Amanda and TJ

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How We Met: We have been friends for almost a decade and met through mutual friends. We’ve been good friends for a long time and have always been the two in our group of friends to plan outings and adventures and made sure we all had a great time. About four years ago we unexpectedly fell for each other after realizing how closely we’ve connected all these years. It never crossed our minds in the first 6 years of friendship that we would think or feel anything more than friends for each other.

We had a few obstacles to overcome before we officially started dating, but we both knew that what we felt was strong and something we needed to pursue. When we were able to relax more and act on our feelings, I knew he was that missing piece. You know, that one puzzle piece that has always been there but was jumbled in all the other pieces. Everything just proceeded to fall into place.

How He Asked: On August 23, 2015 we were on a family trip with my family. We spent the weekend in Pacific City, Oregon at Cape Kiwanda (my favorite place on the Oregon Coast). On that Sunday we planned to go to the beach to hike up the sand dunes to show my family the amazing views. That morning the smoke from a near by fire along with wind gusts and fog overtook the beach making it hard to see more than 10 feet away which had put me in an unpleasant mood. My family was aware that Tj was going to propose so they helped him convince me to continue on with the plan.

My dad, who has Parkinson’s and has difficulty walking and moving, was about to trek up this sand hill that was tiring and difficult even for healthy younger people. I didn’t want him to go all the way to the top with nothing to see so I was really trying to change the plan. Everyone’s positive attitude lead us up the sand dunes in hopes that it would clear up and that my mood would change. About an hour or so later it finally cleared up but the wind was still strong. TJ had set up this half dome beach shield for my dad to sit in with windows to look through allowing him to see down the other side of the hill. The beauty of mother nature was surreal with the waves crashing on the rocks and the clouds parting as the sun peaked through to shine.

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We were down at the bottom with my mom, sister, cousin, and nieces and TJ asked me to go with him to this rock. The waves were still crashing on the pathway to get to this rock. We ran across the slippery top edge of the extended rock formation when it was safe. We explored the edges of the rock hoping the waves didn’t come up and sweep us away. The adrenaline and thrill didn’t help TJ as he mentioned later that proposing was a lot more nerve racking than he thought it would be. He pulled me to the middle of the rock and said “I know I never asked you to officially be my girlfriend but I’m gonna skip that part because it’s about time I ask you to be my wife”.

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He got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. I was in shock and flooded with happiness that I didn’t know how to react.

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I said yes and asked if there was a photographer because I had mentioned how moments like this is the best kind of candid to be captured. I looked to where my family was standing and I saw Jonathan Gipaya and in disbelief I pointed and couldn’t stop smiling .

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I am a huge fan of his work and TJ made sure he was there to capture the forever memories. Jonathan was among the crowds waiting so patiently for my family and I to finally get to the bottom where the proposal would happen.

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We made our way back to the top of the hill and I noticed that TJ made sure that my dad could see the whole thing through the window of the beach canopy.

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With his illness it was too difficult to bring him down the other side of the hill so seeing that my dad was still able to witness the proposal brought tears to my eyes. We took more pictures as a family and as a newly engaged couple, had post proposal pizza, and continued to celebrate at our weekend rental.

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Even though not everything went as planned, in the end everything turned out perfectly.

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Special Thanks