how we met
Mandie and I met at the first football game before our freshman year of High School. My parents had a rule that I could not date until I was 16, and we were both only 14 years old at the time. We found out that we lived across the street from each other, so we planned to meet up at the park between our houses since I was not allowed to go out on a date. We walked the park and picked dandelions and even exchanged bracelets that had our names on them. This was the start to our 7 year dating relationship.
how they asked
On our 7 Year Anniversary, I had an entire day date planned out for Mandie, and she wanted it to be a surprise so she did not know any of our activities. Our day included going to all of our historic date spots from her favorite bagels at “The Bench” (end of a short hiking trail), The Orange hot air balloon in Irivine, CA, going to Balboa Island and eating at one of our favorite restaurants and going stand up paddle boarding in the bay, as well as a chipotle dinner (our favorite) at a sunset lookout spot. After dinner, we went to our old high school and went to find the exact spot we first talked to each other outside of the football game our freshman year. After that we headed over to the park we had our first date. That is where I had my set up. I had my three best friends, my sister, and Mandie’s best friend and sister all setting up the spot where I would propose. My best friends made a gazeebo from scratch, and we hung pictures of us and string lights and we had sunflowers (her favorite) everywhere.
White rose petals covered the grass where we sat down on our first date, and we had a music playlist that was playing all of our songs over the years. When we arrived at the park, I was so nervous that I forgot to turn the car off, or even put it in park… Mandie laughed at me and I was able to play it off long enough for us to get walking. As we turned the corner to walk around the park, Mandie saw the gazebo and quickly realized it was for her. I felt bad because we cut across the grass to get to the set up rather than using the nice path my friends had made, but I was too nervous to think about that at the time and Mandie had instantly started crying after she saw it. Once we arrived in the gazebo, I could not think straight and was blanking on the speech I had prepared way in advanced. I looked to the table that was set up and I saw the bible I had out. I picked out a verse that we have revisited often over the years and that was very meaningful to Mandie especially (2 Peter 5:6-7).
After reading this verse, I got the ring, went to one knee and she said yes. After the proposal fun at the park, I had told her that her parents were at my house waiting for us. When we got there, I had gathered over 50 of our closest friends and family to give her a giant surprise.
Everyone partied and showered us in love for the whole night. Since we were visiting home in California, none of our friends from our new home in Seattle were able to make it, so I threw her a second surprise party the day we got back to Seattle with all of our friends here. It truly was a magical proposal.