Hallie: So rewind back to summer 2013, and I had just finished high school and was extremely bored of sitting in my house the entire summer with nothing to do. So one day I was registering my Baylor email address and I saw a message about this website called “DateMySchool” and I figured that since at the time I wasn’t interested in a relationship and wasn’t planning on dating anyone until freshman year was over, it would be a good way for me to at least try to make some connections at Baylor. Well, once I realized that there were about three people on there from Baylor, and they had not logged on in at least more than three months, I figured I would stick around and just see what happened. Killing time on a site during the summer couldn’t hurt, right?
Michael: So that summer I had just finished college at University of Washington with my degree in Sociology. I had gotten an email on my UW email account and I thought, you know, I’ve never really tried one of these websites before and I thought I would see if there’s anyone I know from school so then I could connect with them. I wasn’t really interested in a relationship at that time but I figured I would give it a shot and see if I found anyone interesting – which would quickly appear difficult. There were about one or two girls that were “interesting” but none that I would ever consider pursuing romantically, not to mention that they were REALLY far away… But I still lingered on the site, killing time and remaining hopeful that I would be able to connect with some old friends.
Hallie: So one day I am on the site and on there you can see statuses that all the male users post (they can’t see what other guys post, which I thought was a pretty cool concept) and I saw this guy with a SUPER awesome smile and good looks and he had posted a status asking about book recommendations. So being my rather charming self, I took it upon myself to comment on his status and recommend the book I had been reading at the time, “The Book Thief” by Marcus Zusak, and we quickly connected on our love for dystopian/history novels. However, that conversation was short lived (he apparently was playing hard to get or was easily distracted – probably the latter) and we didn’t talk again for a couple of days. I didn’t think much of it – it was just another failed attempt at talking to a guy (no surprise there :P haha! )
Michael: The day that I posted the status about book recommendations, this cute girl had suggested “The Book Thief” which I had heard about and many of my friends had made similar recommendations in the past, and we talked for a little bit about our interests and then she replied last and I kinda… well, went on to do other things and left the site for a little bit. One day, a few days later, I was back on the site and I remembered that I wanted to check out and see my profile and I remembered the girl that I had talked to about “The Book Thief” and I started reading her profile, and lo and behold, she had SO many similar interests to me that it was almost kind of scary (in a good way). More importantly, I took notice of a Bible verse that she had posted at the top of her profile and I sent her a long message telling her about how much I loved everything on her profile, and then we started talking…and talking…and talking…
Hallie: Yeah so I’m on the site and I see that I have a message! I wasn’t holding my breath because most messages I had gotten on that site were about as profound as “hi” and “wassup”, and my past experience with guys I had met through Facebook friends (friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, etc.) had NOT gone well. To my delighted surprise, it was the same guy that I had taken notice of several days prior and even better, he had sent me a LOOOOOOOONG message telling me how much he loved my profile, with emphasis on the Bible verse I had posted along with his mutual love for musicals (specifically Les Miserables) and music. Of course I was totally and completely flattered and digitally swept off my feet, and so I decided to respond to him with an equally as long message saying how I appreciated him taking the time to message me and that I would love to get to know him better! However, I did not anticipate that I would end up spending much of my time over the next several days doing nothing but talking to him. I kept asking myself what the heck I was doing, especially since he was four years older than me and more importantly, he was all the way in SEATTLE, which if I was going to be in a relationship, it would have to be a /little/ closer than across the country, but I figured that I didn’t have anything better to do during the summer and this guy seemed legitimately interested, so I decided I was going to let my heart lead rather than my head, and well… he stole it.
Michael: As our conversations continued, I began to slowly realize how cool this girl “Hallie” was and I don’t know if it was just me wanting to find someone but I continued to find myself falling back into talking with this girl, even with all of my other daily activities going on, with work and everything. Plus the fact that she had lived in Texas had crossed my mind, but it didn’t seem like it was what I had previously considered to be a “deal breaker”. I told myself that I would give this a chance and see where it went, and the more and more that we talked, the more I realized that I was beginning to like Hallie, but sooner than I thought, I found out that it was developing into something more than just “liking” her. She was quickly capturing my heart, wholly and completely. Soon after so many conversations, I began to realize that not only had this girl won my heart over, I was beginning to realize I had fallen in love with her (AWWWW) and while it didn’t happen in one specific moment, it was more of a slow realization that I couldn’t go throughout my day without thinking about Hallie, and after having this long conversation with my dad about figuring out what it was like to be in love, and I told him all the feelings I had about this girl and at the end of it I decided that I was really in love, and I knew I had to tell her.
Hallie: So one lazy, hot evening I’m sitting in my sister’s condo on my phone with the Facebook app open, messaging Michael (as per the new usual). In my heart, I kept feeling like there was something that I had to get off of my chest but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I remember typing to him something along the lines of, “Do you ever get the feeling that you want to say something but you’re not sure what it is and if the timing is right?” and much to my surprise, he was totally on the same page. Well, this put about twelve dozen butterflies in my stomach and suddenly it was really hard to breathe normally. I noticed my palms were kinda sweaty (gross, I know) and I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on with my body, but I knew it had to be something huge. So in the middle of this conversation he tells me that he has to go because he’s going on a walk with his dad and I’m about to have a heart attack. I’m terrified that I have totally been completely transparent and he could tell what I was trying to say and I was internally freaking out because I thought I had blown it. I was convinced that I had successfully scared away the first guy that was genuinely into me and my quirks. Way to go, self. About thirty minutes later, much to my heavy sigh of relief, he returned and messaged me and told me that there was something he needed to say. At this point my heart was in my throat and was simultaneously beating out a samba. I had no idea what he was going to say, and I certainly was not prepared for what I was about to read when he finally sent the message.
Michael: So I get back from my walk with my dad and I get back onto Facebook and I tell myself that I need to tell Hallie how I really feel about her because I knew I couldn’t hold it inside anymore. I had to get it out there and tell her that I loved her. I had no idea how she was going to respond, and I was scared to death thinking about what I was going to do if I told her that I loved her and she didn’t feel the same way, what if she didn’t want to talk to me anymore, etc. So I messaged her telling her that there was something really important that I needed to tell her and asked her to be patient while I was typing and she could tell that it was something long. She kept messaging me in the interim with things like “I can see you’re typing something really long… is that a novel?” and “You’re giving me butterflies”, etc. but I just kept typing and asked her again to be patient while I continued to spill my guts (in layman’s terms). With my heart now spilled out in a single message, I pressed “enter” along with my soul. I was not prepared for what she sent me back.
Hallie: My. Heart. Stopped. I couldn’t breathe. I thought there were tears but honestly that whole moment was a bit of a blur. He had told me that he /loved/ me. I mean, wasn’t this like, REALLY soon to be making declarations like that? It had been what, a week and a half? Are we insane? But then I realized that when he spoke of his love for me, I was finally able to put a name with what I was feeling in my heart, and I realized that it was also love. Now I had never been in love with anyone at this point – you know, aside from David Tennant and… yeah, just David Tennant – and I wasn’t quite sure if “love” was the best way to define my feelings, but it felt like it fit, and I surprised myself by telling him that even though it had only been about nine or ten days, I loved him, too, and in that moment, my whole life changed (dramatic, I know, but bear with me).
Michael: When she said that she loved me back, I was /floored/. I couldn’t have imagined or drawn up how this would end up playing out, but I had had so many scenarios in my head thats he’s going to freeze up and say “uhhhh… yeah I g2g” but no… she told me that she loved me, too, and I knew right then that this was going to be something that was going to be life changing, but I just didn’t know how much, and from that moment I knew I had to figure out a way to see this girl, and so began our amazing love story.
So first, my sorority had their semi-formal dance last night. It was held at the top floor of McLane Stadium, the brand new stadium that was finished this year over by the Brazos River. Now Michael had been acting pretty weird all day, but this wasn’t really anything new, so I chalked it up to him just being weird. So last night he and I arrive to the stadium and we have a great time – we meet up with all of my friends and we have a blast dancing and taking funny photos at the photo booth.
Once the dance was winding down around 10 pm, I was absolutely exhausted and I had put on my jacket and taken off my shoes because my feet were so sore. I was more than ready to go home, but Michael had other plans, because he suggested that we get some of my closest ADPi sisters together and go downstairs to take pictures. I didn’t think much of it, except I was wondering why we would be going down to the main floor to take photos when it was 50 degrees outside and I was wearing a dress and was barefoot, but we went down anyway. Well Michael had only planned it to be the two of us along with three of my closest friends to be taking photos, but apparently word of mouth caused double the number of girls, plus their dates, to be joining us downstairs. Now is when I could tell something was weird!
So we’re all outside and we’re trying to find a good place to take these pictures, and I’m hugging myself because I am absolutely freezing. My friend Kasey keeps suggesting to me that I take off my jacket because these pictures will look cuter if I don’t have it on, and I’m like, “Are you crazy?! It’s waaaaaayy too cold!” and she just kept insisting that I take it off, so I finally relented and I was standing barefoot out in the cold without my jacket and Michael was standing next to me and we smiled and took photos, and then before I knew it, he turned me around and he was down on one knee, and I knew exactly what was happening, and unfortunately my gut reaction was to burst out “What the hell?” (and it is now immortalized on video).
I immediately burst into tears (combination of happiness and exhaustion) and it was all so magical. So then he asked me to marry him and of course, I said yes!! It was super cute and sweet and my friends got both photos and a video of the whole thing. The ring is absolutely GORGEOUS and he did a great job picking it out!