Elizabeth and Andrew first met at Mount Hermon Christian Camp & Conference Center somewhere around 2010 while Elizabeth was there leading worship for a guest group and Andrew was serving on staff. While they don't remember the exact moment that they met, they interacted several times over the course of 6 years whenever Elizabeth was back in town to play at camp.
As Andrew tells the story, it was at Labor Day Family Camp in 2015 when the stalking began. After Elizabeth left after leading worship, he decided that he would ask her out next time that she was back at camp. That time came in February 2016 when Elizabeth was leading worship for a conference. However, she was surrounded by old friends those few days, so he didn't have the right opportunity to make his move. It was 2 weeks later when she was back-alone this time- that the time was right.
For this particular conference, Andrew had been her contact person getting her details about the weekend and making sure she had everything she needed. He had even emailed her in advance and offered to compile a band for her — including himself on the piano. Elizabeth agreed to the idea and when she arrived at camp he was very helpful, and even suggested that they go get donuts that night. Elizabeth, thinking that Andrew was fun and hospitable, liked the idea and they were able to get to know each other that evening over Ferrell's Donuts in Santa Cruz.
The next evening he said "I know where we're going tonight" and proceeded to take Elizabeth to the Saturn Cafe for "the best vegan nachos she's ever had." It was over vegan nachos and a vegan milkshake (yeah, try to figure that one out) that she noticed that Andrew was looking at her with a bit of a silly smile on his face and she suddenly realized "oh, am I on a date?" Despite her being oblivious of Andrew's pursuits, she was a having a great time with this "camp guy" and learning that there was a lot more to him than she realized.
The next day they went to Verve Coffee and Penny Ice Creamery and continued to enjoy getting to know each other as Andrew gave her the "Santa Cruz Food Tour." That evening Elizabeth said her goodbyes and prepared to drive back to Redding early the next morning, Andrew helped carry her bags and when it was time to say goodbye he said "So this might be forward, but I really like you. I think you're awesome and I would like to keep getting to know you. I don't know what that looks like since you live in Redding and I live here, but I would love to figure it out." Elizabeth smiled and said "that sounds great."
What Andrew didn't know at the time was that Twin Lakes Church in Aptos had reached out to Elizabeth a month before to see if she might be interested in a worship pastor role at their church. The interesting twist is that Twin Lakes also happened to be Andrew's church. Needless to say, Andrew was quite excited when he found out a week later that that was on the table as a possibility.
For 3 months, Andrew and Elizabeth stayed in contact while she finished up her first year of ministry school and prayed about what the next year might entail. During that time, Elizabeth made 2 trips to the Bay Area for music and Andrew came and visited Redding for a couple days. In the midst of all of this she made the decision to take the job and move to Santa Cruz. Andrew was thrilled about this and eager to help make arrangements for her to come to the area.
When Elizabeth arrived in Santa Cruz in June, Andrew decided he wanted to make things official and the two began their journey as an exclusive couple.
The summer was full of a lot of fun and enjoying spending extended time together and quality time versus just phone conversations. Elizabeth started her new job and began the work of adjusting to a new place.
As fall and winter came, their relationship grew with both of them learning a lot about themselves and each other. One by one, they got to meet each other's families, which felt like a big milestone. They began talking about the possibility of marriage and what that might look like.
On March 17, Andrew and Elizabeth had decided to spend the day together, so they started out their day with a hike followed by lunch, seeing Beauty and the Beast in the theater, and a walk along West Cliff. Little did Elizabeth know that this day had been planned for quite some time and there was a photographer waiting as he knelt down on one knee and asked her to marry him.
Perhaps the biggest surprise, though, was the big surprise party waiting for them including friends and family who had traveled to be part of their celebration. It was an amazing evening of celebrating love and their coming life together.
That brings us to the present, where we are preparing to be husband and wife and we hope that you will be able to come celebrate with us!