How We Met
Our story goes way back, before either of us were born actually! You see, both of our dads grew up together in Emporia, Kansas and have remained close friends to this day. When they were in high school they began going to Table Rock Lake in Missouri with a close friend who had a place there. Trips to the lake soon became a tradition for them and remained a tradition even when they married and started families of their own. As a result, when Nate and I were children we would see each other a few times during the summers at Table Rock Lake.
As we graduated from diapers to jeans and t-shirts, we started to pay a little more attention to each other. He was definitely what one would call a summer crush! I still can remember pulling into the driveway at the lake (knowing that Nate was already there) and getting butterflies so big I thought my stomach might never stop churning. It was the same story throughout our middle school and high school years: summer would roll around, we would see each other at the lake, realize how much we liked each other, talk for a few months, and then poof – summer would be over and we still lived hundreds of miles apart.
I went to high school in Rose Hill, a small town in Kansas. After I graduated in 2011, I attended Kansas State University. Nate went to high school in Bonner Springs, a small suburb of Kansas City. After he graduated in 2012, he also attended Kansas State University. It’s not too hard to guess what happened next. One evening in September as I was sitting at my desk studying, I received a text from Nate asking how I had been doing. Before I knew it, I was sitting across from him in the dining hall eating dinner, talking, and laughing about anything and everything. As the weeks went by, we grew closer and spent most of our free time together. Then on October 7th (my birthday) after going to a football game together, Nate asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes, of course, and I couldn’t help but feel that Nate and I were meant to be. I know that sounds like a cliché, but I know now that I was right. The months went by, then the years, and I knew that I had found my best friend, my soul mate, and the person who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It’s not very often a summer crush actually blossoms into a genuine relationship, but I am so thankful ours did.
how they asked
As I mentioned before, it has been a family tradition to go to Table Rock Lake during the summer. One of the most special weekends is Father’s Day weekend because of what we call The Pig Roast. The Pig Roast has been around for 25 years at what we now call Shangri Lloyd’s – the lake house of that close friend of our dads I mentioned earlier. The Pig Roast involves not only roasting a pig, but also a live band, dancing, great food, and even better company. For us, it has become its own holiday.
Nate and I had many conversations about our future and marriage. We knew we would end up together, so our motto was, “What’s the rush?” Nate later told me that he had a plan but that I should be patient. Naturally I thought this Plan of his wouldn’t happen for several years to come. Boy, was I wrong! Unbeknownst to me, Nate had already bought a ring in November and talked to my parents in January. His Plan was all set to take action.
Fast-forward a few months to June. I am in the middle of my first semester of Physical Therapy school, stressed and ready for a great Pig Roast. During the car ride, my stress got the best of me and I had a meltdown. Nate pleaded with me to not let school ruin one of the most special times of the year for us. He finally talked some sense into me, and I let all of my stress and worries be put on the back burner, at least for that weekend. Looking back now, I realize that he wasn’t just trying to make sure I had a good Pig Roast weekend, he was trying to make sure that I had one of the most memorable weekends of my life.
One thing that is important to know is that Nate’s brother-in-law, Ross, is a professional photographer and videographer. Nate explained to me that this weekend, Ross was going to do a lot of filming of the Pig Roast because he wanted to capture what the Pig Roast is all about in a brief documentary. So when Ross’s intern (and both mine and Nate’s friend) Weston asked me to walk with him down the trail to a cliff that overlooks the lake for an interview, I didn’t give it a second thought. However, I did ask Weston if I could do a joint interview with Nate because interviews make me nervous. Weston told me that Nate was already down there doing his interview with Ross and that we could join them.
Completely unaware of what was about to happen, I began to walk down the trail with Weston. As we turned the corner, I saw Nate and Ross standing there and I smiled at them and waved. Then I noticed that Ross had his camera pointed directly at me, and Weston rushed ahead with his camera pointed at me as well. That is the moment I knew something else was going on. With a pounding heart I took the final steps to reach Nate and that’s when he got down on one knee. My jaw dropped and I felt like I was in a dream, like it wasn’t really happening, like someone could pinch me and I would wake up. I am so thankful it wasn’t a dream!
After he said, “I love you with all my heart and you’re the only person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Will you marry me?” I instantly said yes. The rest of the night was filled with celebrating and dancing with our friends and family; it will be a night that I will never forget.
Nate couldn’t have planned his proposal any more perfectly. Our love story started at Table Rock many years ago, so it was only fitting that we took our next steps together at one of our favorite places in the world surrounded by family and friends.