Cory Christianson is the Winner of this years Best Engagement Story and Photo Contest!!!
His story takes the cake, and the photos are beautiful!!!
She has won a $500.00 gift certificate to Wedding Bells in Tacoma!! Here is his story…
Kids, have I ever told you the story of how I met your mother? Well, it’s a good one and for a while it didn’t look like things were going to work out…
It all started in the winter of 2002. I was working as a firefighter and had just finished a 24 hour shift. I got off at 8 am that Monday and took a well-deserved nap before starting my day. I decided to head out that evening and called around to see who wanted to get together. Sadly, Mondays are not a good night in the Seattle area to go and have fun so I decided to head out on my own. I went to a small bar called the Contour in Seattle and got there around midnight. I spent two hours in that place and didn’t speak to anyone except the bartender… my game was seriously lacking. Just when I was about to chalk this night up as a loss, I got a tap on the shoulder by a pretty girl in glasses. She asked me for my number and I refused. I told her that I would take her number, and give her a call.
I won’t lie; I wasn’t going to call her. Guys are terrible human beings in general and we really only want the girls we chased and caught. However, I found myself looking at the number a couple days later and I gave her a call. We talked for a while and we hit it off. Her name was Mariah, and she was smart and funny. I enjoyed just hearing her voice. I invited her to dinner and couldn’t wait to see what she looked like in the daylight. Every guy and girl out there can relate to the fact that a person may look good in the low light in a bar or club, but when you get them in sunlight you may have buyer’s remorse. I hoped for the best but girded for the worst. When I opened the door to my apartment… she was so beautiful with long dark brown hair and stormy blue eyes. She had an impish smile that spoke of hidden amusement by my clear shock. She even brought a couple outfits just to see which I liked better.
Now look kids, I know that you want to hear that we hit it off and that we dated for a while and then got engaged and then married and then you came to be. Well… that’s not what happened.
We did hit it off, and we were all but inseparable for the better part of two years. She was there when I bought my first house, she was there when my grandfather whom I idolize and revere more than anyone other than my father, died. Mariah was the best girlfriend a guy could want or have and I was fool and let her get away. Our break-up was bad and yet somehow the door was let slightly ajar. We spoke for a couple months after things ended but when it was clear that it was too painful we stopped even that small line of communication.
Love will find a way.
I was miserable for years, I dated but everyone I spent time with just didn’t measure up to your mom. So, after almost 8 years had passed, I decided to try to find her and see how she was doing. I wrote her a letter telling her about my life and asking about hers. I wanted her to know that our relationship had meant so much to me and that I need to know that she was ok. However, if talking to me was still too hard, that I would respect her need for space and not try to contact her again. I left the letter on her doorstep and waited for a response. Hours became days, and days became weeks and still no response. I had her answer. It hurt, and I let myself weep openly and tried to move on with my life. I probably would have been fine, however I kept seeing her, or women that looked like her wherever I went. Once at the bite of Seattle I caught a fleeting glance and tried to get to her but the crowd swept her away and dashed my hopes. The again I saw her with her whole family at the Fry’s looking at cameras. I chose not to approach her then, her dad is a very large man and I was still her douchey ex-boyfriend and that seemed like a recipe for me catching a well-deserved whooping.
Then in the summer of 2011, just when things looked like they were done and over a chance encounter brought us together. It was a Thursday night, and my good friend asked me to accompany him to a party in Bellevue. We showed up way too early and sat around drinking and chatting with a friend of ours who was bartending. I told my friend that I had seen a girl in a zebra striped dress that looked like Mariah and it was driving me nuts! Everywhere I went girls looked like her, but she was gone from my life and I need to stop seeing her when she wasn’t actually there.
Then I got a tap on my shoulder.
When I turned around it was her, she was really there, in a zebra striped dress looking as radiant as ever. She hugged me, and everything was right with the world. She hugged me and colors became brighter, sounds became clearer and time just stopped. It wasn’t a hug that you give a friend, or even an ex. No, she hugged me like she never wanted to let go, and neither did I. eventually we did let go, and we went and sat and spoke for an hour or so and then we left together. My friend and I dropped her and her sister off at their car and I called her when I got home. We talked until the wee hours of the morning and decided to make the trip out to Spokane for Hoopfest together and make it a weekend of catching up and making peace with our past. Since that weekend in late June of 2011, we have not spent more than a week apart.
I knew that I had been given a second chance and that I needed to get this right. So I planned everything out just right. I called her father for permission, and that was tough call to make given that I had broken his daughters heart a few years earlier. I apologized for the man that I had been and gave him my word that I was a different person, that I would spend the rest of my days trying to make her happy and giber her the life she had dreamed of.
When the day finally came, I asked her to take half the day off and go to lunch with me. I wanted to have a special lunch with her. She started to suspect that something was amiss, but I quickly dismissed those concerns when I told her that we could cancel if she was feeling up to it and go tomorrow or even next week. Drove out to Snoqualmie Falls to a beautiful hotel and restaurant called the Salish lodge which sits atop the falls. They gave us a private room, sat perched above all others and had an unparalleled view of the cascading water. This actually was a bit of a problem as I needed to get her to want to leave this table to go to another private room that housed her parents and mine, as well as her sister, and two of very close friends, all of whom were instructed to be there an hour before we got there just to make sure Mariah didn’t accidentally catch a glimpse. She didn’t and at the appointed time, the waiter came and told us he was very sorry, but our table was actually reserved for someone else but there was an even better table ready for us. Mariah wasn’t having any of that, she was ready to fight for our extremely exclusive vantage and instructed me to go and look at the other table and then come and report back if it was acceptable. I did as I was told, but really just ducked around the corner and gave the waiter a high five. Then I went back to the table and extolled all the virtues of the new table and explained that it was much better especially because it had a private balcony won which we could view the falls and take pictures. She relented and followed me down a winding stairway to a private room. As soon as she rounded the corner she saw her mother and father sitting at the table and was immediately confused. As comprehension donned on her what was happening, I brought out the ring and got down on one knee. Mariah burst into tears started to shake. I said to her:
“I have never known a person like you, you make every day better. You make me want to be more than I am and for that I am grateful beyond words. I would spend the rest of my life trying to do the same for you, if you would do me the honor of being my wife.”
She said yes, and I slid the ring on her finger. I didn’t realize how much I was shaking until I stopped. I didn’t know that I was tearing up until I wiped away a few stray drops. I was so happy and relieved that she had said yes, and that I was going to marry this incredible woman. She kissed me, and we embraced warmly, just like that day back in June. For that one moment, I felt a special kind of happy that I have seldom felt since, and had never felt before.
After we had spent a couple hours celebrating with our family and friends, we decided to go golfing. We got caught in a freak downpour, the hardest rainfall I had seen in 30 years living in Seattle. We kept playing till we heard thunder and then called it a day. It was one of the best days of my life, not too many can top it.
Your mom is amazing, but I guess you already know that. Maybe tomorrow night I will tell you the story of how your mother met me…