Alyssa and Chip

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How We Met

“The day: February 5th, 2017. Things were looking pretty rough for him. It had been a long journey that had some bumps along the way, but on this day, in particular, things seemed a little bit hopeless. Try after try, failure after failure, things just weren’t going his way. He was always told he was a great guy – talented, good-looking, smart, hard-working, well respected by friends and strangers alike – but a good reputation doesn’t mean things will always work out. But a little hope goes a long way – and on this day, he would not let the opportunity slip through his fingers. And that’s when Tom Brady decided he’d make the greatest comeback ever and win Super Bowl LI.

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Meanwhile, a similar story was unfolding with another young man. And when she walked into the room he realized that there still might be some hope after all. This was, of course, the day Chip met Alyssa. The two talked about life, family, and Kentucky Volleyball. He thought she was cute and down-to-earth. She thought he was kind and easy to talk to.

STRUCK BY LOVE… ERR, BY A VOLLEYBALL

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It wasn’t until after the Super Bowl party that we decided we should spend more time together. I (Chip) invited Lyss to come to play pick-up Volleyball at our church gym on a Wednesday night. It seemed like a logical invite seeing as Lyss was a DI Volleyball player at UK. The first night was great. Lyss was spunky and fun – she was a great mix of competitive and playful. Naturally, I asked her to come back and play again the next week. The next week we got to play on the same team. We were standing in the back row and about to serve to receive.

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The server hit a rocket over the net that blasted Lyss right in the face… hard. If you’re picturing that scene from Meet the Parents, you’re on the right track. You might think that’s pretty embarrassing for someone who played DI Volleyball. Normally I would agree, but you have to cut the girl some slack – she was so mesmerized by looking at me that she got distracted. Anyway… the poor girl got a concussion and was sensitive to light and sound for like 4 weeks.

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THE EARLY STUFF

So, Volleyball was put on the shelf and I had to find a way to get Lyss to hang out. I invited her to lunch at Loma and said that my friend Beth was coming too. Ok… I know how that sounds. “Chip! You asked a girl out to lunch and invited another girl to be there?!?!” Well, yes… but it was just Beth – she’s like my sister. I was trying to make it casual! Anyway, the three of us had a nice little lunch and then Beth left and Lyss and I had someone on one time. Happy now?! At this point, we were trying to feel things out to see if there was something between us. As I recall I invited her to the caf (and I totally paid… well, I scanned her in, so it was like I paid) and we had some more good time to chat. Soon after we made a coffee date and the only time we had was a Friday morning at 7 am. I think the fact we both made that work showed our interest in each other.

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Then, one day in March AJ, Jordan, and Judah was in town visiting. We were out at breakfast and Lyss texted me to see if I wanted to go for a walk. I told her she could meet up with us in OB. This was the first day she had met any of my family. We walked out on the pier and then got carne asada quesadillas for lunch. Then we watched some PLNU baseball and met back up with my fam for dinner at Pizza Nova. Let me tell you… a girl who loves pizza and Mexican food – yes, please. Lyss hung out all day and stayed up late playing games at my place with some friends and watching The Office with AJ and Jordan. Little did we know that Jordan secretly took a picture of us and texted my parents, “We like her!” This was the day I knew Lyss could be someone special. So the next step was to convince her to buy a season pass to Disneyland.”

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how they asked

“When I decided to propose to Alyssa I knew I wanted it to be in a special place. I thought about our first date, our first kiss, and the place where I first told her, “I love you.” Most of them just didn’t fit quite right. And then… Yosemite. Lyss and I both have fond memories of camping and hiking in the “grandest of all the special temples of Nature.” I decided to plant the idea of going on a trip to Yosemite after Lyss’ coaching season. After getting her parents’ blessing, I started to plan how I would propose. I told Lyss that I got an amazing deal on an Airbnb in Yosemite. The truth was that several of our close friends decided to go in on it together so we could celebrate together.

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Lyss and I drove up from San Diego the week after Thanksgiving. We stayed at my parents’ house for a night and then drove to the park early on Friday morning. We did our best to hold our breath as we drove through the long tunnel to the view of Yosemite Valley (I totally made it). We got out to see the view and then went on a hike to Artist Point.

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After the hike, we drove down into the valley floor. I told her that I wanted to take some pictures in a few places. We walked around a bit and then we headed to Yosemite Chapel. This was the moment that my heart started beating out of my chest. I knew we were walking to the spot where I would pop the question. As we approached the chapel we noticed a bag was left out by itself all alone. As we got closer, Lyss realized that the bag had her name on it, along with flowers and a bottle of champaign. That’s when she knew what was happening. I got down on my knee and talked to her about how much I loved her and looked forward to experiencing life with her. I asked her to marry me and she said, “yeah… I mean yes, yes!” Our friend Megan was hiding in the chapel and rang the bell which echoed through the valley floor.

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The moment was perfect. The park was empty… apparently, the week after Thanksgiving is the time to go to Yosemite. Our friend Garrett, (Megan’s husband) was there to take our photos. He and Megan helped make it a perfect moment for us. We sat for an hour in amazement at the beauty and emotion of the occasion.”

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Special Thanks

Garrett Richardson
 | Photographer
Megan Richardson
 | Planning