how we met
After graduating from college at WSU, I headed for Seattle aka “the coast” (thanks mom) where I was about to begin my career at The Boeing Company. I met another “Coug” at work shortly after starting, his name was Cory. One day Cory asked me if I wanted to join a rec football team. For a brief moment I had flashbacks of middle school football where I was repeatedly pulverized by other kids that were twice my size. Then I heard him say something about CO-Ed and flag football. I was new to the area and looking to meet new people, so I was in! Cory knew the captain of the football team and can you guess who it was?
Kelsey and I got to know each other as team mates throughout the season. It turned out that Kelsey also worked at Boeing and eventually a group of us would get together for lunch a few times per month. At one of these lunches I heard that Kelsey’s lease was expiring and she needed a place to stay. I just so happened to have a room available at my house…you can see where this is going. Kelsey moved in that Spring. Being house mates is a hell of a way to get to know someone and apparently I didn’t scare her off. It took a while but eventually we went from house mates to just mates. We definitely broke the #1 rule of sharing a house, that is NEVER date your house mate. You could say that we did this whole relationship thing backwards, with the big move-in happening before the serious relationship part. But whatever, it worked for us!
how they asked
It was Summer of 2016 and I had been living in Germany for almost 9 months. I was there on an assignment for work where I was supporting a supplier who had been chosen to design some parts for a new airplane we were building. Amazingly, Kelsey was able to get a leave of absence from her job that allowed her to come live with me during most of my stay there, lucky us! July in Germany brought some awesome weather but unfortunately, Kelsey was going to leave for home in a couple weeks. We had an incredible time together during our stay, adventuring and exploring as much of the area as we could. I knew now more than ever that Kelsey is truly a remarkable young woman and a wonderful companion. I feel so lucky to call her mine.
I really wanted to do something special for Kelsey before she went back home, something that would show her how much she means to me. Our 3 year anniversary (of our relationship) was coming up and I thought it was the perfect time to do it. Every night from our balcony at our apartment we could see the lights of the gondola at Hochgrat Mountain come on and go off in the distance. We had talked about hiking it together before we left, and we still had not done it. This was going to be the spot!
We set out on the next Saturday morning for a hike. I had packed a backpack full of supplies and I wouldn’t tell Kelsey what was inside! The weather was great that day and we began the journey up the mountain. The hike turned out to be quite long and progressed into a steep incline. Knowing what happens when Kelsey gets hungry, I made sure to pack some snacks which included some homemade trail mix and of course her favorite, gummy bears. After about 3 hours, we finally made it to the top. The summit offered some spectacular views of Germany to the North and the Austrian Alps to the South.
I brought her over to a clearing in the grass and surprised her with a blanket and supplies for a picnic. We enjoyed the picnic, the view and good conversation for some time. To wrap up the picnic, I thought some dark chocolate to share was a good choice. About this time we saw a huge glider fly right by us, so close that you could see the pilot’s eyes! At this point I’m thinking things were going even better than expected. Next, I brought out a letter I had written to her and she read it out loud. My goal was to start the “water works” and, well, you could say mission accomplished! After she did a little face fanning I thought it was time to bust out the next item in my bag of tricks, a mini bottle of champagne! Turns out, it starts to get a little chilly at over 6,000 ft with a slight wind, even in the middle of the summer, so now I’m thinking that it is time for the grand finale. During our conversation I had reached into my bag with ninja-like subtlety and grabbed the last item. It was a lock that I had engraved with our names and date on one side and “Marry Me?” on the other!
Of course now we don’t care about the weather as we celebrate. There just so happened to be a big metal cross on the top of the mountain that we could attach our lock to (I did some scouting a few months prior). We took a couple photos at the cross and then made our way down from the summit, through a herd of cows, to the Gondola where we were going to catch a ride back down. My good vibes were nearly brought to an immediate end when we found out that they were no longer selling tickets for rides back down as the Gondola was getting ready to shut down! We sprinted up the stairs to the boarding area and paid the lift operator cash so we could catch one last car down the mountain! Talk about an epic ending to an unforgettable day!