Ciera and Randy


Randy and I met in the first semester of our first year of college at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). Sara Power, my childhood best friend, and I carpooled into school, on the first day she dropped me off in a group of people, the gamers, and told me they were good people and she had to get to class. I do not remember the first time Randy and I met, he just happened to show up in that group of people and we started talking about everything from music to politics and games to philosophy. We would talk between classes and play a game we call 21 pick up, I do not know what it is really called. All i know for sure is that he kicks my butt almost every time! We would play with a deck of cards that he got from a trip down to New Orleans that had a gold fleur-de-lis on it. Fun fact: without realizing it he got me an engagement ring with a fleur-de-lis under the center stone. We talked constantly for a few weeks, it got to the point where if we were not in class we were together, we even shared a class. Tangent warning: The class we shared was an introduction to sociology, the was an older man named Mr. Politano. Every time we had his class we sat in the back right corner, with Randy in the very back and me in the seat in front of him, we would pass notes on a little index card back and forth, on one of them we illustrated the song “Would you go with me” by Josh Turner. Randy often joked of wanting to do a sociological experiment where one day we would come in and sit on separate sides of the class and act all put off by each other and see how the class would react, but we never got around to it. A year later the professor saw us in the hall walking hand in hand and he laughed, “I didn’t think you guys would still be together” part of me really wanted to send him an invitation, but I decided not to. A few weeks into that first semester NOVA was going to hold a Fall festival around lunch time. First thing that morning Randy and I met in that same area that we always did and made plans to go to the festival together later. I took this as my chance to ask him for his number, because I would need to text him to find him later you know. A little part of me is still super proud of myself for that. We went to the festival later that day, we rode a mechanical bull, video evidence exists somewhere in the depths of a friend’s facebook account, we had our first set of pictures taken, it was a costumed old western and in one of the pictures he is even down on one knee. After we left the festival we were sitting in the area we sat in every day surrounded by our friends. I do not remember exactly how the conversation started but someone asked if we were dating and I shook my head “no” then while laughing randy asks me if I would like to go out with him. I am convinced at this point that he is joking so I kinda just stared at him for a moment and then his face dropped, and he asked, “No seriously do you want to go out with me?” I said yes and all of our friends whooped and hollered. The very next day we played hookie from our classes to help a friend go find some oreo’s it was a magical quest with many stops and I don’t even remember if we got the guy his oreos, if we did it wasn’t until many hours later.


For our fifth anniversary Randy and I decided that we were going to go away for a vacation, we looked at a bunch of places and wound up at a mountain resort about an hour’s drive from home. He told me that he had a surprise for me on our anniversary and he wouldn’t tell me anything else. We woke up the morning of our anniversary, got ready and got in the car, after a little while I figured out that we were headed back toward home. He let me play 20 questions to figure out where we were going, but did a really good job of giving me answers that weren’t really answers. We pull up to the bookstore that we went on our first date, and I excitedly ask him if we are recreating our first date, he said kinda. As we walked into the store, I remember thinking, “If he asks me to marry him in the bookstore we went on our first date, I am marrying him twice!” It is not uncommon for us to get separated in that store, but we always wind up bumping into each other and showing the other something we are excited about. I went looking for him and when i couldn’t find him where I expected to I texted him to ask where was he. He responded with, “Exactly where i am supposed to be,” He came and found me and we started walking around the store together. Before I knew it, we wound up in the romance section, not anything unusual because i am a sappy romance loving person. I started to pull away from him to look to see what they had in stock in their Nicholas Sparks section, at the time I had everything he had ever written with the exception of two books. From behind me Randy says, “Hey Babe, I got a question for you,” when I turned around he was down on one knee. Then I heard absolutely nothing!!! I was smiling so hard it hurt the back of my face and I just nodded and he put the ring on my finger. When he stood up I kissed him and his face like a million times. It wasn’t until we got out to the car and I calmed down a minute that I realized I hadn’t heard a single thing he had said. When I asked him what he said, he told me asked me, “If he could make me as happy as a pig in ‘mud’ for the rest of our lives.”

Special Thanks

Anne Casey Photography
 | Photography