My brother got his mission call last night - he will be serving in the Columbia Bogota South mission and reports Jan 14th to the Provo MTC! How exciting! It's really weird that precious little Scott who used to want me to watch him blow bubbles has since "grown a foot or two" and is going on a mission!
This weekend was pretty exciting for Erin and I, besides getting engaged we also carved pumpkins, one of my favorite Halloween activities. Here is what we came up with. I don't really know what I was going for. I saw this pumpkin not too long ago that a guy actually sculpted and not really carved,(which you can see here to your right) which I thought was so cool so I have been goofing around with that concept. Erin was just still so excited about her ring that she carved that, it was a lot of fun and we are excited for the many more pumpkins we will carve throughout our future together.
So if you are reading this I am assuming it is because you didn't want to read Erin's novel, I don't blame you but for all you hopeless romantics her version is incredibly specific so if I don't give enough details refer to hers.
So all the information about me surprising her is right. I went down on Thursday instead of Friday to surprise her. I stopped by Sierra West(great place to by a ring p.s.)and picked up the ring. I wasn't sure if I was going to propose Thursday or Friday but I thought I would have it just in case. Since I didn't know when or where I would propose I put the ring in its box in my inner jacket pocket and went to surprise Erin. I went to her office because I thought she was there because she is the slowest texter EVER. She wasn't so I called and went to her house and she was on her way to the store and I suggested we go talk first since we hadn't seen each other in two weeks. We went to Kawanas Park which is where we always go to talk and I first told her I love her and all that sappy stuff.
I wanted to get her in a sappy mood and so I casually brought it up. While we were talking I decided I would ask her but wasn't sure how exactly to get the ring which was in my jacket pocket in my trunk. So I suggested we sit in the grass and talk for a bit, but right as I was about to open my trunk to get my jacket and a blanket I realized the bag with the jeweler's name on it was on my blanket so at the last minute I had to think of what I could tell her I had that she couldn't see so I told her I got us something for Halloween, she said, "did you get us costumes?" and taking the easy out I said, "um...maybe" I told her to close her eyes and put out her hands, but knowing that she would peek I had her turn around, so I got out the ring and got on one knee. When she turned back around her jaw dropped and she said, "shut up!" If I had my wits about me and wasn't so nervous I would have said OK and shut the box but of course I was too nervous. So I between getting choked up and being nervous I tried to say some cute sappy things and proposed and she said yes so then we just hugged and kissed and cried a bit. It was a very fun and exciting weekend.
Justin and I were on the tail end of 2 weeks of not seeing each other. We had, during the course of the day, debated on whether or not he should skip his class on Friday to come down early so we could have a few more hours together. Just before my class (that goes from 4:30 – 7:15), he’d told me he decided to be wise and go to class. I thought, “boo” but supported him in that decision.
So class ends a little late, around 7:25, and I catch a ride home with a fellow student, Susan. I get home and am getting ready to go to the grocery store when Justin calls. This is unordinary because we never talk before 9 in order to save minutes. So I answer and he says, “Where are you? What are you doing?” I tell him that I’m in the middle of something and ask if I can call him back in a minute (I figured I could call him from the car on my way to the store). He sounds hesitant and tells me that’s fine.
We hang up and I keep getting ready to go to the store. A few minutes later I walked outside of my apartment and started toward the east stairs to go to my car. I heard a whistle from the parking lot on the west but kept walking. When I realized there wasn’t anybody else in my part of the building, I turned to look down the west stairs but didn’t see anybody it could’ve been. I continued down the east stairs and to my car in the underground parking lot. When I arrived – who should be standing there but Justin!
I was so surprised to see him! He seemed a little chilly and nervous and I asked him if he was okay. He assured me that he was, he was just anxious to find and surprise me (apparently when he called me he’d been at my office on campus waiting for me to get out of class). I asked him if he’d like to come with me to the store to get groceries and then make dinner. He said of course, but that first he’d love to just be with me and hug me – two weeks is a long time to not see each other.
We decided to go to Kiwanis Park, a place in Provo that we love going to and have for a while. It’s where Justin first told me he loved me, where we’d go to read books together, to play password during the summer evenings, to stick our feet out the windows of our cars and just talk. We love that place. We get to Kiwanis, and, like we do anytime we’re at the park or anytime we do when we haven’t seen each other for a while (so basically every weekend), we will bask in our love. So we’ll talk about the first time we knew we were really interested in each other or when we first thought there might be long-term potential… We laugh about how we didn’t talk about “us” until a week before I went home to GA when we decided that he needed to come too. Gooey, romantic stuff like that.
After basking in our love for a while, the car’s heat has been on, we’re still in our coats to go to the store, and needless to say the car has gotten pretty toasty. So we decide to go sit on the grass for about 5 minutes, and because it was so cold outside, by the time we’ll be sitting that long we’ll be cooled off and ready to go to the store and make dinner. As we’re heading towards Justin’s trunk to get a blanket, he tells me that he bought us matching Halloween costumes and asks if I’d like to see them. I clapped my hands and said “of course,” and he told me to close my eyes so he could get them out and hold them up. I did. Then he tells me to turn around and close my eyes because he doesn’t trust me not to peek – this is so wise of him because I certainly would’ve peeked.
Justin tells me to turn around – when I do, I see him on one knee with a ring in the ring box. I was so surprised – he has done an amazingly consistent job of convincing me that he wouldn’t be proposing for another month or so. I thought he could be trying to throw me off and figured he would propose sometime in the middle of November, but never did I ever imagine we’d be getting engaged in October!
After I got over my shock came the tears. Justin said “Erin” and then became emotional himself. He told me how much he loves me, that he can’t imagine a happy life without me, and the proceeded to tell me how amazing I am and that he never dreamed such a woman existed, let alone could have loved him. He got to the part where he asked me to marry him, like the smart girl I am, I said yes, and then we embraced and kissed and hugged until we’d regained our composures. Very tender, very emotional, all I ever hoped and dreamed of in a proposal and so, so much more. Justin asked if I wanted to see the ring, to which I definitely said yes to, and then I put it on and have been on cloud nine ever since!
I can’t imagine anything being more perfect. Nothing was missing, nothing could have been taken out; it was perfect. The Atlanta temple has been booked for March 27th – we’ll know for sure if we’re keeping that date once Scott gets his mission call, which should be in the next week or two. We are so excited and thrilled to be officially official!
I don't have much to add to what Justin said, but I'll fill in a little of the rest... After Deyton introduced Justin and I we went out to lunch, went out a few weeks later, our students encouraged us to chaperone prom together (we didn't), and we'd go out every so often. That summer (2007) I was a BC for EFY all summer in Provo. Justin asked me out a good bit, but I couldn't go every time because I was busy, busy, busy. Then in August Justin moved up to Logan to finish his Bachelor's at Utah State, and I was still in Provo. At the time neither of us thought it would work out because who on earth would start something long distance? Justin still came down to Provo about once a month, and whenever he did we'd typically go out. This whole time we'd always just had tons of fun. I remember almost every time coming home and thinking, "good gracious, he is AMAZING - somebody remind me why we're not actually dating?" Then in March 2008, suddenly things were different and Justin held my hand. In April he kissed me, and then he moved down for the summer and it was golden from there! Some of my favorite things we've ever done: Josh Groban concert, Bees games, hiking Bridal Veil Falls, playing with friends/family, playing at Salem Pond, going to Georgia, Journey in concert, reading travel books in Borders, and of course GETTING ENGAGED!
I was student teaching seminary and Erin was student teaching math both at Lone Peak High School. For a couple of weeks one student named Dayton Killian had been bugging me that he should date his math teacher because I was single and and she was single and I was a student teacher and she was a student teacher. One fateful day I was in the faculty room doing his role when the secretary came in a told me there was someone out in the hall for me. When I walked out there was Dayton standing next to a cute girl and grinning ear to ear. I walked up and he said, "Brother Badger, this is Miss Houghtaling. Miss Houghtaling this is Brother Badger. I have to go to lunch." To add to the awkwardness the other student teacher at the seminary knew Erin from EFY walked by and said, "She is cool, you are cool just get her number and go." As we started talking we found out that we literally lived across the street from each other and I knew her cousin, who was her roommate at the time, and she knew my roommate. I figured I couldn't escape her even if I wanted, which I didn't, but I got her number and the rest as they say is history I guess.
We live in a ?? in Peachtree City, GA. We moved here because Erin got a job teaching math at her alma mater (her dream job), and Justin loves her enough to make all her dreams come true. Justin currently working as an operational manager for Delta Air Lines in the In-Flight Service department. Yes, the flight priviledges are wonderful (if you like excitement). We've been married for almost 3 years now (March 27) and are expecting our first, a baby boy, early June! We love laughing with and at each other, playing games, watching Food Network and HGTV, spider solitaire, sporting events, being outside, musicals, just being together, and as Erin would put it, "basking in our love." We have been described as the "fun couple" but we don't like to brag. :)