The day was August 25, 2012.
The location was McCall, Idaho.
The rest is history.
We woke up early to enjoy one of our first Saturdays off in a long time.
We had driven up to McCall, Idaho the evening before.
It was the weekend before my 26th birthday,
and we were determined to take some time to ourselves
before the super-busy week we were about to experience for my sister's wedding.
We cruised over to The Pancake House, one of McCall's favorite breakfast eateries.
Daniel ordered a single plate-sized pancake and some eggs,
and I ordered one scrambled egg and one cinnamon roll—
that was the biggest cinnamon roll I had ever seen.
After we were thoroughly stuffed, we ventured down to the North Shore of the Payette Lake.
It was time for some kayaking up the Payette River.
We set off in a tandem kayak, scouting as hard as we could to spot a moose or bear.
The water was as calm as glass, and it was early enough that we were the only people on the river.
We laughed, we paddled, and we took in the sights.
Two hours later, we moseyed back over to the lake shore.
On the way, we ran across a doe and her two fawns, and they were the sweetest little trio.
As we strolled down through Legacy Park,
we did a bit of people watching—our favorite thing.
We watched the rough-and-tough's finishing their triathalon, the sailboats breaking way through the water, and the townspeople bargaining in the market.
Daniel stopped me when we were right in the middle of the park.
We were standing at a little info station that described the history of the old mills in McCall.
He pointed to the sailboats and wrapped his right arm around me.
I was trying to hurry us along to get my coveted Diet Coke at a lakeside restaurant.
He whispered, "Shhhh. Just look at how beautiful it is out here."
It stopped me in my tracks and I took in the moment with him, looking out over the lake.
Before I knew what was happening, his free arm came out in front of me,
his hand holding a little red box with a beautiful sapphire ring inside.
Without thinking, I immediately buried my head into his chest.
"Could this be happening? Is this real?" I thought to myself.
The tears welled up in my eyes.
I pulled back to look at him, and he asked me,
"Aunie, will you marry me?"
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" I said and grabbed him with all of my might.
We hugged and hugged until I looked at him and said,
"Are you going to put that on me, or what?!"
He took the ring out of the box, wiggled it over my knuckle, and stepped back to take a look.
A perfect fit.
I didn't give him another moment to see it.
I hugged him and hugged him and hugged him.
He whispered into my ear the sweetest thing I've ever heard.
He said, "Can I take care of you?"
A passerby stopped and took a couple photos for us.
I don't think anyone saw him propose.
It was our little moment together.
Just the two of us.
After the initial shock wore off, we began to walk.
I needed to sit.
As soon as we found a bench, I began to cry.
I was just so excited.
We wandered over to the lakeside restaurant,
and ordered a Diet Coke for me, and a Coke for him, and a cheese crisp to share.
We called each of our family members to tell the good news.
The only ones who had known were his parents.
Everyone was excited.
We spent the rest of the day wandering around the lake,
walking through an art show, lounging under a shady tree,
and enjoying our time together.
That evening, we went to a Parrot Head live music event at the Mile High Marina.
My dad announced our engagement over the mic,
the musician dedicated "A Whiter Shade of Pale" to us as we took the floor for a romantic dance
(which really is a song about seasickness, not a love song),
and then we danced the night away to some classic hits.
It was one of the best days of my entire life.
I'm so excited for what this new life with Daniel by my side will bring.
I know that marriage is filled with trials and tribulations,
but our marriage will also be filled with so much love.
As a couple with a marriage that will be centered around God,
we will have no stronger bond together than Him.
This is only the beginning.
There is no end in sight.