Our Engagement Story

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you probably already know that I'm engaged! After two years of living together in Seattle (exploring local breweries, riding the ferry and more) Nic proposed to me on Whidbey Island. 

But before we get to that, I thought I should share our full story with you. And (for the first time) Nic will be sharing his perspective on The Modern Mosaic as well! There's two sides to every story and ours is too good not to share. Another piece that makes this blog so special is that we get to share some of our gorgeous engagement photos by the talented, Carol Thacker Photography. We shot these on the beach in the Fort Worden State Park. 

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The Beginning 

McKenna: I remember being so nervous before Nic and I's first date. We had tickets to a Mariner's game and hours beforehand I desperately asked my roommate, Alex, if she had any M's apparel for me to wear. Luckily she did, so I showed up in my jeans and t-shirt ready to root root root for the home team. (Little did I know we had LOTS of Mariner's games in our future) We took this photo, along with a few other, and the guys behind us snickered at us for taking "so many selfies." Never let someone shame you for wanting to take a photo of yourself or your friends. Had we listened to them, we wouldn't have captured this huge part of our story.   

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Nic: Sometimes you get exactly what you want. McKenna was a madcap attempt at shooting for the stars -- she was and remains my biggest crush of all time. I wore a collared shirt to a sporting event, if that tells you anything about the nerve situation going into the date. Those melted away quickly, leaving only a sense that I was exactly where I needed to be and I wanted to be there forever. 

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The Proposal

McKenna: Nic and I had been craving a getaway after our trip to San Francisco in January, so when Nic proposed a day trip across the peninsula, I didn't think anything of it. He even convinced me to take the following Monday off so we could stay Sunday night. I had a blog shoot the morning of, so when Nic picked me up I had my nails, hair and makeup done (smart move on his part). We jumped in the car and drove north to grab some lunch and catch the Whidbey Island ferry. Once we had driven off the boat, Nic pulled into a spot off of 525. He asked me to get out of the car, despite recent rain fall, and follow him into the trees. Puzzled, but still oblivious, I do just that. Once we were a few paces in, Nic told me that we were standing right about where his dad proposed to his mom. And with that, he got down on one knee, told me how much he loves me and asked if I'd marry him. I obviously said "yes!"  

Nic: I ordered the ring months before proposing. It was sitting in our closet, waiting, while I came up with how I wanted to ask. I'd pull it down from time to time when I was home alone, crouching down to gaze upon it like Gollum. From the beginning, I knew it had to be a complete surprise for McKenna. I also preferred it be just her and I, someplace with sentimental value where we could go back to visit. 

Little Nic grew up on Whidbey Island, catching fish from the beach and running about like a dervish. Up the road from my grandparents' house in Greenbank is a winery surrounded by a rolling pasture. At the far end of the pasture stands an old evergreen tree, halfway stripped of branches, an eagle's nest at the very top. 

The area is an off-leash dog park now, and I pulled into the turn off with sweaty palms. Up a small hill sits a sparsely wooded area, tucked away, overlooking the winery and water. It had been raining minutes previous and I was sweating bullets under my shirt. She clearly had no idea what was about to happen, and it was a miracle. I'd planned meticulously and it seemed like the universe knew, because the universe has a way of spoiling well-laid plans. As the rain pours, we approach the turn off and she says "well maybe we can catch it on the way back..." 

Sometimes you get exactly what you want. With an almighty wink, the clouds parted above us and gave way to a post-rain calm -- Silence and sunbreaks and mist rising off the pavement.

The next part is all a blur. It's less a memory and more a moving portrait of a swirl of overwhelming emotion. Describing it is impossible. But feeling it through memory is easy. Best moment of my life.

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McKenna: As we were taking our engagement photos, we happened to spot a pod of Orcas swimming through the Port Townsend Bay. Years before, Nic had escaped nearly getting eaten by an Orca in almost the exact same spot, but this was my first time ever seeing a Killer Whale in the wild! Needless to say, we were pretty excited. As you can tell from this photo Nic shared on his Instagram.

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 I did a little googling and I found out that Killer Whales mate for life, so they are often seen "as a symbol of enduring love, devotion and faithfulness." If that's not a good omen, I don't know what is. 

What's Next...

McKenna: Nic and I are now in the wedding planning process. While it's still early on, I'm really excited for what's to come. Before even getting engaged, we had discussed wanting a destination wedding. We didn't want to invite a ton of people to our wedding and both have the desire to travel. So why not say "I Do" somewhere completely new? That's why we picked...ICELAND! 

Nic: I'd marry this girl on the moon if that's what she wanted. My life is now rich beyond what I could have ever expected. Getting married in Iceland sounds like something out of a fairy tale. It's novel beyond description, and it suits us perfectly. Surrounded by natural beauty and our loved ones. Sometimes you get exactly what you want. 

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