How We Met: Garrett and I met July 18th of 2014. At that time I was taking summer classes at Auburn University. I had one year left of school and I had a plan of graduating single and free ready to go on an adventure without a boy holding me back from my dreams. Garrett, originally from California, was stationed at Fort Benning, him and his buddies would drive to Auburn to enjoy the weekend.
Garrett and I basically met on the dance floor. I had irresistible off-beat dance moves and he was not wearing khaki shorts with loafers so immediately we were attracted to each other. We slow danced, sang along with the band and did our best impressions of line dancing and twerking. After an hour of laughing and dancing we talked for a bit outside and then I left with my sister and friends. We met again the next night and got to know each other a bit at Moes BBQ. He made me laugh all night.
A few weekends of us meeting downtown to show off our slick dance moves turned into our first serious conversation. He explained to me that he was selected to go through Ranger School, an intense leadership training that would take him away for three months. He told me he did not expect me to wait for him while he was gone, but while he was gone he asked if he could write me letters, and then take me on a date when he is done with the training. I remember my stomach dropping and being angry at my fate. I thought to myself, “I have finally found a guy that I can be myself around and now he has to leave.” I told him I would write him letters back, and that night he kissed me for the first time.
The first month I did not get any letters. I was devastated. I stopped checking the mailbox every day. I decided I did not like this guy and he must have forgotten about me. I started going out again and forced myself to pray for his safety. I decided I was not interested in a relationship with him anymore and I went back to my old plan of graduating single so I would have nothing holding me back.
But then, a few days after I made up my mind against him, his letters came. One envelope with three letters. I read the letters over and over again. I was so surprised at how overjoyed I was to know he had actually written me. I cried, and cried some more. In that moment, I decided I would wait for him. I had no idea what our life would look like when he got back or if he would really take me on date, but I was going to wait it out.
He came home November 7th. He said he had lost thirty pounds, but when I saw him, I had never seen anyone so wonderful and handsome.
For the next few months we spent every weekend together. He came to my family christmas, I went to his friends BBQ’s. We complimented each other so well. I lived for the weekend when I could see him again. I was also still fighting my plans of being the most independent woman in the world… so I often reminded him of how I did not want a boyfriend. February 7th, we sealed the deal though, and I asked him to let me be his girlfriend. I was fine on my own, but I was much better with him.
Being his girlfriend made me so happy! He became my best friend so easily. My family and friends loved him. On April 7th we planned to go spend the weekend with my family in Montevallo, Alabama. During the drive there Garrett told me that he talked with his dad, and he told his dad that he was going to marry me. I was driving the car and had to pull over before I wrecked, killing us both and ending our sweet love story. I had never told a guy that I loved him and I wanted to save that for the man I was going to marry, when Garrett told me he was going to marry me, the words “i love you” could not come out fast enough.
From that moment, our story quickens. We talked about marriage and how sweet life will be with each other. I told Garrett that he has to talk to my dad, there could not be a ring until he talked with my dad. In my head I was thinking by the end of the summer he will ask me to marry him. Little did I know, two weeks later Garrett drove back to my parents to ask my dad for my hand.
As a Ranger in the army Garrett had leave coming up, He asked me to fly back to California with him. He went a week early and I finished my finals and then flew in Friday afternoon. He showed up to the airport as limo driver, calling my name “Rebekah Fowler, Rebekah Fowler!” I was so embarrassed and I could not stop laughing at how ridiculous he looked.
That night he said he wanted to take me to a fancy restaurant along the coast. I did not know what to wear so I showed him my best options and he told me to wear this white lace romper I had packed. We drove to the restaurant, all the while I was taking pictures of everything. It was my first time being in California and this southern girl could not stop taking pictures of everything. At the restaurant Garrett ordered wine for both of us, something I found odd, he is a beer guy! He also could not finish his dinner and said his stomach was upset. He asked the waiter for to-go boxes and told me that he wanted to show me his favorite spot to watch the sunset. I could not wait to see more of the coast, so we hopped in the car again and drove to “his spot.”
Once we parked, I had my phone out taking picture after picture. He grabbed my hand and we walked down the wooden stairs to the beach. The sun was setting, there were surfers all out in the ocean, the wind was blowing and I was just overwhelmed with how beautiful everything was. He lead me down the beach and I followed him willingly until I saw the site. My first thought was, “don’t assume that is for you.” Garrett then turned around with tears in his eyes and I knew at that moment I was about to become his future wife.
He had four of his best friends set everything up. He had picked the perfect spot, along the cliffs there was a cave, inside the cave he had one hundred white candles lit, with blankets laid over the sand and flowers, champagne and cupcakes. His two friends, both professional photographers, were shooting the whole proposal. I never even saw them until he later pointed them out. The whole proposal was a blur, but Garrett dropped to one knee and asked me o be his wife. The first thing that came out of my mouth was, “have you talked with my dad?” Garrett laughed and said he did. I feel to my knees in the sand and wrapped my arms around him. Eventually after he reminded me that I had not said “yes” yet I told him, “Yes I will, I do, I will, Yes, Yes!
I later found out everyone, everyone knew he was going to ask me. They had all kept it a secret and I thought I was just going to California to enjoy with him, I had no idea I was going to be engaged by the end of the first night!
Garrett and I actually got married within the next week. We decided that there was nothing that would make us happier than to go ahead and celebrate out love and commitment to each other. Looking back I would have never guessed while I was on the dance floor acting like a goof, that that would be the first of many dances with my husband. We had a small personal ceremony in Auburn, Alabama with my family and friends and plan to have a large wedding celebration in California within the next year. It will be complete with a mariachi band and lots and lots of love to celebrate!!