It was our second date after we transitioned from “friends” to “boyfriend/girlfriend.” We had known each other in college + been friends for about two years, + then were intentionally getting to know one another via phone calls + Skype dates (since we were living in different cities) for another two months prior to this second date. Everything with him has always been intentional …
… when we started “officially” dating, he told me that he wanted the next woman he said “I Love You” to to be his future wife because those words meant commitment. I first heard him say them when he was down on one knee ….
… before asking me to actually be his girlfriend, he took my dad out to lunch because he wanted to clearly explain his intentions — that he was dating me with the intention of marrying me when the time was right, + if he didn’t ever see that happening, he would end it right away.
Caleb loves marriage … and he takes it so seriously. I’m incredibly thankful for a man that is this intentional. For words that aren’t said unless they are truly meant. For thought, patience, consistency, + actions that speak louder than words. How quick I am to forget, + to take these things for granted … gosh, I am the luckiest.
Back to the second date.
After such an unforgettable first date, I wasn’t sure what to expect for the second (don’t worry, I’m not going to post every date we’ve ever had, just these two!). I drove to Merrill + met Caleb at the house he grew up in. Almost immediately after arriving, we left for an unknown destination. The sun was starting to set + as we drove out into the country, we listened to music + caught up in person (again, so special since we were long distance!).
After about 15 or 20 minutes, we pulled off of the road + into a driveway-ish spot that looked like it went no where … just 20 or 30 feet into the woods + that was it. I was super confused! And to top it all off, Caleb hopped out of the car + said, “Stay here!” He grabbed something out of the trunk + ran off into the woods. Ten minutes later, he came back to the car, opened the door, took my hand, + told me to follow him : ) The sun was well below the horizon by this point + we needed a flashlight to light the way.
We followed a windy path through the woods + down a hill until I could hear water flowing nearby. As we rounded a corner, the space in front of us opened up to a gorgeous, moonlit view of a rushing river … water flowing from what I would soon learn to be the nearby “Grandfather Dam.” The moonlight + river alone were enough to take my breath away, but sprawled out before me, on dozens of rocks peeking up from the river, were tiny tea candles … all lit, making the river look as though it were on fire : )
All for me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. A quiet, special, romantic spot that he created for just the two of us. We walked to the edge of the river + sat on a big rock together under the blanket he had somehow gotten from the car in between the shuffling of the arrival + the reveal. We star-gazed, watched the flickering candles, + had — as always — sweet + intentional conversation together. It’s truly a night I’ll never forget : )
I really married such a good one, you guys. And I’m so proud that he’s my husband. And I’m really, REALLY thankful for him. I will never get sick of sharing with the world how wonderful of a man you are, Caleb!! Thank you for loving me <3
Photos by Shaunae Teske Photography