Walking up at the crack of dawn, I headed into Dallas to meet Olivia and Hartson for the first time. I had heard their story, and felt like I already knew them, yet this would be the first time we would meet face-to-face. We met at the top of a parking garage in downtown Dallas, just as the sun was peeking around the glass buildings behind us. The effect was the most glorious rays of light, glittering from building to building, and gracing the heads of Hartson and Olivia.
As we chatted and got to know one another more, I began to see how they are like that glittering sunshine. They are both so good-natured, graceful and genuine that it is impossible not to smile when they are around. And the way they interact together is so sweet and natural that it will melt your heart! Hartson and Olivia are a testament of what true love really is; full of honor and trust, hopeful, encouraging, and radiates joy!
Olivia and Hartson have actually been in school together since Kindergarten, although they only shared the same class for 2nd and 4th grade. In Junior High they had an art class together, and Hartson developed a bit of a crush on her, but didn't know what to say to her. It wasn't until their Sophomore year of high school when they really started talking and became friends. They were drawn to talk to each other more than anyone else, and within 2 months they were officially dating!
The Love Story
Hartson and Olivia had a pretty classic High School romance - hanging out a lot, texting constantly, and going on dates together! He was always on her mind, and she was always on his. It felt natural to be together and talk with each other - they felt like they had known each other for years, and understood each other as life long friends. Yet at the same time, it was all new and exciting.
When it came time to go to college, they decided to try a long distance relationship. This showed Olivia how much they actually loved each other, that they were so dedicated to making it work. Hartson felt that Olivia drew out the best in him, and this understanding only deepened his affections. They just knew it was a love worth holding on to.
Olivia and Hartson attend universities in different states, and have been long distance dating for 3 years. Every time Olivia visited him, they walked around his campus before or after getting dinner at their favorite restaurant. Last summer was busy, between work and summer classes, and they weren't able to visit as much as usual. When Olivia finally got to visit Hartson, she thought it was for a trip to Universal Studios to celebrate their birthdays. Unbeknownst to her, Hartson had been spending months hunting for a perfect ring. Eventually, his mom found his grandmothers engagement ring and when she offered it to Hartson, it seemed like the perfect thing!
So after their trip, Olivia and Hartson returned to his school campus. They decided to get dinner and walk around the campus, as always. While on their walk, Hartson led her to what was typically a beautiful fountain! It happened to be under construction at the time but they sat down on a bench to talk. When Hartson got down on one knee, feeling nervous that the proposal wasn't all he hoped to be, he saw her face and all the nervous energy disappeared. He knew that regardless of the proposal's setting, this was the woman he wanted to spend his life with. When he asked the question, Olivia was surprised and pleased! She felt so happy that she practically didn't stop smiling for two days!