Sunday, October 21, 2018

Trailside proposal

A year ago tomorrow was one of the most magical and special days of my life. To celebrate our engagement anniversary (and since it's obviously mountain bike related), I wanted to share our story:

The week leading up to the big question, Alex had been looking up new places to go mountain biking. I was definitely up for an adventure, but was a little surprised he wanted to go somewhere far because we were still getting to know the trails right around us. But little did I know that he wanted to pick somewhere beautiful to propose! We finally decided on Harbison State Forest, just outside Columbia, SC, only an hour and 45 minutes away. It looked like there might actually be some elevation change for us to play on! And maybe a beautiful river by a trail...

There was one trail there we definitely want to hit, Spider Woman II, their most challenging trail. Alex took off first and I slowly picked my way over what seemed like an endless amount of things I couldn't clean. It was a lot of slow going hike-a-biking for me and I was getting frustrated with myself. About halfway through the trail, we saw a river close by with some rocks in the middle. It was such a beautiful spot that I wanted to go get a picture of us out there. Alex wanted to go explore too, but for an even better reason.

We left our bikes on the bank and Alex easily bounded out to the biggest rock, while I slowly clamored out to meet him (with my helmet still on for some reason). When I finally made it out to him, he was bent down on one knee! It was such a perfect proposal! The mountain biking, the beautiful scenery, and the most amazing guy in the world! Of course I said yes!

The rest of the ride was a blur of happiness. Even though I had to walk over lots of parts of the trail, a smile was glued on my face. Now every time we pass our engagement rocks, we say hi to them, though usually the river is too high to get out to them. Alex hadn't even planned to propose there. He was originally thinking by "The Bluffs", but when we checked that out later, it was a pretty boring spot. Everything just worked out so perfectly!

Side story about the ring: My mom's good friend Karina is a jeweler and she's made lots of beautiful jewelry for us over the years. My parents told me that if anyone was going to make my ring, it better be her. I agreed so I told Alex about her and he sent her an email, unbeknownst to me. Karina was so surprised and happy and of said that she'd make the ring for us. Alex and I had gone to look at rings a while ago and he knew I wanted something simple and not too flashy (more like a wedding band than a typical wedding ring). So he told all this to Karina and she met my mom for lunch a few days later and they drew out ideas on napkins and sent them to Alex to look at. Such a cute process! Fast forward a few months and we were in Boston visiting family. We went out to lunch with Alex's sister and our little niece in a little indoor mall building. As we were leaving, I was looking at the names of all the stores and noticed that Karina's store was there! I just had to say hi. Meanwhile Alex is kinda freaking out because he had picked up the ring the day before and didn't want Karina to give it away since he wasn't going to propose for another month. When we found her store (with no help from Alex), the first thing she said to us was "Congratulations on the engagement!" but with Alex shaking his head behind me she quickly changed that to "Congrats on your Master's!" (because I had just defended). Luckily, I was somehow oblivious to this whole exchange and just really happy to see Karina. After Alex proposed to me, he told me how Karina felt so bad about almost ruining the surprise. So funny! Long story short, my ring was designed and created with so much love from Karina, my mom, and Alex. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect and beautiful ring. They all did such an amazing job.

Lunchtime ring sketches.

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