When I think about our story, it is one that I don’t think we could have dreamed up ourselves. We’ve now known each other for over 10 years, and seeing the way our story was already written for us is the greatest thing to look back upon. Connor and I first met during our freshman year of high school. I remember a new kid joining our 9th grade English class halfway through the year after transferring to our school. I don’t think Connor and I spoke more than 5 words the rest of that school year, but that is my first memory of him in my life. Over the next few years at Plant, we found ourselves in the same group of friends and I got to know him. Years before I would have ever known about our future together, it seemed he was always a constant figure in my life. We both ended up at the University of Florida and again found ourselves in the same group of friends and involved in the same organizations. The fall of our sophomore year I was a debutante tasked with bringing an escort to the ball and I brought Connor. The pictures from the ball could be our wedding photos, so I guess it was all practice for the real day. Then came our Junior year where I remember us spending more and more time together. My first date function of the semester came and I brought Connor. Then my second date function of the semester came and I brought Connor. Then the third date function of the semester came and I knew I wanted to take Connor but thought he, and others, might catch on that maybe we weren’t acting just as friends. We both separately were starting to realize maybe we could be more than just friends but weren’t sure how the other one felt. Getting to spend more and more time together showed me his genuine heart, leadership, sincerity and drive, all characteristics I had always envisioned in my future husband. That fall, our mentors and friends Chris and Ashley were getting married and Connor and I both got to be a part of their day. I remember sitting at their rehearsal dinner and hearing Connor speak such caring and genuine words over their friendship and their marriage and it tugged at my heart in the best way, validating all those qualities I had been admiring in Connor. After going to my last event of the semester, Connor walked me back home and asked me on our first date. We laughed at how we both had been feeling the same way about each other for a while but weren’t sure how to make the transition from a friendship to a relationship. Connor told me how much thought and prayer he had put into pursuing me. Leaving that conversation I felt so confident that we were meant to be together and we have been dating ever since that date! Since then, we have been able to experience so much together, from Gator games, to graduating college, to visiting Israel together, to multiple Bahamas trips to moving to a new state. The summer before our senior year I had an internship in Austin, Texas and Connor volunteered to make the drive from Florida with me. We had over 15 hours in a car together to ask each other questions and talk about our life and our future. We got to explore the city, spend great quality time together before the summer apart and we even stumbled upon one of our favorite date spots to this day, Mattie’s. We both say that night sitting at Mattie’s was so special to us and when we both started to know we really loved each other. That trip is still one of our favorite times together and it is when I really knew I wanted to marry Connor. After finishing our senior year and graduating from UF, we both moved to Austin, Texas and have loved building our life together there these past few years. In April of 2021, Connor brought me back to Mattie’s where he asked me to marry him. He then had our family and friends waiting back at his house as another sweet surprise. We couldn’t be more thankful for all our friends and family who have celebrated us thus far and will only continue to. Thank you for being a part of our story, 10+ years in the making. We cannot wait for what’s to come for the future Welshes!