Our Engagement Story

July 3rd is a date that's grown to have quite a bit of significance in our family. Exactly one year ago, my beautiful sister exchanged vows with her husband. {Happy anniversary, Meredith + Jeremy!} Three years ago on this date, Kevin got down on one knee at the Sierra Buttes Lookout Tower and asked for my hand in one of the most touching, thoughtful and emotional moments I've ever experienced.

Just last week, I visited our wedding website, which is surprisingly still up and functional. On it Kevin and I share the stories of our first date and engagement, my favorite features of the whole site. What better way to celebrate our three-year "engagiversary" than to share our story with you!

Here it is, in Kevin's words.

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Marissa and I had been dating for just about two years when we took a quick trip to New York in June of 2008 to visit our friends Ivette and Manolo, see the sights of Manhattan, and to go to one of the last games to be played in 85-year-old Yankee Stadium. On the first day of our visit, we strolled around Central Park on a beautiful summer afternoon riding the carousel, enjoying an ice cream, and taking in the colors of the lush vegetation set against the urban background.

For me, it was a perfect day with a perfect woman that I had grown to love for so many reasons, including what I can best describe as her sweetness. With such an ideal setting, you might think that this proposal story was going to come to its conclusion right here. I know that’s what my family was hoping, exemplified by my brother’s text message a few months earlier reading, “Marry that girl … don’t let her get away”, after my unbelievable surprise 40th birthday party, organized by Marissa. No, the New York trip would be yet another time when my poor Mom would be denied the news of the daughter-in-law she had so patiently waited for.

What my family didn’t know was that I had been formulating a plan to propose to Marissa, not in New York, but in the mountains of Northern California. Oddly enough, it was during our walk through Central Park when we came across a musician on a bench playing John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” that the remaining details of the plan finally clicked into place.

Two weeks later I was on a plane bound for Reno, Nevada, just a short drive away from my family’s cabin in the mountains, for our annual Fourth of July celebration with the newly purchased engagement ring tucked safely away in my carry-on bag. Just a few days earlier, Marissa’s parents each gave me their permission to ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage. They were the only ones that knew of the ensuing proposal. With anticipation and impatience now getting the better of me, Marissa and I set out on a hike the day after our arrival in California that would take us to a fire lookout tower perched precariously at the 8,587-foot peak of the Sierra Buttes.

The hike had a lot of sentimental value to me as it was one I had completed on nearly a yearly basis since the age of eight or nine years and today it would assume a whole new meaning. With the engagement ring now wrapped in a sweatshirt and buried in my backpack beneath an assortment of granola bars, beef jerky, and water bottles, I set the pace up the trail with a little more purpose than usual.

We took short breaks along the way to catch our unacclimatized breaths and play in the last remaining snow patches, but soon arrived at the base of three sets of stairs suspended over deep drop-offs that would take us to our destination. Taking in the 360° views, obscured a bit by the smoke of recent wildfires, I fumbled in my backpack and pulled out my iPod. Marissa was a little perplexed, but soon knew upon hearing John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” over the shared headphones that I was just reminiscing about the musician in Central Park that we encountered two weeks earlier to the day.

Okay, so it was the Sierra Mountains in California and not the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, but close enough. That was followed by “Annie’s Song” also by John Denver that, although a little cheesy, was perfectly fitting for the moment because to me, the song is all about how fortunate he feels for having someone so special in his life. After telling her the significance of the song, I gave her a “Happy Fourth of July” card I had made that, I’m sure at the moment, she thought ruined the mood a little.

On the cover it read “Celebrating Our Past” and cutaway flaps revealed some of my favorite pictures of us together over the last two years.

On the inside it read “… and Future Together” and the final cutaway flap revealed a picture of her engagement ring.
She stared at the card in silence and confusion for a brief moment before I told her that this was the part where she had to stand. Holding the ring tighter than ever to prevent it from dropping through the open metal grating floor and into a 2,000-foot abyss, I got to one knee and long story made short she said, “Yes”.

Upon returning to the cabin, we surprised my Mom and stepfather with the news in a slideshow of many of the pictures seen on this page. After jumping around on the deck in a moment of pure joy that I will never forget, my Mom finally had her long awaited daughter-in-law. We held an encore presentation of the slideshow the next morning to surprise my brother and his girlfriend, sister, brother-in-law, and three nieces and all celebrated a Fourth of July that will always hold a special significance for us.

So now that you know the story behind our proposal, you won’t be too surprised to hear a few seemingly out-of-place John Denver songs played during our wedding reception in tropical Miami.

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Well, there you have it! Kevin's awfully sweet + thoughtful proposal story. It's crazy to think that three years have passed since that day. One thing's for sure, I'm a blessed girl to have him as my husband!

{Happy "engagiversary", honey... I love you!}



  1. What a beautiful story! My eyes geared up reading this! Happy engageiversary!!!!!

  2. This was just lovely! The story, the photos, the video. It was fun to take a little peak inside your world and share in such a special time in your life. Congraulations and best wishes on a long and happy life together!

  3. That is such a sweet proposal story! Happy engageiversary!

  4. So sweet!! I loved reading this :)

  5. SO SWEET!!! Lovely story. :)

  6. This is such a sweet story!


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