I had the best week.
And it’s only Friday!
Monday, November 9, marked the two year anniversary of when Mark asked me to marry him. I reminisced by looking at all the beautiful photos that I am so lucky to have had secretly captured (the posed portraits after the proposal were obviously not secret). Dear men who plan to one day propose, have a photographer to capture the moment! You won’t regret it.
I can’t believe it’s been two years since he proposed and two years of wearing this beautiful ring. Time has flown by!
This past Tuesday after breakfast we left for a short but sweet getaway to Whistler, a city we adore. After we checked into our hotel in the village we went to Starbucks to get the same drinks we drank on our walk to Lost Lake two years ago. And no, not outraged there’s a lack of snowmen and snowflakes on this year’s Red Cups. (When I told Mark what the Red Cup kerfuffle was about on Monday he said, “If people want Christmas on their cups so bad, just tell the barista your name is Merry Christmas.” What a brilliant lad.) We spent the rest of the day at Lost Lake, exploring Whistler, trying to keep warm (it was so chilly!) and had an amazing 5 course meal at Bearfoot Bistro. On Wednesday we ate at the same breakfast restaurant as we did two years ago, spent more time meandering and finished our trip with our traditional Cows Ice Cream.
Back in Vancouver, we both went to work for a couple hours and then went to our first Cirque De Soleil show, KOOZA! We were so impressed and are so excited for our next Cirque experience. The Ring of Death was our favourite segment. On Thursday we finished Christmas shopping. YES LORD! And today, we attended the Men’s Qualifier FIFA game at BC Place. So much excitement in one week!
This week has been full of happiness, celebrations and love. Since it marked (get it?) the two year anniversary of our engagement, I thought it would be the perfect time to share – in detail – our proposal. One of the best days I have ever lived.
November 9, 2013.
Mark and I decided we would go to Whistler for the day on November 9. I booked the day off work and he had the weekends off from his program. It was a special date and we thought it would be fun to go to Whistler to spend some time together.
I was in Ontario for a few weeks at the end of the summer in 2010. It was my first time visiting the Niagara region and I instantly fell in love with everything. (It’s also where we got married!) I had met Mark through a friend and honestly, we weren’t so much interested in one another at all. He was just a boy. I was just, “some girl from BC,” he says. Wellll I flew back home to Vancouver and just two months after that guess who paid “some girl from BC” a visit? I’ll save the details for when I share “our story” but from the moment I left Ontario, his visit to BC and an insane amount of MSN conversations, text messages, phone calls and Skype conversations we were justfriends.
In the beginning of November that year, we said we were going to take some time to think this through. We wanted to be certain (as much as we could) that we would invest in this long-distance relationship. It was a big deal! We had only just met and we were separated by 3 provinces. (Provinces are kind of like states, my American friends). So we both agreed to simmer down with the non-stop talking and decided that we would share our honest thoughts with one another over a Skype call on November 9. Well. When a boy and a girl like one another, the flirting don’t stop. Random texts and two Skype calls were exchanged throughout two weeks. Here’s something to laugh about: Mark ended up sharing his honest thoughts a week before the date and I, two days before the date. The final consensus was: we wanted this.
Which is why we loveNovember 9. (We were obviously already crazy for one another).
The drive along the beautiful Sea-to-Sky highway was nothing out of the ordinary. We had done this trip and the drive many, many times in our relationship. Whistler had become one of “our” places. We would drive up to Whistler when Mark came to visit me in Vancouver from Ontario or Yellowknife during our long distance pre-dating and dating phases. So, this particular excursion was nothing particularly surprising.
When we arrived in the village we ate brunch at our favourite breakfast spot in the Village, Crêpe Montagne. I ordered my usual, Eggs Benedict and Mark ordered a savoury crepe. I was thoroughly enjoying my breakfast and being in such a cozy restaurant. (Mark tells me that I took longer than usual eating and he was trying to speed me up because the photographer was expecting us!)
After breakfast we went to Starbucks and got our first Christmas drinks of the season (caramel brûlée is the Starbucks drink I yearn for all year long…if you don’t know what to get me for Christmas…haha!) All week long I was going out meeting different friends for coffee (at Starbucks too!), so I held off on getting my special drink for November 9. Even Mark knew I was holding off getting this drink for Saturday. It’s. My. Favourite. Hot or cold.
We stopped at the car so I could ditch my purse and off we went to walk to Lost Lake. We were looking for the short cut, but somehow missed it and took the route we took 2 years before this date. It was slippery, rainy, wet and quite cold. I would stop and drink my coffee from time to time and also took a couple pictures on my phone along the way. Mark seemed a bit pushy to get there (as in pushing my back to keep moving) but I didn’t really think anything of it. And then, finally, we arrived at Lost Lake. There were two cute snowmen on a bench that I wanted to take a picture of, but Mark said, “No, we’ll just get it on the way back.” “What?” I said. Then I thought to myself, He never stops me from taking pictures….“Okay.” “I just want to get to the picnic table,” he said.
We sat here the very first time we went to Whistler together in October 2010. It was the first time we had seen each other after I left Ontario and the first time Mark visited Vancouver. He has family in BC and had only visited during family vacations – this time it was for the sole purpose to see a girl! We weren’t dating, but we were very much in like with one another. So the time spent on the picnic table that first time was filled with poking fun at each other, talking about long distance and our relationship, how much we (pretty much)
loved liked one another and an overload of flirting. This had become “our picnic table” and on every trip to Whistler we would make it a priority to spend some time in this special spot. On November 9, 2012 we had also spent some time hanging out on this picnic table!
We arrived at the picnic table and I pushed off some snow with my boots so we could have a place to sit. Thankfully I was wearing my trusty Hunters! Rain boots are essential to us Vancouverites, since it doesn’t get cold here, ha. (And for that, I’m thankful). Mark’s shoes were soaked from the walk. I felt so bad for his wet feet! *A few years later, I finally got him a pair of short Hunters.
We sat on the table with our semi-cold drinks. My big hood was on, so my vision was limited. All I could see was Mark. I couldn’t and didn’t want to move. Conversation flowed naturally as usual and I began talking (like usual) about random things, while he tried to keep the focus of the conversation on our relationship. I then began blabbering about someone’s cat and he went “No! Stop changing the topic, we are talking about how much we love each other!” I laughed at him annnd then had a hunch that something was up.
He reached into his jacket and pulled out…his scarf. It was cold, fine. We were sitting, holding hands – but really, holding mittens. He changed topics and talked about how he thought we would get the lake all to ourselves like usual, but mentioned other lake visitors. He commented, “There’s a family over there, a couple walking their dogs, a guy taking pictures” I looked up for the first time and saw a guy, his back faced to us, taking pictures of the lake. I thought, “Probably a duck hunter or something. There are people who love taking nature pictures, he’s probably just one of those guys.” (In hindsight…a duck hunter?! Really krissy? These are the thoughts that you process.)
Mark started to talk in a serious tone. He was letting me know how much he loves me and as he was talking I heard sticks and leaved being crushed on, like someone was walking closer. I was looking at Mark, trying to concentrate on what he was saying. Then I heard steps come closer and closer, and noises that resembled fast camera shutters. I lost focus of what Mark was saying and all of a sudden he pulled a box out of the same jacket pocket he pulled his scarf from, jumped off the picnic table and knelt down on one knee in front of me and said, “Will You Marry Me?”
In front of me, I had the man of my dreams, the most handsome and beautiful man kneeling down on one knee asking me to marry him. I was in complete shock and everything felt completely surreal. I couldn’t believe what was happening in that moment.
Was he really asking me to marry him? What?! I blabbered, “Oh my gosh…no! you’re not…what???…REALLY?” He opened the box and I laid my eyes on the most stunning ring I had ever seen. And to think this ring was for me! It sparkled and glistened so beautifully in the rain. I knew I had to stop ogling the ring and had to say something…
I looked at Mark’s face and he wore the biggest smile I have ever seen. “Dad said yes?!?!” He replied, “Yes,” with a laugh. I finally answered his question with, “YES!!! Of course!!!”
He stood up and we hugged as I cried tears of happiness/ excitement/ joy (see I cry all the time). Then I heard the perceived duck hunter yell, “Woooo!” I saw him at the corner of my eye, which is when I realized he wasn’t in fact, a duck hunter, but the photographer of our proposal. Serious points, Mark. Serious points.
I froze on the picnic table and Mark gave me a big hug. It felt like one of the best hugs we have ever had. Side story: we have shared many special hugs in airports. Like those airport gate hugs you see in movies where the boy drops his bags while the girl runs towards him and then he swoops her up in a giant hug and spins her around. Yeah… That was us on two occasions at YVR and YYC. You’re welcome, world. But this particular hug – this proposal hug – will forever be one of the most special hugs we have shared. I was overwhelmed with happiness.
I was overwhelmed in the fact that he would be the man I spend my forever with. This amazing, amazing, amazing man who had only treated me with the best love, patience, grace and kindness I have ever received wanted to spend his forever with me. I tried wiping away my tears in the rain but since I was still wearing mittens I stopped because I realized it would do no good. But because there was a photographer involved I tried my best to not look like a hot mess.
Mark took the ring out of the box and took the mittens off of my cold hands. He embraced my left hand in his hand and looked into my eyes with a giant smile. I love you’s were exchanged while I cried and jumped up and down as he held the ring. He slipped the ring on my left hand and I looked at it in amazement.
Wow. Was it ever a ring.
We hugged again and again while I continued to cry.
The duck hunter, the nature guy, the photographer, formally known as, Brian, introduced himself to us as he continued to congratulate us and pictures. Mark said that Brian was going to give us a portrait session, if we wanted. (I love photos!) We took photos around the picnic bench and in front of Lost Lake.
Our smiles were genuine and ginormous. The weather changed and it began to snow and then rain (typical). Brian took individual photos of us and during Mark’s photo he said, “Smile! Look at your new fiancé!” I can’t ever forget the way Mark looked at me and smiled. It was the best smile and feeling that this man was my fiancé.
We all hopped in Brian’s car and he drove us back into the Village. I sat in the front seat of his car and looked back at Mark while Brian retrieved something he left back at the picnic table. Mark and I looked at each other in the car, held my hand and called me “fiancé” for the first time and I had the chills! I was his fiancé! He was my fiancé!
We spent some time getting to know Brian during the quick car ride and the walk into the village. Mark and Brian had only communicated over phone and email and didn’t meet (formally) until November 9, so Brian had no idea what we looked like! Mark tells me that when his arm was around me he signalled Brian with a thumbs up letting him know that he was the guy who wanted to propose! Brian said he had never had a request to do a proposal before. Brian said that Mark must have so much love for me that he wanted to get this captured.
A tradition of ours is getting Cows Ice Cream every time we visit Whistler, rain, snow or shine! I was so distracted by my pretty new ring, I don’t even remember eating the ice cream.
The three of us shared ice cream cones and Brian took photos of us in front of the ice cream shop, walking through the village and in front of a bridge where we take a picture, every trip to Whistler. See, Whistler is special!
We thanked, hugged and parted ways with Brian. On our way back to Vancouver we called, texted and emailed our family and friends, sharing the news we just got engaged. It was so bizarre to say that Mark and I were now engaged. Whenever we drive home, it’s always so bittersweet. We hate leaving our special place but know we will be back soon enough. The ride home was fun. We listened to songs that were special to us, talked about our future, I cried some more and I had a lot of really high pitched phone calls with whoever I was talking to. “I’M ENGAGED” I would yell and squeal. Not much has changed. I couldn’t stop looking at my new, beautiful ring. I couldn’t stop looking at myfiancé. After the proposal, we felt the best and the happiest in our relationship we had ever experienced. I asked Mark how he felt and he replied, “So Good, I am so happy”.
I had been waiting for this day all my life. I’ve been swooned by hundreds of romance novels and movies – okay, all love stories – so it’s not a surprise that I’ve dreamed of how I would be proposed to. I’ve loved extravagant proposals and I’ve loved small intimate proposals. To me, my proposal was perfect. The weather, the place, the special date, the man, the ring and the journey of our evolving and growing relationship (long distance “friendship” followed by officially becoming boyfriend and girlfriend and now fiancés!). The proposal was better than anything I had thought up in my head. You may hear this a lot when people talk about their proposals, but I truly wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Everything about our proposal was so perfect. It was so “Mark” and so “us”. It was the most beautiful day.
I got lost in him, and it’s the kind of lost that’s exactly like being found.
All photo credit to Brian Noppé. A million and forever thank-you’s to our
duck hunter amazing photographer, Brian, for capturing this beautiful, milestone moment for us. We are so thankful you chose to spend a rainy afternoon with us! And that you spent more time than expected waiting for us (me) in the cold, snow and rain while we made our way to the picnic table. We are still so in love with the images you captured and will forever be blessed by your gifts. Thank you for some of the most special and favourite images we will ever have in this life we happily share together!