Kristen and Erik's Windy Proposal

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How We Met

Within minutes of meeting each other on our high school’s senior summer trip we found ourselves in a debate over which one of us knew more about Disneyland. I don’t think we ever came to a conclusion despite the fact that our competition lasted all night and carried on through most of the next morning! From that first conversation onward we were inseparable. Every morning we would go for a walk and find some new topic to playfully battle over. By the end of the vacation we had become very good friends but feared that after the summer we’d both be on our way to different universities. Imagine our surprise when we realized we were both attending the same school. Fate! We ended up hanging out together almost every day freshman year of college. I hadn’t wanted a boyfriend at the time, but he stood by my side, okay with being my best friend for the time being. As soon as freshman year ended, he had had enough and asked me to officially be his girlfriend!

How He Asked

When you are eight & a half years into a relationship, you’d think a proposal wouldn’t be that surprising. We both knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. That was a fact probably realized even before we were officially dating. We talked about rings and where we would get married, and how many kids we wanted. But being a romantic who gets caught crying while reading Jane Austen, he knew that I would want a timeless story of my own. We planned a four-day trip to Seattle before our annual trip to visit our families for Christmas. I unknowingly gave him a perfect opportunity when I suggested that we each plan a day of the trip that the other new nothing about. Part of the day he planned involved a hike through the woodsy Discovery Park.

The day turned out very nice for December in Seattle; it was cloudy and a bit chilly, but there was no sign of rain. That morning he kept checking his phone and telling me it was supposed to rain at 1pm, right in the middle of our hike. I almost questioned his obsession with 1pm but ultimately let it go. If it rained, it rained, big deal right? While I was getting ready I noticed him nervously fixated on his phone. When questioned he said he was just checking up on his sports feed and that we should probably head out to stay on schedule. I wasn’t sure why this schedule was so important to him, especially when he was worried about being caught in the rain. When we left for brunch, he climbed into another person’s uber. I chalked it up to him being in full tourist mode. But then after brunch, he tried to get into someone else’s uber again! I started to get concerned as he usually asks before he just jumps into ubers. What was up with him today?

The hike was absolutely gorgeous.

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We were both cold but content snuggling together for more warmth.

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As we got closer to the beach, the sun started to peak through the clouds! I told him I wish I had brought my camera, and he jokingly said we should ask a nearby photographer taking pictures of wind surfers.

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At this point I was freezing, and could barely feel my fingers. He told me to look out over the water so he could take a picture, so I turned around and watched the shimmering bay. Little did I know that the love of my life was behind me on one knee. He calmly called out to me, but it was so windy that I couldn’t hear him! He gave it another go, a good deal louder this time. I turned around and was stunned!

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Whenever I’m happily surprised I get a nervous laugh. So there I am giggling like a child while he tells me how much he loves me. I think the first thing I said was ‘Babe, what are you doing?!’ After that I just repeated ‘YES!’ over and over as I tried to unclench my frozen hand so he could put the ring on my finger.

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That’s when the photographer from before came over and I realized that he was there to photograph our proposal.

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After spending a few hours letting it soak in that this wasn’t a dream, we sent a quick announcement picture to our family before calling everyone.

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We spent the rest of our vacation in bliss, waking up to gorgeous views of Seattle’s Public Market, and enjoying all of the local sights and sounds of Seattle during the Holidays.

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Special Thanks

Brian Hartman
photographer