Cara and Marshall

Cara's Proposal in The Dallas Arboretum

How We Met

Marshall and I met in the 7th grade. We went to the same middle school and he has ALWAYS had the biggest crush on me. In 8th grade, and into the summer after, he spent most of the year pursuing me as best he could. He was so persistent and sweet and although I shared the feelings, I wasn’t sure if I was ready. January of 9th grade I finally said yes to be his girlfriend after he met my dad for coffee and the hopes of a blessing. When I said yes, he was beside himself! Marshall has been my first and only boyfriend (kiddo bf’s don’t count, right?) and I have loved every single day. We endured dating while going to separate high schools which was not always easy. He played high school football so my loyalty to both my own team, and his was a struggle. We saw each other every weekend and all of the holiday breaks.

Once college came, we decided we would try to keep dating long distance as we followed our own career paths in separate states. I went on to Oklahoma State to start my journey to becoming an Architectural Engineer. Marshall played college football at Hardin-Simmons University and pursued Criminology and Forensic Studies. Fortunately, we will have finally gone through all this distance to be done in May! I walk in May and he has been patiently waiting at home (Texas) the past year. I have never once thought, “what if”, about having tried other relationships and I surprise myself daily with the realization that I thought I couldn’t love another person more than I do Marshall.

Proposal Ideas The Dallas Arboretum

How He Asked

Marshall and I had gone to the Dallas Arboretum over winter break this year to see the “Twelve Days of Christmas” lights. When we go to the Women’s Garden, we had stopped to take photos with this neat water fall in the background. The reflection pools were really striking to me and he immediately noticed my liking of them. Marshall thought of the Dallas Arboretum when he remembered that I had mentioned the tulips being in full bloom. They were GORGEOUS!

His mom and I had been asking if we (his family and me) could go, so that perfectly sunny afternoon, we packed up the car with a nice camera in hand and went. When we got there I was beside myself. The tulips were amazing! I took hundreds of photos while we strolled through the park. Little did I know that his goal was to end up back at the Women’s Garden. The best part about all of this was that while I lingered and shot so many photos, he was quietly praying I would take even longer as he was stalling for my mom to get there in all the crazy Dallas traffic.

We finally reached the Women’s Garden and Marshall kept sort of…lingering. It turns out my mom was sprinting across the park at that point! When I kept asking him what was wrong, and why he was acting so weird he tried to brush it off. “Nothing I’m just enjoying the flowers.” Finally he got a little too fishy and when I turned for his sister to come take our pictures, there comes my mom and his two best friends who flew in for the occasion. I turned back to him and there he was waiting for me, a steady hand extended. He grabbed my hand and calmly pulled me in. I began to cry as he slowly sank to a knee while he told me all of the things I knew came straight from his heart.

In the 8 years we dated I heard it all, but the words he spoke were so simply and full of love. The part that stood out to me most: “Cara, you know how long I have waited to do this. I have loved you for 8 years and I want to keep loving you forever. Will you Marry me?” Of course! I said yes and we hugged as I sank my head into his chest.

I could not believe it! How could a man so sweet, patient, and full of selflessness top it all with such a glorious gesture? He is the man of my dreams and my absolute greatest adventure.

8 years seems so small in the grand scheme of this adventure we’ve begun. I thank God everyday for placing such a deserving man in my life and gifting me this type of love and promise.