Stafford and I first met when we sat next to each other in our high school freshman math class. I was wearing a Clay Track & Field sweatshirt and he asked me if I still ran (I didn't). We talked here and there but not much happened until the following spring. I played the viola in the freshman orchestra and Stafford was a bassoonist. At the end of April, after a concert, I glanced around the room and caught him staring at me (he’ll say it was the other way around but we both know the truth). The next week during math class he borrowed my calculator for a minute. I didn’t think anything of it until I turned it on and found a note asking me out! I was so excited and wrote back yes!
We were still too young to drive, so Stafford’s mom picked us up for our first date and took us to Chile’s. The truth was we knew nothing about each other when we started dating so we spent the night chatting and getting to know each other. The date was great, eventhough a waiter nearly dumped a full tray of food on our table. Soon, summer sprang upon us and there were a lot of late nights on the phone. It wasn't long before we were head over heels for each other. We became inseparable for the rest of high school. Friday nights after school we would each call our mothers while walking to our cars to see what was for dinner. We would decide where to spend the evening based on the food selection.
The next three years flew by and eventually it was time to graduate high school. Everything was going great but there was one big obstacle in the way: college. Stafford was headed to Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and I was on my way to Purdue in West Lafayette. Breaking up for school was never an option for us, so we dove head first into a long distance relationship. It was tricky at first, but after a while we got the hang of texting, video chatting, and instant messaging all the time. There were lots of plane rides (me) and miles driven (Stafford) between West Lafayette and Pittsburgh, but we always made time to see each other whenever possible.
During the summer of 2010, Stafford was working for Allstate up in Chicago. I drove up to visit him for his birthday. That morning he got up as if he were going to work and I kept sleeping. I woke up a bit later to the room filled with candles and Stafford asking me to marry him! Of course I said yes and the rest is history.