Whitney and Caleb
How We Met
It was my freshman year of college at Washington State University, in the tiny 34,000 person town of Pullman Washington when I first laid my eyes on my best friend. It was just another early Sunday morning of helping set up for church service when I saw Caleb from across the auditorium helping lift the giant tower speakers, and laughing with his friends. Of the big group of guys he was with, there was something about him that drew my attention! Okay, let’s be honest… at that moment it was his good looks that attracted me to him, but as time went on and we found ourselves hanging out with the same group of friends, what really sucked me in was is servant heart, and his LOVE FOR JESUS! We stayed friends and awkward college freshmen for the next couple months, experiencing the adventures of college side by side. We stayed up late in our dorm study rooms doing homework and talking for hours, and got up early to go on runs and grab breakfast with our friends in the dining hall. We were friends at the time, and had never brought up the idea of dating, but it was perfect. He was my best friend, and there was nothing more that I wanted!
Our group of friends would sneak into the music building on campus late at night to play piano and sing together, and quickly these nights became some of my favorite memories from freshman year. I remember one night specifically… we were all hanging out, one of our friends was singing and playing piano, and Caleb and I were going through our most horrific middle school brace face selfies on Facebook. One of our friends (shoutout Aidan) came over and jokingly said “you guys are going to get married someday.” “What the heck!” I said to myself! Caleb and I were just friends and now it was awkward because this guy had brought up not only the idea of us being in a relationship, but the idea of us getting married someday!!! We thought he was crazy, but look at us know…engaged, and getting married! Even after several of our friends made comments about how Caleb and I should date, we remained friends for the next couple months. Then summer came… Caleb and I spent our summer living in La Jolla, CA with our church on a mission trip. There obviously couldn’t be much hanging out because we weren’t there to date, but I missed our late night study hangouts! I missed his friendship when we weren’t together, so as often as we could we would run down to the lobby of our hotel and drink the complimentary hot chocolate together (yes… hot chocolate in the summer, I know. Weird. But Caleb knew it was my favorite and it gave us an excuse to hang out!) We got back to Pullman from our summer in California and Caleb asked me to go on a date with him! He made me the best homemade mac n cheese, took me on a walk through a park as the sun set, and we ended the night looking out on all of the small town city lights in the back of his truck drinking the hotel hot chocolate he had snuck back to Pullman. It was romantic, thoughtful, and perfect.
How He Asked
Caleb’s letters are my favorite. They became the foundation of our friendship, relationship, and in this sweet moment, a part of our forever. He has always written me letters; some about about our silly inside jokes, and others about my stupid little quirks that he said he fell in love with. He wrote me the first letter when we were just friends in California, another when he asked me to go on a date with him, and countless more during the two years we dated. Every birthday, and holiday was marked by his sweet letters. He would write me little notes and sneak them into my lunches, and would send me letters in the mail when we were apart. When he proposed, he handed me the most special letter, told me to read it out loud, and asked me to be his best friend for life. It was perfect, and completely unexpected.
I’m the kind of person who guesses what their Christmas presents are by looking at them the night before… so in my mind there was no surprising me with a proposal. I thought I would know exactly when Caleb would propose! He would have a fresh haircut, be wearing one of his favorite outfits, and be nervous as all get out! He was all of those things, but he had the perfect cover. We met the photographer who captured this moment at our best friends wedding back in May.
He asked us if we wanted to go take pictures with him at some cool spots he hadn’t gotten to capture yet, and we couldn’t say no! We were thankful that he asked us, but also horrified and felt guilty for agreeing because we both hate pictures, are horribly awkward, and the least bit photogenic. We set a date for the shoot, and I never thought much about it. Yes, it would be the perfect opportunity for Caleb to propose, but there is no way he would, he hadn’t even asked my dad for permission yet! …or so I thought… Caleb asked to buy Jordan, the photographer we met at the wedding, a beer and talked to him about the idea he had for the proposal. Jordan agreed to his plan, and somehow Caleb snuck to meet my Dad for lunch and asked for his permission to marry me.
Fast forward a couple weeks to the day of the shoot. We got in Jordan’s car, drove around town shooting photos and listening to ridiculous music.
Two hours into the shoot, the sun was beginning to set, and we arrived at our last location where Caleb and Jordan had planned for him to ask the question.
With the sun striking through the dusty air, Caleb handed me the sweetest letter to date and told me to read it out loud. I hardly made it through the whole thing. I couldn’t catch my breath, and stumbled over almost every world struggling to comprehend what was even happening!
I finished the letter, and Caleb dropped to one knee and proposed. Their plan had worked and I was IN SHOCK. It was the perfect night, captured by the most amazing photographer.
We ended the night at our favorite restaurant, Red Robin. He told me all about talking to my dad, and how he pulled off the surprise. It was all a whirlwind of emotions, but I am so excited to spend everyday loving my best friend!