Moira and Matt

Moira and Matt's Engagement in The Polar Express

How We Met

Matt and I met when we were 15 in an honors English class. I instantly thought he was one of the cutest guys I had ever met, so I befriended him as quickly as I could. We had a bunch of classes together, so we bonded often over homework and assignments. Not gonna lie, I definitely used homework as an excuse to have him over more than once. After about 2 years of being study buddies and close friends, we got to a point where we were texting from the time we woke up to the time we fell asleep. Even with all the talking, I can honestly say I had no idea he was interested in me at all (boy do I feel clueless now). Fast forward to New Years Eve when I went over to his house for a small family party. He and I hung out with his family for a while, but ended up leaving to go to a movie. After the movie got out he and I went to a park and ended up walking and talking. I remember it being one of the coldest nights ever, but we still just kept talking. The clock eventually struck midnight, and I had told Matt that I needed to be home by 12:30 (yay high school curfew) and started walking to my car so we could leave. And in the middle of the parking lot he grabbed my hands and said “Everyone is celebrating, why don’t we?” and leaned down to kiss me while fireworks went off in the background. To this day that’s still one of the smoothest things he’s ever said to me. I dropped him off at his house and drove home with the biggest smiles on my face listening to Taylor Swift (we’ve all been there, right). 5 years later, and I still thing that’s one of the most magical nights we’ve ever had.

how they asked

So I feel like I first need to start off by saying that I am the absolute worst person with surprises. I just can’t stand the build-up to them and I inevitably end up snooping. So, poor Matt has the difficult task of expertly hiding everything from me when he wants to surprise me. Okay now for the story; around October Matt had started mentioning to me that he was planning a fun Christmas date for us to go on. I think that he told me so far in advance because he likes to watch me struggle through not knowing what the surprise is. Throughout October and November I did a pretty good job at not snooping or bugging Matt too much to tell me more. But by the time December came, I had done enough waiting. I am pretty sure that I begged him almost every day to tell me what the date he had planned was, but he didn’t let me know anything at all. I had created sooo many ideas in my head as to what it could be, and the build-up was just driving me mad.

Three days before this surprise Christmas date, Matt decided to tell me that I would need a new pair of pajamas for this date. Way to throw a girl off, Matt! So, the day of this mysterious date Matt took me all over Silverdale to find a pair of jammies that fit my high standards. It’s also important to note that during this shopping excursion, I would not stop nagging at Matt to let me do our Christmas gift exchange early. Like the champ he is, he just kept telling me no and gave no indication that it was gonna be such a special present. Anyways, right before we left for the date Matt was running around the house with a backpack. He told me that it was to hold the stuff for our date, little did I know the only thing in it was my ring in a box (but this box was giant and there was no way I wouldn’t have noticed it in his pocket). I tried to sneak a peek into that backpack a couple times before we left, and I have never seen Matt have faster reflexes.

On the drive to our date, Matt finally told me that we were going to Elbe, WA. Now, I had no idea where Elbe was and I was even more confused at this point. When we finally got to the VERY small town of Elbe, I finally saw a sign for The Polar Express train trip and I finally got to know what we were doing for our date. I was beyond excited, and I even started tearing up a bit. Now if you don’t know me well, you should probably know that I cry a little too easily. I honestly couldn’t tell you why I started this time, I kind of think it was because I was just so happy that I was with someone who knows me well enough to know that a reenactment of a children’s book was the perfect date for me. Matt says this was the moment where he knew that I was gonna be a wreck later that night when he proposed.

We had a little time to kill before our train boarded, so we went and got a drink at this train-themed restaurant. It was pouring rain outside, and we were in our pajamas, so there was a big need to stay inside for as long as possible. When it was finally time to board we got on the train and the fun show began. Seriously, this thing was quite the production. The actors performed the Hot Chocolate song from the movie, read the book, and sang Christmas carols as the train made its way to the “North Pole” to pick up Santa.

When Santa boarded the train he took the time to talk to every kid and give them the silver bell from the book. I was a little bummed because it was looking like only children got the bells. But when it came time for Santa to walk to us, he stopped to say hi. I was honestly pretty thrilled with just this, I mean hello its Santa!! Santa turned to me and said “So I hear it’s a very special night..” and like the clueless woman I was I said, “Oh, is it?” I was truthfully very confused. But, Matt STARTED TO GET ON HIS KNEE and oh my gosh I just lost it!! He asked that very special question “Will you marry me?” and my very obvious answer was “Yes!!” Santa congratulated us, and gave us both the silver Polar Express bells and went on his way to greet the other train riders. Wow, I was in such a daze and I actually couldn’t stop crying (like it was actually a little embarrassing). Like how did I get so lucky that I could find a man who would go to such great lengths to propose in such a special way, I mean he got help from Santa for Pete’s sake. I was also just so flustered because I was beyond surprised, and I always thought I would just know when this day would come. But Matt did such a good job at keeping it from me, and it honestly wasn’t on my radar.

People came up to congratulate us, and my tears could just not stop coming. I wish I was exaggerating here, but that would just be lying. I actually can’t even remember the rest of the ride because I will still in such shock. But when we got back in the car to drive home, I just wanted to know every detail of the planning process from Matt. He told me that he was so surprised that I hadn’t found out because so many people knew. It was really important to me that he asked my dad for his blessing, and that my sister (who had also just gotten engaged) was okay with us getting married around the same time. And the fact that he checked with both of them just goes to show how perfect Matt really is. We finished our magical night by toasting our engagement at Chick-fil-a with chicken nuggets and lemonade in our pajamas, which was the most perfect way to finish this already perfect night.

Special Thanks

Tori Osteraa
 | Photographer