Oooooo dog I am HURTING this morning Romancers. Midnight bedtimes are really tough when your little one still gets up at 6:45 ;) But MAN what a way to go out of my 2015 wedding season. Amber & Marshall crushed it and I just cannot WAIT to see the pictures from their truly personalized DC wedding. Check my Instagram if you want any sneak peaks of their wedding awesome (flamingoes! the time warp! animal ear headbands!).
But for today we have a lovely Virginia engagement session and love story – the tale of high school sweethearts that took most of highschool to finally get together. For their engagement pictures, they went back to their high school (SO CUTE) which was actually going to be torn down soon after. What a great way to honor where they met and where their love story began! This one is a bit of a long read, but totally worth it. Plus who wants to do work on a Monday anyway? Enjoy Romancers.
How we met:
In 10th grade, I had Honors English class, and so did many of my friends. Across the room from me sat David Henderson – I had never heard him talk, he was really shy, and all I knew was that we had taken the same Geometry class freshman year. One day my friend and I were talking about how he (and other boys in the class) were cute, and I looked at him when it struck me that this was the David Henderson from first grade! I was mainly surprised because 1. I remembered him being blond, and 2. I remembered him being loud. Neither of which he was in 10th grade English. In our first grade play, I was the lead role, Ibis, a whale, and David was a tourist, and he wore his dad’s Hawaiian shirt and played the role very enthusiastically. We never interacted in 10th grade English, and I assumed he didn’t know who I was.
It was pre-homecoming week in high school, our junior year. On October 9th 2008, that same friend came up to my locker in the hall and asked if I knew David. I said yeah, because we had English with him in 10th grade, and then I got all excited because her face lit up and I asked: “Oh my gosh! Is he going to ask you to homecoming?!” She said, “No, stupid, he wants to ask you!” I was surprised and thought he might have asked about the wrong person because we had never spoken and I didn’t think he knew who I was. So I asked her if she was sure, and she said yes. I had Spanish class with him that day, and I kept looking at him and wondering if he had actually meant me, since we had never interacted. I knew he played lacrosse and I knew and was friends with some of his friends. That day in Spanish I thought he was really cute and I decided he was out of my league and that if he did ask me to homecoming, people would wonder why he would want to go with me, so maybe I should say no.
The next night, October 10, was a Friday, and at a football game I did my casual laps around the field with my friend, except she kept making us walk past David and his group of friends who stood by the fence. Every time we came around she pushed us closer to them, and we ended up passing them with more frequency. I wouldn’t look at the boys though. Then, during one walk-by all of a sudden David was at my side and saying “Hi, Molly,” and I looked to my other side for my friend but she was walking quickly away from us into the crowd ahead. I said hi, he said he was wondering if I would like to go to homecoming with him. I said “Sure!” and he asked if he could get my phone number. I gave it to him, he put it in his phone, and then he said “Okay, see you later!” and turned around and walked off. I thought that was weird. We still laugh about that – he says he was so nervous that he didn’t know what else to do so he just left. He’s like: “You probably thought you were making a huge mistake after that!”
He called me for the first time on the weekend, and I had written out a list of things to talk about on the phone in case I ran out of things to say, and after we said hello I said, “So I don’t know very much about you, tell me about yourself.” And we started talking, and I didn’t end up using my list for the rest of the conversation, or any of our conversations after that, even though I continued to make lists just in case. I later found out that ever since 10th grade English, David had wanted to get to know me and for about a year his friends told him that we would be great together, but he didn’t make a move for so long because he thought I was out of his league. He said he put it in the back of his head and went along with high school until that 11th grade homecoming season when once again his friends told him that we would be a great match, and finally he decided to talk to me. He took me to homecoming and that night, when he dropped me off at my friend’s house, he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes.
CLICK INSIDE FOR THE PROPOSAL STORY! (ITS TOO CUTE!)
Back in August of 2013, I registered for the Charlottesville Marathon and I convinced David to register too. In the fall of 2013 (we were in our senior year of college), I was reading Fitness magazine and I came across an article about a running couple, and how the guy proposed to the girl at the finish line of a marathon they ran together, and I brandished the magazine at David who was sitting at my desk doing homework, and then at my roommates, because I thought it was so cool. David reacted very little and I thought, “Okay, he doesn’t like that idea I guess.” But I kept the magazine article. It was so badass! What an awesome way to get engaged.
We went home that year for spring break, which was in March of 2014, and talk came up about my ring size. I had recently gotten a VT class ring, and David and I talked about learning my actual ring size, “just to know.” It was no secret to anyone at that point that one day, we would get married, so he would eventually need to know my ring size.
However, the proposal and his ‘plan’ itself along with the when and the ring was a total secret. One morning after we ran together in downtown Fredericksburg, we went to a jewelry store, sweaty and in our running clothes, and got my finger measured. Then, the lady behind the counter asked if we were looking and if I’d like to see any rings. I said “sure!” when David didn’t answer, just for fun, and the lady asked me if I was interested in white gold or yellow gold. I said yellow and as she opened her mouth to speak David awkwardly cut her off and led me out of the store. We stood on the sidewalk outside and I said I was sorry and I wasn’t actually looking to pick anything out, I just was having fun. He was evasive and weird (but kept grinning at me) about it for the rest of the day and it was left at that after some awkward nervous laughing between the two of us. It was then I suspected he had a ring picked out, maybe even already bought, because he didn’t want me to look at or like any others out of fear of me liking a different one than he got.
After spring break some time, David, myself, and my roommate (and bridesmaid) were sitting in the living room of my apartment back doing homework. David and my roommate were at our table and I was behind them in an armchair. My roommate was wearing a rose gold watch, and out of the blue, David reached over and touched her watch and said to her, “Is that rose gold?” It was like he didn’t even know I was there. She said yes. He said, “So, girls like that?” She said yes, she liked it. And he said, “Okay.” And that was it, my roommate and I looked at each other with big smiles and he just went on doing his work. It was so ridiculous.
The Charlottesville Marathon was on April 5, 2014. I had trained hard, it was my first full marathon, and I was nervous. David had not trained quite as hard, and he had hurt his knee trying to catch up with his training last minute. During the actual race, David and I were within sight of each other for the whole first half. In fact we ran miles 3-11 or so very close to being side by side. I felt like a champ because running was still new for me, and David had been a runner all of high school and was always faster than me. So being able to comfortably run with him for so long felt awesome and I had it in my head that I would beat him. However, around 11 he pulled shortly ahead and was running with some guy in red shorts, but I was right behind them. At the half, there was a windy, hilly, awful path through a park that you had to run to the top of the hill and then turn around, so all the people that were ahead of you were running the opposite direction when you were on your way up the hills. And that was the last time I saw David during the race because he and Red Shorts reached the top of the hill before me and ran past me on their way down. The rest of the race I was solo, but still concerned/waiting to pass him somewhere because of his knee. But I never did.
Around mile 18 I started to feel it…and around mile 23, I REALLY started to feel it, and I had slowed down significantly. I ran through this windy, flat (thank God), path by a river that I was increasingly afraid I was going to fall into. At the 23 mile mark, I kept thinking to myself “Just a 5K now. It’s just a 5K,” and I started to think about what waited for me at the finish line to motivate myself to keep going and to get there. All the great reasons I trained and ran came up in my head, and then, randomly, I thought about that article from Fitness magazine about the Marathon proposal, and I thought to myself as I ran, “You never know, David may propose at the end of this. You have to get there, because David might propose.” And then I kind of inwardly laughed at myself and told myself that probably wasn’t going to happen, but still, if he were planning to propose, then I had to make it there, because otherwise it would ruin his plan.
So I made it there, and at the 26 mile marker I ran through downtown Charlottesville and couldn’t see the finish line because it was just over this little hill. I started sprinting until I could see it and then I had barely crossed it when David was on his knee in front of me with a blue box. I was already crying (for having sighted the finish line and being able to get to it, still running, having finished my first marathon!) and sort of stopped/fell into him and was crying/trying to breathe/sounding like I was dying/trying to say “Yes!” and I realized everyone around us looked confused because I don’t think the rest of the crowd saw the ring box and instead were all trying to make sure they didn’t need to call an ambulance for me because I sounded like a dying animal, trying to choke out words and breathe. We walked into the after-race party (I couldn’t totally stop moving because it hurt so I had to walk) and when we finally did stop and our family and friends followed, the ring wouldn’t fit on my finger because it was swollen from the race. I stuck my finger in cold water and about 20 minutes later, it could slide on. It’s actually a little big for me.
On the way home, David and I talked about everything surrounding the ring buying and the clues he dropped and the proposal and how he had the idea before I found the magazine article (which is why he didn’t react!). He said he was mad when I saw the article because he was like “Now she’ll think I didn’t think of it myself!”. He told me what he did when he finished the race, which was only a few minutes before me, and how he realized as he crossed the finish line that he had left the ring in his backpack in my car, in a parking deck about a block away! So he had to keep running to get to the parking deck, find the floor we parked on, and come back down in time for me to finish, and he knew I wasn’t far behind him. He said he got back just with enough time to see me approaching the finish line!