where we met
HEB Grocery Company, the largest independent owned retail business in Texas, operates over 300 stores throughout the state of Texas. Amber & Justin met at Austin's Parmer Lane & McNeil location in May of 1999 where they both were working part time while still in high school.
They both worked in the service department at the cash registers. From their initial meeting, they knew each other as acquaintances and it was not until June of 2001 where they became more familiar with one another. Justin was then a member of management and Amber worked in the bookkeeping office. They met numerous times to deal with store issues and concerns. Still, neither one had a cupid arrow locked and loaded because they both were involved with other people.
Come the end of June 2001, Amber had plans to leave town to move to California to be closer to her now, ex- boyfriend. Amber and Justin exchanged goodbye's with wishful hearts for life to bring the best to both of them, never thinking their paths would cross again. Little did they know that Amber would return back home in mid- November, after a rocky relationship would lead to breakup. Justin, then in College Station finishing up his first semester at Texas A&M, returned home in December for Christmas break. They both continued work back at HEB and found each other communicating a lot more and catching up on old times.
One night in December, when Amber wasn't working, she found herself hovering around the service department trying to round up friends to go see a movie. As fate would have it, the only available person to go to the movie that night was Justin.* (*Note: it should be stated that the reason Justin was able to leave work and no one else could was because Justin's best friend Joseph was the manager that night.) Justin and Amber then went to the movie theatre to see "Oceans Eleven". With that, a beautiful friendship began, and a bond was formed.
Little did they know that not three weeks later, a social gathering to celebrate the new year would change their lives forever.
how it all began....
ONCE a long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away.......
Two hearts had just found there way out of loves that left them empty and with no where to go. It was was a cold, gray winter that year, with forecasts calling for heartaches and lonely nights. As both hearts barely kept a beat, they longed for a change of any kind. Just so long as they could leave the past behind.
December 31, of XXXX is always the one day of the year where the winds of change take off with the breeze, in light of bringing new beginnings when the clock strikes midnight. On this particular day in 2001, Justin found himself surrounded by good friends in an old barn house of off Highway 95 in Elgin, Texas. He shared laughter with friends old and new, talked about the past and all the old crazy stories that bring boys together.
In hopes of throwing the biggest party in the history of New Years, friends from all over were invited to join in on the celebration. Some faces held familiar grins, and some were a book yet to be unopened and read. One of the particular people invited was a broken heart named Amber, the most beautiful girl in the world. She and her friends arrived to dance the night away just moments before the ball dropped in New York and we all toasted with glasses held high. As the countdown started, and a new year began, neither of us new the wonderful changes to come.
After a few rounds of a wonderful cinnamon flavored "kool-aid" beverage, Justin and Amber began to mingle while playing a deadly game of pool. (Only deadly because the traditional rules of pool were tossed aside and new rules of consuming vast amounts of "kool-aid" resulted from making a ball in a pocket) We enjoyed talked and laughing with each other and with all the friends around us. Soon, after time began ticking away, all normal masked faces and fake identities, hidden truths and realizations floated to the surface that would change our destiny forever.
Justin had a weakness for "kool-aid". After consuming numerous rounds of this particular substance, his image of always saying the right things and never taking chances seemed to fade away. You see, little did Amber know that Justin had held inside secret and hidden feelings for her that had developed by their working relationship at HEB. With all the courage in the world and without a fear in his body, Justin approached Amber and wanted to tell her everything he felt inside. Not even sure of the outcome of his actions, he took a chance and put his heart in the palm of the sweetest girl alive (aside of his mother Charyse of course).
They moved their conversation upstairs overlooking the the balcony where they could see the party below and all the headaches that would soon fill the room in the morning. Right then and there as they sat side by side, Justin poured out his heart and told Amber exactly how he felt about her. He told her how beautiful she was, how she made him feel inside, what a great person she was and on and on.......(this statement cannot be proven unfortunately. come to find out, after the fact, neither Justin or Amber could remember the exact bits and pieces of the conversation). After Justin had spilled his heart out, just hoping Amber would embrace him, she did just that...................she "spilled" all over him, only not with words. Amber decided to share something else with Justin, what she had for breakfast that morning. Justin found all the goodies covering his cotton shirt and the floor below. Though shocked and surprised, immediately attended to the mess with the help of his best friend Joseph. After attending to the mess and changing shirts Justin returned to Amber hoping for a second chance at sharing her feelings. Instead, Amber was fast asleep on a nearby bed looking as beautiful as ever off in dreamland. Justin sat down beside her and touched her cheek and left that moment with a kiss. Amber had in fact embraced Justin, even if not by words. With a kiss. And from that moment on, that kiss sealed their fate and their quest for true love.
will you go out with me?
Just three days after the New Years bash, Justin and Amber found themselves watching a movie at Justin's house cuddled up on the living room couch. It was then, during the early hours of the morning, that their dating relationship became official, at 1:08am to be exact. At that moment, Justin presented Amber with a small clock, and the time of that clock was adjusted to always be 1:08, so that they would never forget when their special relationship began.
Ironically though, Amber didn't actually know that she was in fact "officially" dating Justin. It was the following day when they were both working at HEB when this was realized. Justin had told his best friend and co-manager Joseph the good news and Joseph immediately went to amber to congratulate her. Amber was confused by the topic of discussion, but at least she was aware of it now. (Apparently, Justin 'beat-around-the-bush' when "asking" Amber to go out with him) Glad we got that straightened up!
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
George Clooney - the idea man
Julia Roberts - the wild card
Matt Damon - the rookie
Andy Garcia - the target
Brad Pitt - the pro
Justin & Ambers first unofficial date was to see the blockbuster drama "Oceans Eleven" on December 17th, 2001. The movie was later named "their movie" after they began their relationship as a couple. Though this flick may not seem to some like a very romantic and worthy movie to represent two people's love, Justin & Amber read between the lines and found a reason.
Danny Ocean was dubbed a "thief" in the movie for his actions with his team to rob three Vegas casinos and for stealing the heart back of ex-wife Tess. Tess played the part of the "liar" because she told Danny she had gotten rid of the wedding ring that represented the love they shared when really she had always had it awaiting the day things would turn around. In Justin & Ambers 'real world' relationship, Justin is the "thief" because he stole Ambers heart. Amber is the "liar" simply because, well......someone needs to play the part of the beautiful girl and she is the most beautiful girl in the world.
(it was because of this movie that 'our' number became 11)
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
While it is not uncommon for successful blockbuster Hollywood films to attempt to profit even more with the making of a sequel, it is very uncommon for a romantically involved couple to have "their movie" post a second act. Released three years after Ocean's Eleven, the initial theatre experience for Justin and Amber formed what was the beginning of a friendship and dating relationship filled with love.
It seemed only fitting to continue the trend of allowing main character Danny Ocean's movies to lay the bricks for the advancement of our relationship. The December 2004 release of Ocean's Twelve formed a permanent bond of Justin and Amber's love, by formal engagement.
Note: More will be included after seeing the movie!
(this movie also changed "our number" from 11 to 12)
.....You're thinking....these people have gone over the edge.......
"Good Morning Beautiful"
Artist: Steve Holy
CD: Blue Moon (2001)
Writers - Todd Cerney/Zach Lyle
From me to her:
After a New Years Eve party 2001 Justin and Amber awoke the next morning and the first thing Justin said to Amber as he looked into her beautiful blue eyes was "good morning beautiful." The phrase was taken from the current country music hit by Steve Holy and became the theme to their relationship. Each morning Justin always ensures Amber is reminded of how beautiful she is and how much she is appreciated. This is very special song and each time they here it, the world seems to stop and smiles seem to fill their faces.
"Put Your Best Dress On"
Artist: Steve Holy
CD: TBA (to be announced) (2004)
Writers - unknown
From me to her:
It seems that certain things in life are just meant to be. In preparation for Justin's marriage proposal for the Ocean's Twelve movie debut, around the same time country artist Steve Holy released this song as his fourth-ever single. While most singles are designed to promote a current or upcoming album, this song did nothing of the sort. It was just perfect timing and addressed once again, a loving relationship. While "Good Morning Beautiful" is very innocent, as to symbolize our beginnings, this song is about a couple that has been together for awhile, trying to break away from the daily grind of life to find time for themselves, they way that they used to. It is a very mature song and fits perfectly as Justin and Amber take their relationship to the next level.
The songs video also goes along with the proposal event Justin planned. Steve Holy is seen preparing things for a surprise party in their apartment as his significant other arrives. Steve quickly hides what he was working on in the microwave as she comes in the door and sends her off to get ready for a night on the town as he puts the last things together. Steve takes his girl (with her 'best dress' on of course) out for an elegant dinner and then to shoot off fireworks on the rooftop of a building across from their apartment complex. Little did she know that inside their apartment were many of their family and friends awaiting the signal of their fireworks to prepare for their arrival. Steve and his girl then entered their apartment as she was stunned and surprised by what he had done. The video ends with them hugging and kissing in the middle of the room as family and friends surround. Is it just coincidence that this is kinda like Justin's proposal plan? I think not!
Artist: Gary Allan
CD: Alright Guy (2001)
Writers - Karen Manno, Billy Lee
From her to him:
First played for Amber in Justin's Texas A&M dorm room in the Spring of 2002, identified with the powerful emotions of the song and the feelings conveyed toward the person they love. Amber somehow knew that Justin was "the one" for her, and the song found a way
emphasize that. Each time the song is heard by either of them today, it remains a constant reminder of the commitment they have to one another and how truly deep their feelings run.
New Years Eve 2001
First "I Love You"
February 3rd, 2002
February 3rd, 2002
Song: "I Dare You to Move"