July 19, 2011

July 18th, 2003

I can't believe it's been 8 years (and 1 day) since Nathan asked me to marry him!  Some of you reading this may not know our proposal story, so I'm going to brag on him a little bit.

On Thursday, July 17th, 2003, I was wrapping things up for the day at Central State Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, where I worked for Dr. Wieben, and in walked my boyfriend.  (That would be Nathan.)  He was supposed to be at work, so I was a bit surprised to see him.  "What are you doing here?", I asked.  He replied, "You need to get home and pack your bags.  We have a flight to catch to California!"  (Now, I suspected he was planning something for my 25th birthday, but I was thinkin' maybe a trip to Six Flags.  Our friends, Mike and Karyn Riddle, lived near Santa Barbara, CA, at the time, but we had just (well, 8 or 9 months earlier) been out there to visit them.)  So, to my tiny apartment I went and hurriedly packed my suitcase, and off we went to Willard Airport to catch our flight.

Mike and Karyn picked us up that evening at a tiny airport in Oxnard, CA.  Karyn, then a graduate student at UCSB, was going to have to be on campus the next morning, and Mike had to work, so they told Nathan and me about a good picnic spot and told us to help ourselves to whatever we could find in their fridge to take with us.  I was surprised when Nathan woke up as early as I did the next day but still suspected nothing.  Mike handed us a map of the area and showed us how to get to the picnic spot they had told us about.  We packed a small cooler and were on our way.

Neither of us owned a digital camera back then, so I don't have a way to share our pictures with you, but trust me: the spot Mike and Karyn recommended was b...e...a...utiful (and within walking distance from their home).  We were on a bluff overlooking the ocean, and the sun was shining.  We made ourselves comfortable, ate a little bit, and relaxed.  After a while, I asked Nathan if he wanted to walk some more.  "Nah, let's stay here for a while."

A few minutes later, Nathan said, "I have a confession to make.  I planned all of this."

"I know...and...?"

Then, he wrapped his arms around me from behind, I looked down at the ring he was holding, and he asked me to marry him.

"Oh!  You mean you planned this!  YES!!!"  (I think I actually said "Oh my gosh!" a few times first.)

After everything sunk in, we took a few pictures, gathered our things, and headed back to the Riddles' place.  As we walked, Nathan told me about talking to my dad, shipping the ring to California, making sure Mike and Karyn stocked their fridge with food for our picnic, and many other details about planning his surprise. 

I guess he wanted to make sure I wouldn't say "NO!!!"  :-)

After Mike and Karyn returned, we celebrated with lunch at an ocean-side cafe.

I say "YES!!!" to Nathan in one way or another every day.  Maybe not with that much enthusiasm, but "Yes" nonetheless.  And he does the same for me.


  1. I can't believe I've never heard this story!!! It's beautiful - just like the life you two have created together. Congratulations on 8 years (and 1 day!) of saying yes! :-)

  2. I will always remember the phone call when you told me Nathan was taking you on a surprise trip. Mark and I wondered then if there was an engagement coming...and we were right! How wonderful it was to share in your joy...and that continues even today.

  3. I just saw your mom's post about your birthday tomorrow and wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday and to say you have an amazing, generous, kind, fun, gentle, artistic mom. We have been chatting for a few months now and I also live in Ohio.

    It was so fun to read about your birthday because my daughter's birthday is tomorrow also. She will be 13 and is so excited. She's my only child out of 4 who has always wanted to be older then what she is.
    Congrats on your engaged anniversary too, I still get goosebumps thinking of mine every year. Enjoy your day to the fullest.

  4. Happy Birthday Erin! I,too, received the note from your mom about tomorrow being your birthday so I offer my congratulations and best wishes too. What a beautiful photograph of your family and from your blog I can tell that the beauty is much more than skin deep. Have a wonderful day as you begin the next year of your life. Blessings, Marybeth Corbett