How it all began...Clayton and I actually met for the first time when I was a sophomore at the University of Florida. He was attending Auburn University, but came to Gainesville for a couple of football games. I met him through his cousins, Ashley and Missy, who were my college roommates. During the summer of my Senior year, Clayton decided to come to Gainesville for a "going away" party for Ashley. We danced all night at one of my favorite spots in Gainesville, Cantina (as most of you probably know, Clayton is quite the dancer). The next day Clayton left town and "accidentally" left his credit card at the bar. This was basically his way of having a reason to see me again.
Our first date...
I rode back to Orlando with Ashley and Missy; it didn't take long for Clayton to ask me to dinner. Did I mention that I kinda had a boyfriend at this time? I will never forget the advice I received from Ashley and Missy's mom... "Well, a girl has to eat." Best advice I've ever received! Clayton and I had our first dinner date at Houston's, which was delicious! Following the date, we joined his brothers, sister-in-laws, and cousins at a family gathering. I had a blast and was completely smitten by his personality and sweet gestures! The next fall semester, Clayton made every UF home game to watch his little brothers play and to visit me. He truly made my last semester of college extra special!
I must preface this next anecdote with a little information about Clayton. For months, he was always acting "tough" when people would bring up ideas of marriage, babies, etc. "Yeah, in 10 years" was probably one of his favorite lines. This is why I (and everyone else) was completely surprised on the day he asked me to marry him!
On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Clayton woke me up before the sun at 4:45 A.M. saying he had a surprise for me. I had 30 minutes to get ready and off we went to meet with two pilots who were waiting to take us on a hot air balloon ride! I still wasn't thinking anything of it since Clayton and I talked about hot air balloons months before. He showed no sign of nervousness and just seemed so excited to see the sunrise from the balloon. It was about 15 minutes into the flight when Clayton said, "Do you want to know the real reason why I brought you up here?" I honestly don't know what was said after he pulled out the ring as I was in complete, tear-jerking shock! After I said YES the rest of the ride seemed to take forever! I couldn't wait to get back on the ground to surprise our families!
I have to add that Clayton did a spectacular job being so sneaky! Only his father and mine knew what was coming... everyone else was just as surprised as I was, which made it so much more fun!
The Wedding Party..
Maid of Honor:
Kristin Meeks (Sister of the Bride)
Lindsey Bolender (Best Friend)
Keri Glazier (Best Friend)
Morgan Walsh (Best Friend)
Ashley Rowley (Best Friend/College Roommate,
Cousin of the Groom)
Missy Rowley (Best Friend/College Roommate,
Cousin of the Groom)
Fallon Crofoot (Sister-in-Law of Groom)
Kelsey Crofoot (Sister-in-Law of Groom)
Kennedee Schmidt (Cousin of the Bride)
Brinkley Crofoot (Niece of the Groom)
Kyle Crofoot (All brothers of the Groom)
Butch Rowley (Cousin)
Jon Kirven (Best Friend)
Derek Dill (Best Friend)
Jamie Justice (Best Friend/College Roommate)
Coleson Crofoot (Nephew of Groom)