Amy and Ryan

How We Met: Ryan and I found each other  a few months after I returned from Spain last year. I accepted a temporary job as a bank teller for a few months before I was hired as a reporter. One day the bank’s elevator broke and Ryan was forced to don his tool bags and come fix it for us.

I kind of fell in love with him right there.

We never talked but I kept telling my mom about the gorgeous guy at work that had these deep dimples and brown eyes. He got my number from a mutual friend (I always love when he tells the story because he said he couldn’t stop staring at my legs and the “halo” that seemed to be glowing over my head) and called me up. We met for a drink on a Monday night in May and talked for around four hours. By the time I left I knew I was going to want him in my life for a long time.

Our first real date was a few weeks later in June when we met down at the Jam in the Canyon. We walked around, listened to a few bands and decided to rent Kayaks. We made it all the way to Pillar Falls where we got out and talked for a while. I was in a sundress and little sandals — completely unprepared for hiking around the rocks, so we just dangled our feet over the edge and let ourselves fall in love one conversation at a time.

Canoeing to Pillar Falls has been our date night time and again. We go with Ryan’s two children and we go by ourselves. We always make kebabs and then grill them while we are there. We play football. Ryan tries to catch fish. I always cheer on the BASE jumpers. It’s what we love to do.

It was only appropriate that Ryan pick Pillar Falls as the background to the greatest question he will ever ask me.

How He Asked: Early in the morning on Labor Day, Ryan and our friend Todd went “fishing.” Little did I know they were scoping out the best proposal spot. That afternoon Ryan and I whipped up kebabs, loaded the canoe and found a good spot for our picnic.

We played with the football until our lunch was ready and eventually launched the canoe. It was a perfect day in the canyon. A little humid, a little cloudy and the water was like a mirror.

Once we labored through the crazy current close to Pillar Falls, we pulled our boat up on the rocks and made our way to the water falls. Ryan and Todd had set up two chairs, a little table, two glasses and a bottle of Spanish wine on this beautiful spot that looked over the water and the twin pillars.

I was oblivious as we walked toward them, wondering out loud whose they were and where the people had gone…

By the time we were right up on them, I was laughing a little. “Is this for us?” And Ryan said — “Yeah, baby this is for us.”

Then he was down on one knee and he says I jumped back from him two feet and looked at him with eyes as wide as saucers (but I don’t remember that).

And he made it so beautiful… “I’m not going to screw this up with a lot of words,” he said, looking at me with those brown eyes. “Let’s make this forever. Will you marry me Amy?”

He tried to put the ring on the wrong finger first, so I calmly gave him my other hand and kept whispering.. “Ryan.. this hand, this hand.”

And then I think I said “Yes! or just Yes… or… YES!” I can’t really remember. All I know was I was shaking and I had this ring on my finger and I was sitting on his knee and kissing him.

He took me over to the chairs and we drank a glass of wine as he told me about picking out my ring with Avery, his daughter. He talked about how they designed it together and she told him it was about time to engaged. We talked about his conversations with both of my parents — a chat with my mother after we all went to see The Help together and a dinner with my dad. They went to Canyon Crest and Ryan told my father that he had met me there for the first time and he’d fallen in love with me.

That’s when I started to cry – when I realized that Ryan’s daughter was a part of this and that Ryan knew how special it was to get permission from another father. And I realized that I had just said yes to being his wife and a stepmother to his children. They weren’t just going to be the kids I see after work or the kids that make me cry and laugh with their antics– they were going to be part of my life and my presence would be etched into their life so deeply that we would be a family. We would hold court at Christmases and fight over curfews and Avery will eventually be able to wear my shoes and borrow my clothes and Mason will maybe ask my advice on girls one day.

Most of all, Ryan and I will an example of a relationship to them. A loving, beautiful relationship.

I tried to soak in every single second of that hour we sat there.

Ryan told me about his in-depth planning for the day. We marveled that the weather was perfect, no one was around and how special the place was to us. It will exist for thousands of years– those two pillars standing upright in the midst of the churning water. We can go back there every year if we like and remember our first kayak date and our engagement.

We can use those pillars as a reminder of what a strong relationship looks like.

And the best part of this whole proposal? Two days later Ryan presented me with photos of the whole entire thing. Our friend Todd captured every moment of our propsal on camera. I had no idea.