Chad and I have known each other since I was born over 23 years ago. We grew up together in Maben, much like our parents and many generations before. Likewise, we attended Starkville Academy together until he graduated in 2005. During that time, I rode to school with his family every day. In the mornings, I'd come to their house and sit on a little stool in their kitchen (the centerpiece of our engagement), waiting for time to leave. Our interaction during this time was more that of a brother/sister type relationship. Chad graduated high school and moved to Colorado for college where he attended the Air Force Academy, and I finished high school at East Webster. After graduating college in 2009, Chad's first duty station was in Little Rock Arkansas. During his time in Arkansas, he deployed twice, once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. He seldom visited Maben due to his busy schedule, and when he did, we had only casual encounters when we just happened to see one another around town. Yet, in about his third year in Arkansas, we ran across one another over a Thanksgiving holiday break, striking up more than the usual conversation. Our talks became more frequent, and in a few short months we found ourselves dating. We made frequent visits to see one another, often meeting in Memphis for a long weekend together. At first, our friends and family were somewhat amused by our relationship considering our prior interaction growing up, as no one thought we’d ever find ourselves dating one another. After multiple changes in his assignment out of Little Rock (first Florida, then Germany, then Italy), the Air Force eventually decided just to move Chad to Columbus Air Force Base, a blessing to say the least. At the time, Chad didn’t even realize it was a possibility, yet it was a welcome surprise. He moved back home, allowing our love to grow, strengthened by the support of our family and friends.
How We Got Engaged
Back to the stool. After Chad and I had been dating for several months, we ran across the old stool in his parent’s storage room that I use to sit on waiting to leave for school. It was somewhat of an inside joke in the family, alluding to the longshot it was that we would ever find ourselves in our current relationship. Chad even joked of how he was going to use the stool in his proposal to me. Never did I take him seriously. Boy was I wrong. Early one week, I received a call from one of my friends that she wanted to have dinner with Chad and I at the Veranda in Starkville the following weekend as a late birthday celebration. We had been out of town visiting family over my actual birthday, so I thought it was nothing more than a nice gesture. I gladly accepted. We got ready for our dinner date that Saturday and walked out the door to leave. Chad stepped back inside to “grab something he forgot,” and I proceeded down the stairs to the car. When I turned the corner to the garage, I noticed the stool with one red rose sitting on the top with a note underneath. My heart started to beat fast as I approached the stool and opened the note. This is what it said: “Taylor, Life is funny… Never in a million years did I think I’d travel so far off course, have so many opportunities, just for God to bring me back to this very place to fall in love with the same girl that sat on this stool for so many years, waiting for a ride to school. But I did, and I couldn’t be happier. We’ve come full circle now, back to the same stool where it all started. Have you waited long enough? I have… I think it’s time we take the next step. What do you think?” I then turned around to find Chad behind me, down on one knee. Of course I said yes. He insisted we still attend the dinner date my friend had planned. So we hurried to the Veranda as I called my entire family and all my friends to tell them the news. Yet, many of my friends weren’t answering their phone, and I soon discovered why. We arrived at the Veranda where the hostess took us to the back room where our family and friends were waiting to celebrate. It turns out the surprise was on them too. Chad had invited everyone to a “late surprise birthday party,” only telling our families the real news. Everyone arrived early to find out it was actually an engagement party. What a memorable evening.
About the Ring
The ring is BEAUTIFUL. It’s an antique setting with a 1.5 carat center diamond. We had exchanged pictures before of rings we liked. Little did I know I had actually seen my own ring, as Chad had shown it to me before pretending to have found it on the internet. To his delight, I approved when he showed it to me.
Our Relationship in Three Words
Unexpected Love Journey
Our Shared Interests
We love spending time together with our family and friends whether it be on the Tombigbee River, around a campfire, cooking out, or Chad playing his guitar and singing to me.
Our Favorite Date Night
Our #1 favorite thing to do is eat. We love dinner dates to our favorite restaurants as well as venturing out and trying new venues.
What Part of the Wedding Are You Most Excited About?
Chad plays the guitar and has promised to play and sing our song to me at our reception.