How we met
Five years ago, I met Christian. Back then, he was just some goofy kid that I never really paid attention to. We talked in passing, but it seemed like nothing more than another friendship. A year later, he began to express interest in me. I said no…. about a hundred times. For six months, he tried to remain platonic, but did a terrible job at hiding his feelings. Finally, I gave in. It took me six months to catch up to him, and I would quickly realize how precious those sixth months could have been. About two years into dating, Christian had a stroke. Yes, it is strange that someone so young would have a stroke. No, we don’t know what caused it. Yes, it was tough. It was by far the hardest obstacle our relationship had ever faced. Two teenagers who had barely seen the world beyond high school suddenly had to experience something that most married adults have trouble overcoming. Just as we were getting our start, we were set back. He was quite literally starting at square one. He couldn’t read, could barely talk, and forgot almost everyone’s names- except mine (and President Obama’s). Suddenly, we weren’t your average high school sweethearts. Our journey had a second start, ultimately leading us to where we are now: happily engaged.
how they asked
Christian’s sister, McKenzie, is a photographer and had posted on Facebook about a cancelled engagement session she had planned for Valley of Fire. Still wanting to scout the location, she offered a free photo session. It had been years since Christian and I took formal pictures so I eagerly signed us up. I was so nervous to tell him because he absolutely hates taking pictures, but he reluctantly agreed. Once we got to Valley of Fire, I made it my mission to make the experience as painless as possible for him, but he was quiet. I was certain he was having a terrible experience, but little did I know, it was just nerves. We changed into our second outfits, and went to this incredible rock formation in the park. After a few minutes of climbing over rocks in my heels, we found a spot for some pictures.
McKenzie told us to “face away from each other”, and I turned away. Christian walked over to the camera bag and pulled out a small box. He walked over to my and grabbed my hand. I immediately started crying. He bent down on one knee, and said “Caroline Anne McCullough, will you marry me?”
Through the tears, and believe me they’re were plenty, I said yes and immediately followed it with an “are you sure?” He laughed and said he was, and I continued to cry. It got to the point where Christian wanted to put the ring on my finger but I was still in shock, so he had to get up. As soon as I saw the ring I cried even more. All you could hear were my sobs and the clicking of McKenzie’s camera.
After I finally pulled myself together, McKenzie asked me if we wanted to do an engagement session, to which I immediately answered “YES!”. We went to this area of the park called Fire Canyon just as the sun was starting to set, and we were nothing but smiles for the rest of the evening.