June 30, 2012

Finding Happily Ever After

This post is one of the most exciting I will probably ever write.

On Thursday, June 21, 2012, Cameron asked me to be his wife, and I very excitedly said yes. Since then, I have recanted the story time and time again, and I have yet to smile less than I did the first time.

We had been planning for months to spend a few days in the Smoky Mountains, and finally, the vacation had come. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, we packed the car and hit the road for the condo. We spent the day exploring the town and enjoying the much-needed cooler temperatures the pool offered.

Thursday, Cameron suggested we go on a hike, which we had talked about for some time. It was about 14 miles round trip. We began the trek ready to reach our "mystery location," at least, it was a mystery to me. About a mile in, we heard a rustling sound coming from behind us. We turned around to see a black bear lumbering onto the trail where we had just been! Of course, I wanted to snap a picture, but Cameron insisted (wisely, probably), that we move ahead and get out of the path of the bear, which happened to be staring at us. We continued on for a couple miles before hearing the leaves moving ahead of us. Though we couldn't see it, we could tell this was a big animal, and it began to run. All signs pointed to this being another bear encounter. Concerned about safety, we decided to go back down the mountain rather than taking our chances on the trail, especially because we hadn't seen another human in miles.

As we were heading down the mountain, we got close to the point where we had seen the first bear, and naturally, we were both on edge. It was at this moment that a squirrel decided to bolt toward a tree, essentially giving Cameron and I small heart attacks. Eventually, we had nearly reached the end of the trail, and saw yet another, much smaller, black bear!

We got back to the car, and headed toward the "backup plan," which was a 1.5 mile trail to our mystery destination. As we climbed this part of the mountain, Cameron repeated things along the lines of "I'm so glad you're here with me" and "I'm so happy." I thought it was very sweet of him, but I had no idea what was waiting at the end of the trail.

Once we got closer to the end, I could hear the sound of water, but I thought it was one of the many creeks we had heard along the way. Instead, it was the sound of a beautiful waterfall, our mystery destination. There was a handful of families at the waterfall taking pictures, and as we watched the water cascade down onto the moss-covered rocks and into the pool of water below, Cameron said he had hoped there would be fewer people there. Thinking he had wanted to enjoy the waterfall without the sounds of squealing children, I still thought nothing of it.

Finally, as we were about to leave, a wonderful gentleman asked if we would like a photo together; it was an offer we gladly accepted. As I began walking toward the waterfall, which was the only waterfall in the state park that people can walk behind, Cameron stayed behind. I thought he must have been explaining how to use the camera. Little did I know, he was hinting at what he was about to do so that we could have the perfect picture. He eventually caught up and took my hand. He told me to wait, but I was so stuck on the idea of getting a photo behind the waterfall, that I began to protest, but he insisted. He told me he loved me, and was so happy we were there together, and I told him the same. He then took my other hand, and locked eyes with mine. Almost before I knew what was happening, he put a hand in his pocked and retrieved a beautiful diamond ring. He repeated that he loved me one more time before getting on one knee, holding my gaze the whole time, and those words finally came, "Elizabeth, will you marry me?"

Though I had always thought I would cry, no tears came, and I managed to blurt out a breathless "yes!"

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect location, and I couldn't be happier or more excited to start this new journey in life. As Cameron and I start to plan our lives together, we have been blessed with congratulations from all over the world (literally!), and welcoming hearts. This is a memory I will carry with me for the rest of my days.

June 8, 2012

A Year's Time

It's really amazing what a year can bring. As I sit here, I am thinking about where I was at this time last year, and where I might be a year from now. It's really mind boggling, in all honesty.

Last year, I had just graduated, driven to Arizona and back for my dear friend's wedding, flown to California for a whirlwind tour of San Fransisco and Sacramento, come home, and was anticipating the start of my first real job. About a week and three days, 4 tear-filled nights, 3 days of no lunch breaks, and a lot of careful thought later, I quit, and I could not be happier to have made that decision. Not long after that, I began writing, and I was lucky to receive many compliments, and eventually some freelance writing opportunities as a result. More wonderful opportunities fell into my lap, and I have been blessed with a job that changed my life, and my current job which is teaching me much about life, compassion, and hardship.

The year continued, and I began to forge my own way in the world. I've had many laughs, met some wonderful friends, and had a few rough days, but in all, it's been a year full of growth. I've learned a lot about myself, what I'm capable of, and about relationships with family, my boyfriend, and far-away friends.

As I look back now, I have a mixed feeling about whether time went quickly or at a snail's pace. On the one hand, June 2011 seems like it was an eternity ago, but then I think that I can almost feel that San Fransisco rain fall quietly on my hair. Strange, isn't it, how nostalgia brings everything back so easily, and yet, life changes so quickly?

Time will only tell where life's journey will take me until 2013, but I have a couple of ideas, and boy, am I excited.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...