our story

God has definitely had His hands in the making of our love story from the beginning--we have been extremely blessed! Justin and I attended the same church before we started Kindergarten. We lived a mile apart since we moved to our farm when I was three. Justin and I were in the same Kindergarten class when we were 5 years old. Justin and I were also classmates in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. Starting in Kindergarten I developed my first crush on this John Deere and Ford lovin’ country boy. My parents always teased me about liking Justin. My mom even has recorded in my baby book that I started wondering at an early age if Justin liked me. Justin was my first "boyfriend" when we were 10. We attended middle school and high school together and would hang out occasionally but started to part ways.  We hung out with different groups of people, dated others, and weren't around each other often until toward the end of high school.

When we graduated from high school, Justin and I went to different universities.  Our friendship started up again after high school and began to grow throughout college. Justin and I became best friends and were there for each out through heartaches, tough decisions, and many other things that came our way throughout college. Our friendship slowly grew into something more complicated. Justin began developing feelings for me that I was unaware of. He was patient as he battled with his feelings. Being a man of determination and hard work, he made his mind up to pursue me like all girls deserve to be pursued. (Justin even sent me flowers on Valentine’s Day my Freshman year of college after I was healing a broken heart and responded to my shock by saying, “Every girl deserves flowers on Valentine’s Day”.) Our friendship started to have ups and downs as we both struggled with awkwardness, caught between “just friends” and “more than friends”. Everyone thought we should date and everyone around us teased and pressured us.

In December 2006 we finally had “the talk” about where we stood with our feelings in Justin’s car as we drove around town and looked at Christmas lights. Justin shared his feelings with me and being unsure and confused about my feelings at the time, I had to “break his heart” (in his words). However, I couldn’t tell him that we would never be together. Something in me wouldn’t let me shut the door for good.  (Thank goodness I didn't!)

-still just friends-

Justin, being the man of amazing character he is, continued pursuing me like I had never been pursued. As the next few months went on, something started to change in my heart and I began to see Justin in a new light. Finally I was realizing that the guy I was looking for was actually right in front of me the entire time. (I still remember the car ride after hanging out with him where I got one of those "knock on the head" messages from God saying, "he's the one".)  We went out for my birthday in March 2007 which now we call our official “first date”. We ate at Buckheads restaurant, walked along the river, and then went to Bass Pro Shop.  Can you tell we're fancy people? I remember thinking during dinner, “I could do this”. From that night on I knew that things would never be the same with us. After A LOT of prayer and A LOT of late-night conversations we finally decided to try dating out. We made our relationship official and as they say, the rest is history.  It was all or nothing for us.  We knew that when we started dating, we would know quickly if we should go back to friends or head down the marriage route.  Needless to say, our “just dating” status quickly turned into a serious relationship.  We dated for about three months (stretching it) and from the get-go we were set on engagement.  (I dared him to surprise me...thinking it couldn't happen.  I never give him enough credit!)

-first picture together as a couple-

In July 2007 Justin proposed! I was leaving for a family vacation on Friday. My parents surprised me with the news that Justin was going on vacation with us on the Thursday afternoon before we were leaving. Justin went to our church that evening to "get things finished" before we left for vacation the next day. Later that night, Justin called asking me to come up to church to talk to a member of the youth group that was "really upset" and needed some advice. When I got to the church I realized that only Justin's car was in the parking lot. Not thinking much of it, I went in and saw candles lighting the sanctuary (still not realizing what was going on...duh!). As I approached the sanctuary I heard Keith Urban's "Making Memories of Us" playing with candles lighting up the aisle. As Justin still hid out of sight, I found stations of pictures and candles along the aisle leading to the altar. There were pictures from our Kindergarten class picture, all the way up to that summer. Knowing that I love pictures, a camera sat at the altar to capture this new memory. Justin finally came out, dropped to one knee with ring in hand, and proposed. It was a quick "yes"!

-night of our engagement-

Justin and I have grown up together and he has always been "that one guy".  I married my best friend and the guy that has always made me feel special. God finally brought our two paths together in a new light.  I am so thankful that Justin never gave up on me and persisted through all of the tough situations that got in his way. Among many other things, I admire him so much for the way he chased after my heart!

-photo by kriech-higdon photography-

We were married July 19, 2008 in our church where Justin proposed, a very special place to both of us. Our reception was held under tents in my backyard on my family farm. We will always cherish all the little things that eventually brought us together. This is definitely a love story that I can’t wait to share with our children and grandchildren. And, although our love story has been this amazing so far, we know that what lies ahead is even better!

To be continued....

You can read a little more about our journey here.

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