How We Met: Brad and I met May 29th, 2009. Our story starts off ridiculously slow so I’m going to give you a brief summary: We were both sixteen years old and working with our parents for a photography company. I was painfully shy and he was incredibly outgoing, so I was intimidated to talk to him at first! He now claims that he got nervous every time he saw me because he really liked me. We only saw each other a few times a month, and only for a couple months a year because the photography company we work for only shoots graduations. The few times a year that we did see each other had a lasting impression though, because over six years later I can still remember nearly every time we spent our events laughing at stupid jokes or messing around with equipment. We became such a pair, that our co-workers started calling me his work wife and him my work husband. A little goofy, I know, but it stuck!
Eventually, and by that I mean THREE YEARS later, he mustered up the courage to get my number. (Granted, he DID always seem to have a girlfriend and we DID only see each other a handful of times a year…) It was July 23rd 2011, and we had a graduation held at the Cardinals football stadium. Before each graduation, we have to set up our backdrops and stage our shots, along with getting our cameras and other various equipment ready. We usually have about two hours between arriving and the start time of the actual ceremony, so we got ourselves ready to go and spent the extra time wandering the stadium. We shared a frozen lemonade and some redvines while making fun of the messages being sent to the mega tron by audience members arriving at the stadium. They were playing “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly in the stadium, and Brad started singing along, dramatically dancing along to the words. He always did the most ridiculous things to make me laugh. He said one of his favorite movies was Space Jam, a movie which I had never seen. He insisted we watch it together sometime, and I remember getting butterflies because, hello, a cute guy just said he wanted to watch a movie with me after three years of flirting and joking our way through work! Towards the beginning of the ceremony, Brad somehow grabbed my phone and without my knowledge, managed to put his number in my phone AND call himself so he would have my number on his phone. The ongoing joke is that he was cute, so it wasn’t creepy. (Which is totally true in nearly every scenario, by the way.)
That night he texted me, and that was when I finally realized what he had done. Again, he does nearly anything to make me smile or laugh, and he had put a picture of himself making a ridiculous face right next to me without me noticing as the ID picture on my phone. From that night on, we started talking nearly every day. It got to the point where it was weird not to hear from each other, and when either of us did anything we immediately told the other about it. One day, Brad called me to tell me he had finally found Space Jam on VHS (he insisted we watch it in all of its nineties glory). The next night I went over to his house to watch it with him and it quickly became our hang out tradition to watch VHS movies and snack on frozen lemonades and redvines, just as we did the day he got my number. He first kissed me while watching “The Goofy Movie” (another nineties classic). I was sitting there watching the movie and he came into the room, kissed me quickly as he sat down, realized what he had done, and said “SORRY!” I’m pretty sure I said “It’s okay…” and he explained that it was an accident. Talk about awkward! Despite the awkwardness, I had some major butterflies. Now he’d tell you that he had been thinking about it all night and when he finally found the courage to do it he was so nervous that “sorry” was the first thing to come out.
Our not-quite-a-relationship-relationship continued to grow as we spent time together and continued to work together. We had too many inside jokes to count, and spent entirely too much time creating an epic bucket list of things to do, places to go, and sights to see with each other.
That December he took me to a concert as a birthday gift, and that was the night we both consider our first official “date night”. Brad brought hot chocolate and a bunch of blankets and we watched as planes flew through the stars over Tempe Town Lake for thirty minutes or so before the concert. After that night, we were inseparable. It only took him one more month to take me to the top of “A mountain” in Tempe, and while watching the sun set over Tempe Town Lake, he asked me to be his girlfriend on January 3rd, 2012.
how they asked: Just shy of three and a half years after we first hiked our mountain to watch the sunset and officially started our relationship, Brad suggested we go on a hike to watch the sunrise. I had always wanted to do that, so we agreed to go on Saturday, June 20th, 2015. I had no idea what was coming. The Friday night before, I worked until 11:30pm and didn’t get home until about midnight, and then didn’t get to bed until 1:30 in the morning. I am not a morning person by any meaning of the phrase, so needless to say, I was not pleased when Brad woke me up at 4:30am saying I needed to wake up and to get ready to hike. Being his sweet self, he kindly insisted and I eventually felt bad for going back on our plans so I got up and got ready to go. I had no idea why he was so urgent to get there, we visited “our spot” often and had no particular reason to go that day other than to see the sunrise.
About halfway up the mountain I stopped to show him a building where I had spent a significant amount of time for a science program I participated in on the nearby ASU campus, and he said “Why don’t you show me at the top? We can see it better from there anyway.” I was upset he wasn’t listening to me but continued up the mountain with him anyway. Once we got to the top, I started climbing the boulders off the trail when he begged me to get back down to where he was. (I later found out that he was so anxious of me climbing around because his father was in a bush not more than four feet away secretly taking photos of us!) When I got back down to him we admired the view of the slowly awakening city below us and the sparkling water under the barely-risen sun. Then he turned to me and said, “Mikah, there’s something I really need to get off my chest.” My stomach sank. I think I actually asked if we could sit down! He explained that he had been keeping something from me and it was killing him, so he just had to tell me about it. Of course, my mind jumps to the worst, and inevitably, I start to panic. He then said “While you were in Hawaii,” (I had just gotten back from a week long trip with my family) “I talked to your dad.” Initially, I was so relieved. Talked to my dad? That’s fine, right? Then he turned to me with tears in his eyes. Okay, maybe this wasn’t good? He started to stand up as he said, “he loves the idea of us getting married!” I am pretty sure at this point I had jumped up and hugged him, so thankful that this was good news he had to tell me and not bad. Then, he told me that he had even spoken to my mom, and that she too was excited about the idea of our marriage. We hugged, excited to know that we could start moving forward with our relationship. He told me how much he loved me and how he wanted nothing more than to take care of me for the rest of our lives. (At this point it’s just stupid that I didn’t know what was coming.) He then grabbed me with trembling arms, and turned my face out of the sun. Before I knew it he was on one knee holding the most beautiful ring I have ever laid eyes on, asking me to be his wife! I started crying immediately, actually turning away from him in shock, before falling to my knees asking if he was sure and if this was really happening. He assured me that this was really happening, to which I responded “YES OF COURSE, YES!” followed by more tears of joy. He then asked me to stand back up and he placed this stunning ring on my finger that I can’t help but glance at every few minutes as I type this out.
Brad had the entire day filled to the brim with surprises. He recreated our favorite and most memorable dates by traveling all over the valley together doing our favorite things. From the incredible surprises he pulled off, right down to the ring which has engravings of the sun and the moon in an infinite loop, (representing the beginnings of the different stages of our relationship) the day was like living in a fairytale. I am so blessed to have found such an incredibly caring, generous, and positive man to spend the rest of my life with. As it says in the Song of Solomon 3:4, “I have found the one whom my soul loves.” I really couldn’t be more excited to marry my very best friend and other half.