How We Met
When we met in 2015, I was an undergrad junior living in Eugene as a student going to the University of Oregon. He was 3 years older than me, born and raised in Eugene and had been going to the local church, Ekklesia, for about five years. I had been attending the same church for about a year before we had even met! I had been so nervous to go to the college ministry, but a new friend of mine at the time (Kate! Love you!) had invited and encouraged me to go with her one Thursday summer night.
Our introduction that night was short. Casual. I honestly don’t think we officially introduced ourselves when we met! I knew who he was through my friend and I couldn’t bring myself to ask him what his name was. Haha! I was nervous to be at the college group for the first time and he seemed so confident (and handsome!). He was the life of the party– loud, funny, and I knew he loved the Lord with all his heart. I didn’t think we would be friends, let alone date, because I’m usually too shy to talk to boys and I never make the first move.
But I loved the church and I loved the college group and I kept coming back. We got to know each other in big group settings (never talking or texting alone) and soon we began hanging out in smaller groups. For a long time I was in denial that I had a crush on him, but all my closest friends knew. I think they were secretly waiting for me to admit it!
In December of 2015, after we had been strictly friends for 5 months, he FINALLY asked me out on a date!! I was so surprised! My first words to him were literally, “like a DATE date?” I was so in shock because I didn’t think he liked me like that! I had to be sure it wasn’t a trick! But praise the Lord he made that move and of course I said yes!
how they asked
We had just got in to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to visit his family for Christmas vacation when Matthew, my then-boyfriend, asked me if I wanted to get dinner with him that night. Of course I said yes and thought nothing of it. Also, the downtown area of Coeur d’Alene is the absolute CUTEST, especially during Christmas time, and I knew that he knew I really wanted to go walk around downtown.
At around 4pm that night, his older brother, Michael, and his girlfriend, Britney, said they were taking the car to get hot chocolate. Before they left I told them that Matthew and I were getting dinner and asked if they wanted to come, but Michael just said no thank you and I assumed they just wanted their alone time. Little did I know they were going to set up the proposal spot!! I still don’t even know if they even got hot chocolate!
Before we left for dinner, his mom and dad and younger brother were sitting in the living room and I thought it was weird we didn’t invite them for dinner or that they didn’t ask questions, but I didn’t say anything. Before we walked out the door, his dad said, “take lots of Instagram stories!” And I didn’t think anything of it because I already knew I was going to take pictures and videos of the Christmas lights and snow covered buildings.
When we got to the downtown area, Matthew kept saying, “isn’t this place so special? Look how beautiful it is!” I thought he was being extra mushy, but he usually is romantic so again, I didn’t think anything of it. We stopped for coffee and a snack at a local coffee shop called Vault and sat and talked about life for a bit. I later found out he was stalling so his family could drive over to the proposal spot.
After coffee, we began walking towards the beginning of the town, near the resort, and we come up to this giant tree covered in Christmas lights. The tree stands in front of Lake Coeur d’Alene and is surrounded by snow. As we walk closer to the tree I see a path of tea lights that lead to the base of the tree and dark red rose petals all over the snow. I WAS IN SHOCK! He said my eyes were so big and I kept saying, “What? What?”
We walked up through the path of tea lights to the area of rose petals, he got on one knee, and asked me to marry him! And I yelled YES! I honestly don’t remember much of what he said, but I will never forget how his smile was illuminated by the Christmas lights around us.
His family then came out of hiding and took pictures and celebrated with us. His mom even brought out a sign that said “She said yes!” It was the most beautiful night in the most beautiful town and I am so honored to become a MCCARTIN!