Maria and Caleb
How We Met
We first met on our university’s track and field team, however we didn’t really get to know each other until the following year when we were Resident Assistants in the dorms together. Spring semester the two of us got put on weekly duties together and bonded by making hundreds of quesadillas every week for freshman.
Every year our school puts on an event in February called “The Dating Games.” When Caleb was chosen as the eligible bachelor I knew I had to go to it to watch my friend. It was the classic dating game TV show, where the bachelor’s task was to ask a list of embarrassingly revealing questions to 3 randomly selected audience members, and find his best match. Of course the 3 contestants identities were kept secret by a curtain, but the audience members could see both sides. Whoever he chose got to go out on a fancy date with him that weekend (on Valentine’s Day of course).
During the games, it somehow ended up that a couple girls on my hall got my name entered in a raffle to go up and compete for a date with Caleb. Although I was totally embarrassed answering some of the questions, Caleb chose me as the winner and awarded me with the winning rose. We were both relieved that we knew each other and looked forward to our Valentine’s Day date, where our school payed for an extravagant time complete with a limousine, mini-golf, a PF Chang’s meal, and frozen yogurt.
The rest of the year went by very quickly, and we continued to hang out and spend time together, always looking forward to our weekly duty night. In the last couple weeks of school, Caleb sent me on a scavenger hunt all over our campus, and at the end of it asked me to go to the Spring Formal dance with him. Unfortunately, I had torn my ACL at my track meet the day before the dance, but he still wanted to make the night special for me, so we went (leg brace and all) and had fun exploring the venue and watching our friends go crazy on the dance floor!
Caleb graduated later that week and he had told me about his post college plans and his call to be a missionary. Earlier in the year he had been hired to be a Resident Assistant at a boarding school in the Black Forest of Germany, and he was going to be leaving after the summer to go serve there. The last day of school, he told me he liked me and had liked me for awhile, and felt it was time to tell me.
Even though I had sensed he liked me, I was pretty shocked when he told me this given he was leaving for his overseas mission for the next two years! It took me another week and a beautiful date to finally tell him that I liked him as well and wanted to see where this went. Three weeks later we were sitting on a blanket in the park and I let him know I was ready to date him.
We spent every waking moment with each other that summer, taking advantage of the time we had left. The day he left for Germany was one of the saddest days of my life. However, both of us felt a peace that we would rise to the challenge of long distance dating, and make it through. My sister and I got to visit him in Germany for all of Christmas break, then he surprised visited me for Spring Break a couple months after that. Even though it was hard, Caleb and I made this season fun and exciting and we learned so much about each other through it.
How He Asked
On June 12th Caleb flew home to Oregon from Germany. The following day, we attended his best friend’s wedding, and we had planned to go together. It was at a beautiful location right on the gorge and afterwards I suggested we stop by at the place we went on our first date where I told him I liked him. Because it felt so spontaneous, I didn’t see anything coming! We got out and started talking about how special it was to be back here again and I was completely unaware of the tea lights just ahead of us.
All of a sudden I noticed a blanket laid out right where we had sat over a year before, and a guitar that looked an awful lot like my guitar and a girl who looked a lot like my sister taking pictures of us… it hit me all at once and my heart started beating faster as he led me to our spot. I then suddenly noticed all of the mason jars and beautiful decor (both our sisters and another close friend got there hours before to set it all up) After we sat down, he read me a very sweet list of 15 reasons he loves me, then he got on one knee and asked me to marry him, and I said yes of course!
Afterward, I said goodbye to our sisters and friend, and we drove back to his home where I was surprised to open the door to all our closest friends and family members! The whole house and backyard was decorated with pictures, hanging mason jars, and lights! It seriously was the best proposal I could ask for and feels like a dream looking back!