It was just two weeks after they first met that Austin says he knew Maria was the one. “I knew I loved her after a week. And when she sticks around after that, I knew she wasn’t going anywhere. Every day after that, she has shown me more and more how she’s the best person for me and we are meant to be together.”
As for Maria, she doesn’t pinpoint a date, but says it was a lot of little things that added up. “How he’d pack my lunches and leave little notes insides. How well we agreed on big things like our values and how we would want to raise kids. How well he supported me when I was upset. A big thing for us is how well we communicate; so I think how well we work through disagreements or difficult times in our relationship has made us both very confident that we’ve each found the one.”
Austin proposed nearly two years to the day after their first date. He was planning on proposing while they were Texas, but Maria had absolutely no clue. He had told her, “I’m not going to do it in Texas” and, because he’s so practical and she figured he’d worry about losing the ring during traveling, she definitely believed him. About that, she was right. “I was a nervous wreck,” Austin says.
“I had the ring in my backpack going through TSA security and tried to get Maria away from me for a moment but that had to wait. My bag got scanned twice and I gave the TSA lady a death glare that said ‘don’t you take that ring out and force a proposal here’ but that went fine. So I told Maria I had to use the bathroom and she offered to look after my backpack while I went. I told her I don’t need to take off my backpack to use the restroom and I made the switch [from the backpack to my pocket]. Then it was in my pocket and I was terrified she would see it so I also had my keys in that pocket. When we got to Galveston, she wanted to look at houses right away. I suggested to her to get lunch and take a quick walk on the beach. She agreed to lunch, but she didn’t want to go to the beach. I finally just told her to ‘trust me’ and she agreed. So we walked on a pier and I said this would be a good place for a picture. We found someone to take the picture and before she handed back the camera, I asked her to take a few more and I got down on one knee. I got the answer I was looking for which was a high pitched ‘eeeee’ sound, crying, and nodding. It wasn’t until hours later that the yes was confirmed.”
“My favorite part actually,” says Maria, “Was that we didn’t call anyone for a few hours. I think it was because I wanted my sister to know first and she wasn’t picking up her phone. But it was actually a nice little moment where we had this big secret that was just ours.”
We met up the Saturday before Christmas when the timing worked out perfectly while Maria was back in Iowa City visiting Austin right before they went separate ways for some quick family visits before both resuming their busy residency and schooling schedules. Since we only had a limited window to take photos, we knew we’d forge ahead no matter the weather and it was, unsurprisingly, very cold. Thankfully, they were brave enough to spend some time outside snuggled together and I worked fast and made their session a record-time quick one. We will definitely be sweating at their wedding in August so it’ll be a fun contrast.
Even Boomer braved the cold to join us!
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