How We Met
Jeffrey and I met our freshman year of college at the University of Nevada. I was a soccer student-athlete and he played baseball, so our paths were bound to eventually cross. Jeffrey and my roommate became friends in the fall, although I was oblivious to their friendship for that first semester. He says he remembers seeing me running around the dorms in a penguin onesie and knew he was interested at that exact moment.
It was a tradition every year around the holidays for the baseball team to throw their annual cocktail party (essentially your typical college party, but with a “fancy” dress code). The night before the party Jeffrey messaged me on Facebook asking if I was going and what I was going to wear. I believe I said a simple black dress to which he responded something along the likes of “that’s boring, you gotta standout!” Charmed me from the get-go. The next night at the cocktail party was the first night we officially hung out. Other than the Facebook messages the night before, I had never really talked to Jeffrey, but we ended up together most of the night dancing and talking (and even maybe kissing a bit :)).
Little did we know, dancing at a college party as an 18-year-old freshman would be the start of a six-year relationship, with three years of long distance, two cross-country road trips, countless adventures, and ultimately one very memorable proposal.
How They Asked
Earlier this year, Jeffrey and I moved across the country from Reno, NV to Indianapolis, IN as I took an internship at the NCAA National Office. While it was difficult to leave our friends and family, we were both looking forward to exploring a new part of the country and taking advantage of the opportunities that came with the move. One of those perks was being driving distance to a lot of cool places we normally would have had to spend a lot of money and take time off of work to visit if we were still on the west coast.
One of those places was Morgantown, WV. After his freshman year, Jeffrey ended up transferring to play baseball at a junior college in Eugene, OR and ultimately finished the last two years of his college career at West Virginia University. We had planned to catch a football game last year, but with money and timing, it just didn’t work out. However, this year, with us being in Indy, it was much easier to make the six-hour drive to Morgantown so we hopped in the car Friday, November 9th for a weekend back at Jeffrey’s alma mater and the WVU vs. TCU football game.
There is this trail that leads out to a gorgeous viewpoint called Raven Rock that a lot of people in West Virginia hike to and take pictures at. Jeffrey wasn’t able to make it out there while he was in college, so we both agreed it would be fun to do the Friday before the football game once we got into town. One of our intern friends, Frank, hopped in the car too since his girlfriend lives in Morgantown. It rained during most of the six-hour drive from Indianapolis to Morgantown. I kept checking the weather in West Virginia to see if there would be any break and much to my dismay, the rain was supposed to continue throughout the night. As we got closer to town, I kept suggesting we move the hike to Sunday morning before we left as it was supposed to be sunny and clear. However, Jeffrey kept insisting we do it that day. I started to get confused as to why he was so adamant about it, but since Frank was in the car, didn’t want to put up a fight and just went with it.
The trailhead is only supposed to be a quick 20 minute, mostly freeway drive from campus. For whatever reason, our GPS took us on an hour-long route through the back country roads of West Virginia…in the pouring rain….through awful potholes….and borderline had us trespassing on people’s property. At this point, after being on the road for six hours and not really feeling the hike in the rain, I started to get really frustrated. But again, tried to keep it together since Frank was in the backseat. Poor Jeffrey was being so positive and so excited for the hike and I was just not having it (don’t worry, the story gets better).
When we finally reached the trailhead, because of all of the rain, the path had essentially become a creek with a good inch or two of standing water on the entire trail. At this point, I turned into a royal pain in the butt and began splashing on stomping through the water all the way up to the lookout point. Jeffrey said he wasn’t mad because he knew no matter how frustrated I got, he knew he’d be the good guy at the end (he was obviously right :)). And Frank just laughed the entire way (Jeffrey had told him at our gas station stop what he was planning on doing and Frank offered to tag along and capture the moment).
[My general mood up to this point. It’s hilarious now having these pictures and knowing I had no clue what was coming.]
Once we made it to the viewpoint, my frustration subsided a little bit as the view was absolutely gorgeous. Jeffrey hopped onto the rock where everyone takes their pictures and I immediately went into mom mode. While it’s a beautiful view, the rock is definitely smaller than we both thought and the popular picture spot is essentially the edge of a giant cliff. I warned him not to get too close to the edge at which point he told me it was fine and called me to get on the cliff and take a picture. I got really nervous and didn’t really feel the need to join him and for whatever reason started crying (partly from fear of the cliff, partly from being scared he was going to fall off, and partly from the lingering frustration of the wet hike). Eventually, I made my way out to the cliff and we took a few pictures.
[As you can see by my sassy hand, I was NOT having it.]
After Frank snapped a few photos, I immediately turned to get off of the rock as fast as I could. As I was walked off, Jeffrey said we needed one more picture. I replied with a firm “WHY?” and then a “NO WE’RE GOOD” to which he responded with a firm “WE ARE TAKING ONE MORE.”
My initial reaction was who does he think he is, followed by an immediate oh my goodness I think something is happening. I immediately put everything together and turned around to see him fiddling around in his pocket. I think I said something along the lines of “But I’m already crying!”
I ended up standing in a puddle when he got down on one knee because it was the safest, flattest spot and at the moment, I did not care one bit. Everything leading up to that moment, all my “fake, but real” madness and frustration instantly disappeared and the moment we had both been waiting for since the cocktail party December 14, 2012, in Reno, NV came to fruition November 9, 2018, in Morgantown, WV.
After a quick hug and kiss, I got us off of the cliff as fast as I could. I felt better about enjoying the moment with my new fiance somewhere a little bit safer. :)
Here are some more pictures from soon after the proposal!
[Hearing about Jeffrey’s plan and how he was going to do it at this spot a year ago if our trip hadn’t fallen through!]
[Me learning Frank was in on the plan]
[All frustration from the rain, drive, mud, potholes and cliff had been forgiven at this point. Clearly. :)]
SHOUTOUT TO FRANK FOR BEING A TROOPER AND CAPTURING THE BEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE!
Needless to say, the walk back to the car was much more enjoyable for everyone.