Avery and Jacob

Image 1 of Avery and Jacob

How We Met

During the first week of college at the University of Arkansas, Jacob was eating lunch in the cafeteria with some of his friends. I was already friends with one of Jacob’s pledge brothers, so he invited me to eat lunch with them so I could meet everyone, including Jacob. Little did I know, Jacob was already making plans. I went to get food from the line, when he turned to his best friend and said “I’m gonna marry that girl one day”.

His friend shrugged it off and continued talking about the upcoming year. As the year continued, Jacob and I became inseparable. We were the best of friends, in my mind, we were strictly platonic, but in his we were falling madly in love. We attended date parties together, ate many meals in the cafeteria, danced at concerts, and spent time together without even speaking. Finally, a time came where we needed to discuss our feelings… Jacob said he had enough of me “leading him on” and that we were meant to be together. I was not so fast to agree. I wanted to experience college and have fun. I knew that if Jacob and I were meant to be we would find our way.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Jacob and I were the only of our friends in town. He convinced me that this would be the perfect time to give him a real chance and be his girl. He planned a trip to the Bass Pro headquarters in Springfield, MO. He thought it would only be an hour drive (or so he says til this day) but it turned out to be two and a half hours… what a great way to spend some quality time together! We walked around Bass Pro as I learned about his other love… the outdoors. He told me about every animal and item in the entire building, and believe it or not, I was enjoying myself just listening to him talk. On the way back to Fayetteville, AR (where we attended college) Jacob had to stop for gas.

After our eight hour date, he thought he had his hooks in me. Jacob decided to reach for a quarter from his pocket and said, “Heads, I win and get to kiss you. Tails, you lose and you’ve got to kiss me. Deal?” I couldn’t do anything but smile, as the quarter twirled through the air. When he smacked it down onto his hand he giggled and exclaimed he was getting kissed! He’s such a romantic guy, but somehow our first kiss happened in the Walmart parking lot! Despite his efforts, I was still not ready to come around. We continued to be friends, but it was a bit more complicated at this point because our emotions were always up and down. At the end of the day I knew that I loved him, but I didn’t know if I was ready to “settle down”. After all, I was only nineteen. The end of freshmen year came, as summer approached and I had finally decided I was ready to be with Jacob. We went on one last date party of the year and had the time of our lives together. I thought we finally ended things on the same page, but he still thought I was sending mixed signals and didn’t know if he could trust me with his heart any longer.

Image 2 of Avery and Jacob

As summer came, Jacob and I lost touch due to the distance of being apart. We saw each other here and there sophomore year, but were not as close as we had been. Although, we always seemed to pick up where we left off. He still felt like my best friend when I needed him. When we saw each other around town we would text message over the next few days, but our lives were busy and separate. By the end of sophomore year, Jacob and I ran into each other at Walmart (seriously?!) once again. The conversation easily picked up where it left off, but something was just different about this run in. We hugged and expressed how good it was to see each other again. I left Walmart with butteflies, wanting to call Jacob, but debated myself and texted my sister to see what she would say. My sister had been a Jacob fan since the day she met him. As she was encouraging me to give him a buzz, he texted me! I felt so nervous with every word I typed, though I loved Jacob before, I had never felt nervous like this! We officially started dating at the beginning of the summer, and wondered why we hadn’t done this two years prior because we were happier than ever before. Everyone we knew congratulated us on finally figuring it out, as they knew it was meant to be all along. We have now been dating for almost two years, but things have been serious all along. I wake up everyday looking forward to seeing his smile and praying about the life we will spend together.

Image 3 of Avery and Jacob

how they asked

Jacob’s family was in town the first weekend of March. His sister and I had been doing stuff in town all weekend, so Jacob could spend time with his parents. On Sunday morning, I took her to his apartment so they could head back to Memphis. Jacob’s dad pulled me aside and said he made us reservations for a fancy new restaurant owned by his friend from college. I’m not going to argue with his father, so I thanked him as we said goodbye and they headed back to Memphis.

That day was cold and windy, so we planned to have a lazy day watching movies. However, Jacob kept talking about how bad my nails looked. I had gotten a manicure the week before, so it was looking a little rough. He expressed that he was trying to impress his dad’s friend, so my nails needed to look better. I would not believe him! I told him a man wasn’t going to notice my nails anyway. But, finally he convinced me into getting my nails done. He took me to the salon and sat with me, ensuring I chose a good color. He took me back to my apartment after the manicure and told me to start getting ready. He even recommended outfits that would be cute to his dad’s friend! At this point, I was really wondering who this guy was and why it was so important to impress him.

Throughout the day I asked Jacob questions about the restaurant- What kind of food is it? Where is it? Have I heard of it? He refused to give me a single answer. Eventually he left to go to his apartment to get ready. 5:45 came and it was time for Jacob to pick me up for our reservations. When we got in the truck, I questioned him about where we were going again. When I didn’t receive an answer, we just turned up the music and sang to the radio, as usual. We pulled into a parallel parking spot near campus, a good distance from any restaurant. I asked if we were walking somewhere. He just nodded. When we got out of the truck, Jacob grabbed my hand and walked opposite of where I thought we were headed. We walked toward the oldest building on our college campus.

There is a big lawn and path leading up to the front door. I kept questioning Jacob about what we were doing. Eventually, I saw lights in the distance. I said, “What is this?” to Jacob. I was in disbelief that it was actually happening, but boy, was I excited! I could tell Jacob was getting nervous, as was I. We continued walking towards the lights, as things got awkward… in a good way. Neither of us knew what to say because we were so excited. Jacob began to talk about our time together and how our love had grown since our meeting in the cafeteria. We reached a circle of candles. Jacob and I stepped into it, as he finished his thought and prepared to get down on one knee.

Image 4 of Avery and Jacob

He pulled a box out of his pocket, knelt down, and opened it, as he asked if I would make him the happiest man in the world by marrying him. Of course I said yes and pulled him up immediately to hug and kiss my future husband! As we celebrated, a photographer popped out of nowhere and began snapping photos. I am still amazed with how thoughtful Jacob has been throughout the planning of our special moment. He began by asking my family’s blessing over Thanksgiving, and ending it with the happiest moment of my life, so far, and pictures to look back on.

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Image 6 of Avery and Jacob

Special Thanks

Lissa Chandler
 | Photographer