Anna and Colton

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How We Met

I first remember meeting Colton in the teen program at Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference on June 30th, 2013. My family has a cottage at Maranatha and Colton’s family stays there for a week every year over the 4th of July. Colton first remembers seeing me sitting in church sometime before high school. We both grew up attending Maranatha since we were born. Little did we know that we would fall in love 20 some years later!

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Long Story Short, it all started in the summer of 2013. We met during a teen program and instantly were interested in one another. Colton somehow got my number from me that night and we ended up going to watch the fireworks in Grand Haven with his family. Over the next couple summers, we would meet up and see one another the weeks he was at Maranatha. We were still interested in one another, but never really committed to anything serious. We shared many fun memories over the four summers like watching fireworks together over the 4th, playing lacrosse on the beach, jumping the fence to swim in Maranatha’s pool in the middle of the night with all of our friends, and many more memories that would eventually lead to us finally dating in the summer of 2017. The summer of 2017 was a blast! Colton would come to the cottage pretty much every weekend. These weekends were spent hanging out on the lake, paddle boarding, walking the beach with my dog, running family 5ks (my dad and Colton ran together like every weekend lol) and taking trips to Grand Haven/ Downtown Muskegon for dates. Over the course of the summer, we became very close and realized we really wanted to be with each other. Forever. So that leads to the next part of the story.

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how they asked

The Proposal: LIKE WOW – Colton truly surprised me!

To begin, I had no idea that Colton was coming to see me for my birthday. Colton drove down from Michigan to Virginia (I go to Liberty University) on Wednesday, Dec. 6th to scope out the proposal location and plan the next day with my sister (Emily). Colton planned out an adventure with Emily and my good friend Kina (she loves to take photos so it was not unusual that she was taking pictures during the adventure). On Wednesday night, my sister gave me my birthday letter from Colton with the instructions to read it first thing in the morning. The next morning, I read the letter which described the day Colton had planned out for me and how sorry he was that he could not be there for my birthday. That day, Emily and Kina picked me up from class and gave me my next note from Colton which contained clues as to my next destination.

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The first stop was the restaurant where we had our first date in Lynchburg. There I opened a little present and read his next note. The second stop was the location of where he asked me to be his girlfriend, our friend’s house in Lynchburg. There I opened another little present and read another note. The third stop (Cole Mountain) was one Colton and me had never been to, but in his note, he mentioned how we always have an amazing time adventuring to new places.

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As I neared the top, I took out my phone to take pictures (which is funny because if you zoom in you can see Colton standing in the background). Satisfied with my picture taking skills, I lowered my phone to enjoy the view… only to be interpreted by Emily saying “Anna” … then and only then did I put two and two together… Colton was standing at the top. I was so shocked to see him! I literally felt like I was in a dream when he got down on one knee and proposed!

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I am beyond blessed that I get to marry my best friend and the love of my life!

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Special Thanks

Kina Grotenhuis
 | Photographer