Caitlyn and Cody

How We Met

Cody and I met on the school bus in my 6th and his 7th grade years (yes, you read that right). Being the only girl our age on the school bus in a group full of boys, I took the brunt of most jokes, mostly coming from Cody. In my 7th grade year at a middle-school homecoming dance, I had a friend of mine ask Cody if he would dance with me – because when you’re 13 years old you don’t have the guts to ask yourself, duh – and he turned me down. I was devastated, and thought our friendship was over forever. Fast-forward a couple of years, to my 9th grade year, our friendship started to turn into flirting.

After months of this, Cody finally asked me to be his girlfriend (oddly enough, it was right after I got my braces off). I was ecstatic! Little did we both know that what we started in our early years of high school, and on the school bus several years earlier, would turn into a lifetime commitment of happiness and adventure. To this day, we are thankful for school bus number 15 for bringing us together and giving us the opportunity to go through high school, college, long-distance dating, and graduate school together. Here is our first ever photo together, taken early 2009!

How He Asked

Cody and I had been together for over 8 years by the time he popped the question. We knew everything about each other; I knew when he was hiding something from me, and he knew that I was hard to surprise. Lucky for him, during my summer break from graduate school I worked evenings while he worked days, so we were rarely together during the week – which gave him the time and privacy he needed to keep the big day a secret. On Friday, July 14, I was scheduled to work until 9 PM compared to my normal time of 10 PM. The day before, Cody asked what we should do with the extra hour I have off. We came up with just having a fire in our backyard and relaxing after a long week. Little did I know, he had much bigger plans with that spare hour than I could have ever imagined. Come Friday at 9 PM I drove home.

As I was approaching our driveway, I noticed a vehicle in my normal parking spot in the driveway. As I got closer, I realized it was one of our friends’ trucks. I was slightly confused as to why Cody didn’t tell me we were going to have company, but not that concerned as our friends are always welcome to come to our house. Then, I realized another friend’s vehicle in our driveway and Cody’s truck was gone. I failed to notice our boat being gone, though. I called Cody to see where he was, as I thought they had gone to pick something up, maybe. He didn’t answer. But then, I opened our door to see a chair in the middle of our kitchen with an outfit and a note on it. This was the moment I knew something was going to happen, and the tears quickly started flowing.

Caitlyn and Cody's Engagement in Ottertail Lake, MN

The note read “Hey babe, hope you had a good day! It’s about to get even better. Put this on and do your makeup – quickly :). Meet me at Ottertail at the boat access we put the boat in! See you soon! Love you.” Cody then called me back, and all I could get out was a screechy “hello,” and he said he would see me soon. So, I got dressed and did my makeup as quickly as I could. Within ten minutes, I was out the door. As I started driving, I realized I was running low on gas and was worried I may not make it all the way to the lake which was 25 miles away. However, being too anxious and being told to go quickly, I skipped the gas station and continued the drive (I did not run out of gas, in case you were wondering!).

Cody and I make this drive all the time, and it usually goes pretty quick but this time it felt like I was driving for an eternity. After 25 long minutes, and being stuck behind a vehicle going 10 MPH in a 30 MPH zone I made it to the boat access, where I saw Cody and our boat, which was decorated with fabric, lights, and rose petals. I got into the boat and Cody began to drive. He then gave me his laptop, which had a 24-minute long video of photos of us throughout the years and videos from our closest family and friends that Cody had reached out to for kind words, thoughts, and well wishes. The videos made me cry, laugh, and brought me so much happiness. After finishing the video, I figured Cody would get down on one knee right in the boat, but he didn’t. Instead, he told me to look at the beach we were approaching. I turned, and then saw a lit pathway and gazebo with music playing. I could not stop crying. We got off the boat, made our way up the pathway, and this is when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Ottertail Lake, MN

It was the most perfect moment. But, the night was not over. Cody quickly told me to look closely at who was sitting on the beach. I thought it was just the friends whose vehicles were in our driveway, but I realized it was my best friend and her family, who had driven four hours to be there for us! After many hugs and tears, he told me again that the surprises were not over. He had planned an entire weekend of celebration, and the following day our friends and family joined us at our home and on the lake to help celebrate our engagement!

These few days were a whirlwind, and we are so blessed to have so many amazing people in our life who helped Cody setup the proposal spot, sent videos, took photos, and celebrated with us! Cody went above and beyond, and for being with someone that is quite hard to surprise, he did an amazing job!