It was a pivotal moment in her life. Lauren decided to move an hour and a half away to Springfield IL, where she knew no one. Lauren’s friend – who also happens to be Mark’s sister – mentioned that her brother lived in that area and had just gone through a bad break up – “maybe you should contact him.” On a whim – she did. They talked for a month via emails and texts, and he finally convinced her to go out with him. It wasn’t the perfect first date he had planned, but it wouldn’t be much of a story if it was! They went out again the next night – even though Mark thought he’d blown it – and it only got better from there. The way they were able to sit and talk was unlike your typical first dates. This was special.
The very next day – in a new town where she knew no one – Lauren’s house was hit by a tornado. Red Cross was trying to evacuate her to a shelter. Scared and alone, she called Mark. He immediately left work and picked her up. Her prince in a red Dodge truck swept her off her feet and took care of her – giving her a comfortable place to stay and a strong shoulder to lean on, and they’ve been inseparable ever since.
Prior to moving, Lauren was a Nanny for 4 children. These children had become her family, so if she was going to date someone seriously – they would have to approve. With things getting serious with Mark – it was time for them to meet. Things did not go as planned. Projectile vomit and bad behavior gave mark a run for his money, but he survived and they grew to love him just like Lauren had. One weekend, Lauren had all 4 of them come stay. It was a crazy weekend. Exhausted and packing them up to go home, Mark announces to the kids that it’s time to play a game. Annoyed – she shot him a look. He smiled and said “Somewhere in the house is an engagement ring – and whoever finds it first gets to propose to Lauren!” The kids began screaming and tearing through the house, while Lauren stood there – numb. In shock. Disbelieving what she’d just heard. One of the kids flung back a pillow and a ring box flew through the air. With that Mark got down on one knee, and with all of the kids in unison asked her to marry him. And with the answer of “yes” the kids screamed and cheered and Mark eyes welled up with tears. There could never be a better proposal in Lauren’s eyes.
In true Lauren & Mark style – things didn’t go as planned. In the midst of wedding planning, they found out that they would be planning for a baby as well. For a type A personality like Lauren – the last few years have sent her spinning. But life doesn’t always go exactly as planned, and just as she found out after that devastating tornado – it’s better off that way. With one another as their biggest support they know they can get through this whirlwind of life, and come from the hardships stronger than ever.
They look forward to an October wedding, and a baby girl before that. It may be a different order than they’d planned – but it wouldn’t be as wonderful of a story if it was!
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