Cat and Cliff

How We Met

If you’ve asked us before, we probably told you that we met “through a mutual friend”. Though mostly true, Cliff & I technically met on Facebook. Facebook messages quickly became text messages, which turned into phone calls & Skype dates. Four months later, I found myself making the drive from Houston to Waco to finally meet this boy.

Three weeks after we started dating, Cliff was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and that night we made the decision to give long distance a shot, and here we are five and a half years later!

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How He Asked

I had anticipated, talked about, and tried to figure out Cliff’s plans for about six months, – but after multiple failed predictions, I decided to give up my efforts and “go with the flow”. If you know me, you know how nearly impossible that was for me haha! However, there was peace in knowing he knew the two things that were most important to me (1) I wanted both my family and his to be there or close by (especially my mom!) and (2) He had to, had to, had to ask my dad for permission. As the baby girl growing up with two older brothers, my dad and I share a relationship like no other. My dads blessing meant everything.

Every summer for as long as I can remember, my parents have rented a beach house in Crystal Beach, Texas for our entire family—we call it, Family Beach Week.Every year we set aside one night of Beach Week for “picture night”; that picture usually becomes our family Christmas card picture, since it’s the only time we’re all together.

Year after year Cliff has been right there to be our wonderful family photographer! As nice it’s been, I was ready to make that cute photographer a member of my fam bam.

Well this year, as we got home from dinner, we all rushed inside for what I thought was to change and get pictures done before we ran out of daylight. I came back downstairs and noticed the house was quiet… way too quiet for my family! Completely clueless as to what was about to happen, I made my way towards the balcony where I assumed everybody was.. but Cliff didn’t follow me..

Next thing I know, a James Taylor song starts to play and Cliff is holding both my hands looking down at me. I honestly couldn’t tell you what he said right there in that moment but next thing I know he leaned in with the cutest nervous grin- kissed my forehead, got down on one knee, looked at me and said, “Cathryn Ann Douglass, will you marry me?”

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After saying “Yes!” a hundred times, and a million hugs and kisses, he placed the most gorgeous ring on my finger and took my hand to lead me outside onto the balcony, where, all of a sudden, my mom came running into view at the base of the stairs with the rest of my family AND his entire family! As if this day wasn’t perfect enough already, he had coordinated with everyone that means the most to us and got them there to celebrate! The day was filled with so much love and laughter! It was everything I could have ever wanted and more!

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It was later that night when I was sitting on the patio with my dad, I looked at him and asked “Did he ask you?” He reassured me that he had, and then began to tell me the story of HOW.

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How He Asked Her Dad

From the Father of the Bride:

Although I “knew” in my heart it was coming, the call from the lobby at my office asking to see me was a blow. Cat and Cliff had been dating for about five years.  The last few years he had even come to our annual family beach week.  He was a welcome addition to the family vacation, not just because of the fun personality and my boys having another “brother”, but because we had someone to take the picture that we use every year for our Holiday cards.  But I digress…. It was early afternoon when I got a call on my office phone; someone was asking to see me.  I’m sure now that he said, “It’s Cliff” and I missed it.  Having clients come by unannounced all the time, I assumed this was just another one. A few sentences in, I recognized the voice, and almost ran to the door. As I let him in through the office partition, he said, “I need to ask you a question,” and we turned to walk to my office. Complete silence as we walked.  No small talk.  No “How’s the internship.” No “How ’bout those Astros.” Nothing.

He sat down in a chair by the window and I sat behind the desk. It may be a ritual that has happened for generations, but as a father when confronted with the situation, it’s entirely new and unexpected. He said he wanted to marry my daughter.  He said he wanted to ask her next month at Family Beach Week.  It was then he said, “I want to be in the picture.” I played it off as a few beads of sweat, but I’m sure it was a couple tears as I contemplated the strength and honor in his asking and the fear of losing in my answer.

I said yes, we would be more than honored to have him as a son-in-law; and Cat is very much in love with him. It was then, he and I both began to breathe again.  After listening to me babble on with words of wisdom and advice for the two of them, we shook hands. We hugged. Then, we each went back to work… Oh, and Cliff looks good in the family picture by the way.

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