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Our Story | A First Date & Engagement

It was May of 2015, and my family was all together for a party. I got a text from Grant asking if I would go on a date with him. Grant was at CrossFit Rolla working out with a buddy of his. He was talking about me and how he wanted to ask me out but didn’t know how I would take it. One of the coaches there asked to see the text he had written and Grant handed his phone over. Without even reading it, she hit send. There was no going back now! The text had gone through and now all he could do was wait. Which, unfortunately for him, was a couple of hours since I took some time to reply. I was definitely surprised by the text, but every part of me wanted to say yes. So I did. 🙂

We went on a date to a Japanese restaurant and had plans to see a movie afterwards. Our timing was off, though, and dinner took longer than we had accounted for. Mostly because we were so busy talking we never realized how quickly the time was flying. We ended up getting to the theater after the movie had already started. None of the other movies sounded tempting enough, so we left trying to figure out how to spend the rest of the evening. It was still pretty early, so Grant wasn’t eager to drop me off and I wasn’t too eager to get dropped off either.

Because we both enjoy adventures and being outside, we decided to kayak at his grandparent’s lake. Which is where we spent the rest of the evening. Out on the lake, kayaking, watching the stars, and wondering where the planes were headed that flew overhead. This confirmed even more to Grant how much he wanted to marry me. I liked Grant a lot, but didn’t know how things would work as he wasn’t a professing Christian at the time and that was a conflict to me.

It wasn’t till that fall that we started hanging out more. Grant was coming to our church consistently by this time and there was a genuine interest there that was unrelated to me. God was working in his heart and moving in ways I never could’ve imagined.

That fall, we also did our first half marathon together. The guy had never run a half before and instead of running to get a super good time, he chose to run the entire time with me. This was my 7th half marathon (or something like that). He pushed me to run the entire time without stopping. That race I made my first PR of under 2 hours. He encouraged me that whole run. He made it look easy. I’m not sure that he even broke a sweat or became short of breath. All I could think was how much I didn’t want to stop and slow him down. And hoping I didn’t die in the meantime as I’m panting and sweating up a storm. 😉

A week or two later, he ran his second half marathon and I did a 10K. We met up to drive to Waynesville together for the race. As we were headed there, Grant was talking away about random topics and all I could think of was how I wanted to marry him someday. And that’s the first time I remember my feelings really changing from a friend to someone I could see living the rest of my life with.

It was the end of 2016 that Grant lost his grandpa very suddenly and without warning. I am so thankful for the time we spent with his grandparents and that I had the privilege of knowing him even though it was a short amount of time. I do know that his grandpa liked me and wanted Grant to marry me. He apparently had told Grant to not mess with asking me out on a date, but to just go ahead and propose instead. 😉 It was during this time of grieving the loss of his grandpa that God really worked in Grant’s heart and he was saved.

It was spring the next year, and Grant and I were talking lots of marriage. And, I did something I said I wouldn’t do (because who ever really plans on doing this?): I bought my wedding dress before we were even engaged! I had a suspicion that Grant would propose and want a very short engagement. Short in that he had said several times, “We should just get engaged and then get married a week later.”

We had talked about a June wedding, but the month crept up on us and we were going back and forth as to whether or not we should wait for fall. After talking it over with our pastor, Grant decided we should go ahead with the wedding. We each had trips planned for the next several months. He was going to Oshkosh with his family, and I had weddings in Colorado and Florida the months following. We wanted to be together for those times, but knew that it would be difficult to do without being married. So to enjoy the trips more, we decided to go ahead with a June wedding.

In case you were wondering, we loved each other a great amount and felt like after waiting almost 9 years for each other, a short engagement was a good thing. 😉

If you’re thinking our proposal story must not be anything great seeing as I already knew Grant was going to propose, think again! 😉 It was a Sunday morning and I knew Grant had plans to talk to my dad that afternoon. What I didn’t know was that after getting off his 24 hour shift, instead of going home and sleeping till church, Grant went to his family’s shop where they build wooden propellors. He took two different woods, Maple and African Mahogany, glued them together before he cut and shaped it into a ring.

That evening, Grant and I were at his grandparents house talking about our wedding plans. Grant had told me that he would have to wait till later in the week to propose because my ring had not come in yet. We decided to drive his pickup onto his grandparent’s large, grass runway searching for a good spot for an outdoor ceremony. Grant had turned on his GoPro and told me I should get out so we could see if this spot (located just at an angle from his grandparents farmhouse) would be a good location for the ceremony. Totally clueless, I followed Grant to a spot that he decided would be “just right”. He then proceeded to get down on one knee, holding the wooden ring he had made and asked me to marry him. It took me a little bit to realize he was actually proposing because I was too distracted by the beautiful wooden ring. My first words after he asked were, “Did you make this?! It’s so gorgeous!” I did say yes after getting over my surprise. 🙂

That was on June 18th, 2017. 12 days before we would say “I do.”

All photo credit to the amazing, Kelsi Kliethermes Photography! 


Check out the 4th part to Our Story here

  1. Sandy Brown says:

    Wow, what a beautiful story! Love all the sweet details! Hillary, I’ve loved you since you were born, and now I’ve loved Grant since I met him! Thank you for sharing with all of us!

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