How We Met
Jesse and I have known each other since middle school (sadly, that was almost 18 years ago). We had the same group of friends. We all enjoyed high school sports, walking the Martinsburg Mall, and just hanging out. We drifted apart when college came around. He went to West Virginia Wesleyan University and I stayed home to go to Shepherd University.
He ended up transferring to WVU and finishing school there. I moved to Northern Virginia to pursue my Masters Degree. Christmas of 2014 our lives changed. We reconnected at a dinner with mutual friends from high school at Buffalo Wild Wings. Jesse and I hit it off like old times, as if no time had passed. We ended up seeing each other 4 more times over that week before we both had to return to the real world, school and work. We kept in touch, but both swore off long-distance relationships.
In March 2015, Jesse planned a wine tasting adventure for us to go on during his spring break. This was our “unofficial” first date.
We were both feeling out how strongly we felt against long-distance relationships. In May, Jesse came to Northern Virginia to celebrate my birthday with me. A one day birthday celebration turned into two weekends together.
After the second weekend, we decided to take the plunge and try our luck at a long-distance relationship. Over the next year and a half, we filled our relationship with too many memories to list. Our first trip together was to Blackwater Falls, WV. We camped in the rain for two nights. Even though the weather was not on our side, we had the times of our lives. When he graduated nursing school, we decided to move in together and now live in Marshall, VA.
how they asked
When Jesse suggested that we return to Blackwater Falls for his birthday weekend on October 1st, I didn’t think anything of it. We packed up the tent and rain gear and went on our way, of course it rained again. On Saturday, October 1st 2016, Jesse’s actual birthday, it was sunny and nice so we decided to hike to our favorite waterfall in Thomas, VA, Barbershop Falls.
Once we got to the waterfall, there was hardly anyone in site. There was a nature landscape photographer about 30 yards away, and other than that we had the place to ourselves. While I was getting out the selfie stick, Jesse suggested asking the guy to take our picture instead. We were hesitant to ask because we would have to hike to him in order to get his attention. While I was setting up our tripod, Jesse decided to go ask the guy so we wouldn’t have a selfie stick clicker in all of our shots. I waited on a rock while he hiked to the photographer.
Little did I know, that when Jesse got to the photographer, the conversation was much different. Jesse introduced himself and informed the guy that he was getting ready to propose to his girlfriend. Jesse asked if he could take a couple pictures with our phone to capture the memory. The photographer introduced himself as Joe and told Jesse that he would do one better; he offered to use his professional camera and send us a jump drive with all of our memories. Joe schemed a plan with Jesse and told him that once his camera was ready for portrait shots, he would give Jesse the thumbs up to propose. Jesse and Joe hiked back to me and Joe introduced himself. Joe explained that because he had been taking landscape pictures, he needed to make some adjustments to his camera to get us in front of the waterfall.
Joe snapped a couple pictures and showed them to us for our approval. We were ecstatic. Afterwards, Joe asked if he could take a few more, just to be sure. I love pictures so I was all for it. Jesse came and put his arm around me and told me how much he loved me while Joe continued to snap. Then, the thumbs up came (which I was oblivious to). Before I knew it Jesse was down on one knee on a rock in front of the waterfall.
I remember very little after this. I remember a little red box with the most beautiful ring in it. I remember shaking like a leaf and forgetting to say “yes”.
I remember falling into his arms and thinking that this was our forever.
It was such a blessing that we hiked at the same time as Joe. We are so very grateful for the pictures he took and can’t wait to get them.
Our sneak previews were amazing!
We then hiked two more hours as an engaged couple before rushing back to the resort restaurant to call all our friends and family.