the country club, so we were only about a two-minute walk away. As we got there, his family told me to go up to the hole with Austin to take a picture with him for the newspaper. At the time, I wondered why because I had nothing to do with his hole-in-one. But, Austin put his hand behind my back and begun walking me towards the hole. As we neared the hole, he let go and started reaching down for the golf ball. Except, the ball he pulled out isn’t one he typically uses – it was a yellow foam ball with a beautiful engagement ring placed inside! The next thing I knew, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes! After he had stood up, he pointed to the additional family members walking out of hiding behind a nearby tree. It included my parents, his mom, stepdad, and grandparents! I instantly started to cry because of all the love surrounding us and seeing that my parents were there for the special moment. It meant so much to me. Planning the proposal, Austin said he wanted to incorporate two things that are meaningful to us. He chose sports, something he has always loved, and family because it’s something I truly cherish. I couldn’t have asked for a more personal, romantic way to begin our engagement!

Image 2 of Christen and Austin

Image 3 of Christen and Austin