Gabrielle and Blake
How We Met
We met my first year at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri at a house party. I honestly didn’t have any initial interest in him, but apparently he knew he wanted to get to know me more based on our first interaction at that party. We didn’t really start getting to know each other until we started going to the same Community Group on Wednesday nights, where a bunch of us would all hang out, eat food, and talk about life. I went on a Fall Retreat trip that October and Blake knew that I was there, so he drove 30 minutes just so he could come talk to me (I was still sooo oblivious).
That night, we were hanging out with two of our friends when he asked if any of us were hungry and wanted to grab TBell. I was STARVING, so I was immediately down. Our friends wanted to stay, so Blake and I just went ourselves. When we got to TBell, we decided we’d rather not wreck our stomachs, so we went to IHOP instead (probably not much better). We ended up sitting in IHOP talking for like 3 hours. We hung out the next 3 days in a row and started dating not that long after. Ultimately, our story of how we met and how we started dating is a tale of a man that relentlessly pursued the woman he wanted, and in doing so, won her heart.
How He Asked
It was the first day that we were staying in Yosemite. We woke up and took different hikes all day, seeing beautiful waterfalls, mountains, and streams. It was around dinner time and we were about to call it a night and head back to our cabin. His parents mentioned how they wanted to go to the gift shops to look around, so they started heading that way. Blake and I wanted to drop off our backpacks in the car, and then go meet up with them. When we got to the car, I said how I was tired and that we should just wait for them to come back. This worked in his favor because he wasn’t planning on meeting up with them anyway haha. He convinced me to walk around where we were, and he took me back behind this lining of big pine trees. It was like it’s own secluded cove, with a still stream and a beautiful view of Half Dome. There were only two people, one old lady reading a book in a folding chair and the other a photographer taking photos of the view. Blake told me to ask him to take our photo. I did, and as he was “taking our photo” (really taking a video because this guy was in on Blake’s plan), Blake took my hands and turned to me. I immediately knew what was happening. He continued to say something super sweet that I can’t remember for the life of me because I basically blacked out.
He got down on his knee, and I lost it. I eventually somehow heard him say the very important question: “Will you marry me?” And I said something like, “Yes!” Afterward, I realized that one of my friends, Keaton Baker, from college that I hadn’t seen in like 2 years, who is now a professional photographer, was taking our pictures! (And the old lady who was reading a book was not a part of the plan, but she was so sweet and tearing up, she showed us a video she took of us when she realized what was happening haha).
Blake had communicated with Keaton prior, and he and his friend (the one that I originally asked to take our photo), took us around the valley, and we did a full on shoot with them! Every detail was so magical. I couldn’t stop saying, “Everything is beautiful!” I’m so grateful to get to marry a man that makes me feel so special. He is truly better than I deserve. I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life with my very best friend!