Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Proposal

As a young girl hiking up the trail to Chasm Lake, I remember talking with a man on his way down from the summit of Longs and was fascinated by what he shared about it.  Much to my mother’s dismay, after talking with him, is when my captivation with the challenge truly began and I vowed that someday I would be back to climb it myself!  Years later I accomplished that goal and it soon became a dream to someday be back with the person I would someday spend my life with and hike it together.  
When Ryan and I went to Colorado this year I had a tiny suspicion the proposal might be coming then.  I was pretty excited over the idea, considering Colorado, hiking, camping, and being outdoors are all things that are very important and meaningful to me, and for us to do together.  However, after numerous “car cleanings" throughout the week, the ring was nowhere to be found.  Unknown to Ryan, I secretly was getting a little disappointed.  You hear stories of women who just knew when their husbands were about to propose because they acted so weird and nervous beforehand.  Well, Ryan was cool as a cucumber and never even flinched as I was cleaning.  He can’t have the ring with him I thought!
Well on Tuesday, August 9th, Ryan and I woke up at 2 am to begin our hike up Longs Peak, the event that we had been training for by running up and down the UW Oshkosh stadium bleachers for months now.  It was as strenuous as I remember; actually, the older I get the more strenuous it seems.  Not a good sign.  However, I like to blame it on the fact that we weren’t acclimated to the elevation because Ryan insisted we do it towards the beginning of the vacation to get it over with.  Going from Wisconsin's 800 feet to 14,259 feet elevation is bound to have a bad effect on your endurance.  We gave each other a high-five as we took our last climbing step onto the summit.  Like normal, we ate lunch, relaxed, and started walking around the flat summit to look at the view.  Ryan said he wanted a picture of us taken, so he took my camera and walked over to a family that had recently made it up.  While I waited for him to come back for the picture, he secretly had asked them to take a video instead.  He walked back towards me and I was about to put my arm around him when he took my hand, and dropped to one knee.  The crowd that was once talking and laughing became silent as all eyes turned.  The proposal in reality was probably under a minute, but seemed like forever as I forced myself to concentrate and try to remember exactly what he was saying in the midst of my nervousness and excitement.  “Will you meet me at the altar and make me a happy man?” I picked that phrase out and knew it was my cue.  “Yes, of course I will.” I said, and the crowd cheered and clapped when we hugged.  It was a moment just like I had always dreamed it would be.
What’s funny, is that the family that ended up taking the video was a Pastor from Eau Claire, WI and he jokingly offered to do the ceremony right there on the summit and save us some time and money.  We laughed, although it did sound like a tempting offer.  J 
We are extremely excited about Jan 7, 2012 and are so thankful for all the wonderful family and friends that have wished us blessings and congratulations.  God is good and continuously proves Himself faithful in our life- and I am thankful for a man who follows after Him. 
Thanks for reading our story.