how we met
It was Memorial Weekend of 2013. I was living in Albuquerque and he was from Las Cruces. One of my best friend’s/bridesmaids and mutual friend, Lisa, asked me if I wanted to meet her and her friends at the lake (Elephant Butte). I love the lake, so I of course said yes. We stayed at his family’s lakehouse. He was very easy to get a long with and I thought he was cute. Our friends had leave the next day, and we found ourselves alone. He asked if I wanted to go have dinner and drinks, and I said sure. We had an immediate connection and we hung out the rest of the weekend. The next day when it was time to leave, he forgot to ask for my number. I noticed, but didn’t think much of it because he lived three hours away. He apparently kept bugging Lisa for my number for weeks, but she would not give it to him. We wouldn’t reconnect until the following April when he was passing through Albuquerque. He again called Lisa for my number, this time she called me and asked me for permission, I said sure I don’t mind. We met up for drinks and a night of dancing. The next day he asked me if I wanted to go to Las Cruces with him, and he would drive me back to Albuquerque the following day. I thought he was joking as it was a three hour drive each way. He swore he was serious, so I went, and as promised the following day he brought me back! Thereafter, we started doing the long distance thing on the weekends, until I finally moved to Las Cruces for a job offer.
how they asked
We had been been talking about getting married, and we actually chose the ring together. He just one day said, let’s go to the jewelery store to look at rings. I said, don’t you want to be the one to choose it and surprise me He laughed, looked me, and said, “No. I am not dumb! I know better. I am not going to choose something that you might not like!” So we went in and chose the ring. He would not propose until almost a year later. I wasn’t in any rush to get engaged, I knew it was going to happen, but I also began to question what was taking forever, and how long could this possibly take?? I would tease him and tell him I thought we were too old to be calling each other “boyfriend” and “girlfriend,” and it was starting to feel a little juvenile. I would tell him I needed to come up with an alternative name for him. I referenced the Sex in the City line when Carrie calls Big her “man friend.” I love family photography, as that is my “art” on the walls of my home. The previous year, we started our annual Christmas photos for our Christmas cards. Elise was our photographer. In fact, I think we both teased Anton about proposing to me.
Last year was no different, I made plans with Elise for Christmas photos. We decided to do it at the foot of the Organ Mountains. It was a chilly, snowy, very early morning (I am not a morning person). We began taking photos, I began to notice that Anton kept standing unusually close to me, to the point where I had to tell him to give me a little space. Then I started to notice how stiff he was. Anton is never stiff or nervous when he is being photographed. At one point we were holding each other’s hands, and I shook his arms and told him would you relax, we are just taking pictures. Then Elise told us these would be the last shots (apparently this was his cue), and she wanted some of just Anton and I alone.
By this time, I was done. My hands were icicles and I was very cold. As we were standing there, he reached towards his pocket. I thought he was grabbing his chapstick, and then I heard Anton said oh my knee hurts (he had knee surgery that July). I saw him from the corner of my eye, what I thought was to squat down, you know to stretch his knee, or something. Honestly, I was thinking oh my goodness, not now, I am freezing and wanted to get through these last shots as quickly as possible. I heard him tell me “Mona I love you, and I want to marry you.” I thought yea I know, I love you too, and I know you want to marry me, but can we finish with the pictures? Then I looked over, and I noticed he was not “squatting” but was on one knee.
I was so confused and thought what is going on? I then noticed my ring! I was completely and utterly surprised, and let me tell you, Anton cannot keep a secret, not even for presents! Unbeknownst to me, he had contacted Elise, told her what he wanted to do, and she was in on it the whole time.