How We Met: Hunter and I met his senior year of high school. Hunter was on drum line and I was on the flag team in marching band so we saw a lot of each other on a daily basis, but never talked until one day one of our own band members got hurt at a summer party so I jumped in his truck and on the way to the hospital we finally introduced ourselves.
After that day we began talking every now and then; nothing special. A few months later we really began talking on a daily basis and we became best friends. Hunter would ask me many times if I was still at school after we were dismissed, but me not wanting a boyfriend, I always said no (even though I was hanging out in the band room; haha). Hunter continuously asked me if I wanted to hang out, but as always I turned him down until one day I finally let him come pick me up for a band performance.
On the night of his senior rally, he texted me and said he was bored so he wanted to go on a date so this time I called my mom who was out on a date with my dad; furthermore, I told her that I did not want to go and I did not want a boyfriend, but what do you know I ended up going out with Hunter to get ice cream. We ended up having a great time just talking.
After that day sparks flew and on July 4, 2012, Hunter wrote in the sand on the beach “You’re wanted” and asked me to be his girlfriend.
how they asked: Before, we get into the how they asked, you must first know the meaning behind how they asked. Back in May 2014, I had been working in a business office, but had always wanted to work with animals because my dream is to become a veterinarian so Hunter told me that our college posted a job listing for the Gulf Coast Exploreum to work with four South African Black-footed Penguins.
So, I began calling the guy that was in charge and landed a job interview. I was called for a second job interview, and then I was called to say I had the job. Penguins are so much fun to work with, and I had the time of my life.
On May 20,2015, Hunter took me to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Florida to see my penguin babies at their permanent home. I was incredibly happy that he was taking me and even more ecstatic when he informed me we were also going to have a penguin encounter. After feeding the penguins, the trainers asked me if I would like to pick a penguin to have a special meet and greet.
Of course I said yes. I picked Tux, a 28 year old penguin. The trainers let us hold him on the beach. After taking a few pictures, Hunter got up and dug in his pocket, but me, too focused on Tux, did not realize what was happening until a small box opened that held the most beautiful ring. Hunter told me, ” Nothing makes me happier then seeing you with these penguins.
I am so in love with you. Baby, Will you marry me?” Of course I said yes because Hunter Ballard is the man of my dreams. I had the perfect proposal, and I cannot wait to marry my one and only.
Photos by: Harrison’s Lens Photography