Ashley and Cameron
How We Met: How does a girl from New York fall in love with a guy from Maine and end up in North Carolina? It was August 2013 and I was a recent graduate of The University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!) and still living in Columbia SC. Wanting to get a weekend away I went up to Wilmington North Carolina to visit a friend who lives there. Cameron is a Marine who was and still is stationed in Jacksonville North Carolina.
We both found ourselves at the same bar in Wilmington on that Saturday night. He stroke up a conversation with me first but swears it was the other way around. Either way, we hit it off immediately and I knew there was something special about him and I could not get his cute smile and dimples out of my mind. After that night we could not stop texting and talking to each other on the phone. I did not know it was possible to talk to someone so much and never run out of things to say.
Living 4 and a half hours away from each other made things difficult to plan a time to see each other again. He only gets weekends off and between my work schedule and commitments I already had it was almost 3 months until we were able to see each other. Finally a weekend worked out and he drove down to South Carolina. I had such butterflies in my stomach waiting to see him again! This is the weekend that really started our relationship and he asked me to be his girlfriend before heading back up to North Carolina. A few months later we found out that he was going to be deploying the following December.
It felt so far away at the time but we knew that it would come eventually. Cameron drove those 4 and a half hours down to SC almost every weekend to see me and we always had so much fun together. Whether it was going to amusement parks, day trips to Charleston, floating down the river, mini golfing or just dinner and a movie we always had a great time. I treasured every weekend together because I knew it was getting closer and closer to him having to deploy.
Pre deployment training started for him and in the midst of all of that I landed a job as a Labor and Delivery RN in Fayetteville North Carolina. Although it was not right where he is stationed, 2 hours is a lot closer than 4 and a half so I took the job and moved up to North Carolina. We spent our last few months together and then two weeks before last Christmas I dropped him off on base at 6 in the morning and we had our last hug and kiss before he deployed.
This was the moment we have been dreading for so long and it was finally here. How do you say goodbye to the one you love when you know you wont see them for another 7-9 months? I wish that hug could have lasted for hours but even then it would not have been long enough. The bright side was that after all these months of anticipation this deployment was finally here and we were just eager to get it over with so we can finally be together again. Cameron was deployed on a ship where he had no wifi, barely any access to phones and just a computer at work that everyone had to share.
New Years Day I was woken up to a FaceTime call from him and just about jumped out of bed in excitement. He was in Italy and found a cafe with WiFi . We talked for about 5 minutes until the call dropped and that was the last time we were able to FaceTime the entire deployment. Our relationship was solely based off of Facebook messenger for the next 7 months with a few phone calls mixed in. Its amazing how I can sleep through anything but you know darn right I am going to hear that Facebook messenger notification go off.
Every month I would take a cute little countdown picture to send Cameron…anything to help pass the time and every little milestone meant it was that much closer to him coming home. Throughout his deployment we talked a lot about marriage and about how we are both ready for that and cannot picture our lives without each other. They say “When you know, you know” and we certainly without a doubt knew that we were made for each other. While he was deployed I saw openings for Labor and Delivery nurses at the hospital in the town he is stationed in.
Luckily after interviewing I got the job and moved to Jacksonville NC . We did not anticipate me being able to move so quickly but everything fell into place perfectly and I was settled in my new job and our new apartment by the time he came home. So now everything was exactly how we planned it to be and all I needed was my man home. July 16th is when we were reunited after 216 days. That first kiss made it feel like he never left and we were right back where we left off except even more in love with each other.
His homecoming was on the Air Station he is stationed at and was such an experience to be a part of. They had a flyover and all of the Marines flew home on helicopters that landed right in front of us. From the time they all landed and had to stand in formation to the time they were released to be reunited with their loved ones felt like eternity. That day was so full of emotions and excitement and was the happiest day of my life until of course he proposed.
How He Asked: We were on vacation up in Cameron’s hometown in Maine a few weeks after he returned from deployment. He was able to fly up a few days before me but finally after a long day of cancelled and delayed flights I made it to Maine. Before we went to bed the night I got in he told me to be ready to leave the house at 8am because we are going sightseeing. I laughed and assumed he was joking because we both know that I am not one to wakeup early.
But since we only had a few days in Maine and it was my first time up there I knew he wanted to see and do as much as possible. We woke up that next morning, got ready, I threw on a sundress and we were on our way. Little did I know our lives were about to change forever. His Mom came with us which turned out she was coming along to capture the special moment for us. We pulled up to this beautiful spot on the water in Cape Elizabeth. We walked out on to the rocks and the view was just spectacular.
The way the sun was glistening on the water made for a beautiful backdrop. I started taking some pictures of the water and then a few moments later turned around and Cameron was down on one knee asking me to marry him.
Seeing the love of your life down on one knee holding out the most beautiful ring you have ever seen asking to spend forever with you is such an unexplainable feeling. Of course I said YES! and he slid the most sparkly diamond I have ever seen on my finger.
We had our first hug and kiss as the future Mr. and Mrs. Babine. I have not stopped smiling since and I could not be happier to spend the rest of my life with him.
I am truly the luckiest girl in the entire world to get to spend forever with someone who loves me unconditionally and who never ceases to make me smile. We are planning our wedding for May 7, 2016 and I cannot wait until we can finally say “I do” and become husband and wife.