I never would have expected to meet the love of my life at my 8-5 corporate job. I work for one of the corporations subsidiaries and he worked in the building on a contract doing private security. We saw each other every day and soon began to form a friendship based on our mutual love for spending time on the ocean in Prince William Sound. We had so much in common, we both love the state and enjoy everything it has to offer us… plus I loved his carefree and sarcastic sense of humor. Our first date was the first weekend in June, 2012. Zach had a bear hunt planned for that weekend with his brother in law, Van. I guess we have him to thank for finally bringing us together because if it wasn’t for Van cancelling last minute, who knows when we would have gone on the date! Zach asked me at about 3:00 pm on a Friday afternoon if I wanted to go bear hunting with him for the weekend. Of course I couldn’t say no. I wanted to spend more time with him and had unsuccessfully hunted the weekend prior with my family. We spent the entire weekend head over heels for each other and I knew right then that I would never have to wonder who I was supposed to be with. I ended up taking a beautiful seven foot black bear, which was the cherry on top of the best weekend I had ever had.
After the hunt, questions like “Do you want to hang out tomorrow?”were asked. After a few days of that it turned into “What are we doing tomorrow?” and since then we have been inseparable. The last two summers have been the very best I’ve ever had. We have been all over the state on fishing and hunting trips, caught 100# fish, climbed mountains to hunt sheep, and camped in the most beautiful places in Alaska. We have spent almost as much time in a tent than we have in our bed. On our last adventure, a two week moose hunt on the Yukon river, I had an epiphany: we will never be bored. We are constantly planning our next adventure, even before our current one is over. Zach is bursting forth with personality, there is never a dull moment, and he is my very best friend. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Now for the engagement. I had absolutely no idea what was in store for me. Zach went above and beyond and the proposal was incredible… We spend a lot of time in Prince William Sound hunting, fishing, camping, and shrimping. Zach had been bugging me lately on how we really need to go get some shrimp to put away for the winter. One thing we like to do is after-work trips to Whittier to shrimp. To get to Whittier you have to drive through a 2 mile tunnel that is literally carved through a mountain. There are time limits so that the traffic can be managed as it is a single lane tunnel. So in on the half hour, and out on the hour. We get off at 5 pm, rush to make the 6:30 tunnel, set the pots and hurry back to town hopefully by the 10:00 tunnel. Typically we would make the same trip the next day to go pick up the pots. So we go pick up Zach’s sister Ashley, her husband Van and their son Halen who is 3. We rush to make the tunnel and go pull up the pots. Now Zach told me that he went and set the pots yesterday with his brother, Zane when really he went with MY brother and sister in law earlier that day and set them, because my whole family was in on the proposal. So we go to pull up the pots and Zach insists that I am the one to pull them up, and of course it’s raining (little did I know that he “forgot” his raingear on purpose so that I would have to do it). I put on my raingear and get to work. We have 5 pots on the line. I pulled up the first 4 and as the 5th one is coming up out of the ocean, our song (Overwhelmed by Tim McMorris) plays on the boat stereo. I didn’t think anything of this at the time because the songs were on shuffle, no big deal right? Wrong! There were shrimp in the first 4 pots but not in the 5th pot. Instead, there were 2 cans of spaghetti o’s in the last pot which confused me at first. I opened up the bait jar to empty it and found a small package that had been sealed in plastic. I turned to look at Zach, and see Ashley filming with her iPhone, and Zach hands me a knife to cut the plastic. It didn’t really hit me until I cut the plastic and saw a small black velvet box. Zach took the box from my hand, got down on one knee and said, “Julie, one time you told me,‘When you know, you know.’ Will you marry me?” And of course I said yes, promptly called him a “S*** head” and started to cry. I had no idea that he had planned all of this for me it was completely unreal. I was so happy to have his family there with us, it made the moment so special. The spaghetti o’s were in the pot because when Zach and I talked about getting married, I told him that he could put a spaghetti o on my finger and I would be happy- all I needed was him. However…the ring he picked out for me is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. He was in cahoots with OctopusMe Jewelry in California and she made me the most gorgeous ring molded from an octopus tentacle which also shows our love for all things nautical.
So at this point it’s about 7:30 in the evening and I am pretty sure the surprises are over…phew! Zach tells me that there is a shipwreck in another bay and he wants to go take pictures before it gets dark so we have to hurry. We cruise into a bay and I hear him say, “Who’s that?” so I look up and see my Dads boat with our families waiting for us! They were all wearing matching shirts that Zach had made that said “Zach and Julie’s Engagement Flotilla” with the date and a box checked Yes. They had dinner and champagne waiting for us, and everyone was yelling and screaming and crying. It was so perfect to have my family there to celebrate the happiest day of my life with me. He had thought of everything, told my family and my closest friends. There was no stone left unturned. Did I mention the proposal took place in “Surprise Cove?” and I was in camo when I was proposed to, my family got a kick out of that, knowing how outdoorsy Zach and I both are. He couldn’t have planned it any better! Luckily my brother is GoPro savvy and filmed the whole thing, including getting everything set up with Zach and the party afterwards with my family. I’m incredibly grateful to be able to relive that moment and share it with our future family.
We have not picked a date yet but have started to plan our special day in Whittier of course. For Zach to do all this for me is a reflection of his love and I could not ask for someone to make me feel as special as he did that night, and every day forth. We love each other dearly and I am thankful to be spending the rest of my life with my best friend.