How We Met
Ryan and I met at Pine Cove Christian Camp the summer of 2014. This was his first summer and my second summer at camp- and he was a counselor while I was on leadership. We both thought about the possibility of what it would be like to be together, but allowed different circumstances to keep us at a distance. That summer, he left camp after 5 weeks- while I stayed for a whole 11 weeks. He came back to visit towards the end of the summer and led us in some super fun songs and I may or may not have had a crush that I still don’t fully admit to him :-)
I went back to camp the next summer, not expecting Ryan to be there. But a few days before training started- a crazy turn of events happened and my boss ended up calling him to fill a leadership position. Surprisingly, he said yes! At this point, I decided I wasn’t interested anymore :-P Gotta keep it interesting, right!?!
Well, after working closely on the leadership team all summer, Ryan decided he really really liked me and wanted to pursue me. It was week 10 of camp and it was my birthday. Ryan was letting me participate in “ginger snaps” (a handshake he made up that is strictly, only, for redheads)(I’m blonde), telling me he liked my hair (lol), asking me lots of questions on the bus, and he even pulled me aside on my birthday to encourage me.
At camp, we give the kids “character quality” words at the end of each week that describe what we believe are God-given qualities we have seen in theme that week. He told me he was going to pick 23 words that described me for my 23rd birthday, but as he was reading the list of words he realized that every word seemed to describe me. And that’s when it all started.
Since we were not allowed to date at camp, he called me afterwards and asked me on a date. Providentially, I believe, I was moving from Alabama to Texas to start a 9 month internship at Pine Cove- so I said yes to the date :) (He was living in Dallas at the time).
He pursued me in the most steadfast, patient, kind, loving, Christ-like way for 4 months. At the beginning of December 2015- we went to the Trail of Lights in Austin, TX. It’s a trail of beautiful Christmas lights that lead you to the most dreamy Ferris Wheel right in front of the Austin skyline. As we were walking out, he pulled me aside to show me how beautiful the skyline was- then asked me to be his girlfriend :) I said YES.
how they asked
On Wednesday, December 21st, 2016, around 1:00 pm, I was waiting anxiously in my living room. I knew Ryan was picking me up for a “fun day” and I’d convinced myself that today could definitely, possibly be the day he proposed. Around 1:07 pm, my good friend and co-worker pulled into my driveway.
She knocked on my door and I completely blanked and really could not figure out why she was there or why she had an envelope in her hand. She asked me what my plans were for the day, and I anxiously told her I was hanging out with Ryan. She continued to say, “Actually, I know what you’re doing today. You’re coming with me!”.
And she handed me the first letter. By the end of the (sweetest) letter, I knew what was happening that day- but wasn’t sure how. The letter ended with a clue telling me to go to our favorite coffee shop in Austin (we live in Houston, but I lived closer to Austin a few months prior. Austin was our place). My friend, Sosina, and I started our 2.5 hour drive to Austin.
At the coffee shop, the barista gave me another letter with another clue at the end. We got our coffee (with money that Ryan supplied with the letter) and followed the clue to one of our favorite places in Austin, House Wine. They bring a little fire to your table to make s’mores and we think it’s the coolest. There, I found one of Ryan’s friends with another letter. This led us to Stubb’s Barbeque, a restaurant and concert venue in Austin- where we had one my favorite dates ever (a Ben Rector concert).
At Stubb’s, I found another great friend of ours who handed me another letter with money inside for food. I quickly decided to skip out on the food and head to the next spot- Austin’s Trail of Lights at Zilker Park :) After lots of traffic and the biggest butterflies I’ve ever had, we made it to the trail and found another friend with another letter- right by the Ferris Wheel we rode a little over a year ago the night he asked me to be his girlfriend.
This letter told me to text Ryan and ask him to drop a pin. I followed the pin, and after a few twists and turns, I found Ryan- right outside of the park entrance in a huge field with the lights behind him.
He gave me a letter.
We read it together and he got down on one knee and proposed!
After all of the anticipation, butterflies, and deep longing to find Ryan and be with him, it was the happiest thing to finally find him and be asked the best question I’ve ever been asked.
After that, some of the staff at the Trail of Lights told us they were watching the whole thing and invited us to a VIP room with complementary food and drinks.
While we were soaking it all in, someone handed us premium passes to the Ferris Wheel.
We got to pass up the mile-long line and re-live our date the day he asked me to be his girlfriend. :)
Each letter he wrote me explained something he would do if he got to be my husband. How he would serve, provide, lead, protect, and cherish me all of our days. To death do us part. :) It was the best, most magical day.