Our Engagement Story

This is the story about how my best friend in the whole entire world asked me to marry him... it's another chapter in our love story and I think it's my most favorite one yet! 

My brother Brad had arrived into Seattle on Thursday (the 20th) and we were planning on driving down to Oregon for Christmas on Friday afternoon, after I got a chance to see Josh's sister and her family. The Campbells were arriving Friday morning and I wanted to say hi to them before I left. I had to leave by Friday because I was shooting a wedding on Saturday in Tigard, Oregon. So that was the plan. It changed after I asked Josh if I could announce his promotion on facebook. I was bursting with pride because he had just gotten promoted to supervisor at work and I wanted to brag about my hard working man! 

His response surprised me because I thought the Arnalls had already gone to Snowflake Lane and I wasn't sure why he wanted me to go to so bad. I didn't answer him and posted my "proud girlfriend" status on facebook. He saw it and texted me again about going with them,  I told him that I would check with Brad and see how we felt. I really wanted to get to Oregon as early as possible on Friday and really didn't think that we would have time to go to Snowflake Lane. 

Later, on Thursday night, Brad and I were hanging out at Josh's house and Josh brought up Snowflake Lane again, asking if we were going to go. I hmmm'ed and ummmm'ed and mostly just said that I really didn't want to go because I needed to head to Oregon but Josh was really adamant about it and I began to feel bad about not wanting to go because it was obviously important to him that I spend time with his family (at least that's what I thought the reason was). Finally Brad shrugged his shoulders and in classic laid back Brad style said, "That's fine. We'll go for a little bit and then head to Oregon. I can drive or whatever." And so I (grudgingly) agreed to go.

Little did I know, Josh had actually texted Brad, telling him that he was going to propose! Eeeeek! 

On Friday, I had to work in the morning, and then went back home to pick Brad up for lunch. I had a rough time finding something to wear, and for anyone who knows me, you know that it's not a good morning if I have to change my outfit more then five times. -.- So I was not feeling my prettiest, didn't like what I was wearing, and was dreading having to drive to Oregon in rush hour traffic... but we had lunch and then went over to Josh's to meet up with everyone to head over to Bellvue. When we got there, I was a bit flabbergasted to see that Josh had (finally) shaved and was dressed up, looking all handsome stuff. Great, now I felt even WORSE about how I was looking. -.- Josh could tell I was feeling a little off and asked if everything was ok. I felt bad that I was bringing him down when he was so excited to have his family in town and so I tried my best to perk up but let's be honest, being perky is not my strong suite. ;-)

And so we headed out, with me getting more annoyed by the second since Josh wasn't even riding with  me! Brad and I were in my car, loaded down with all our luggage and presents. Josh, Noah, Terry, and Keala were in Josh's truck and then the Arnalls and Josh's dad were meeting us at the ferry in their Flex.

I still have the receipt for the ferry because I was miffed that I had to pay for the fare when Josh was the one who was so insistent that I go! ;-) If only I had known what was waiting for me... 

On the ferry ride over, I started to relax a little and tried not to be too anxious about the drive to Oregon. 
Photo by Dad
Once we arrived in Seattle, it was off and into traffic, making our way to Bellvue (thank you Josh for programming our destination into my phone before we left). Traffic was HORRIBLE. Especially around the mall. Josh got there first, then guided Brad and I in to the parking garage where they were waiting. Then we had to wait another half an hour for the Arnalls to get there because they weren't using an iPhone and ended up going a different route. ;-) 

Waiting outside. Sneaky photos by Brad. 
Inside the mall

And then I notice Brad taking sneaky pictures!

Finally, with only a few minutes to spare, everyone arrived and then we fought our way through the SUPER crowded mall (remember, this is the weekend right before Christmas!) to the other side where Snowflake Lane was. And then we ran into a solid wall of people, all vying for a spot so that they can see the performances and my anxiety level spiked. (Yes, I'm claustrophobic.) 

Our view was essentially nonexistent and we so we only stayed a couple of minutes before deciding to try and check out the view from the upstairs window of Macy's. It was just as crowded with the added bonus of also being crowded with clothes. I couldn't handle being so smooshed so I just stepped back away from everyone to wait it out and I may or many not have rolled my eyes a couple of times at Brad. 

It wasn't too long until Keala and Kawena started to head back down so that they could experience the "snow". And so we all tromped back down and out into the crowd where we commandeered a small corner of the chaos and danced in the soap bubbles, I mean snow. :) Don't get me wrong, it actually was pretty cool and I was even having a little fun, honest! The problem was that I was tired, hungry, claustrophobic, and feeling the need to get on the road before it was too late. 

Eventually the music and snow ended and the crowd began to disperse, slightly, and everyone started talking about food and getting their family photo taken. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Yeah, Josh had asked me if I could take a family photo of them while we were out there. You know, because in the DARK, in a super CROWDED area, with WEIRD Christmas lighting was just the perfect setting for a nice family photo, right??? Pffffft. So now, as everyone is trying to figure out the PERFECT spot for their family photo, I'm getting even more stressed out thinking that they are expecting me to take a professional level family photo in these miserable conditions! Yeah. It was not good.

Finally, when I'm ready to just leave and head to Oregon, Josh says he saw a park back across the road where we had turned in to go to the parking garage. Fine. Everyone agrees to try there since it would probably be less crowded and there was a fountain that would make a good backdrop. Great! So now we head back through the claustrophobic mall and I am about 1 minute away from a full blown panic attack. My neck is tightening up, I had to take my scarf off and undo my coat, I was overheating, and my breathing was starting to become shallow. "I got get out of here," I tell Brad, "I'm going to have a panic attack. I have to get out." He reassures me that we're almost out and Josh walks up to take my hand. Once we're finally outside, I feel a million times better in the cold, crisp air and am able to calm down and breathe deeply again. *phew* But I'm still annoyed that they expect me to take a nice family photo in less then ideal conditions. So we get to the park and they arrange themselves on the fountain and I proceed to take about 20 minutes trying to get the settings figured out, all the while, grumbling to myself about how they could probably take a better photo with just their iPhones because honestly, my photo won't be that great. Finally, I get the photo to semi-decent.

(But Papa might have had better luck then me!)

So we take a Recaido picture. (Did I mention I was using Brad's camera, not my own?)

Then an everyone picture. (These are unedited, straight off the camera card, jpegs people. Don't judge)

And then they tell me that they have a "Merry Christmas" sign for Uncle Kale (the one family member who couldn't come over for Christmas.) I hear a couple comments about how Josh is trying to be the favorite uncle because he's a part of the sign but I don't really think anything of it. Okay, cool, whatever. At this point, I really don't care what they're doing, I just want to take the photo and leave. :)

I have to laugh because at this point, I was all "Guys, it doesn't say CHRISTMAS. You kinda left out the important part!" But Noah covered, saying that they were planning on adding that part in on the computer to make it look cool. I didn't give it a second thought and told Noah he should be in the picture too! He hesitated, which I thought was weird, but then jumped in awkwardly off to the side. ;-)

The last photo I ever took as an unengaged person!
Me, just being all clueless. 

Hahahahahaha! So then, someone asked, "Did you get that one?" I said yes and begin to look through the photos on the camera. Out of the corner of my eye, I see DoRe' run over and I think she's probably collecting the signs from the girls, but then she runs back to the side and says "Okay, one more!" and so I look up to see...

A reenactment photo. I was actually too stunned to take a photo when I looked up! 

And of course my first thought is, "Guys, it still doesn't say Merry Christmas!" hahaha It took my brain a few seconds to process what was happening and then I proceeded to laugh/cry/hyperventilate/convulse with sheer and utter joy. I think it was Dan who called out, "He's waiting for an answer!" and so I just nodded my headed, still unable to speak. Finally, I hand off the camera to Brad and run to Josh, giving him the biggest hug and whispering "I love you so much." He then drops down to one knee (SO ROMANTIC!!!!) and pulls out the ring from the inside pocket of his jacket, takes my hand and asks me that one question I've been dreaming about for so long... "Will you marry me?"

YES YES YES YES YES!!!! A million times yes. I also apologized for being grumpy. ;-) You can hear me tell him "I'm so sorry" in the video...

These photos were sent to family and best friends as we called to tell them the big news! 

So many things I want to remember about that amazing night. 
- The kindness that Josh showed toward me, even though I was being so grumpy.
- The way Josh looked as he was looking at me, waiting for me to realize what was happening. 
- The fact that I can clearly trust my nieces with secrets. They did not give away a thing. I am still impressed that they were in on it and I had NO IDEA!
- Even after three and half years, and countless talks about getting married and even having known that he bought the ring (more about the ring later!), Josh STILL managed to surprise me. Good job Lovey! It was perfect, beyond perfect, better then I ever imagined. 
- Malia saying, "Now I can FINALLY call you AUNTY!"
- All the hugs and tears and love from Josh's family.
- The look on my brother's face that said, "I bet you feel like an idiot for being so grumpy now, huh?"
- How after dinner, when we were saying goodbye, Josh called me his wife. And I knew it was truth. 

Best. Night. EVER. 


  1. Such a good story! *sniffle*
    Very very happy for the both of you!

  2. LOVE!! Awesome story! You will laugh about your grumpiness for years to come. (I have a similar story.) :) Best of wishes!


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