How We Met
Chris and I met on New Year’s Eve of 2011. His sister, Jamie, was one of my best friends and sorority sisters. We went to Marshall University, and he went to West Virginia University, but was home on break and tagged along with his sister. We all met up and went dancing. At some point I realized that he was pretty cute and took it upon myself to dance with him. Afterwards, we split ways and didn’t meet up again for several years. Chris moved to North Dakota following his career in the news industry and I went about my business in nursing school. During my last year of college, I went to dinner with Jamie after a home football game. She asked if it was okay if her brother came along. Of course that was fine with me and he was just as cute as I remembered. I honestly felt like there was chemistry between us, but I told myself that I was probably silly for thinking so, and if anything were meant to come of this it would. Sure enough, a couple months later we met up again and starting seeing more of each other. I found that it has never been easier to be around someone and to just be completely myself. On New Year’s Eve of 2014 my roommate and I had a Great Gatsby Party and Chris was my date. We’ve been inseparable since. I’ve never met someone so perfect for me and I truly know that we are meant to be. Several years and several thousand miles stood between us and we still found our way back to each other after only that one dance. They are right when they say if it’s meant to be, it will find a way. I thank God for this man every single day and cannot wait to see what the future holds for us.
how they asked
I knew for a long time that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Haley. I couldn’t believe my dumb luck that she wanted to be with me. I mean she’s perfect! And of all people…she liked me. Talk about being one lucky guy!
Now, I just had to get a ring. Haley told me what she liked in a ring.
- Thin rose gold band
- Oval Cut Diamond
I knew I was going to go to Calvin Broyles for the ring. My Grandma’s ring and my Mom’s ring came from there. I decided to start looking for ring the beginning of August. I wanted my dad to go with me…for moral support. That’s a big step in your life…have to have dad there. The day he wanted to go, Haley got off work at 3 in the afternoon. My dad could only go at four, so I told Haley the first of many lies leading up to the engagement. The only time I’ll ever lie to her. I told her my dad needed help moving my papaw’s lawn mower….little did she know I was going to look at rings. After a few more trips to the jewelry store, I had the perfect ring.
I picked up the ring on September 2nd, but there was only one problem. I wasn’t proposing to Haley until Friday, October the 10th. Talk about keeping a secret! More than a month, I had to keep the ring locked up in a safe. From time to time I would tell her I needed to save more money for a ring, or I would ask her what kind of ring she wanted…It was always nice when she described the ring that was already sitting at my parent’s house.
Now for the proposal plan. Haley had planned a trip to Cass Scenic Rail Road a few months back. I thought that would be the perfect place to pop the question. We were going on a Thursday/Friday. The plan was to ride the train and do all the Cass stuff on Thursday, and then go to nearby Seneca State Forest for a nice little hike Friday morning, where I was going to ask her to marry me.
After what seemed like years of not telling Haley my plan, and not telling her that I already had a ring…the time was finally here. It was time to go to Cass! We’re in the car on the way there, talk about a long trip. The whole time up there I felt like there was a 10,000-pound weight on my shoulders. I was 10 million percent sure I wanted to do this, and the same holds true for her answer. I knew she was going to say yes. It’s just a big question to ask, it’s a big life step.
Everything is going fine, we’re an hour and a half or so from Cass, and Haley is on her phone checking the weather for the trip. Thursday, as in they day we are riding up to Cass, and riding the train, perfect weather. Friday though, the day I’m popping the question, cold and rainy. Suddenly a million different things are going through my mind…Really? After planning to do this for more than a month on Friday, I’ve got to change things on the fly. Remember that 10,000 – pound weight on my shoulders??? Yeah, it’s doubled now.
We finally get to Cass, and I’m trying to figure out where I’m going to do this thing. Haley is talking about being at Cass as kid with her Dad, and I’m honestly not even listening to her. Sorry babe. I ask her if the train stops at the top of the mountain, I’d never been there before, she tells me it does. Boom! I’m going to do it there.
Before we get on the train, I insist on taking my backpack with me, and my jacket. Haley keeps telling me it’s stupid to bring the backpack because she has her purse. Little did she know her ring was in the backpack, and that was the only place I could hide it from her. After a little convincing, she reluctantly agrees that taking the backpack is not a bad idea because we can put are jackets in there. Why did I just ramble on about this dumb backpack??? Because it plays an important part here in just one minute.
The train ride up to the stopping point is 45 minutes. The train goes three miles an hour. Just imagine that. You’ve kept this secret now for more than a month, and you’ve got to ride a train for 45 minutes that goes three miles an hour. I was sweating, a lot. I had knots in my stomach. I just wanted to scream at the top of my lungs…THIS DANG THING CAN’T MOVE ANY FASTER?! Everyone was just taking in the sights and sounds, and I’m over here like…most miserable train ride ever. I just wanted to ask her to be my wife already.
We’re finally at the top of the mountain. We’re getting off the train, and the conductor says, you’ve got 30 minutes…then we’re going back down the mountain. So here I am with really no plan, and I’ve got 30 minutes to figure something out. Luckily I’m good at thinking on my feet.
Once we get off the train, I tell Haley I’m cold and I want to put my jacket on. I was actually burning up, but needed a place to put the ring so she wouldn’t see it. The ring was in a bulky box, so the pocket on my jeans wasn’t going to cut it. I tell Haley that I have to go to the bathroom; I don’t really, so that I could get away from her for a second. There is where I take the ring out of the backpack, and into my jacket. This thing is about to go down!!!!
We’re walking around at the top, and I’m trying to find a place that’s not too crowded, and I can set my GoPro up, I’ve got to get this on video! We eventually wonder over to this little field, a little bit away from everyone….and I think here ya go buddy…It’s now or never. I tell Haley to go stand in the middle of the field because I want a picture of her looking up at the mountains. She’s standing out there, all alone, and I’m rushing to get the camera set up. It took me more than a minute to get that done…so here Haley is standing in a field, staring at a mountain for really no particular reason. Thank you for not asking any questions, hah!
Finally, everything is all set up, and I walk out to her. As I’m walking out to finally ask her to be my wife, all that nervousness, the weight on my shoulders, the feeling in my stomach go away…I had never felt more at peace in my life. I take her hands, tell her how much I love her, what an amazing woman she is, and that I want nothing more than to make her my wife. I get down on one knee, and she just puts her hands over her mouth, starts crying, and backing away from me….she was shocked, but in a good way. I finally say, “Haley Ann Carpenter, will you marry me?” At first she just leaned down and hugged me, still crying, and didn’t say anything…a little bit of that nervousness came back…but only for a second because then she said the single greatest word in the world. YES!!!
Just a few hours ago I thought I was asking this question the next day, but here we are engaged!! My half thought out/half winging it plan worked like a charm! I loved every second of that slow train ride back down the mountain. Just soaking in the fact that my dream woman was now going to be my wife. That’s one heck of a rush, and a feeling I’ll never forget. I can’t wait to see her walk down that aisle, and hear her say the second and third greatest words in the world, I DO! I love you Haley!