I sat at my computer forever last night trying to write this post. I had to tell the love story of Amanda & Austin but nothing happened. I just couldn’t do it. I would hardly get a whole sentence down before I decided it wasn’t good enough and I would erase it. I mean how do you tell a love story like this and do it any justice at all? (Especially with my writing skills) 🙂 So after an hour or so of staring at my computer I decided to ask our good friend and writer/director Mary Huls for help. She had no trouble at all putting Amanda and Austin’s story into words. Thank you Mary!
Once upon a time…all stories should begin this way…or perhaps even,
Not long ago in a small town in Junction City, Oregon, a young man and woman found one another on stage, literally, while working together as performers. Sparks began to fly, and each time they met to sing, dance, or say a word or two, they found a way to say…I love you. Through their comedy, their exhaustion, their resolute work ethic and their friends, who saw in them something they all recognized well, since being performers themselves…love, the kind that halts you in it’s presence.
Austin James is young, but a very focused and determined young man, he saw in Amanda Kristine, his future. He jokingly shook his head at her every mishap, he looked for her smile upon entering the room at every turn, and he performed at his best when sharing the stage with her. He shared her with his colleagues, and the gushing audience, but stole moments, and expressed to one and all, “I only share on stage.”
Amanda was often giddy in his presence, his proximity made her blush, and his touch folded her into his arms with little provocation. She met him at the door with coffee, a knockout smile, and a tousle of his hair, stating, “I missed you, and I’m so happy you are my partner and my boyfriend.”
This is when Jayme and Russell of Harvest Moon Photography came into the theatre, and into the lives of these two young people.
There is no doubt they are young, but after a year of working together, and falling in love over and over through shows and dances, Austin and Amanda left no doubt to anyone least of all a photographer with a revealing lens, their intensity, their commitment, and their sweet, sweet romance.
During the “Honky Tonk” show they made an impression, soon after, during “A Hollywood Fairy Tale,” they showed the world their love through pictures which captured their honest spark and true desire…one another. They became fun loving models at times, and Jayme and Russ even captured the “Fine Young Austin Lawrence,” in a private photo shoot that would be featured in the show as a joke to his young sweetheart. Cupcakes will never mean the same thing to Russell or Jayme!
They embody the spirit of young love, and when you get to know them, they give you hope in youth best spent on defining romance in a world that often has disdain for an old fashioned idea of commitment, respect and holding hands. They make the most of sweet embraces, laughter, and a sly wink.
On September 15, 2011, Austin asked Russ and Jayme to follow him to the coast, by pretending to have a photo shoot with Amanda, he acted bruised when she told him she had to leave for a day or two to spend time with some photographer friends for a special surprise for him. Actually Amanda went so far as to say to Austin, she was just having girl time with Jayme. However, it was all a set up. Jayme and Russ, with help from Mary Huls, long time friend and Director, fooled Amanda into the photo shoot, while Austin called on her mother Deb Bauer, to ask for her blessing in his mission.
Amanda was all dolled up, shooting amazing pictures she thought were for Austin, however he was at the beach with his new mother-in-law to be setting up for a spectacular moment at sunset. He ordered her favorite red velvet cup cake, brought flowers, and specially purchased toasting glasses with the help of his friend Richie who eagerly helped Austin in his plans, an old friend of Amanda’s, he too believed that Austin and Amanda had something genuine and special.
Amanda and crew approached the beach and posed for a picture at the top of the incline, in the background can be seen a strapping young man, dressed to impress. Amanda didn’t recognize the figure behind her, she kept posing and laughing, till she turned around to display her dress, she took a closer look and realized the familiar figure of her boyfriend. While she approached him, wondering what was happening, the camera’s kept clicking, her mom hid away and Mary looked for a place to duck. The now very sure of himself man, led her to a well laid out picnic.
She still wondered at the spread and what was happening, but not for long, as he stood to warm her, he told her “I want to live with you forever.” He went to his knee and pulled from his pocket a small black velvet box with the biggest purchase of his life to give to the love of his life.
“Amanda Kristine Bauer, will you marry me.”
Amanda brought her hands to her face in shock and surprise, and with eyes wide searched his face for security, for surety. He was the man she dreamed of, the one she knew she could trust with her heart, and took only a moment to assure him with a jubilant, “YES!”
After they embraced, kissed and cried…a little, she said, “I wish my mom was here”, and Mary who was closer to the pair, now rounding from a nearby grass bush, said, “Amanda over here, your mother is here!” They all hugged, cried, and celebrated.
Austin in celebration, picked up his bride to be and carried her off into the sunset, those are the kinds of pictures everyone dreams of, and they have them because Jayme and Russ cared to take them. There will be more too, keep up with the story, they now have a wedding to plan!