How We Met
As Julie Andrews once sang, “Let’s start at the very beginning.”
Zachary and I officially met in Mrs. Lollar’s mixed chorus, I was in 7th grade and he was in 8th, while practicing in preparation for the “All City” and “All Regional” vocal competitions in Odessa, Texas. During this time I found the trouble maker in the corner was the reason that the long rehearsals were actually fun and entertaining. We both placed, which officially allowed me to try out for the few spots available the next year for the All-Freshman“Mixed Chorus.”
The following year we had choir class together and my intrigue grew to a crush, not that I let on of course(!)
Zack started dating someone that year but he always seemed to make his way over to talk to my group of friends. We spent the year as friends and then he went off to high school, I still had another year in junior high so we didn’t keep in touch.
The following year I walked into my sophomore chemistry class and low and behold, who was sitting in the seat right next to me as the bell rang? Mr Roberts. We were placed in a group with 3 others as lab partners for the semester where not only the class but our new rekindled friendship had chemistry. It didn’t take long for my close girl friends to catch on that this was something, so in true high school form my friend decided to put a game night together and invited him to join in—to this day I am grateful she did!
A group of us spent a Saturday evening playing Twister, Dance Dance rRevolution, and apples to apples until curfew struck and my friend’s mom told everyone to go home. I was convinced that he had no interest in me because he was always on the opposing side, until he offered to drive me home (around the block) where I lived. I immediately told my friend’s mom that I no longer needed a ride and happily accepted his offer.
During the ride home we were met by two very drunk men who pulled up beside his truck at a red light and insisted that I get out of the car. Zachary immediately locked the doors, rolled the windows up, and told me to not make eye contact with them until we drove off. The light turned green and both cars advanced but they were not leaving, Zack told me that he was not taking me home until they left us alone– in that moment I not only knew I could trust him but that I felt safe with him– we traveled on for another 5 minutes until we got caught at another light with the drunks right beside us. I naturally thought I was going to die, “goodbye cruel world” and all that jazz but Zack kept his cool, which infuriated the dynamic duo enough for one to chunk a beer at his truck before speeding off, covering Zack’s truck with a coating of beer!
We pulled up in front of my house, 15 minutes past curfew and smelling of beer, GREAT first impression right?? Luckily my parents were more impressed with the guy with the quick thinking that kept their daughter safe than the guy who brought their daughter home late and smelling of alcohol at 15.
After that night Zack and I talked almost every night and in the classes that we had together throughout the day, we still we in choir together and my fiance (yea I said it) is still a wonderful singer. We spent time at each others houses getting to know the families- Zack claims to this day that the fact that I came in and gave his mom a hug while inducing myself made all the difference and I like to think the same! We even spent 30 minutes of his sister’s birthday with his family but didn’t even have time to eat cake so that we could make my parents (accidental) curfew. Still interested? Ask my mom for the full story haha! We went to friends birthday parties, went to watch each others games, and met during class changes in the hallway. Our friendship grew to a real like for each other, I had actually declined being his girlfriend once at this point, because had told Zack I didn’t want to just rush into a relationship without establishing a friendship. I told him that he had to wait until after Christmas first….
November 30, 2007 came and after a movie date while, walking him out to his truck (sister spying from the window) I told him that, “Christmas came early” and I would love to be his girlfriend if the offer still stood. I think we all know his answer and we shared our first kiss that night, the first of many more to come unbeknownst to either of us.
The 8 next years grew from like to love, we traveled to Austin, Texas, withstood my crazy freshman year (some of you might know what this means– to those I apologize), endured long distance, and that brought us to November 14, 2015 “The Engagement”.
how they asked
“He has made everything beautiful in His time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
November 14, 2015 was the day that our lives began and ended all at once; it was the end of our separate lives and the beginning of our lives together. The whole process started about two years ago according to my sister and 3 weeks ago according to Zack. My wonderful fiancé had asked my sister Henley about two years ago to spend the rest of his life with me and from that day she has been waiting patiently (if you know Henley you know she is as patient and subtle as a gnat) for him to ask my parents, which leads us to when Zack called and asked my parents for permission to marry me three weeks ago. I’ll let you choose which started it all ;)
*The following events were told to me by Zack after I interrogated him about how he managed to surprise me after 8 years*
Zack knew that getting to Denver to ask my parents in person without me catching on would be impossible, he is soooo correct in that, so he was forced into the modern age of FaceTime. Once he asked my parents my mom immediately bursted into tears while my dad sat and lowered his head, then raised his head and said,”Can I sleep on it? … just kidding I had to give you a hard time in some way.” Of course he chose this moment to pull the “Dad Card” and cash in all the times that he had not given Zack a hard time when we first started dating; my dad then teased that there were no “give backs” which Zack gladly accepted ;)
The next few weeks were spent looking at rings online; Zack knew that he liked settings with halos and that I wanted something that looked unique, so he searched until he found a few that he liked enough to go see them in person. To get a woman’s perspective Zack was sneaky enough to get his mom into town, under my radar, with the cover of overdue license plates. So with that is what he went in looking for. They went to a few stores and looked at selections that matched the pictures he had and the description that he gave, but nothing was “the ring.” After walking out of the second store they went into at The Domain, Zack told his mom that since they were out there he wanted to just go look in Tiffany’s to see what they had. *I would have told him to turn around*
The two of them walked into Tiffany’s and were greeted by Clinton, or my forever friend as I now refer to him, and shown two rings that fit Zack’s wants. He took a look at both and instantly knew that “This was the ring.” Being the best confidant ever , seriously, Tammy suggested lunch before purchasing and to come back if he still felt as strongly. Zack said it took about 20 minutes for him to walk back in to pick up the symbol of our future. The next steps were to plan the day.
Most of you know that Zack in currently a student studying for his doctorate in physical therapy, so his time is very limited. What some of you probably do not know is that he has class every other weekend all day long, which gives him even less time ESPECIALLY around finals. He knew that his finals would start the week right after thanksgiving, which coincides perfectly with our anniversary. Over the years we also decided to stop giving each other presents for our anniversary, and go to a nice dinner instead. This being the norm, I did not think much of him asking me to celebrate our anniversary the last weekend before he turned into a hermit. I accepted the invitation to dinner and it all started to fall into place.
the place: steiner ranch steakhouse, austin, texas
This steakhouse has held most of the important dates now that I look back on it. A couple of Zack’s birthdays including his 21st birthday, and both of our graduation dinners in the past 5 years. I had previously told him that I would like to go back to even just drink wine by the fire pit. Zack knew that he would have to keep the day as normal as possible or I would catch on, so for me to have suggested this must have made it felt like the stars were aligning for him.
the plan: get a yes!
Zack’s plan was to arrive early at the restaurant and have them seat us near the fire pit to drink wine and enjoy the beautiful weather of the hill country. While we waited for our table to be ready he would tell me that he got me a present even though he knew he was not supposed to, and give me a small gift sack. I would roll my eyes as usual and start to open the present only to find a little blue box with a little white bow, knowing what was about to happen I would start to cry as he took the box out of my hand and got down on one knee. He would ask me to marry him and Henley would be in the background to capture our special moment and be a part of the celebration.
November 14, 2015, the day started like our usual Saturdays do, Costco and Starbucks! After snapping pictures of our infamous red cups and stocking up at Costco, we made lunch and watched the Longhorn… lose. A completely normal Saturday right?!?… I know Longhorn fans, it’s been tough! After the game I decided to start getting cleaned up so that we could be ready to go at 4pm. I did the normal girl routine of shower/hair/make up and then changed into my favorite emerald dress- one that I have not had a good enough excuse to wear yet because it was too nice to wear just out and about. Flash forward to Zack getting ready…OKAY CONFESSION TIME! Up until Saturday I had thought (like any girl after 8 years going on nice dates) that this could be THE date night. I quickly put that out of my mind once Mr “I love to wear suits and look nice” told me he did not know what to wear and that he needed help. I helped him pick out a nice button down and slacks that matched the dressiness of my outfit for the night and we headed out the door- me completely convinced that I was once again crazy and he was NOT proposing.
While on the way to the restaurant I am riding as usual, singing along and making interpretive dances to the music while on snapchat, and Zack is quiet while his phone is blowing up in his pocket. With him in a group chat with his classmates I chalked it up to that but asked if I needed to text anyone for him to get them to stop. He said no and just kept driving to the restaurant; on the other line was my sister who was frantically trying to tell him that all his plans were about to take a major twist and that she was working really hard to make sure that things worked out– you are the best Henley!
the place: steiner ranch steakhouse, austin, texas
As we walked into the restaurant we check in at the receptionist and made our way to the bar to get our wine while Zack stepped away to call my sister back- he told me he had to go to the bathroom. Once he returned to the table the manager came over and introduced himself and asked how our evening has been so far, I never thought anything into this because they were a little slow and the staff has ALWAYS been exceptionally friendly. As we sat there talking to him I noticed that the band was taking their equipment down and tearing down their set due to the rain that had started. The manager told us that we looked very nice and asked if we were celebrating anything, I responded with, “Our 8th anniversary!” and quickly asked if the patio was still open, a girl has her priorities(!) We were told that if we did not mind a little rain we could go out until they completely closed the patio. We both agreed it was okay and started out the door.
the plan: get a yes!
As I walked out the door headed to the fire pit Zack quickly redirects me down the ramp instead of the stairs and tells me “No! Delaney this way!” I turn and follow, thinking he is completely crazy and thinking that “There are two ways down to the stupid fire pit.” Noticing that the chairs had been pushed out of the rain near the pit, I decided that I did not want to move the chairs back and forth and suggested that we go sit over at the little tables overlooking the lake. Zack knowing that if he tried to get anything back to his original plan would tip me off so he went along and started to think. About the time we go to sit and enjoy our wine the manager comes to check on us and make sure we were not getting to wet, and then asked if we wanted a picture. —I wish I would have seen Zack’s face at this point because I am sure there were daggers in his eyes as his original plans had been completely derailed at this point— I quickly accepted and asked Zack for his phone to take the picture. As I unlocked his phone and got it to the camera app to set the manager up for the picture, my sweet soon-to-be fiancé has to quietly tear into the gift sack, unwrap the ring box, and make it to my side by the time I turned to take the picture with him. I thought that he was going to come and stand on the right hand side of me like he usually does, but instead he dropped to one knee. I instantly said, “O-mi-gosh” knowing what would be the next words spoken. He smiled up at me and asked, “Will you marry me?” I bent down giving him a kiss and told him, “Of course I will!”
The next thing I hear is, “Awe yay!” I knew that voice! I turned to see my sister there smiling. I shrieked and ran over to greet her, leaving Zack—with the ring— standing shaking his head and smiling. The manager quickly announced to the small group of people that had gathered on the patio with us, “Don’t worry y’all she said yes!” It hit me instantly that I had just left my new fiancé waiting for me to place the ring on my finger— guess as Brad Paisley says, “He will always be waiting on a woman” hahaha! Zack replaced the ring I have worn for years, with a diamond ring more beautiful than I ever imagined.
To this point I had not cried… If you know me you are probably just as baffled as I was! Do not worry, those came moments after when a woman approached with champagne and said, “Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Roberts.” We spent the next 3 hours having dinner with Henley and her boyfriend Blaine laughing and enjoying the most perfect evenings of our lives, starting our “Road to Roberts.”