How We Met
The beginning of my version of our story starts while I was on vacation in San Clemente, CA with my family.
On August 3 of 2018, I received a DM (Direct Message) from Josh that said, “Hey I know I don’t really know you but I’d kinda like a shot.” I, like most people I assume, had no idea how to respond to this message, but will admit I was intrigued! Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Emily are you nuts? Don’t respond to someone sliding into your DM’s on Instagram. Has no one ever told you not to talk to strangers?” It’s true I didn’t know Josh, but I did know that he came from a good family.
You see, our families go way back! My mom and Sherrie, Josh’s mom, grew up together in Hinkley, CA. And just 90 miles away in Chino, CA my dad and Ken, Josh’s dad, were going to school together at Ontario Christian. Flash forward a couples years later to the days of “Tuesday Night Life” some of you might be familiar with this small group or may have even attended! For those of you that don’t know, it was a young adults group that my Grandpa and Grandma Vande Steeg hosted at their home every Tuesday. Both of our parents ended up being regulars at this group and Sherrie (who I can attest is quite the matchmaker) set my parents up on a double date with her and Kenny and the rest is history! I told you, we go way back. Actually further still, but that’s a story for another day, and I do not know how to explain Dutch Bingo! Our parents remained friends after all these years and I got to meet the famous Kenny and Sherrie in 2007 when we stopped by on our way through Hinkley for a visit.
Back to current day, Josh and I surprisingly hit it off right away after that initial text. Those texts quickly turned into phone calls and those quickly turned into 3-hour FaceTime sessions that lasted till 1 o’clock in the morning most nights. On the weekend of September 1st of 2018, Josh got on an airplane and met me in person for the first time since we were 10. I was so nervous I got us lost in the Denver airport trying to find our way to my car! I had planned a weekend of exploring Colorado together and decided on hiking the Hanging Lake Trail in Glennwood Springs. At the top of the hike, Josh asked me to be his girlfriend and then 5 months later he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him in the exact same spot at the top of Hanging Lake Trail.
How They Asked
My side of the story starts a couple of weeks before Emily’s does. You see, I knew of Emily for a long time through our families but never thought I would date her. One night I was complaining to my mom Sherrie, that because I had graduated and moved home I was never going to find a girl. My mom, the matchmaker, then showed me Emily’s Instagram profile and urged me to talk to her. After stalking her Instagram for a few minutes I realized two things. One, she is gorgeous. Two, it would never work because she lived in COLORADO! But I figured why not? What do I have to lose? And decided to just follow Emily on Instagram. Lucky for me, she followed me back and I spent the next couple days thinking about her a lot and contemplating if I should try to talk to her! Again I thought, “What have I got to lose?” If she doesn’t respond I never have to see her and face the embarrassment. This seemed like a no brainer to me so I starting thinking of how I would strike up a conversation. I didn’t want to be weird and just say “hey” because first impressions matter! So I hit her with “Hey, I know I don’t really know you but I’d kind of like a shot”. Yep, that’s a George Straight lyric and you know what it worked! After spending the next month talking to her every night till midnight and dragging my butt to work the next morning I figured I better actually meet this girl in person. So I hopped on a flight to Colorado to see Emily with the intention of asking her to be my girlfriend!
Only five months later, hundreds of dollars in plane tickets, and 30 airline flights later, I knew she was the one and I knew I needed to ask her to be my wife. I had the perfect plan! I had her family meet us at the top of Hanging Lake, which was the first hike Emily and I ever did, to film and take pictures of the whole event. the hike is only a mile but you gain 1,000 ft in elevation and it’s basically a straight-up staircase! I was as nervous as could be the morning Emily and I set off to my planned proposal spot where her family was hiding and waiting for us. After we had hiked a quarter mile up Emily tells me, “Josh I have to use a restroom…like right now.” I spent a couple of minutes trying to convince her to hold it but she wasn’t sold on that idea so we hiked all the way back down to the parking lot. After Emily gave me the okay that she was ready to finish the hike we headed back up the mountain, at this point, I am really nervous! After taking numerous rest stops along the way we finally made it to the top! I guided us towards the spot that I had planned out. With my heart beating out of my chest I got down on one knee and asked Emily to spend the rest of her life with me, and she said YES! Man am I LUCKY!