Our story began in 7th grade at Lumberton Middle School when we had a computer class together. Matt thought I was cute and he told himself, "one day I'm going to date that girl." Little did Matt know that I would eventually ask him to go to our school's Twirp dance (where the girl asks the guy) in the 9th grade. Although we were still too young to date, that night, February 12, 2000, we became "boyfriend" and "girlfriend." Throughout high school we were inseparable. Matt wrote me sweet notes and gave me candy before Friday night football games to wish me luck before my Raiderette (dance team) performances. He cheered me on at my track and cross country meets, and was always surprising me with creative gifts.
One Valentine's Day Matt made me a teddy bear out of his practice football shirt, and after Christmas one year he melted a set of candles his mom had gotten as a gift in a pot on the kitchen stove and carved "Matt loves Courtney" in the giant "candle" (After nine years, his mom still finds wax in the kitchen). I was Matt's biggest fan on the sidelines at his football games. I would call to wake him up every morning before school, and he would sing "Good Morning Beautiful" to me. My spot in the Raiderette room was covered with pictures of us, and I looked forward to our weekend dates consisting of dinner at Casa Ole and a movie. Also, we attended church at "Cathedral in the Pines" where we were very involved in the youth group.
After high school, I left for Evangel University, and we parted ways. However, we remained friends until Matt moved to Springfield to attend Evangel for our sophomore year of college. Fate set in and we began to date again. That summer it seemed that our lives were going different directions, and we broke up for what we both thought was forever. Yet, like they say, your first love always holds a special place in your heart. Over the next three years we found ourselves in serious relationships. However, both ended; mine just days away from marriage. We began to be friends again toward the end of last summer.
Around late November, we began to talk more often, and after a while, we realized that we never wanted to be apart again. Matt soon began planning how he would ask me to marry him, and it turned out perfect! On February 12, 2009, without telling me, he flew out to Virginia Beach, where I attend law school. He timed it perfectly, and I was in class when he arrived. He had the shuttle pick him up from the airport, take him to buy 9 roses (since it was 9 years from the day we first started dating) and drop him off at a beautiful pavilion in the courtyard by the school's library.
In the mean time, I was cooking dinner for my friends, when I received a phone call that a shuttle would be picking me up in 4 minutes. The shuttle picked me up, where the 9 roses were waiting for me, and took me to the library. The driver told me to get out and start walking. Nervous, I got out, and quickly spotted Matt waiting for me. As soon as we reached one another, Matt got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Through the tears, I managed to say, "Yes!" to my true love!