Caitlin and Matthew
How We Met
Matt and I met in Flagstaff, AZ while attending Northern Arizona University. We were introduced by my college roommate towards the end of our freshman year. At the start of sophomore year, we found ourselves in the same advertising class (which was interesting considering Matt had no reason to be in an advertising class) and started spending more time together. In September of 2012, Matt took me on our first date.
Matt picked me up from my dorm in his Jeep and took me to an Italian restaurant that had been suggested by a friend that had grown up in Flagstaff. When we arrived, at the peak of the dinner hour, the restaurant was empty. To this day Matt tells me that he paid the restaurant off so that we could have the place to ourselves. After eating, we got back in the car and Matt rushed us back to his apartment because he forgot something. Matt had planned the entire date, so I had no clue what the plan was or where he was taking me so I stayed in the car while he ran up to his apartment to grab whatever he forgot. He ran back down the stairs and got in the car, but I didn’t notice what he had brought because I had been looking at my phone. After this, Matt was obviously in a rush because he was driving WAY too fast through Flagstaff and straight down Lake Mary Road, which is simply a road that leads straight into the woods away from town. In all honesty, as we were speeding down the road, losing sunlight, and losing cell service, I started getting nervous. It started to feel like the horror stories that people told at the self defense classes that I had taken before leaving for college. My head started spinning as I started thinking through how I was going to get out of this and protect myself if I needed to. Matt finally pulled off the main road and onto a forest road just as the sun had gone down, which wasn’t making me feel any better. It was now dark, I had no idea where I was, and I had no way to contact anyone if I needed to. Matt stopped the jeep and told me to stay in the car while he got things setup. He jumped out and grabbed bug spray and a foldable shovel from the back of his Jeep. He sprayed the bug spray all around the car and started digging a hole off to the side. Once he was ready he told me that I could come out. To my surprise, Matt had built us a fire, laid out a sleeping bag (which is what he had forgotten) and invited me to sit with him and watch the sunset that we had missed (which was the reason that he was in a rush after dinner). We spent the evening talking by the fire and getting to know each other before we got back in the car and he drove me, at a more normal speed, back to my dorm. Looking back, I can’t even believe I was nervous, because Matt is one of the most generous, loving, and dedicated people on this planet and I can’t wait to see what adventures this next step brings!
How He Asked
I have known for a few years that Matt has had every intention of marrying me. He has never kept his feelings for me a secret and has been casually asking me marry him for years. Sometimes I would tease him and tell him “no” because he didn’t have a ring, to which he would then craft one out of something that was nearby at the time, like a napkin or a twist tie, but most of the time I would casually say “yes” and we would move on with whatever we were doing. January 31, 2017 was no exception.
On New Years Eve Matt and I went to downtown Flagstaff with his family to go to the annual Pinecone Drop, which was something I had ALWAYS wanted to do. Little did I know that Matt had bigger plans for the night. We were all standing outside in the freezing cold and getting ready for the countdown to begin. I started taking pictures and videos of everything around us and finally Matt made me put my phone away to just enjoy the countdown. At 12:00am (EST…because we were all too lazy to go to the actual midnight drop) Matt gave me a kiss and casually asked if I would marry him (which he says was a test run to make sure everything was going to go as planned). I thought this was a weird time to ask, but said yes and shrugged it off as Matt just being silly. I started looking at everything around us as Matt said in my ear, “Another year down, another thousand to go.” After he said this it started to hit me that maybe he wasn’t just being silly, but convinced myself that there was NO WAY he was proposing now. As all of these thoughts were racing through my mind, Matt had reached into his pocket, pulled out the ring, turned me around, and got down on his knee and asked, “So will you marry me?” I was SHOCKED. I had no idea that Matt had planned on proposing on our trip, let alone on New Years Eve. The first word out of my mouth was, “SERIOUSLY?!” because I still thought he was joking! I immediately said yes and Matt put the ring on my finger, gave me a kiss and a hug, and asked if I wanted to tell my mom. This was another question that seemed like strange timing because I hadn’t even finished processing what had just happened, and because I KNEW my family was at home in San Diego. Matt turned me around one more time and to my amazement there were my parents and Zachary walking towards us in the crowd. They had driven up to Flagstaff for the day just so that they could be there for the big moment. It could not have been a more perfect way to start the new year surrounded by both of our families in the town where we met and fell in love!