IF I HAVE LEARNED ONE THING FROM PHOTOGRAPHING COUPLES, I HAVE LEARNED THAT NO ONE COUPLE IS ALIKE, THERE IS NO SCRIPT, THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY. OUR LOVE STORIES ARE UNIQUE TO ALL OF US, AND THIS IS THE STORY OF DIRK AND DREW.
Drew is your small town American girl, growing up on a farm and ranch in Atwood, Colorado, where she loved the idea of being her dad's "right-hand man", she would help him take care of livestock and he even taught her how to set irrigation tubes. Agriculture, particularly livestock, has always been apart of her life, it comes as no surprise that this girl's passions were influenced by her parents fondness for agriculture. Farming and ranching isn't just a "hobby" for the Carlson family but it is a way of life, this is how they make their living.
One-hundred and thirty two miles away in Kiowa, Colorado, a boy named Dirk grew up living a modest lifestyle. His family owned a small cattle operation raising a few head of commercial cows. This is where he gained a greater desire to pursue agriculture. Little did he know that his love for agriculture would introduce him to some pretty amazing people from across the country and ultimately the love of his life.
THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION INCLUDES 275,454 INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN AGRICULTURE, SO HOW IN THE WORLD DID THESE TWO HAPPEN TO MEET AND FALL IN LOVE?
They both grew up showing livestock in 4-H, Drew showing hogs, cattle and goats while Dirk showed hogs and cattle. There came a time when Drew was faced with a difficult decision...sports or livestock? Although this choice was tough, given her background and passion for agriculture it comes as no surprise that she ended up choosing livestock. In a way you could say it was God's plan for her, if she wouldn't have chosen livestock chances are that she probably wouldn't have ever met Dirk. Her love for agriculture played a key role in her future decisions, including attending Colorado State University. For Dirk, his participation in agriculture started at a young age and he was even fortunate enough to take his livestock judging career to the collegiate level at Colorado State University.
Thanks to CSU and a group of mutual friends Dirk and Drew knew of each other before they even met, but one August summer day at the Colorado State Fair the stars aligned (or in this case, mutual friends aligned). The moment was brief, and according to Dirk "I really hated to see her go". HOW SWEET!! Drew admits that she definitely thought he was cute. She was drawn to his hilarious, storyteller personality. Despite Dirk's friendly flirting Drew's grounded personality initially led her to believe he was too outgoing for her and nothing more than a crush, and maybe friends would develop.
SPOILER ALERT, THEIR STORY DOESN'T END HERE. DIRK WOULD HAVE ONE MORE SHOT AT THIS GIRL AT A FIREND'S BACK TO SCHOOL BBQ...
You could say the rest is history, and somewhere along the line hanging out turned into dating. A majority of their free time is spent with family or pursuing the next livestock endeavor, however the couple are self proclaimed 80 years old in 23 year old bodies! Life is pretty simple and grounded for Drew and Dirk. Two wonderful years passed by filled with lots of love and lots of memories, but one memory sticks out specifically for Dirk.
THIS WAS THE MOMENT HE KNEW SHE WAS THE ONE! GET YOUR TISSUES READY FOLKS.
AND THEN CAME THE PROPOSAL...YOU KNOW THE SAYING, THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY?
As any gentleman would, Dirk found the time to ask Drew's family and best friend for permission, before he asked the big question! Thankfully, everyone said yes! That was that, and when October 21st rolled around he knew it was time.
HIS SIDE: Considering Drew's personality being shy, not high maintenance, or in any sense, flashy, I was pretty simple in my approach. However I did have to do it in front of my family and even my two grandparents that she had just met for the first time, in order to keep her from any suspicion. So I went inside to "grab" something and on my way back out, I threw the box to Drew, saying "here, catch", putting a lot of faith in her athletic ability. Luckily, she caught it in confusion not having the slightest idea of what was inside the box. As I started to take a knee, her eyes lit up, BUT not with excitement. Instead it was a look of shock, while she was thinking to herself, no no no...please don't do this in front of everybody. But when the dust settled, she finally said "sure". #bestdayever
HER SIDE: I had no idea it was happening, but we were at his parents house for the weekend I remember him acting strange while he was on the phone with his sister. He was so anxious for her to get there, and he TRIED to play it off like he was being completely normal. Anyway, he walked into the room and tossed a box with a bow on it at me. Me being oblivious, thought it was my birthday gift he forgot to get me...maybe like a necklace or something? The rest in kind of a blur, but I do remember him telling me to open it up and I held it behind my back questioning when on earth he asked my parents. Once he actually got the chance to ask, I replied with "sure, I guess" (if you know me, that response doesn't come by surprise). I almost forgot the "best" part...he did this IN FRONT OF HIS ENTIRE FAMILY. (Also, if you know me, I would SO not approve of having an audience for this kind of event) However, I have to say, I was fortunately wearing my "comfort attire"...a Carhartt vest and a ball cap, so good job Dirk.
WEDDING BELLS, HOW IS THE COUPLE PLANNING FOR THE BIG DAY?
Between harvest, weaning, shipping, pre conditioning...the list goes on, the ONE date approved by the entire family is October 6th, 2018. Drew is excited because she has always LOVED fall weddings. Dirk is voting for a HUGE wedding, because he truly enjoys getting groups of people together that he hasn't seen in awhile and even people seen frequently, just to celebrate everyone's good company. Drew's personality probably reflects that more of a small wedding, however after thinking about it she will probably vote for a bigger wedding as well. She loves her family, her friends, and she loves her family friends from Stoneham and Northeast Colorado communities!
CONTIUING FAMILY TRADITIONS IN NORTHEASTERN COLORADO AND RAISNING CATTLE IS ON THE HORIZON FOR THE FUTURE MR. AND MRS.
Through his heavy involvement in 4-H and livestock judging growing up, Dirk was presented with the opportunity to work for Steve Gabel, managing Magnum Feedyard. After these two love birds tie the knot, Dirk plans on continuing to pursue his passion of agriculture at Magnum. While Drew is on the hunt for her dream job, looking for something that involves the agriculture industry and communicating with others the importance of agriculture. For Drew, she describes working closely with others who are fueled by the same passion, a truly rewarding experience. Their primary goal is to find a place they can call home in Northeastern Colorado, somewhere in between Sterling and Wiggins.