Cameron and I get asked all the time how we met. We just start smiling, because their reactions to our responses are usually pretty humorous – “We actually met on Twitter.” *wide eyes* “What?! No way!”
Funny enough, his best friend, Rick, had followed me on Twitter randomly a couple of months prior. I don't normally follow people I don't know, but I saw that we attended the same young adult church service at the time, so I followed him back. He and Cameron were hanging out one night, and Rick retweeted this tweet from Cameron:
For all of you who aren't as knowledgeable in Twitter, that meant that since I was following Rick, I could see that tweet on my feed, even though I wasn’t following Cameron at the time. I liked the tweet, which then sent Cameron a notification saying that I did so. The next few tweets went a little something like this:
*Side Note: Cameron's brothers, Caleb and Christian, still call me RachelMarieexox.*
We talked on twitter for a day or two before exchanging phone numbers, and then spent the next couple of weeks talking on the phone before we met in person. We officially met in person after a live album recording at our church at the time, because, you know, we just happened to go to the same church and the same young adult’s service. Look at God! We dated for about a month before he sent me on a scavenger hunt across Southlake to ask me to be his girlfriend (a whole amazing story in itself). We then dated for another 2 years before getting engaged on February 14, 2014!
Now, let me preface all of this by saying that we knew pretty early on in our relationship that we were going to get married, so we actually knew before we got engaged that we were going to get married that summer. Cameron, at the time, was a teacher and a coach, so we needed to be strategic with our planning. We knew it either had to happen that summer, or we had to wait another year for the following summer. So we picked and set a date, which was definitely interesting trying to explain to our families. “No… we aren’t engaged yet. But we’re getting married on July 19th!” Looking at our timeline, I knew I needed to get my dress so that I could get the alterations started and have it be ready by the day of. My Grandma, of course, wanted to be a part of my dress hunt, so I scheduled my appointments for February 15th, and she and my Grandpa flew out to Texas!
Cameron had actually told me a couple of weeks prior to Valentine’s Day that he wasn’t going to be in town to celebrate because he had an out of town baseball game to coach. I had made plans to go and be there, until he called me earlier in the week and said that the game had been moved to a different location that was over three hours away.
On Valentine’s Day, my parents had made plans for all of us to go out to dinner that evening. We made ourselves look presentable and all piled in to my mom’s car to head to the restaurant. I noticed pretty early on in the drive that my dad was taking the most random route to get there, taking side streets and back roads. I even asked him about it, and he said that there was an accident and a lot of traffic on the highway so he was taking the next best way. I still thought it was weird but didn’t think anything else of it.
When we were about 10 minutes from the restaurant, my dad grabbed the steering wheel and started to turn onto another road, saying, “The steering just went out… I have to pull over.” *I’m literally sitting here laughing as I write this. I love my dad.* Of course, me, having NO idea what is going on, start internally panicking. The steering is out, y’all! This is bad! Why is no one else worried?! I assumed he would turn off the road and pull into the 7-11 right on the corner. No. He drives past the first driveway, the second driveway… he just keeps driving! I’m thinking it’s weird, but y’all… in my mind, Cameron was over 3 hours away coaching baseball! I had no clue! We drive less than a quarter of a mile down the road and my dad swerves to the side of the road and stops the car right in front of the park that Cameron and I had our first date. My now brother-in-law, Christian, was standing on the side of the road, dressed up super fancy and holding a beautiful wooden lantern. He opened my door, held out his arm, and proceeded to lead me down into the park.
At this point, I was beyond excited but really confused. “Cameron had always said he would never propose on Valentine’s Day because everyone does that! He also said he was out of town. So he’s not out of town? Where is he? Oh my gosh! So many people are here! WE’RE GETTING ENGAGED!” It all started to sink in as we walked down the steps and Christian took me to my first stop.
Cameron had set up 5 stations at various places around the park where people who were huge influences in my life were waiting to read me amazingly sweet notes and speak beautiful words over me. When we got to the last station, it was dark out, and I walked under a tunnel of trees that had pictures of me and my friends and me and Cameron pinned to them, down a walkway lined with mason jar candles. He had a chair set up with a stereo playing the Kari Jobe song that led to the jam session that led to the infamous tweet – the reason we first met – and a journal with a special note he had written for me. Once I was done reading it, he came over, knelt beside me and read me Proverbs 31, stopping to explain why he thought I was a reflection of all that that encompasses. Then he pulled out the most beautiful and special ring I will ever wear, and asked me to marry him! Of course, I said YES!
And the rest is history! Everyone cheered, we all hugged and joyfully celebrated!
I found out later that my sister, his whole family, and several of his friends were there setting up long before we arrived, while my family kept me pre-occupied at home. Though he had always said he would never propose on Valentine’s Day, he wanted my grandparents to be there, so when he heard they were coming into town, he went into planning mode. He also wanted me to have my ring when I went dress shopping (which happened to be the very next day), so Valentine’s Day it was! He did have a baseball game that night, but he obviously wasn’t coaching it, and it wasn’t as far away as he said it was. Because I usually tried to go to every game, he needed to make sure that I wasn’t going to show up! His guys were pretty understanding when he told them that he was missing the game to propose! Once the proposal started winding down, we all went back to my parent’s house and had a little get-together to close out the already exciting and special night! The next morning, I headed to my dress appointments, and when asked when we got engaged, I smiled and said, “Yesterday!”
It was perfect, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing (except had the rest of our families there, of course!). It was truly one of the biggest surprises of my life, and I loved every second of it!
Pictures by 514 Photography
Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s spread a little love today and every day. Make someone smile. Make someone feel special. Do something kind.