Corina and Caleb

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How We Met

Caleb and I met through mutual friends. One of his best friends from Texas, Ramzi, is marrying my best friend from Oregon, Skylah. Skylah had mentioned Caleb casually in one of our conversation and pulled up one of his pictures from Facebook and said “hey what do you think of this guy?” I really wasn’t looking for anyone but I thought he was cute but what was I suppose to do about it? He lives in Texas! I just said “he’s cute, what do you want me to do about it?” Dropped the conversation and that was it. Well we go to church, all of us, different states but same organization. Well we had this huge youth event that was going to be held in Oklahoma City. 25,000 plus attended this event in August. I had totally forgotten that I was going to meet Caleb there. While I was mingling around and talking to friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time, Ramzi came up to me and Skylah and said “come I want to introduce you to some of my friends, so hurry.” This event was massive where you really couldn’t walk for more than ten steps without people stopping you and starting up a conversation because we’d hadn’t seen each other in months, years or whatever. Well, we finally get to where Ramzi was waiting for us and I recognized Caleb from the pictures…He’s better looking in person and he can dress! Ramzi personally introduces me to him and I shook his hand. He was so shy! He wouldn’t talk to me at all. We went out to eat with a group of friends and nothing…well the event was over and Skylah and I were going to head out to Texas and stay with Ramzi’s parents for a few days and then we would fly back home. The day we get to Texas, we head to a coffee shop and he showed up. He came up to me and said hi and that was it! Once we ordered coffee and chocolate truffles I made it my goal to talk to him. Well I pretty much talked his ear off and he was so attentive to what I was saying. It literally felt like we were on a date without anyone else being there, even though we were with a group. I loved that he only paid attention to me and was actually listening to what I was saying. I figured, I got this one in the bag, but at the end of the night he didn’t ask for my number or nothing! So I figured, well there goes that! Two days later, he asked to be my friend on Facebook. I accepted the request and the day I flew back to Portland he messaged me and said that he had a good time talking to me and I gave him my number. We would talk for hours at a time. He came up to Portland, took to me a great restaurant here in my hometown and officially asked me to be his girlfriend at the Rose Garden. Truly has been a blessing in my life from the minute I started talking to him. He was different than any other. Now, I get to be his wife soon and become Mrs. Congdon.

How He Asked

My family and I, along with my sister’s boyfriend Jereme and my little sister Belle’s best friend, Brandyn went on vacation to Belize, beginning of May. My boyfriend Caleb was suppose to come along with us but he couldn’t because of “work”.   It wasn’t unordinary for him to work for long hours and have him be busy, so I understood, for the most part. I really wanted him to be with me since I wanted to experience Belize with him since this was my first time going. I have an uncle that lives in Belize and it was going to be the first time I would meet him, my aunt and my four little cousins. We get to Belize and we head out to Maskall Village where my uncle lives. We were there for three nights, in the middle of the jungle pretty much. It was an experience for sure. Humbling, yet fun at the same time. After our third night we headed out to Belize City, which is an hour and a half away from Maskall Village riding in the back of the truck with luggage’s and 5 people sitting on them…one word, UNCOMFORTABLE. We finally get to Belize City where we take a 45-minute water taxi to the island of San Pedro. It was paradise! I would Facetime Caleb when I had wifi and being there made me miss him even more because I wanted to experience this together. We were in San Pedro for three days and on the third day Jereme, my sister Grace’s boyfriend, said to be ready by 5:00 because we had a dinner reservation in one of the top restaurants on the island. Well when I was getting ready, I put on a blue dress, hair in a bun and was going to go in my Jesus sandals to this place. My sister Grace looks at me and says, “you’re really going to go like that? Corina put some effort, yeah?! You look fat with your hair up and ridiculous with you wearing “chanklas” (Spanish way of saying sandals) and us wearing heels!” I was mortified because normally, she wouldn’t care what I was wearing and two; I’m not fat at all, seriously! It didn’t dawn on me that she would even care, so I put my hair down and wore heel wedges. We get to the restaurant, but our “reservation” wasn’t ready. The host said to just walk around the resort and they’ll be ready in 15 minutes. The restaurant was in the Victoria House Resort. It’s one of the top resorts on the Island and it’s in front of the beach, it’s gorgeous! We start walking on the beach and all of the sudden I see a photographer taking “pictures” of a couple on a hammock. I accidently got in front of him and my sister pulls me to turn my back on him before I could apologize and she says “LOOK, aren’t those nice?” pointing at the rooms, and all of the sudden I hear him, “Corina!” I thought I was hearing things and I turn as fast as I could and there he was, standing on a deck that had a little “casita” made out of straw on the ocean. I started to cry like a baby! I couldn’t believe he was here! In San Pedro! I walked, speed walked, maybe even ran a bit, to get to him. I walked to the deck and once I reached him I hugged him as tight as I could and then pinched him, not me, to make sure that I wasn’t hallucinating. He kissed me and said the most beautiful words and knelt down on one knee, while my whole family watched on the beach, and asked me to be his wife. Of course I said yes!! The photographer I saw was there for us. He was snapping pictures left and right. The ring was absolutely stunning! He designed it himself! It’s an emerald cut diamond with the halo being two “C’s” for Caleb and Corina, two Aquamarine stones, sit on the base of the ring under the halo for our birthstone since we were both born in March and on the inside of the ring the words “mi amor” were engraved, meaning “my love” in Spanish. My whole family was crying. It was just beautiful! The restaurant was actually setting up a table for the whole family to have dinner on the beach with twinkle lights and torches surrounding us.   As night fell upon us, the flashes of lightning surrounded us. It wasn’t fireworks but it was magical! It was the most beautiful proposal. He couldn’t have done any better. It was perfection. The next day we headed out to the Island of Caye Caulker where I was able to enjoy my last few days of vacation with the love of my life and soon to be husband.

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Special Thanks

Jose Luis Zapata
Photography