Ashley and Mark's Marriage Proposal in Telluride
How We Met
Statically speaking, my one in a million relationship, was a match made in heaven!
My “love at first sight” story was more along the lines of “love at first introduction”. This is my story on how I found my forever, best friend.
January of 2009, in my first class of the semester, Statistics, I promptly found a seat in the front row. I wanted to start the semester off on the right foot; establishing a routine of arriving early and taking detailed notes every class (at least, I kept up with the detailed notes part). Before class began, my professor was visiting with his new pupils, attaching new names with new faces. As we all waited for 10:00AM to roll around, I overheard a conversation between my professor and the students directly behind me.
Several ladies introduced themselves to the professor. Then, a young man stated his name and recounted details from an email he had sent to the professor addressing future absences throughout the semester. What I gathered was this young guy was a training, ski professional. Now, this was quite puzzling to our professor, who was trying to process why a young collegiate male, a training, winter sport, professional athlete, would be sitting in his classroom, in the middle of Fort Worth, Texas. The response he received may have surprised my professor, but it definitely left a lasting impression on me.
When questioned with, “If that’s so, then, what are you doing here?” The young male chuckled and stated that he would not be able to ski professionally forever, and an education was very important to him. An education would not only enable him to support himself, but also to provide for his wife and family, someday. Well, if that doesn’t just knock you over silly, to hear that a 20 year old male has enough fore thought to invest not only in himself, but also in his FUTURE FAMILY! I distinctly remember thinking “WOW, that guy’s future wife will be one lucky lady!”
It was the next class that I would officially meet this young guy, when he sat next to me in the front row. He introduced himself as Mark Brown. This was only the beginning of our fruitful story. The start of what would be our six and a half year journey to forever! During this time, we earned our Business Degrees from TCU, we rekindled our passions and aspirations in aviation, we shared adventures, both near and far, but most importantly, we built a lasting friendship.
How He Asked
As life has proven over the last year, Mark Brown, MB, and I could be called to “work” anywhere in the world, within a moment’s notice. Thankfully, I’ve had the flexibility to set, or adjust, my schedule allowing me to take time to travel to location, or co-pilot with MB, to share in this “new normal” life apart/together. We often pinch ourselves, asking each other, “How did we get here?!” The start of this “early birthday” trip was no exception to the crazy tale.
My overly calm, “everything will work out” MB never got upset with the changing, or lack of, schedule. He just knew things would fall into place and all would be well! I could tell this was a special trip for him and he wasn’t going to let anything get him down! MB had REALLY been prepping for my “early birthday” trip to Colorado. This included sending me a detailed packing list (for the perfect engagement photography session outfit). Once we eventually made it to the same location, we were off to the Rockies!
In Telluride, with a beautiful drive through the mountains complete, we settled into our fabulous condo. That night we shared a delicious dinner with Mark’s dear friend Eric, catching up on recent events and enjoying being back in our favorite little ski town. MB wanted to capture the last of the autumn colors in the Aspen trees against the rocky reds of the box canyon with a sunrise photoshoot. I knew we’d end up being a part of these sunrise photos, so I got up at 5:00AM to fix those curls! By 6:30, we were out the door, all bundled up, with a bag of “goodies”, one nice camera, and two GoPros.
MB loves photography. He runs around to capture the perfect angle, the perfect light, the perfect shot. That morning this was on full display! Mark had brought a southwestern blanket with him from Idaho for us to sit on while we enjoyed the sunrise. While I waited, and watched him run around, I just smirked and took countless iPhone photos to document the “behind the scenes” of this sunrise event. Once he got all the cameras set, he finally joined me to watch the sunrise.
When he couldn’t wait any more, he started taking my birthday gifts out of my Italian leather weekend bag. First, he gifted me a beautiful white/gray flannel from a great store in Oregon. Next, he gave me the softest Navajo blanket from a company that donations a blanket for every blanket purchased. Finally, MB hands me a white box with a gold bow. Inside the box, I found my FAVORITE chocolates in all the world, Telluride Truffles!
By this point, Mark is jumping up and down with excitement and nerves. He just about yelled, “THERE IS MORE IN THE BOX, UNDER THE CHOCOLATES!” Oh yes, there was more under the chocolates! There was a purple ring box under the chocolates. He took, opened the box and dropped to one knee all in one swoop. Not wasting another second, he asked “Will you marry me?” With a massive grin and misty eyes, I SAID YES! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mark so happy, or relieved! After months of preparation and planning, Mr. MB had pulled off the perfect surprise on a perfect day in Telluride!