Claudia and Felipe
How We Met
I don’t know where to really begin telling our story. I remember meeting Felipe years ago when I was around 11 or 12 years old, but he says he doesn’t remember it. Our church used to do bible studies in peoples homes, so we would do that every week. One day, this lady offered her home and we went (I was about 11 or 12) andthat’ss when I see this super cute guy come out of the kitchen. He was tall, had cute dimples, and a super cute face. Being Hispanic, it’s rude to not say hi to a guest so his mom made him come out and say hi to everyone. As he was going around shaking everyones hand my best friend nudged me and whispered, “that guy is super cute.” I was like, “I know. How old do you think he is?” Then he came up to us and shook our hands with a big smile where you could see his dimples and I just melted. When he left the room my friend leaned over again and was like, “I bet he likes you” and I just laughed because in my head I didn’t think a guy like that could like me and anyways I was just 11 or 12. Fast forward 2 years later…his mom was still attending our church but I never saw him again. I always hoped he would come to church, but he never did. I always thought he was super cute, but because he didn’t go to church I didn’t think anything of it really. But one Sunday, our church was super small and I was in the choir so when we would be on stage we would be facing the doors to outside. That Sunday I remember singing and then I see through the doors his mom walking and right behind her was the guy! The super cute, tall, and cutest dimples ever guy! My heart was beating a million miles per hour and I just couldn’t believe he went.
After church, I went up to him and introduced myself and he just smiled and said nice to meet you. I was 14 at that time and he was 18. When I found out how old he was I was like no way is this guy ever going to like me because 1) he’s 4 years older than me & 2) he’s super cute. We became friends instantly and he started going to church more often. That was the summer of 2008 and that fall in September our church had a camp retreat. We would have a camp retreat every year and it was always my favorite thing. That fall, I found out Felipe was going and I knew it was going to be the best retreat ever. When we got to the cabin, we all put our stuff away and then we went and had a bonfire outside. We sang some worship songs and then people shared testimonies. That whole time Felipe was sitting next to me and I couldn’t really pay attention because the cute guy was next to me! Anyways, after the bonfire we went back to the cabin and the women made some snacks for everyone and people sat out in the living area and talked. We had a special guest who is a Pastor from Mexico come and join us so she took out her guitar and started singing. I was sitting on the floor with my best friend and Felipe came over and sat in a chair and began talking to us. We started talking about our childhood, families, church, and everything else. You name it. My best friend ended up falling asleep and then everybody else fell asleep so it was just him and I. I remember one part of our conversation and I had asked him if he had a girlfriend (i was secretly hoping he would say no) and then he replied “no I don’t. I’m waiting on the right girl. My future wife.” I remember smiling from ear to ear and I shot a quick prayer to God saying, “God, I hope that girl is me.” We stayed up the whole night talking and getting to know each other. Before we knew it, it was 6 a.m and people were starting to wake up. They all asked us if we stayed up all night and we were just like yea…haha. That morning we had a mini service and the guest speaker said, “I heard there were people who stayed up all night. If that was you, I want you to come up to the very front.” Everybody turned and looked at Felipe and I, so we stood up and sat up front. It was worth it. We became such great friends after that and I fell deeply in love with him. I never knew if he felt the same way until 3 years later when he asked me to be his girlfriend. He told me he loved me since he first saw me and that he was always just waiting for the right time to ask me out because of our age difference. Of course, he asked my dad for permission first and then he asked me to be his girlfriend on August 9, 2011 :)
how they asked
So, Felipe and I have been dating for almost 7 years so we had talked a lot about marriage. He had always said that he would propose when I graduated from college (also because that was my dads wish lol) so I graduated this year and I knew a proposal would happen sometime soon. One day, he told me that he had a date planned out on a Saturday and I was just like ok sounds fun! He typically plans surprise dates, so to me it didn’t really mean anything. I usually ask him what I should wear and he just told me a nice dress would be good. I was like oh ok so we’re doing something fancy, huh? And he laughed and was like well just something nice for my baby. So, I was excited and that Saturday came and in the morning he stopped by my house and told me that our reservations were cancelled. I was confused and I asked him why and he mentioned that he wasn’t sure, but that the place where he made the reservation told him that they had to cancel and if he wanted to push till next Saturday and he said yes. I was a little bummed out, but I was like well thats ok we can wait for next Saturday. So, the following week, it was Friday and I was excited for our date. I asked him again what I should wear and he said a dress. He proceeded to tell me that we would be outside but only for a little bit. So, I was excited but then I started getting a little suspicious. We were running some errands that day for our church and we had stopped at the gas station to put some gas. He got out of the car and I was on my phone when I overheard him talking on the phone. I didn’t pay no mind to it until I heard him say, “Yea, we’ll meet at the place at 4:30 tomorrow.” I kind of sat there thinking, well don’t we have our date tomorrow? And automatically I thought maybe he was proposing, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. He got in the car and I didn’t mention anything to him. Next day, we had baptisms at the lake so I still had that conversation in mind. I asked my sister what her plans were for that day and she just said she was going to be home all day planning for VBS. I just thought, ok then maybe he’s not proposing, we’re just having a date. We left right after the baptisms so he could drop me off at home so I could get ready. Once I was ready, he picked me up in a suit and gave me rose. I felt so special and then we got in the car and headed out to wherever he planned to have the date. When he got in the car he had a gift bag inside and he told me that he would give it to me once we arrived at the place. I was like okay…..and then he took off his suit and folded it on his lap.
He began driving with his suit on his lap and I leaned over to grab it and told him I would put it on my seat so it wouldn’t get wrinkled. When I reached over he pulled it away and said, “no its ok I’ll put it away.” He held onto it a few more seconds and then put it in the backseat. I got a little suspicious when he did that, but I tried to pay no mind to it. I really didn’t want to think anything of it because if he was proposing I just wanted to be surprised, so I put some music and started to sing along. Halfway to the place, Felipe tells me to put the Mia and Sebastian’s theme from La La Land. We’re both lovers of that movie and especially that song, so I put it and then he kept requesting love songs. I thought it was super sweet and I think now that he was starting to get nervous, but also feeling the moment if that makes sense. After a few more minutes of driving and listening to music, he lowered the volume and told me we were going to trip down to memory lane. Then he asked me if I recognized where we were. I looked around and didn’t recognize anything and I said no. Where we were was a lot of hills and trees and it looked absolutely beautiful. He, then, got off the freeway and then quickly said, “don’t look over there!” and I turned and he was blocking his driver-seat window. I was confused but proceeded to look away. He got a call from my brother-in-law and I just overheard him say some numbers and then hang up. When he hung up he told me that my BIL was giving him a number to his card because he was borrowing it to buy some car part. Idk I was just like oh ok.
Felipe loves cars and so does my BIL so I didn’t really pay no mind. He was driving through the countryside already and then I saw a sign that said Mount Lebanon. Right when I saw that my heart started racing. Felipe then said you remember this place right? And I said yea…we were here almost 10 years ago and he said yea that’s right. Then he pulled up to a gate and pressed some numbers on the keypad. The gate then opened and we went through. Felipe started talking and he said that he wanted to make a quick stop here to just remember the old days. He pulled up to a cabin and asked me if I remembered it. I nodded and told him it was the place where we both stayed up all night talking. He parked the car and there was no one in sight. We got out and he grabbed the gift bag. We walked towards the cabin and he handed me the bag and told me to open it. Inside was a journal where we both wrote notes to each other at the beginning of our relationship. I laughed when I saw it and told him its the journal he never gave me back. I said that because like I said we would write each other letters and when we would see each other we would give the journal so he or I could read it and write back and so on. The last letter I wrote him was in 2014 I believe and that’s when he never gave it back. I opened the journal and he told me to go to the last page that he wrote me. I flipped through the pages and then I found the letter dated in 2015.
The most thoughtful, sweetest, and beautiful letter ever. I was smiling from ear to ear reading that letter and when I got to the last sentence that’s when I knew it was happening. Felipe started talking and then he said for us to go inside the cabin. He opened the door and when I turned I saw my sister and two friends of mine standing there. Felipe pointed at the middle of the living area and asked me if I remember sitting there with him 10 years ago. I nodded and then the tears came. He looked at me and told me how he fell deeply in love with me that night. Then he started crying and told me how much he loved me and would never stop loving me. He even mentioned how he loved me more than Chick-Fil-A (he’s obsessed with it lol). Then he reached into his pocket, pulled out a box, kneeled down and asked if I would be by his side forever. I cried and said, “of course!” He stood up and we hugged and it was just the sweetest moment ever. At that moment his family and my family came out from the rooms and some of our closest friends and they all cheered. There were hugs and tears and shouts of joy. It was the best day ever!
And I just want to share a little about when my BIL called him to give him the numbers. Those numbers were to open up the gate to the area. Felipe had mentioned to me that he had called a few weeks back to the place to see if he could rent out the cabin, but they had said no because it was only for church or big events. He, then, decided to wing it and just go because he assumed it would be open anyway. Since my family went, they got there early and when they arrived the gate was closed. Nobody was around to open until this car pulled up and opened up the gate. They followed behind the car until the car disappeared. Since Felipe’s family wasn’t there yet, they tried to find the car again to get the pin. They didn’t find it, but then his family said when they pulled up to the gate, this car pulled up and they asked for the pin and the guy gave it to them, no questions asked. Our family and friends were able to get in without any trouble. Once they got to the cabin they assumed the place was locked until my friend checked the door. It was wide open and the lights and A/C was on. Once we went to Felipe’s house after he proposed they were all telling us how amazing things worked out. They didn’t think anything was going to open and also there was no one in sight. Once those car had went inside they never saw those cars again. God was just on our side and blessed that day for us. It was such a special day!!