how we met
The first time I spotted Andrew, he was rushing to put shoes on because he was late for a cross country race. I knew that I had to find out who he was and spent the rest of the cross country meet asking people if they knew his name. I would say that it was love at first sight, considering I spent the next year trying to get him to notice me. A year later, he finally did and he asked me to the big dance. We started dating shortly after…
how they asked
Fast forward 8 years, 4.5 years of dating, 1 break up, 5 states, and 23 months of long distance later…
I currently work in New York City and he works in Iowa. I had gone back home to Iowa for the holidays and was supposed to return to work during the first week of January. Andrew is a videographer and he was headed to Hawaii early the next week to film a documentary about an adaptive athlete. He had asked me if I wanted to come with about a month earlier, but I had written off the possibility because of work. I then received an email out of the blue from my boss, explaining that the first week of the year was going to be slow so I could take my time coming back if I wanted.
Slightly confused but thrilled at the possibility of going to Hawaii to help him, we booked the flight. We flew out to the island of Oahu and I helped him film for the next four days. On the fourth night he suggested that we do the Stairway to Heaven (Haiku Stairs) hike the next morning for sunrise. This hike is off-limits and I hesitated, not wanting to get into trouble. He convinced me to at least go and see if they would allow us to go up.
So we headed out the door at 3am along with three of our friends. There was a guard at the entryway and Andrew asked me to keep walking with our friends as he went to go speak with the guard. When Andrew met back up with us and told us that it was fine to go up, I assumed that he had just asked nicely and explained that we were filming a documentary. He had actually shown the guard the ring and explained his plan to propose to me. The guard changed his tone and agreed to let us go up.
We headed up the hike. And this hike is no small feat, boasting a trail of two foot wide ladders straight up the side of a mountain.
We hiked up and filmed along the way. Andrew asked that we head to a particularly picturesque rock for the approaching sunrise. We agreed and we got to the rock just in time to watch the sun rise over the island. He filmed for about 10 minutes. Then he told us that we could head back down because he had gotten all of the footage that he needed, but that he wanted to take a photo with me on top of the rock first.
He tossed the camera to his friend and we went up to take a picture. We took a smiling picture and of course a goofy one.
Then I went to start getting down off the rather steep rock but Andrew turned around and began to talk about how this beautiful hike reminded him of our relationship.
Exciting…tough at times…yet unimaginably beautiful. Even as he started to talk, I had no idea what was going on. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
After 4 years of dating, 2 years of long distance and 3,922 stairs later, I said ‘yes’ with shaky legs and tears in my eyes.
He had gotten permission from my father, picked out a beautiful ring that fit like a glove and best of all, completely surprised me. It was a dream come true…and I can only assume from this picture that he was stoked.
My favorite part of all of it was that it was completely Andrew. The timing, the location, the ring, it was all him. I got to see his love for me unclouded by my own love for myself.