how we met
Sarah and I met until one fateful evening on a dance floor in March 2014. Conveniently, a group of my friends and her friends decided to go out to a brewery/dance bar on the same night. My best friend (now best man) played college football for Sarah’s father a couple years prior and instantly recognized her. He quickly introduced us and we took to the dance floor for the rest of the evening. I would like to say my smooth dance moves won her over, but that is far from true. We had instant chemistry and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. That night we exchanged phone numbers, but didn’t have our first official date until about a month later due to both our chaotic schedules and travel at the time. Our first date was fantastic, from the effortless conversation to her gorgeous eyes…I could feel the start of something special. We enjoyed going out a few more times after that, each date left me wanting more of this beautiful, kind, outgoing girl that danced into my life. Sarah is a teacher and at that time she had made plans to spend her summer in Glacier National Park teaching youth outdoor adventure camps. Selfishly, I was bummed that this amazing girl I had just met was leaving for the whole summer, but I knew I couldn’t let her fly to the mountains without asking her to be my girlfriend. Literally the day before she left I asked her. We spent our first summer together in a long distance relationship, talking in the evening whenever we had the chance. I believe the distance helped our relationship grow stronger because we could only talk on the phone or write letters which only left us wanting more of each other. Along with the deep connection we formed our first summer, Sarah’s national park experience instilled an appreciation and desire for adventure that has continued throughout our relationship.
how they asked
The engagement happened just about 2 years later in Glacier National Park. Joshua said that “he fell in love with me in the mountains” so it only seemed right to take me back to where it all began. Unknowingly, this trip to Montana would be with my fiancé! At the time, I thought it was just a nice Christmas gift and an amazing chance to take him to a place I fell in love with! I was so excited to show him everything.
We arrived in Montana for our trip, and Josh had asked if on the first day he could plan a picnic for us! Some people may have thought something was up, but Josh is a planner and typically does really adorable dates like this. So as special as I thought it was, I didn’t think it was anything out of the norm! We went grocery shopping to get items that he had planned for the picnic (which he wouldn’t let me see- this I kind of thought was a little fishy) We gathered up all the items and headed into the park. I was so amazed at the beauty of the mountains, the clean fresh air, and the excitement of being there with the man of my dreams that I had barely noticed how much he was “checking his GPS”. We get to the infamous Lake McDonald. This lake holds a very special place in my heart. It’s where I came to talk to Josh a lot when we were first dating, it’s where I wrote and drew in my journal and where I spent a lot of alone time. I spoke of this place a lot to Josh and told him I always thought of him when I was there. How much I missed him and how I couldn’t believe that I was sitting there surrounded by gorgeous mountains and fresh water and adventure and all I could think about was being back in Michigan with him. This of course, made him feel quite special; which he should.
When we got there I was excited to show Josh “my spot”, but he seemed uninterested as he checked his phone for directions and the right spot to sit. He seemed determined to go a certain way to a certain spot on the lake. I was patient and let him pick the best spot to sit. Although, it seemed he was passing plenty of good locations! He was getting a little anxious at this point and I picked up on it. Again, I thought it was him just trying to make the moment sweet and have a perfect spot for us and our picnic. We continued to walk along the water’s edge and Josh had found a spot. He put his stuff down and pulled me into him to look at the mountains and dropped down to one knee. At this point, I was struck with amazement. What was happening?! Is this real life?! Ahhhhh! Hi actions were clear as he pulled a small purple box out of his pocket, although I have to say some of his words were quite the blur! We both agree that he said something like this “I fell in love with you in the mountains”….insert other words here, blur of emotion, don’t know what’s happening… “Sarah Marie Polnasek, will you marry me?”
He opened up the purple box and all I could see was the smile on his face! “Yes! YES! YES!” I think I said a million times through the tears while pumping my feet back and forth and squeezing his face! I was hugging him and holding him for so long that I almost forgot to look at the ring! I will never forget how cute it was that he put a small piece of tape on top of the box so he knew how to correctly pull it out of his pocket. His attention to everything showed through in the most breathtaking moment of my life. The ring sparkled so beautifully in that box! I finally put the ring on and noticed someone out of the corner of my eye taking pictures.
Josh had told me that the photographer was for us. This was why he was “checking his GPS”. He had to find the perfect spot to find the photographer! This made me cry again, he had captured the moment for us to hold onto forever. I am going to hold onto that man forever. The engagement was just the start of our beautiful love adventure.