How We Met
On just another normal day I walked into the office of my apartment complex, and suddenly it wasn’t so normal as I laid eyes on this gorgeous young lady at the front as she gave me a glowing smile. From then on, I went out of my way to constantly need things from the office or stop in to ask a trivial question. After many failed lame attempts at impressing her with one-liners, I saw her at the pool with her little sister. They were throwing a ball and I was throwing Frisbee, so I “accidentally” threw it near her sister and when she picked it up she asked how to throw it, so I began teaching her for a few minutes. Nikki walked up to her little sister who was excited and introduced us, then Nikki kinda looked at me slyly as if to say “smooth..” Although she was onto me, that night we went out to eat with her sister and brother and stayed up all night with them hanging out and playing cards and talked until sunrise. Fast forward about a month and we’re dating, Nikki finds out her mother has stage 4 cancer. I’ll skip the tearjerkers, but her mother passed about 2 months later. As you can imagine this can either make or break a couple, and it made us. We went through a difficult roller coaster of emotions and events over the next few years but only became closer and stronger. We moved in together and after I graduated college, an opportunity came we couldn’t turn down to move to a new state, so we went on the next adventure.
how they asked
We packed up what we could and moved from Alabama to Colorado, where we were enamored by the vast beauty of the landscape. The mountains and clean air eased our minds and opened up a new world of exploration. At this point, I knew I wanted the mountains in the background, and I had many ideas as to how I wanted to propose, but after both of us advancing in our careers we were too busy to go on vacation.
For years Nikki had been talking about wanting to go horseback riding in the mountains, so after months (and I mean months..) of contemplating how I wanted to do it, and knowing we were both ready, I couldn’t wait anymore and decided it was time.
I already had the ring so it was all about combining the things we loved into one moment. I had a buddy of mine call and ask if we wanted to go horseback riding and of course, we said sure, so we were off the next morning to a stable in Estes Park. I had already called and gotten the private tour set up with the Ranger to stop us at the spot I chose. We hopped on our horses, mine aptly named “Hope”. Hope this goes well, hope I don’t drop the ring, hope the camera doesn’t mess up, hope she says yes…
About midway through the Ranger said we were stopping to stretch our legs, so we walked up to the beautiful opening that overlooked the mountains, and went to take pictures. The sun was glistening off the rocks and trees that opened into a stunning view of the mountains. I figured this was about as good as it’ll get, so it’s time.
I’ll never forget the nervous reach into my pocket (look at the picture for reference), and the camera captures it perfectly, realizing something I’ve dreamed of doing for years is about to happen. The next few moments are a bit foggy, but I do remember her face as she looked down at me on one knee.
After I asked, she was so caught in the moment she just hugged me and cried for minutes, without saying yes, but I eventually got to hear the solidifying word. As soon as we finished embracing I walked to the edge and released all my months of preparation and worries in one big yell of celebratory relief. More adventures to come…