a proposal story

maybe we found love 
right where we are
>> ED SHEERAN

That’s one of “our songs.” And it’s SO fitting to our story. A story that would take way too long to tell, but the gist of it is that we were both surprised to fall in love. Again. Or maybe this really was the first time. 
See, Mason and I dated once before – a loonggg, looonggg, looonggg time ago. Okay, fine – back in 2012, which was a long time ago. And only briefly. And I didn’t like him. That’s definitely a story for another day, but the short version is that we got together again as 2014 was drawing to a close. On one of our first dates the second time, we took his little Jeep up to the top of a small mountain to watch the world go by below.

That first mountain view – only this was taken summer 2013 – on an awkward hike with sisters and mutual friends. But that is totally a story for another day. When we went that winter it was covered in snow and fog – but still beautiful. 

“Sooo, where do you see this going?” He asked.
I really didn’t know quite what to say, but I remember that we agreed that we could go places together. 
Oh, and aren’t we going places now? *insert little monkey emoji here*
The next weekend, on our second date, I believe, we drove up to the tiny airstrip overlooking the valley (apparently we like to drive to our views, it’s easier than hiking). We tried to see the sunset, but the clouds prevented that. Whatever – we froze and had a lovely time trespassing at the end of the runway anyway.

The view from the end of the runway – it quickly became one of our favorite haunts. 

It was one of our first selfies… guys, don’t judge. We got in lots of practice later. And in that VERY SPOT.
Skip ahead to this summer (last semester of college, my Pensacola graduation, his graduation in Olympia, working with his family all summer). The end of a warm weekend evening found us up at our airport haunt again, watching the sunset for real this time. It was a gorgeous warm evening, just before I moved to California. The sun stretched purple shadows over “our” mountains as we watched and talked quietly, sometimes not talking at all. 
Boy, I knew I’d miss this man. 
In California, I hit the ground running, so I was ready to go home to my mountains and my people after four months of being away. Plus, I hadn’t been home for Thanksgiving in FIVE years (thanks, college)! 
A few days before Thanksgiving break, Mason texted me. 
“Want to go hiking sometime while you’re up here?”
“Okayyyy, but it’ll be… like… 20 degrees, you know?” 
“Well, we’ll see.”

I LOVE the way my Mom decorates for Thanksgiving, btw. <3

I LOVE that cute olive sign that my Mom picked up at Hobby Lobby and hung on the kitchen wall – I hate olives, but I adore puns, and isn’t that the most precious thing?!

He asked about Thanksgiving morning – could we go hiking then? There’s a relatively easy trail that goes up a nearby mountain to a gorgeous view. We’d done it with friends during the summer we weren’t talking to each other (slightly awkward, okay). That trail would be steep and icy, but I readied myself for the challenge. I told him I usually helped Mom with Thanksgiving dinner all morning, but when I asked her about having the morning to spend with Mason, she seemed unusually willing to let me off the hook. I mean, it’s true – I hadn’t helped in five years, but still! 

And THIS is the mess I left Mom with. 
As I left work to catch my flight on Tuesday, Kelly asked me: “So, will you come back to us engaged?!”
“Naww, he’s not going to ask yet! We don’t want a super long engagement… I think he’ll wait til Christmas.” 
“Well, I’m going to text him!! ‘She’s not expecting it, do it now’!” 
I laughed off the possibility – it would be nice, but he kept saying “it could be a few months yet,” so I assumed he’d wait til Christmas (not to mention he’s as Christmas-crazed as Buddy the Elf and pretty much starts listening to Christmas music in March). 
When he came into town Wednesday evening, I was mentally prepared for a cold Thanksgiving morning of hitting up a mountain. But he wasn’t… I’m pretty sure it’s cause the long hike would’ve been too much and he couldn’t have kept the secret one minute longer. We decided that he could come over for Thanksgiving brunch, then we’d go grab coffee and drive up to “our airport” in lieu of the hike. 
So he came to brunch, acting totally normal. I got ready to go and was late, as usual – probably stressing him out immensely. He was quiet on the drive – too quiet. He turned up the Christmas music so he didn’t have to talk, and we both sang along in silly voices. I knew if there was something on his mind, it would come out sooner or later, so I didn’t question him. Maybe he was tired.

It was a PERFECT morning – bluebird skies, not too cold, not too windy. 

We stopped to get coffee at one of those *wonderful* drive-through coffee stands (which I haven’t seen anywhere except Washington: this goes to show you that we take our coffee seriously!). We got peppermint mochas. Now, that might not seem significant, but we both got peppermint mochas on our first date the first time, so they’re kind of our thing. As much as a coffee drink can be “your thing.” 
While we waiting for our coffee, a friend of ours drove up to the window on the other side. “Hey, isn’t that Eric?” I asked Mason. 
“Yeah, I think so! We’ll go drive around and see him.” When Mason almost drove off without our coffee, I shouldn’t KNOWN something was wrong. I think he was actually thinking: “Eric!! A human I can talk to without spilling the secret!!!” 
“Man, I haven’t had coffee in a few days,” Mason said. “I bet I’m going to get a super big caffeine rush!” 
^^ his lame excuse for later when his heartbeat was going twenty-seven miles a minute.
We got our coffee, told Eric Happy Thanksgiving, and headed up to the mountain. I also should’ve known something was up when he almost made two wrong turns, too… gosh, I am SO naive. 
“Should we leave our coffee in the car or bring it?”
“Ehh, just leave it. We won’t be long, it’ll be fine”
^^ translation: I don’t want to have to be responsible for you dropping your coffee all over me when I propose
We walked hand-in-hand through the crunchy snow to the edge of the runway. Wow, that view is gorgeous. I was snapping pictures, as always. But it was SO cold! I laid my head on his shoulder and noticed he was shivering. I asked him if he was cold, and he was like “Mmm…yeah, kinda!” (LIAR) I also wanted to let him know that his heart sounded like it was about to burst… I figured he was getting that caffeine rush (like, four minutes after two sips of coffee… gosh, I AM naive).

Isn’t that view gorgeous?? I’m telling you… he was probably REALLY glad I was taking pictures and being *slightly* distracted. 

“Are you happy?” he asked.
“Yes, I am verrrry happy.” I smiled.
“Could you be any more happy?” 
I almost laughed and said cutely, “Aww, no, babe – I couldn’t be any more happy.” 
“Mmmm…”
Okay,” I thought. “That was random.” 
“Aren’t those mountains over there pretty?” He turned me around to face away from him.
“Mmhmm…” I looked at the mountains for a few seconds and then I got bored and turned around to face him again. His hand was on my back, but his face was suddenly not a few inches above mine. I was SO confused and glanced down to find him with one knee in the snow – one hand in mine, and a shiny diamond ring in his other. 
“What. Are you doing.” 
A few moments of silence. And then, slowly: “Will you marry me?” 
Gosh, I love a man who gets straight to the point.

“What?”
“Yes.”
“Are you SERIOUS?”
“Yes.”
“Now?!”
“Yes.”
“You’re asking me to…”
^^ I’m pretty I sure I shouted ALL of that.

“Yes, Hannah, that’s why I have a ring and I’m down on one knee.” (I don’t know if he actually said that, but I’m sure that’s what he was thinking)

For once in my life, I was semi-speechless. He stood up and looked at me, I think he was half-worried I’d say no.
After a few more mumblings of nonsense words, he slid the ring on my finger and I managed a “yes, yesyesyes oh my stars, yesyesyesyesyesyes of COURSE!” – because I don’t believe in doing anything halfheartedly.

FIRST ENGAGED COUPLE SELFIES!! (okay I’ll calm down)
He breathed – probably for the first time in like five minutes – and gave me the tightest hug. I laughedandlaughedandlaughed and smiled and squealed and tried to breathe deeply and I’m pretty sure that my heart rate sped up as his calmed down. The first few seconds after he asked, he totally stopped shivering and I guess it was my turn, so I started shivering out of pure excitement.

And I didn’t cry. SO proud of myself. 

He had to calm me down before we could go out in public. He was super chill and I think his reality his and started to settle in WELL before mine did. I couldn’t stop looking at my hand for hours afterwards, and I probably talked loudly and fast for a solid two days (because that’s how I handle excitement).

Our coffee was cold by the time we got back to the car.

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is only the beginning of the beginning of many wonderful adventures. I’m so blessed that Jesus brought such an amazing future husband into my life… I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to begin this journey with this man. 
We stopped by Mason’s family’s place, and while he helped his dad with a quick chore, I tried to take a ring selfie with the cat. EPIC FAIL, Ingrid-or-Astrid…. whatever your name is.

PS – I’m an engaged woman. 

I still can’t stop thinking about that. 
Or accidentally saying “my boyfriend” instead of “my fiancé.” 
PS2 – GUYS I HAVE A FIANCÉ.
I like the way that sounds.

PS3 – and then we went home and celebrated FOR REAL!

12 Comments

  1. *SQUEALS SO LOUDLY AS TO ATTRACT ATTENTION FROM MY CAT* 😀 I think YES YES YES!!! ;D You are adorbs, my dear girl, and I am SO SO SO SO happy for you! Congratulations, Hannah! <3

  2. Land sakes – it is a small world out here in the rurals of WA!

    So, you are marrying my former instructor, you two saw my tallGuy in all his hairy no-shave November glory, and then you posed with one of my son's former kittens (that I tried to give you this summer but gave to the A-clan instead).

    OH, what I really meant to say is CONGRATS to the moon and back – we are so happy for both of you!

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