Sofia had recently moved to Orange County to attend her post-baccalaureate program at Chapman University around the same time Cory moved back to Orange County after finishing his degree at SDSU. With mutual friend groups, we met in passing several times, like ships passing in the night. It was not until a fateful Taco Tuesday at Sevilla in Costa Mesa that we got the chance to explore any type of connection. However, from that moment, our future was forever set in motion. Throughout the coming months we would spend more time together, whether attending an Angels game or watching Tim Mcgraw rock out on the sand of Huntington Beach at Coastal Country Jam. Cory knew Sof was the girl for him as he watched her "pre bowling preparation" (naturally it went straight into the gutter) and was taking pictures of her and his mom in the back of an uber that night. Sofia knew Cory was the one for her when he came to watch an extra credit documentary about the environment and he ate moldy yellow chicken curry she accidentally served him with a smile. It was by no means love at first sight, and it took many months for Cory to win Sofia over (one step backwards two steps forward!!). But once he did, the two of them have since built a relationship unlike anything they have experienced before. The adventures we have been on have become cherished memories. From trips to Disneyland, camping, tubing, skiing, and snowboarding in Big Bear, exploring Chichen Itza and Playa Del Carmen, road tripping to Sedona, moving in together and raising our puppy (our gorgeous English Springer Spaniel, Ellie) and so so much more, we know our biggest adventure has yet to even begin-the adventure of marriage and continuing to build a beautiful life together. Its difficult to explain simply "how we met" because the past 5 years have flown by so quickly, and it feels like we are still just meeting for the first time every time we wake up next to each other or welcome each other home.
We knew it was coming-but when and where? Sofia found herself confident she knew, as she tends to be a little snoopy and confident in her guessing abilities. Little did she know, Cory was two steps ahead of her. Months ahead of time the ring was secured-and hiding less than 10 feet from where she slept every night. In the weeks approaching, Cory combined a work trip with an awkward layover in the Bay Area to have the most stress-ridden conversation of his life-asking Sofia's parents for her hand in marriage. Through some miracle, and with the help of her parents, Cory did not even miss his flight to get home, and was even able to sneak some clothes home for Sofia without her putting anything together. Two weeks away from their 4 year anniversary trip to Big Bear, CA Sofia was certain the time was set...the problem for her was that Cory knew Sofia knew. In true "you're not ruining the surprise on my watch" fashion, Cory waited patiently for the inevitable "we never go anywhere!" tussle that comes around monthly between the two. Cory jumped at the opportunity to plan a date at a "must try pizza shop" in Laguna Beach, and the stage was set. There were a few requirements Sofia had for her proposal: 1) I need my nails done 2) I need to be dressed nicely 3) I need photos of the moment. I know, she's an easy woman to please. But Cory was prepared, with the timeline lining up for their anniversary Sofia had her nails prepped, Cory's best friend and soon to be best man, Eric, was prepped with a family camera, and somewhat awkwardly, Cory convinced Sofia to wear a much-too-nice dress to a beachside pizza shop. This is where it gets GOOD. As they drove towards the coastline, the beautiful sunset Cory was expecting got replaced by a heavy marine layer, and the "secluded" beach Cory had set for the spot was packed (Cory was receiving live intel from Eric, and probably went to the bathroom a few too many times to text him back). The plan changed on the spot, and Eric scoped out a new beach-Thousand Steps-that was emptying out by the minute due to the clouds. Cory convinced Sofia to take their planned picnic to a new beach (although this proved difficult, as Sofia was stubbornly convinced the original beach "was just fine"). As they descended the many steps of Thousand Steps Beach, Cory became quiet and clammy. Anyone that knows Cory knows quiet is not a word you would often use to describe him. As they walked directly past Eric, his disguise worked perfectly, dressed in a gigantic oversized hoodie with the hood up, giant straw hat, sunglasses, and hiding under a finding Nemo umbrella. Cory picked a spot away from everyone and laid out the blanket, took out a speaker, and played their song "Harvest Moon" by Neil Young (the same song he played as they danced and he told her he loved her for the first time at Mount Soledad in San Diego). As Cory held Sofia they gently danced and he spoke about their time together, the relationship they built, and the love they shared. With his heart firmly in his throat, he chucked a backpack out of the way as to not ruin the potential pictures, and his knee hit the sand. It is fair to say no one is really sure what happened then, because they both practically blacked out due to love, excitement, stress, and anticipation. We are pretty sure she said yes though. As they stood up, Cory waved to Eric, who was at the water taking photos. It was an evening we will never forget, made possible thanks to amazing friends, family, and the love we share.