Cristal and Michael

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How We Met

Michael and I met three years ago on a group hike that was put together by work colleagues. I first spotted him two weeks prior in the office. He had moved here to Arizona from Maryland not knowing a single person. I immediately thought he was incredibly handsome and I was eager to find out more about him. I told a friend that I thought he was “cute” so she offered to set up the hike. Well, the hike turned out to be a bit unsuccessful. There were a lot of people there and it was difficult for the two of us to get alone time. We ended up talking for about 30 seconds and it didn’t turn out so great. So I went home and told myself that I probably wasn’t his type and that I should just move on.

Fast forward a couple weeks after the hike– I needed to go into the office on a Saturday. I had left my laptop charger there and needed it to do homework (I was working on my MBA at the time). I walked in and saw Michael sitting at his desk working away. I felt a bit sorry for him…new guy in town sitting at work on a Saturday. So I ended up walking up to him and asked for his number. My thought was perhaps we could be friends at least and I could introduce him to new people in the area. Well, I never called him. A part of me was nervous. A part of me feared rejection. The day after, I ended up texting him to apologize for “blowing him off”. He teased me for it but was polite. We ended up texting and talking that night for hours. And then every day for two weeks we spoke every day and every night. He would ask me out every week (he was tired of texting and not conversing in person). I just thought he was bored or needed someone to pass the time with. So I said no. He asked me four more times after that. By the fifth time, I finally said yes. It was the best first date of my life. And it would be the last first date. Three years later, here we are. Still together so in love and planning our wedding!

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How He Asked

Michael and I have always talked about marriage…even when we first started dating three years ago. For the last six months, we had been seriously talking about it. We went to look at rings and talked about possible wedding venues. In February, his father was diagnosed with lung cancer. It came as a huge shock to us but they were able to operate on his father to remove a lung to hopefully mitigate any further threat. Unfortunately, the cancer spread to his brain and in March, they had to remove two large brain tumors. The doctors gave his father only a few months to live. Michael was devastated. He immediately flew to Maryland to be there with him. He told me “be prepared for me to fly you out so we can get married in a hospital chapel…I want nothing more but my father to be a part of this and to see his son get married to the woman he loves”

Luckily, his father survived the brain surgery but his prognosis of living only for a couple of months longer didn’t change. Because of this, Michael and I decided to immediately set a date to get the ball rolling on wedding plans. He unofficially proposed in the front lawn of his parents home. We set a date of June 11, 2016 so that his father can be there. I didn’t have a ring. We didn’t have a whirlwind proposal. I figured all of that would come later…he father was more important so we put the traditional proposal aside just for a bit…

On May 15, 2016, Michael gave me my dream proposal. We were back in Arizona and wrapping up our finalizing our wedding planning. It was a Sunday and he told me he needed me to go to the grocery store to get some stuff for an outdoor cookout later, just for the two of us. I came home to find out he had set up a scavenger hunt around the house. He had pieces of paper folded up with clues that led me to various places around the house. The 8th clue read “Go to the place where we always wanted to put a bench to watch the sunset”. I knew where that was…a beautiful spot in our back yard underneath two trees with a perfect view of the sunset. Tied around one of the tree branches with the 9th clue. It read “You made it…now turn around, because…” I turned around to find him on one knee with the most amazing ring in a box. He said to me “I think I already know the answer, but I want to ask you anyway” The rest, naturally was a blur. But the rest of my life with him awaits and I cannot be more excited and happy.

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