Carly and John

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How We Met

Summer of 2013, John and I both got hired to work at Pine Cove Christian Camp as camp counselors. I can still remember the moment I met him, he was super handsome, tall and friendly. During training, John and I would play basketball every chance we could get. We got paired to work the canoe activity class together. Everyday for 6 weeks. That’s when we became best friends. After leaving camp, we did a great job at keeping in touch even though we went to college 5 hours away from each other. It became obvious that our “best-friendship” had grown into something more. Annnnd here we are, 2 years later.

How He Asked

October 2nd has, without a doubt, become my favorite day yet! Since the spring, my college roommates and I have been planning to road trip to Albuquerque, NM for the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. What I thought was going to be a super fun girls’ weekend turned into the best weekend of my life. We arrived in Albuquerque on Friday afternoon with plans of dressing up and going out to a nice dinner before our balloon festivities on Saturday! One of my friends suggested that we go up to Sandia Crest (the gorgeous mountain view overlooking the city of Albuquerque) before heading to dinner.

When we made it up to the top of the mountain, we wandered down to a gorgeous trail. At the top of the trail, there was John. My heart stopped. I took one stepped towards him and my wedge broke. Barefoot, I began to walk towards the love of my life- my very best friend. The moment I saw him I knew exactly what was about to happen, but I still couldn’t even believe he was there in Albuquerque. As he guided me down the side of the mountain, I was in absolute shock.

He wrapped me up in a blanket and pulled a letter out of his jacket pocket.

He explained to me that the letter had been written in October of 2013, on the day he decided I would one day be his wife. He read the letter as we walked down the mountain and told me that he had continued to write letters since that day. We finally arrived to our gorgeous destination. 10,378 feet up in the air- right at sunset, John told me why he loved me and promised to love me for the rest of my life. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

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My roommates had made it down to where we were & my parents and two of my best friends came out from hiding. The sunset was perfect, I was officially engaged, had my favorite people there AND John had hired a photographer to capture it all.

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That night, we celebrated over dinner and then John & I snuck off to read more of his heartfelt letters. I think that was the moment it all finally sank in. The next morning, we planned to meet at the balloon park at 5:30am for the sunrise mass ascension.

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When I arrived, John swept me away and led me to the middle of all the hot air balloons. That’s when he told me that the surprises weren’t over. He had arranged for our very own hot air balloon ride! We piled into a basket that had been set up with a “She Said Yes” banner and ascended into what would be the experience of a lifetime. The time we were able to spend in the hot air balloon was so sweet. Just the two of us (and our pilot) to really soak up the bliss that we had experienced the last 12 hours.

I will forever be blown away by the way that John loves me. He spent over 6 months planning and prepared the perfect proposal all because he wanted to celebrate me & celebrate our future together. I look forward to this sweet time of engagement, our wedding next June, and the rest of our lives together- with the one who knows and loves me beyond what I could have hoped for. I can’t wait to be Carly Kirk!

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Special Thanks

Katie Lively
Photographer