How We Met
He was the guy that I had a crush on but never thought in my wildest dreams that he would ever be mine.
But I won’t quite start there. I’ll take it back to where it all began. It was the fall of 2011 and I had just joined a new youth group in high school. Being your typical high school cheerlead, I was on the search to find a new friends group with a switch of pace and lifestyles. When I arrived to the youth group, I was amazed to find a group of teenagers that were all best friends. These kids felt like such a breath of fresh air to me and they all welcomed me into their group with open arms. Quickly they became my new best friends and I found myself spending all of my evenings and weekends with them. Shortly after joining the friend’s group, I noticed that all of the girls were expressing their admiration and love for one of the guys in the friends’ group. His name was Tyler, he was a six-foot-tall teenage heartthrob. He closely resembled Justin Bieber so we all made jokes and called him Jbiebs. Oh, and did I mention that he played piano, drums, guitar AND had the voice of an angel? SWOON CITY!
However, the thing that amazed me most about this guy was not his gorgeous looks or his swoon-worthy voice… it was his character. Being a girl from one of the largest high schools in my city, I had never in my life met a guy like Tyler. He had the purest heart of gold…almost like an old soul. He had this sincere, genuine authenticity about him and everyone wanted to be his close friend. I noticed right away how Tyler had the trust of so many of our friends and whenever someone was having a rough day or a difficult situation, Tyler was the one everyone ran to for advice, wisdom or even just comfort. This guy was starting to feel too good to be true! However, quickly I crossed Tyler off of my “Potential future boyfriends” list because his high demand seemed to make him out to be a little unattainable. All of my friends had crushes on him and he seemed to be the one that all of the girls wanted to date- yet Tyler still had not had a girlfriend yet. He never had and he seemed to be waiting for someone perfect to come along because he had yet to take up any of the ladies on their offers.
I’ll go ahead and cut this story short now because I promise you I could elaborate FOREVER when it comes to this dreamboat of a man. SO, after one full year of being best friends, a buzz came about that Tyler had a crush on ME. I was in a bit of denial because I truly never imagined that I would be the one that Tyler would fall for. For Pete’s sake, Tyler was my friend that I would go to for boy advice.. although it all makes sense now why he always seemed to suggest and advise that “that guy isn’t good enough for you” or “Nah, He’s not good for you.” I guess you could say.. the rest was history.
We eventually began dating. We were sixteen years old when we finally started dating and he was better than anything I could have ever dreamed up. Although we were young, he treated me with such respect and loyalty, I had never known a gentleman quite like him… especially as a sixteen year old! He would sit me down at his piano and sing sweet love songs to me.
There was one time in particular that I remember everything changed. We were young and sixteen, sitting at the piano bench in his parents living room. He was playing a beautiful song called “On a night like this” by Dave Barnes. Tyler and I both started looking at each other differently during the beautiful lyrics and it wasn’t until years later that we both shared what we were thinking about on that one evening at the piano bench. The sweet lyrics were – “On a night like this, I could fall in love, I could fall in love with you.” I remember sitting there at that bench, listening to this dream of a man sing this words and thinking to myself that one day, we could end up spending forever together. And in my mind I thought to myself, if we do spend forever together.. I can always look back on this evening and remember that it could have been the very moment in time that I was falling in love with my future husband. HE shared with me a whole six years later that he prayed to God that night on that piano bench. He expressed how he remembered looking into my eyes on that piano bench and praying to God to let these eyes be the ones that he spends forever looking into.
We dated for years and years and he even won me over in the small things. I fell for the way that he would open the car door for me on our dates or show up at my house early in the morning to surprise me with my favorite coffee drinks as I woke up. He spent years pursuing me, winning me over and doing the sweetest little things that constantly made me feel so treasured and loved. His love was the sweetest gift I had ever been given.
Later he even opened up and admitted that he remembered the very day that I first had walked into that youth group. You see, I don’t remember meeting him until a couple of weeks after I initially began attending the youth group, but He fessed up and told me that he remembers when I first walked through the double doors of the church and he thought to himself “That girl is beautiful! I hope she sits by me, I’ve got to get to know her!” So as fate had it.. we ended up together. We fought through the next couple of years of challenges that came with high school dating. We grew up together and in some ways we changed and evolved – we had disagreements and arguments and times when it felt like we just weren’t going to make it. But we stuck it out. We kept our love as our number one top priority and we never gave up on fighting to make our love stronger. We graduated high school in 2015 and became official high school sweethearts. We then embarked on a new journey of discovering and navigating the joys and the hardships of a long distance relationship because I moved 2,000 miles away to go to a school in California. This year of our lives was so challenging yet so beautiful. We had time apart to discover more of who we were and what wanted in life and after all of our growing and discovering, we realized even deeper how much we wanted to be together. One year later, Tyler also moved out to California and we made the best of memories as we traveled and explored the west coast together, being young and carefree and making memories. After that we both moved back home to our little ole hometown in Iowa and decided that after five years it was coming up on time to take that next big beautiful step of our relationship and to see where our love story would take us next!
how they asked
As I mentioned earlier, we are high school sweethearts and Tyler finally popped the question coming up right around our five year anniversary. For those of you who have been with your love for many years, you can understand where I’m coming from when I tell you that I was starting to worry that it was never going to happen! Haha! I am partially kidding but partially not… being as we were sixteen when we began our relationship, I fully understand why we spent years and years dating and growing up and learning more about each other and life – but MAN those years sure made me very very excited to finally marry him.
Since I had years and years to dream of our proposal and our marriage, I sure began to dream up some crazy high expectations and desires. For years I would dream of the day that the love of my life, my teenage heartthrob, my best friend would finally get down on one knee and ask me to forever be his. As we dated for so long, it was always something that we had talked about but I knew that in that proposal moment, the whole world would stop, reality would feel so surreal and it would feel so official knowing that my wildest dreams were finally becoming reality. Nothing and no one can prepare you for the rush of emotions and surprise that you feel in that moment when the love of your life gets down on one knee and promises to take care of you forever and asks if you’ll be his girl forever. What a treasure and a joy!
Let me take this back a little bit.
It was September of 2017 and my marriage fever was coming in HOT! As I had mentioned, we had just moved back home from our California adventures and I couldn’t help but feel this longing in me to begin to settle in and create a new home-life with my best friend. I had been pining my favorite engagement rings all over Pinterest and I had began to drop some not-so-little hints to Tyler whenever he would listen. I kept asking when he felt was a good time to go look at rings. Well turns out that he had already been having some sneaky plans of his own- so quickly he suggested that we go look at rings together in November. He stated that that seemed like a good time of the year, when work would settle a bit, and we could begin to search for a ring. TURNS OUT that this sneaky dude already had been planning to pop the surprise question on my 21ST BIRTHDAY which was coming up in October- he totally sold me and I really was not expecting a single thing until after I could pick out my ring in November. This clever, adorable man had actually secretly made a Pinterest account and had been custom designing an engagement ring based off of all of my dream ring photos and inspirations- HOW SWEET, RIGHT LADIES?!
October 16th, 2017-
Tyler told me he was going to give me the best birthday celebration that I had ever had so you could imagine my excitement as I woke up on my special birthday! I was feeling nostalgic and was absolutely missing the thrill of the adventure from hiking and exploring the beautiful mountains and views in California, so my kind guy told me he would drive me an hour to this cute nearby river town. Mind you- we live in IOWA so our hikes and view-spots are a bit limited unless you find cornfields and rolling hills very endearing. However, our friends had been raving to us about this STUNNING, gorgeous hike that we could find in the town, Dubuque. Apparently, there was an “off road” trail that very few people know about that can take you up to a path with stunning views of the cliffs that overlook the Mississippi river that flows through the cute, quaint town. My friend, Olivia raved to me about how breathtaking the view would be an even promised that I would feel like I was not even in Iowa anymore- SCORE! I was so excited to check out the beautiful hike. And it was an even better bonus that I would be able to spend the day as a sweet little road-trip getaway for the day, exploring with my honey- DOUBLE SCORE!
So the plan was for Tyler and me to drive to this town, explore around, have lunch at my favorite little Italian restaurant with my first (legal) glass of wine- HAPPY 21ST TO ME! Then we would go on our fun little hike and then head back to our town where our closest friends would meet us for a fun birthday dinner at one of our cities cutest and hippest new restaurant/ social clubs. (Disclaimer.. if Italian food and hiking don’t seem to go hand and hand in your mind, remember that we are in Iowa so our versions of hikes are a bit simpler and less advanced than scaling the Rockies or something)
So we began our beautiful day together. Tyler was continuously being so precious all day as he kept playing our favorite classic love songs in the car that were making me feel so nostalgic and reminiscent because they were the songs that fell in love to years and years ago. We had the best, most romantic time at lunch and began to make our way up our sunset hike trail. Tyler was pretending that he had never been there before, as neither had I and was even pretending to get a little lost- he totally had me fooled! Little did I know that Tyler and my best friend had secretly made the two-hour trip the week prior to scout out the digs and prepare for the ULTIMATE sweetest proposal. On our way up the trail, Tyler and I were holding hands and talking as we made our way to the peak. We were having the sweetest talks as Tyler began to walk me down memory lane. He began to bring up old stories and memories of incredible times we had spent together or lessons that we had learned together throughout the years. He even brought up some of the hardest times that we had both gone through together and began to tell me how he knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was the woman he wanted to spend forever with. My heart was bursting with love and happiness because I am a total sap and I loved reminiscing on all of our memories and years spent together. The craziest part is how one can fall so madly in love at sixteen and then continuously fall deeper and deeper in love as the years go on- what a dream come true.
As we finally approached the top of the hike, I was astonished to find out of the corner of my eye that I could see candles lit all around the edge of the cliff. There were dozens and dozens of candles. It took me a moment tor realize that we were the only ones up there on the top of the cliff. Then I looked over to my right and I saw lights strung in the tops of the trees and photos of Tyler and I hanging from the trees. There were photos of the two of us from all of the years that we had spent together- from 2012 to 2017- you could see the timeline of our love in every photo. Instantly it felt like every ounce of air inside of my lungs had instantly disappeared and for the first time in my life I was TRULY left speechless. I stood there stunned and shocked in so much surprise. I wish I had adequate words to describe the utter excitement and disbelief that you feel in that moment. It felt like my wildest dreams and reality had collided- like every single one of my prayers to God had been heard and were all becoming real all at once! And I truly just couldn’t believe it! How could this moment actually be real? THIS COULD NOT BE REALLY HAPPENING! We hadn’t even looked at rings yet!!! Surely, this can not even be real, I have got to be dreaming- I mean COME ON, I’ve been dreaming of this exact moment for year and years- and it’s really, truly happening? I was so shocked, I felt like time had stood still and i forgot to even move so my sweet guy had to walk over to me, grab my hand and walk me to the edge of the cliff, where there were candles surrounding us, all lit and beautifully illuminating a romantic glow as the sun was just beginning to set, leaving us with a stunning golden hue. The setting was simply, breathtaking. The lush trees were all beginning to turn beautiful Autumn colors and they were romancing us with their gorgeous maple, berry, golden hues. The river was flowing far beneath us and the exhilarating thrill of standing on the edge of the cliff was so exciting, as we stood on the edge of the bluffs and cliffs, thousands of feet in the air. Tyler grabbed my hand and pulled me into the center of the cliff. He began to talk to me and I’ll be honest, the thrill and the excitement made the enter moment feel like a big beautiful blur. He said something special along the lines of “Lauren, as we walked up here, I didn’t bring up all of those memories to reminisce on a better time back in the day, but to express to you how much I love you and to say that I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives creating even more memories and growing old together.” Then the love of my life got down on one knee (and even used my FULL NAME, *swooooon*) and asked me the most beautiful, powerful, treasured question I’ve ever been asked in my whole entire life. He asked me to marry him! OF COURSE, I SAID YES!!!!
My wildest dreams come true. My deepest hearts dream come true. Through all of the years of struggles and challenges, joys and much happiness, tears and laughs and even more tears.. every ounce of it was worth it because my best friend in the whole world was now my FIANCE and soon to be HUSBAND! What a dream.
My sweet, sweet guy even knew that photos are such a big deal to me so he had two photographers waiting at the top of the hike to secretly capture all of the sweetness and to capture in photos- the BEST moment of our lives (thus far)
So there you have it! That is our proposal story. Thanks for reading along- and feel free to join us for the rest of our journey… our very own version of a real-life fairytale.. I call it our Lumbard Love Story.
To stay in touch, follow my Instagram account and come, say hi! – @laurenlumbardxoxo
One final afterthought-
I just have to leave one small little note of encouragement. REAL LOVE EXISTS. I know we may be young and we have been blessed to find each other at such a young age. But I believe that God is so real and so faithful. I believe that He has beautiful and wonderful plans for your life and I believe that He has the perfect person for you. I was so young but I really was starting to give up on love. I felt like all guys were the same and I really didn’t believe that sweet, kind and respectful gentlemen still existed. But this love of mine swooned me. He chased me down and showed me that faithfulness and true love are real. He treated me better than I ever knew I deserved and he loved me more than I even loved myself at times-and through his eyes, I learned to truly love myself. I know that without a shadow of a doubt that God heard my deepest hearts desires and answered my prayers and brought this sweet man into my life. No relationship is perfect and we absolutely have our flaws- but I wouldn’t trade this love of mine for anything because he has made me believe in real life love stories- and I hope you believe too.
Lauren Beltramea (NOW LUMBARD)