Lauren and Drew

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How We Met

Drew and I met in 2010, during the summer entering our senior year of high school, at Hillside Covenant Church in Walnut Creek, California. I totally had a crush on Drew but with the transition of high school to college coming quickly and just beginning a friendship with one another I didn’t want to ruin anything.

Drew went to Azusa Pacific University and I went to California Baptist University. Shout out to my dear roommate and Matron of Honor, Linda (Jacoban) Kost, who was completely aware of my crush so like a sneaky friend… she set us up on a date, without my knowledge, our freshman fall semester. Like any girl, I freaked out and was in complete shock when I saw Drew on my college campus but I had the best time going to a baseball game that evening with him (thanks again Linda). However, like most college students, we got overwhelmed and busy with all of the new transitions and changes that occur when entering college. We had moved to new cities, were studying for our degrees in Business and Psychology, participating in collegiate sports and music, traveling overseas, and trying to build new friendships. We continued to intentionally spend time with one another during vacations home for the holidays and when I was in the country. We would spend evenings making pizza from scratch, having long talks about our hopes and dreams in the middle of our church parking lots, and Facebook messaging and face timing one another. We developed a incredible friendship and I was so grateful for our time together when we were able to find time to meet and hear about how one another was doing in life and yes, I sssstttiiillll had a crush on him (whoops) but once again, I had no intent on risking the chance of ruining our friendship. We both dated other people but honestly, we are incredibly grateful for the Lord’s timing and plans knowing that we would not have grown, learned, and developed into the man and woman we are today without those experiences and times in our lives. Even after several events and years, Drew was clueless of my feelings toward him but that all changed in 2014…

I had returned from months of traveling and living in Asia to visit my family and friends in the Bay Area prior to beginning my last semester of college. I spoke with Drew during my short time at home and something seemed different. A few weeks later, we found ourselves back in Southern California sitting at a local coffee shop, Dripp Coffee Shop, distanced in between both of our college towns, Azusa and Riverside. What was expected to be a brief casual meeting evolved into a 7 hour conversation. We talked about everything and by the end of our time at the coffee shop we had scheduled three other times to “hangout”. I called my mom on the way home in complete denial of any possibility that my time with Drew was in fact a date and that he may have feelings for me – but it turns out that mothers really do know best. Nevertheless, I was determined that if anything were to happen he would have to initiate it since I did not want to risk ruining a great friendship.

Shortly after our coffee date, I visited Drew at his home, in Azusa, where he told me intentions to pursue a relationship with me while not knowing that I had had a crush on him all those years… I was in shock!

We spent the beginning months of our relationship in community with others learning about one another and seeking wisdom in our decision to pursue a relationship together. We both saw the Lord work in incredible ways of restoration, grace & a peace that surpasses all understanding. We became very familiar with the 60 freeway as we visited each other while finishing our undergraduate degrees and supporting one another. Each time we saw each other, we only began to care for one another more. I saw him respecting me & selflessly loving me from afar, and I knew my heart was committed to him.

In December of 2014 I graduated with a B.A. from California Baptist University in Psychology, with a minor in Global Studies, and six months later, in May of 2015, Drew graduated with a B.S. from Azusa Pacific University in Business Management, with a minor in Leadership!

Since then we have held various occupations as Drew pursues a career in firefighting and I complete my master’s degree in May of 2017, in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. We have both adjusted to working, balancing our friendships and family relationships, serving in our local church, and maintaining a healthy relationship that first and foremost strives to bring glory to our Lord and Savior.

The past 2(ish) years have been full of times of refinement as individuals and as a couple. We have had incredible men and women sharpen us and support our decision to be together, but truly we credit and give glory to Christ who was faithful to us even when we were not to Him.

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PS: Photo taken in 2010, please excuse the awkward high school years…

how they asked

We got engaged on June 20, 2016 in Claremont, California. Drew went home to celebrate his sister, Julie, as well as Father’s Day during the weekend so when he showed up at my door on Monday morning I was surprised to say the least. He had two bouquets of peonies and told me he wanted to take me on a date.

I discovered, during our drive to Orange County, that Drew had flown during the late evening the night before, June 19th, and taken the metro from North Hollywood all the way home to Azusa to avoid me knowing his plans. We got lunch at a small restaurant in Costa Mesa and then went to Newport Beach to go paddle boarding. We paddle boarded around the Newport Harbor talking about our families, our goals, and hopes for the future.

After paddle boarding we decided to drive back to Azusa in order to attempt to beat the commute hour traffic. A huge fire had begun during our time at the beach in the foothills behind Drew’s home. Drew dropped me off at home and was able to somehow convince the police officers blocking off his street, due to the fire hazards, to allow him to pass.

At this moment I started to consider the possibility that Drew may be proposing to me this evening. I waited anxiously for him to arrive in order to pick me up and go to dinner. I called Danica Cramer, my best friend/Maid of Honor, is a complete mess trying to determine whether or not my predictions were accurate or not – of course she knew everything but told me nothing.

It was the quietest car ride of my life. Drew asked me about halfway through our silent car ride what I was thinking to which I replied “nothing” which of course was not the case at all. We arrived at our restaurant of choice to realize that it was closed. This was the first of many reason I began to think perhaps Drew was not proposing after all.

He suggested that maybe we should just go to Pomona College to have a picnic and then dinner later. It took quite a bit of time to remember where the parking lot was but finally we found our way. Drew led me to a spot where we had our first picnic in 2014. He pulled out a very nice bottle of wine that my family had given us but unfortunately, Drew had forgotten wine glasses which was yet another factor in considering that perhaps, once again, maybe tonight was not the night… but I was so incredibly wrong.

After we sat down on the picnic blanket Drew began to ask me what qualities I admired about him to which he responded with affirming me in my character as well. He asked if I could guess an item that he had taken from my house that morning which he had brought with him on the picnic. I had no idea. I began taking guesses of anything and everything I could think of until giving up.

Finally, after giving up, Drew revealed that he had brought a book that he had given me in December of 2014 for Christmas. He had hollowed out the center but glued the pages together in order that I may be able to keep items in the center of the book. Over the course of our relationship and friendship I had collected notes, theatre/sports tickets, pictures, seashells, and cards. Slowly one by one we opened each card and re-read them out loud – of course, I began to cry and laugh as we both were reminded of all of the occurrences that had taken place over the past six years of our friendship with one another.

Once we got to the bottom of the book I began placing the items back inside of the book but Drew quickly stopped me. He asked me I could take everything out of the book so I proceeded to dump all the cards, notes, tickets, and seashells onto the picnic blanket. Then he asked if there was anything else in the book left. I hesitantly answered no until he pointed out a spot on the inside flap of the book cover and asked me to trace my hand over it. He then passed me a knife and requested that I cut into the book cover. I was no longer crying… I was sobbing. I was so confused and focused on this small piece of folded paper hidden behind the book cover that had been sitting next to my bed for so long. The words inside the folded small paper simply and plainly stated,

“Lauren Hope Hogan, Will You Marry Me?”

I turned to my left to find Drew on his knee holding a white box asking the same question verbally. I gave him a hug and we both cried while I answered saying “yes, of course”! I began to quickly notice that we were not alone…

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Two of Drew’s roommates jumped out of the bushes across from the grass lawn as another friend, who had been holding the ring for Drew, was hiding in another location nearby. The crying proceeded, as I was completely and utterly surprised in every way. To top it off, apparently the Pomona College students had been watching from their dorm rooms so they opened their windows screaming “CONGRATULATIONS” and playing the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (I Love You Baby)”.

We continued the evening by celebrating with close friends and roommates at a restaurant in downtown Glendora, California, and enjoying one another’s company. I am so grateful for the people who took part in caring and encouraging Drew and I in our relationship and for those who continue to walk alongside of us as we pursue a Christ centered marriage. We couldn’t be more excited for this season! It is so exciting to begin dreaming about a future together! This is truly our greatest adventure and we cannot wait to see what is in store ahead!

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