Lauren and Mark

How We Met: My now Fiancé and I met on Instagram the Summer of 2011. I was 23 and living in Northern Virginia while going to college in Florida. Mark was 34 and living in Central Arkansas. We were both following a British tattoo artist and that is how Mark first saw me. He requested to add me and once I was sure he didn’t look sketchy -haha, I approved his request. On July 26, 2011 Mark commented on a photo of mine and the comment stream between us lasted all day until he asked if he could add me on Facebook where he privately asked for my number. We texted, talked (he did not have a southern accent!

He left after work on a Friday night driving 511 miles on his 2009 Harley Davidson Street bob to meet me in Pensacola, Florida on September 24, 2011 for our very first date. We spent the day in museums, walking on the beach, driving around Pensacola, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and of course eating. It was the best day of my life. Nothing felt as effortless and perfect as did spending time with Mark. I knew I had found the man I couldn’t get enough time with. A little over a week later on October 2, 2011 Mark told me he loved me for the first time.

It wasn’t until December 2, when I visited him for his birthday, that I told him I loved him too. When I graduated in June 2012, we knew we didn’t want to be long-distance anymore. Because Mark had invested in a business, it only made sense that I should relocate. Mark drove to Virginia to help me pack and move to Arkansas on June 15, 2012 to start our life together.

People are always shocked to hear I moved from IMG_4808Virginia, “what made you move to Arkansas?!” My answer is always the same: Him! Mark asked me to marry him on top of Mount Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas, on September 27, 2014. We plan to marry on our five-year anniversary weekend date: September 25, 2016.

how they asked: Mark had suggested we ride with our good friends Valeria & Jason to Fayetteville for the Bikes Blues and Barbeque bike rally only days before. My week had been hectic and I was looking forward to riding through the mountains.

We started out the morning with mimosas, which looking back now was very out of the ordinary, but I was in a party mood. The weather was absolutely perfect! I had never been through Mount Magazine and was especially looking forward to seeing the trees.

We stopped at two overlooks on our way, both in their own way breathtaking, but Mark had said there was one more he wanted to show me. The next overlook is the highest point in Arkansas.

It had begun to get hot so before walking down we all took off our leather chaps and jackets. Just as we were about to go down to the overlook several cars pulled up. I was happy to share the overlook with them, but Mark insisted we wait until they had finished looking.

When it was finally “our turn” we walked down to the ledge. Absolutely gorgeous! Because the view was so beautiful, I suggested we take one of Valeria & Jason then they could take one of us. Once we had done that Valeria and Jason went up to get water.

I was still enjoying the view and telling Mark how glad I was that he suggested this route to Fayetteville. He came over and put his arm around me and began to tell me that he knew I was the one from the moment we met… He released his arm from around me, knelt down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I might have spit in the process, but I said YES. We shared champagne with our friends and continued on to Fayetteville to enjoy Bikes Blues and Barbecue!