Catrina and Justin

How We Met

2012 was the year that my life forever changed. I Graduated college, finally lived on my own (with two amazing roommates), and started Undergraduate Pilot Training. To this day, I’d still considerate it hardest most rewarding time of my life. Everyone in UPT had the same goal and we were in the middle of nowhere Texas with no distractions, so of course we decided to turn everything into a party and classmates became forever friends. That was were I met my best friend. That was where I met the man of my dreams. That was where I met Justin. It was a Friday night and my roommates and I decided to relax at the pool hall and grab a few drinks. This guy walks in with a few friends and all wearing flight suits. We had some mutual friends and all started talking. He never missed a beat; he was quick witted, had that southern charm, and I couldn’t help but smile around him. Over the next few weeks, we never texted but constantly ran into each other, playing volleyball, at parties, at work. We still hadn’t exchanged phone numbers, not until Halloween night. We showed up to the same party–I still remember his silver sparkly chucks. He was the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz and I was Risky Business. I personally think my costume was better and I was hoping to stay for the costume competition but was too exhausted.

Where to Propose in Milford Sound, Queenstown

Feeling under the weather, I left early. Almost immediately, Justin came outside and finally asked for my number. On my walk home, we texted a few times and found out we lived two streets from each other. Within minutes after walking into my place, he showed up with soup, Tangled, and pockets full of candy (which he decided to hide throughout my house for me to find the next morning). He swept me off my feet that night and ever since. I’ll see him after being apart for a few days and my heart flickers a bit when I remember back to those hot summer nights in Texas and us in cowboy boots dancing the night away. We started dating quickly afterwards and it came time for assignments. We unfortunately we stationed on opposite sides of the country–California and New Jersey. We talked about doing distance but with both of us starting a new Formal Training Unit and deployments, we weren’t sure when we would be able to see each other in the next year, so we decided to remain friends and keep in touch. Almost a year later, he took a trip that passed through California and we did a group outing to V. Sattui Winery (which is now our Venue!) and it was absolutely gorgeous. We had so much fun and it was clear the sparks between us never settled. We decided to try to line up our deployments and see what happened. It was the start of #theafventuresofbearandmoose. We traveled, spent the holidays together, and we got a puppy! And we’ve been together ever since.

How He Asked

Our most recent trip was to New Zealand and it was out of this world. I am already planning another vacation to South Island. We planned it smack dab between our two deployments which happened to be right after Valentine’s Day and during my Birthday. The timing was perfect. And we had an itinerary to match. He flew out to California and found out his passport was still in New Jersey. But stories that start like these are always the ones with the best endings. When we finally made it to New Zealand we traveled North and South Island, played with the hobbits, swam under the glow worms, jumped off ridiculously high ledges, and snuck away to the 7th wonder of the world for an overnight cruise.

The views were breathtaking and the sun was just starting to set. It was so easy to get lost in the sound of the water. Justin ran inside to snag us a coat because the wind was starting to pick up and I caught him making friends down below. This was the type of cruise that is a once in a lifetime experience and everyone had cameras to match, except for us. When I joined the conversation, the gentleman from Texas with a really nice camera said he’d love to take some pictures of us for my scrapbook–I had no clue what it was really for! That was when all of my fairy tales and happy endings finally came true. I looked down to see Justin smiling right where he got down on one knee and asked me to make him the happiest man on Earth.

Well it was either than or he’d throw me overboard so I said yes! He is my best friend, my partner in crime, my everything and I can’t wait to spend all my forever Birthdays with him.

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