My first memory of meeting Craig is permanently stamped on my mind because of how much I had liked him without even knowing him. Though he was a year older and had just graduated from a college two hours from mine (Virginia Tech and James Madison University, respectively), it was good ‘ol Glen Spey, New York that brought us two together. We both were interning at a Young Life camp, a non-profit Christian ministry, for the whole summer and I have never been more thankful for a work opportunity as I have been for that one. In early May, Craig and a friend walked into the dining hall to meet the fellow interns that had gotten to camp before they had (myself included). All of the young women giggled as they met Craig’s friend, Brendan, because he was bold, confident, and attractive. However, my eyes immediately found Craig and quite frankly, my eyes were stuck there. He had this extremely shy, polite, and reserved demeanor that I absolutely adored. I automatically thought, “I like him. The shy one.”
As soon as we left the dining hall, Craig and I had “just happened” to have found each other as walking buddies. Craig was the EMT that summer, and I had just broken my foot, so I found this as the perfect excuse to have him examine my broken bone (also known as, to have him give me special attention). We talked for hours the first night we met, which even included Craig skipping out on playing basketball with the boys so we could spend more time together. The summer of 2012 included a lot of visits to the ropes course (where I was stationed) from the adorable EMT, hours walking around camp together getting to know each other, and a relationship that evolved into camp love.
Fast forward 442 days and you will find yourself on November 17, 2013, which was the day Craig proposed. Exactly one week prior to our proposal was when I started to suspect he was going to ask the question of a lifetime. You just know when the person you know best is acting just…_off_. Once he asked about this upcoming week’s schedule and wanting to randomly hike on Sunday, I had a feeling he was planning something incredible. I had coffee with a friend on Tuesday and confided my suspicions to her. “Leslie, I have this strange feeling Craig is going to propose one week from today.” But like any twenty-two year old, you never want to assume you’re being proposed to incase he does not. I tried and tried all week to make sure my suspicions did not become assumptions, and thankfully it worked. Once Sunday came, I wondered that maybe we truly were just taking a beautiful morning hike (something we had wanted to do for months).
Craig picked me up at 6:45AM (he was running late, maybe because he was running on three hours of sleep, or maybe because being late is his thing), we picked up breakfast, and started driving an hour to our destination. Conversation on the drive was casual and normal so I did not suspect anything. Once we arrived, we gathered belongings and headed towards the trail.
The hike is funny to think about because, if I’m being honest, has no real significance to the either of us. Furthermore, we were surrounded by chubby young boy scouts and a tourist family as we hiked. I found the boy scouts hilarious and adorable, so Craig and I spent most of the hike giggling and talking about them. Once we reached an incredibly scenic overlook, I automatically sat down because I grew nervous that he might actually propose. He then told me he had something for me and as he drew a letter from his backpack, I knew this was it. Craig asked me to stand up and I grew extremely excited and nervous at the same time.
He started to read a beautiful letter to me, but instead of listening, I skimmed over the letter to see if the words “Will you marry me, Rebecca?” were there. Thankfully and luckily, they were! Before I could comprehend what was going on I realized he was down on one knee asking me to be his wife forever. The rest of the day included lots of hiking back, hours spent alone marveling at my ring and the months prior to this day, and then celebrating with our best friends and family. I am thankful for our simple, yet quirky proposal story because it reflects who we are as a couple.
Photos by Kimberly Florence Photography