Kelley + Stuart
“I met Kelley a few years ago at Longleaf Church where I’m on staff. I remember thinking that she was really cute and probably way too cool to date a guy like me. I would see her every few weeks at church or at movie nights, and after a few months, we started getting to know each other.
Fast forward a few more months to her birthday – February 28, 2014. At this point, I knew I liked her – liked her enough to even go to her “Pure Barrety” before her birthday dinner! Which is kind of a big deal for me. I’m not really the Pure Barre workout type. At dinner I remember her flirting with me, and I remember thinking to myself, “You don’t have to flirt with me, I like you already!” So the next day I called her and with heart racing I told her I liked her and asked her out.
That call began the first round of a relationship that unfortunately fizzled after a few months. Honestly, I just wasn’t a great boyfriend, and I was terrified of commitment. So I bailed. She was heartbroken (I later found out). But I felt like it was the right decision. Well at least for a few months until I finally came to my senses. She was something special, and I knew I had to get her back.
At some point in July or August, I began to pursue her again – asking her to lunch, texting her, trying to find time to spend with her even though she seemingly wasn’t interested in another round with me. It was a challenge. Eventually I found myself opening up to her about the innermost part of me – things that no one else knew about me. It was terrifying and liberating all at the same time. And the most surprising thing happened. She in turn began to share with me things about herself that that she hid from everyone else! At that point I knew I had her back and that this time was going to be different.
We started dating again in September 2014, and 2015 was the year we fell in love. I got to the point where I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life without her, and all the fear and anxiety of commitment that had plagued me in the past just wasn’t there. I knew I wanted Kel to be my wife within a few months of that year, but I made myself wait to buy a ring at least until my brother got married that November. I think it was December when we talked about what she wanted in a ring, and in January I started shopping.
I picked the ring up on February 8th which was a Monday, but I didn’t have a clue as to how I should propose. To be honest, I almost drove to her tennis match that evening to pop the question immediately. But I stopped myself. Not sure if she really wanted to be proposed to post-tennis match. So I came up with a plan. I like music and I’m an amateur video editor so I made a short video of all the pictures of the two of us from her Instagram put to the tune of Alexander Fairchild’s “Abc.” Even watching it now as I’m writing this makes my heart feel like it’s beating out of my chest. And so on February 10th, I came up with a ruse for us to eat dinner in Warner Robins (we both live in Macon) and then head to the church “to check on something.” The video was ready, the speakers were on, and the lights were down. We sat on the very back row and watched as our relationship unfolded according to her Instagram. We laughed and reminisced about the good times and the bad as we watched the screens (I later found out she thought I was just doing something sweet for Valentine’s Day). But at the end of the video, I got down on one knee and asked the biggest question of my life. And she said yes! It was like floating on air. We called our families and friends and drove back to her parents’ house to celebrate with them.
Four months out from our wedding, I’m confident in her and in us. It’s the start of a brand new journey, but there’s no fear. There’s no anxiety. Just anticipation of what God has in store for us. We’re not perfect. We fight sometimes (mostly because I’ve done something dumb), but we love each other. And I can’t wait for that love to grow and blossom into a beautiful life together.”
A letter & gift from Stu...
A letter from her Mom...
It's so cute how they both got each other watches!