How We Met: Cory and I both grew up with mutual family friends but we didn’t meet until 2011. It was after church one night when my friends talked me into going out to eat afterwards. I wasn’t wearing any makeup and my hair was up in a pony-tail. I had just gotten out of a bad relationship and wasn’t planning on dating for a long time. Then, Cory showed up and immediately caught my eye. This moment made me believe in love at first sight. I knew from that day on he was going to be the one I would be with forever. He was adventerous, outgoing, daring… I was shy, introverted, and cautious. They say opposites attract, I say being different from one another makes one’s weaknesses the other person’s strengths: a perfect team.
how they asked: In August of 2013, we visited Yosemite for our very first time and backpacked 26 miles over four days with two of our best friends, Steven and Sheena. On the final day, we climbed Half Dome: an incredible monolith with an elevation of 8,842 feet. If you aren’t familiar with the climb to the top, there are poles along the eastern slope of Half Dome holding cables with 2×4’s every ten feet or so.
For someone who is incredibly afraid of heights, this climb was going to be the most difficult thing I would ever do in my lifetime. At the bottom of the cables, we all prayed together and then we started up the cables, first Steven and Sheena, then myself, then Cory. I gripped both sides of the cables and with each step I planted my feet firmly on the rock. My motto in life is to always “Take Pride in Little Victories” and I followed this with this challenge. Every 10 feet there was a piece of wood to stand on and each of those were my “little” victories ultimately leading me to one of my biggest accomplishments yet.
With my head down, I went up the cables quietly mostly because in my head I was praying and asking God to do it with me. In front I had encouragement from both Steven and Sheena, and behind me Cory was cheering me on the whole time. Before I knew it, I hear Steven yelling “This is really happening!” and I knew we were nearing the top. A rush of emotions, including excitement and adrenaline, flooded me as I made it to the top.
On top of Half Dome there is a well-known picture-perfect platform called “The Diving Board,” an overhanging ledge that shoots out over the beautiful Yosemite valley. Cory wanted to take our picture so we headed over and slowly walked out onto the diving board. My hands and knees were shaking as we quickly posed for a picture. Soon after, I quickly started to walk back when he stopped me and said, “Wait a minute. You just accomplished probably one of the scariest things you’ve ever done. With that, I have a question for you.” “No you don’t!” I spitted out of my mouth without hesitating as I am thinking, what could he possibly have to ask me on a ledge 3,000 feet off the ground? He continued, “You are my best friend, and I love you more than anyone in this life. I don’t want to spend my life with anyone else.” Then before I could blink, he reached in his back pocket and got on his knee while tears started to run down my face. “Julia, will you marry me?”
Words can’t explain that moment. There I stood, thousands of feet off the ground in beautiful Yosemite after conquering my biggest fears, the man I’ve prayed for since I was a little girl was on his knee asking to keep me forever. With cheering and screaming from people who were watching, I said yes to forever and yes to adventuring with this man for the rest of my life.