Lauren and Jarrod

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How We Met

Jarrod and I met during our freshman year of college. I was coming out of a pretty toxic relationship and was all alone in my new home and looking for anyone to hang out with and things to do. I had a science class with a guy named Ryan. He and I became decent friends and chatted quite a bit. He invited me to go bow fishing at one of the nearby dams with him and 2 of his buddies. Not thinking about it I agreed to go. Later on, I was thinking about how this could be very dangerous given I hardly knew him and did not know the two buddies of his. I brought one of my then girlfriends with me and shared my location with my aunt before going. Ryan picked me and my friend up then we went and picked up Jarrod, the other guy who was going to meet us there.

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The car ride was long and awkward. We just listened to country music and I do remember at one point Amarillo Sky by Jason Aldean came on, and Jarrod sang it as Armadillo Sky and I thought he was being serious but I later found out he was doing that to make me laugh. We got to the dam and started fishing. Jarrod and I were holding the light to attract the fish with Ryan and Isaac bow fished. Jarrod just started asking me questions about where I was from, what I was in school for, my family, and all that. I did the same back to him. We were talking the whole night and had a great time. Around 1 am the guys called it quits and we all went to waffle house, Jarrod and I ended up sitting at a table separate from our friends, still just talking and getting to know each other. The drive back to campus was not as awkward thankfully. By the end of the night, we had exchanged Snapchats and called it a night around 4 am. We talked every day for about a week and then we finally made plans to go out to eat. We were not formal about it or anything, never called it a date until after the fact. But after our first date, we were pretty much inseparable. The weekend after our first date I went with him back to his home county, he was telling me that there was only one stoplight in the whole county and the only high school was literally in the middle of a cornfield. I did not believe him, but I was from a large city and my graduating class was the entire population of his school. As soon as we cross the border into his county I lost all phone service and was sure this guy was going to kill me (spoiler: he doesn’t). He showed me around his little town and then took me down by the river where we just hung out for a good little bit. Honestly, from that day I knew he was going to be something very special to me.

One of our favorite things to talk about is how we went through college together. All the way. Every success to every meltdown, we shared that with each other. We shared so many firsts together. We got to watch each other really grow up from high school kids to adults.

Now I am graduated and have a full-time job, and he is finishing up his middle school education degree. I am so proud of him and us and how far we have come as individuals and as a couple.

How They Asked

We were going up to Washington DC with our friends to visit another friend, Callum, who works in the capitol building. My best friend, also named Lauren, and his best friend, Cooper, and another good friend of ours, Makayla, went. We had a whole week planned of bar hopping and sightseeing and going to museums. We were all crammed in a small apartment together but it was so fun and so many memories were made with these people. I had no idea he was going to propose while in DC and there was nothing that was hinting it to me. My best friend is a photographer, so when she brought her camera with her, there were no questions asked. I was a little confused why she wasn’t using it throughout the week but thought nothing of it still. On Thursday night, after having been there a couple of days, we had really nice dinner reservations at this fancy restaurant so we were all going to dress up and look nice. But it was raining. I was trying to convince everyone to just order take-out and reschedule for the next night because I for one did not want to go out in the rain while wearing a dress. But everyone was so persistent about it so I went as well but was not happy about it.

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This was also the night that Lauren decided to bring her camera and I thought that was ridiculous because of the rain but she said it was group pictures. We left early for the reservation which I saw no point in, but everyone was talking about going to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. From that memorial, you can get close to the river and get a nice view of the Washington Monument. Plus the memorial is pretty and it is a little far from the National Mall. So we are all there, it’s raining, there are tons of kids everywhere for a school field trip and Lauren has her camera out taking pictures and trying to get the perfect lighting. Makayla is holding purses and the camera bag and I keep trying to help her. Keep in mind, throughout all of this, Jarrod is hardly saying anything and I thought he was upset about something, turns out it was just nerves.

Image 3 of Lauren and Jarrod

Cooper runs off to go to the “bathroom” and Callum goes off to “look at the memorial”, they were just getting family on facetime and getting ready to record. I keep trying to help Makayla with the bags and she won’t let me and Lauren pulls me to help her get the right lighting for the camera for a group picture. When Cooper and Callum get back, Lauren tells Jarrod to get in the frame so she can get some nice pictures of us dressed up. She takes a few and puts her camera down, she and Makayla make all the kids that are in the picture get out of the way and Jarrod turns to me, and while reaching in his pocket he said “You know how you keep asking about when I’m going to propose and when we can get married and I keep saying soon” at this point he has the ring out and is on his knee and he said, “well I can’t wait anymore, soon is here, Lauren Elizabeth Bolt, will you marry me?” I of course said yes, cried some tears, there were some kids on their field trip clapping for us as well as teachers, and Cooper comes up to us and is showing us the phone with my parents and Jarrod’s mom all on facetime. I really don’t remember what all was said on the phone with them. They hang up and I do remember this old man and his wife walking up to us and him saying “let us be the first strangers to congratulate you two. Marriage is so worth it”.

Finally, everything made sense and I understood why everyone was freaking out when I wanted to reschedule the evening and not want to dress up or anything. I felt kinda bad, but it was also very in the character of me and Jarrod said he wouldn’t expect anything less.

It was so perfect and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!!

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Special Thanks

Lauren Albensi
 | Photographer