Vivian and Drew

Image 1 of Vivian and Drew

How We Met

Whenever people ask how Drew and I met, the honest answer is 10 years ago in 9th grade biology class. After the first few weeks of class, one of my friends asked me if I thought that blonde kid who sat a few rows behind us (Drew) was cute, to which I responded “kinda”. They soon became friends while me and Drew’s conversations happened mostly in biology. We spent the rest of that fall semester getting to know each other in class and actually ended up dating for three weeks before he claimed that I broke his heart.

But our real love story began almost 2 years later. My 16 year old self didn’t realize you had to turn off your headlights or else you would drain the battery and get stranded in your high school parking lot. I looked around to see if there were any cars around me that I recognized. I saw an old blue Jeep Wrangler parked next to me and somehow managed to figure out it was Drew’s. We hadn’t talked since our freshmen year and I honestly felt a bit awkward about it, but I looked through my phone to see if I still had his number and gave him a call. He ended up jump-starting my car that night and two more times after that before the start of the rest of our lives.

I was on our high school drill team and each football season we had a father-daughter dance we would do, called Bob & Sue. My dad worked overseas and couldn’t make it so I had to find someone to be my stand-in Bob. I started with my go-to dancer bestie as the obvious choice, but his rehearsal schedule didn’t work with our rehearsal schedule. Then tried my best guy friend, but his basketball schedule conflicted with ours. Next, a friend whose sister was on drill team the year before, but his debate schedule got in the way of our dance schedule.

I was even so desperate that I asked a friend’s friend whom I barely knew to be my dance partner and even he was busy! At that point I was in a bit of a panic mode and needed a dance partner ASAP. I vaguely remembered that Drew had an older sister who was the Captain of the drill team years before I was on the team. Since we had recently become “friends” again, I thought that I might as well ask him! I still thank the dance gods that Drew’s swim schedule didn’t conflict with our dance rehearsals (they swam at 6 am, no thank you) and next thing you know, we were dancing to Green Acres as dance partners on the football field.

We spent the next 6 years going on dates, traveling the world, enduring long-distance at rival colleges, laughing, crying, and everything in between. Although he may not have been the most talented Bob out on the football field, Drew has been the best partner in life I could have asked for. Even though it’s been almost 7 years since we rekindled our love, I will hold that memory very close to my heart. We might even break out Green Acres on our wedding day!

how they asked

We had been talking about getting married for a while (and by a while I mean a few years) but we had planned on waiting until after graduation to get married. The thing was, Drew had already graduated from Texas A&M in August and moved to Houston but I had an entire year to go before I graduated with my Master’s at UT in Austin, so you could say I was getting a bit antsy for our engagement. It was the last semester of my graduate year, and I was getting extremely anxious (in a good way) about the idea of spending the rest of my life with Drew. I knew a proposal was going to happen but I just didn’t know when. Generally, I like to consider myself a pretty observant person, and after spending over six years with Drew I was almost certain I would pick up on clues and figure out the details of our proposal. Luckily for me (and him), I was too focused on school and passing my accounting certification exam to put in any effort to snoop around for clues.

During Spring Break, Drew asked me to go ring browsing with him to narrow down which style I was most interested in. This should have been clue #1, but since we had already gone once before it didn’t phase me. A few weeks had passed and I honestly thought nothing about the proposal, most likely because I was so stressed out about my upcoming certification exam. Because we were long-distance throughout all of college, we were used to planning our weekends in advance (well mostly me). For some reason, Drew was very involved with our next April hangout weekend and kept asking about when I was going to schedule my exam. At first I told him I wasn’t sure, but eventually settled for April 23rd. He took note and then said that he was planning on coming in the weekend of April 30 and that he wanted to venture out to one of the best hiking views of Texas. This should have been clue #2, but I figured he wanted to plan this out because I was too stressed to think about it and that he wanted to do something outdoorsy for me and his boy scout self.

After I took my exam and the weekend of April 30th rolled around, my mind was able to clear and thoughts of our proposal started to slowly creep back into my mind. I started to become suspicious that this was the weekend the proposal was going to happen! I couldn’t help myself and started being extra observant. I had promised myself that ever since our second ring browsing day, I would keep my nails pretty and polished until our engagement. Conveniently, I planned my next nail appointment for the Thursday before Drew came to Austin for the last weekend in April. I went with my sister to get our nails done and tried to sneakily get clues about my proposal. I asked her what her weekend plans were, to which she replied without any hesitation: “I am studying all day Friday, have a Young Life party to go to Saturday, and a friend’s engagement party on Sunday.” I was instantly disappointed to hear that her weekend sounded too busy for my potential engagement and party to follow. I brushed it off and was convinced that no proposal was happening this weekend.

The next day, I had planned for Drew and I to go to a coffee shop so I could study and he could plan out our summer travels to China. Once dinner time came we decided to walk around the bars that were down the street. His sister and brother-in-law live just a few minutes away from the area and I said to Drew, “How funny would it be if we bumped into Kristen and Ben here” and to our surprise, we bump into Kristen and Ben just a few moments later!

I always love seeing them and making a stop at their house whenever Drew is in town so we can catch-up and play with their adorable puppies. So we schedule our visit for Saturday afternoon, on our way back from our hike. I’m going to be honest, when I saw Kristen I was ready to turn on my super sensitive observation skills in case she accidentally mentioned anything about a proposal. But to my disappointment, yet again, she acted like her normal happy and bubbly self. I brushed it off and was even more convinced that no proposal was happening this weekend.

As Saturday came, Drew and I were getting ready for a day of hiking. I wasn’t planning on getting ready with hair and makeup since we were going hiking after all, but Drew somehow convinced me that I should probably shower and do minimal makeup because we were going straight to his sister’s house to hang out with her and her husband for the afternoon. I reluctantly got ready and we were on our way! Before we hiked, we decided to stop by Torchy’s to get some tacos for lunch. The line was too long and he agreed to get pho next door. This should have been clue #3 because Drew hates pho, but was more than happy to each next door when I suggested it. But logically, the pho restaurant was our next best option and brushed off yet another potential hint.

We finished lunch and made our way to the hiking site. It was quite a ways uphill but it was just me, Drew, and many hours ahead. As we were hiking up, Drew made sure that we were plenty hydrated and well-rested before we got to this view he had been raving about. At this point, the hopeless romantic in me was still hopeful that this was going to be the hike of a lifetime. I checked his pocked for any box-shaped form, but saw nothing. We made it to the top and Drew started looking for this specific spot for us to look out.

Image 2 of Vivian and Drew

We walked to this opening with a gorgeous view of hills and greenery with a cute wooden bench. There was a towel placed in front of the bench (clue #4), but I thought that someone else had been up there before us and had left it to continue hiking. As I was placing my jacket on the bench for us to sit on, Drew called my name and told me to stand in front of him. Before I knew it he was down on one knee, took out the ring from his pocket and asked me to marry him.

Image 3 of Vivian and Drew

Image 4 of Vivian and Drew

It wasn’t until his sister and brother-in-law popped out from behind the bushes with their phone and camera that I realized that this was really happening and my dreams were actually coming true. It took me a few seconds but I finally said yes and hugged him!

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It all clicked at that moment as to why he was being extra nice and why everyone acted extra normal in the days leading up. He had planned this moment so perfectly that even I couldn’t be fooled!

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I thought he couldn’t surprise me more, but he told me that only our families knew and that none of our friends knew. I wanted to call them immediately but there was no service and he convinced me to wait until we got back to his sister’s house. I was fully prepared to see a long line of cars in front of their house for our engagement party, but as we pulled up there was no one there. As ecstatic as I was to be spending the rest of my life with my best friend, I had always wanted to celebrate with my family and friends immediately after my proposal, but I had accepted that a phone call would do. As we were walking up to the house, the next few minutes became a blur: from Ben saying something in a louder-than-normal voice to signal our arrival, to Drew grabbing my hand and asking if I was ready, and to walking into a room filled with both of our families and all of my best friends jumping up to surprise me!

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That day was more than I could have ever imaged and the surprise of a lifetime. I am so excited to be marrying my lifelong dance partner, the best surprise giver, and the man of my dreams!

Image 9 of Vivian and Drew

Special Thanks

Ben James
 | Future Brother-in-Law (Kristen's Husband)
Kristen James
 | Future Sister-in-Law (Drew's sister)