My Fairytale

My favorite love story: The story of me and my sweetheart, my world.  Meet Derek:

Isn't he handsome? Aren't you completely and utterly jealous of that hair? I know I am. He gets "Tarzan" and "Fabio" a lot. I even made him dress up as Tarzan once....see, he loves me. That is our pup Lola when she was a baby. :)


Anyway, Derek and I met when we were 14 at a mutual friend’s house and we went on our first date to the local movie theater.{ Don't ask me what we watched...we made out the whole time.:) Come on! We were 14!} We stayed friends throughout high school and always like each other, kissing behind school buses, but the timing was never right. We rekindled the friendly romance at the end of senior year of high school and hung out every day from prom to mid-summer. 

Us in 2004

From there, we parted ways to go off to college, Derek at West Texas A&M and me to Stephen F. Austin State University in East Texas, and a nine hour distance just wasn’t going to work for a relationship. We remained great friends {We would always call each other for dating advice, secretly thinking their significant other was no good for them!} 

When Derek moved to College Station to attend Blinn College, a random phone call from me changed our future forever.:) I was standing in front of Steen Hall in a toga after a party at the rugby house and called up my  old friend Derek.  I decided to drive two hours west for a visit, something Derek thought might just be the Smirnoff Ice talking, but he remained hopeful. On the morning of October 15, 2005, I showed up on his doorstep and we spent the day together, laughing and talking about old times. As the sun was setting on his balcony, Derek said “We’re gonna get married, aren’t we?” to which I replied “Yeah, you know, I think we probably will.” No hesitation, which is crazy at 19.  Little did we know that six years later–to the day–we would do just that!



 The proposal:

Derek proposed in the most beautiful place on earth--The sunny shores of Australia! We went to Sydney to visit our friend (and now bridesmaid) Zebine who just finished graduate school there.
It was my birthday, and me, Derek, Samantha, Zebine and her roommate took a coastal walk from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach. The trail twisted around the gorgeous coastline, up steep cliffs where the turquoise water would hit the rocks and it was so incredibly beautiful. It was so romantic, and when I got a chance alone with Derek I squeezed his arm and just said "I can't wait to marry you." (Mind you, at this time I had no idea he had a ring in his pocket and was about to make that happen. It sure made him sweat and he thought I knew!)

We got to the edge of the best cliff on the trail, right above Bronte Beach. It was breathtaking. So much so that I couldn't stop taking pictures and wouldn't sit still long enough for Derek to ask me a very important question. Finally, Zebine took my camera to take some pictures of some rocks (haha) and I finally stood still. Derek then said, "Hey Kayli, you know how you said you want to marry me? Well I want to marry you too." He then got on one knee and took out this GORGEOUS ring that sparkled in that hot Australian sun.

I was in such disbelief that I kept saying "Oh my God, is this real? Is that ring real?" I then heard the pop of a champagne cork...the girls had snuck champagne in their backpack and poured us some bubbly to celebrate. A small crowd had gathered and were clapping, too. After about five minutes of joyful tears, and a celebratory toast, I finally said yes!


We then continued on to Icebergs Beach House at the famous Bondi Beach where we celebrated and took in the gorgeous scenery. Needless to say, it was an amazing birthday present and a great way to kick off the trip of a lifetime!

The Wedding:

We then threw the wedding of a life time in a place that is near and dear to our hearts. A place where our love blossomed. A place known to many as simply "The Ranch," we said "I do" at Derek's family-owned cattle ranch in La Grange, Texas. The hundreds of wide-open acres are so beautiful and almost magical, so it was a natural choice to say our vows. There's nothing like a Texas sunset on The Ranch. We loved dancing under the stars in God's country, and enjoying a step back in time, like the country used to be.

We built the wedding from the ground up, literally, in a pasture so wide open that the sunset is so majestic that it brings tears to your eyes. We scavenged thrift stores and yard sales for months on end to find the perfect details to make a rustic wedding that was uniquely "us." It was a blast!

A few months later, we bought our cute little starter home in the Piney Woods of Nacogdoches, which we're loving fixing up to suite our style. We love our charming college town and playing grown up!


  1. Ok seriously cutest story ever!!!

  2. Awww. This is adorable!! You two are so stinkin' sweet!!

    My husband and I met in high school and got married at 19. We just celebrated our 10th anniversary this past week.

    I love all of your travels. I wish that we could travel more. It's pretty difficult with my husbands career and my college. BLECH. Someday I hope.

    I look forward to following you!

    1. I thought I saw 10 year anniversary on your blog! That is so awesome. Huge congrats to you guys. Yeah, we've been really fortunate to be able to travel on the cheap (hello free trip to the Olympics! Still can't believe that one...) I love just 10-day trips flanked by the weekend. It's a good amount of time, but not a huge budget buster. You should take a trip to celebrate your milestone this summer!! :) What a wonderful excuse for a getaway.

      Thanks for stopping by, Crystal!

  3. Hi Kayli, Im in love with your blog, makes me think about my last travel in Australia..
    I love this lifestyle, your blog is inspiring and creative, thanks for sharing your ideas.

    Caroline, from France.

  4. Omg. This is the cutest thing I've ever seen! We had an hour-long conversation about blogging and you didn't tell me about yours... shame on you! I found it anyways. :)