We met in the beginning of a global pandemic. The majority of people we knew opted to remain at home, businesses were shutting down, and the idea of meeting new people was frowned upon during this time of unknown. However, it couldn't keep us apart. In the beginning of Summer 2020, Benjamin decided to online-message me, a familiar face from San Juan Hills high school, ultimately asking for my phone number after a bit of small talk. He called me on the phone the night of July 14th, and we talked for over an hour. If my cell phone had a cord attached to it, I know I would've twirled it around with my fingers. I was immediately giddy by the calmness of his demeanor and softness of his voice. I had to meet him in person. Later that night on the phone, he asked me if I would go on a date with him. I joyfully agreed. The next day on July 15th, 2020, at around 6:30 PM, Benjamin arrived at my home in his Jeep. He walked up to the front door, and I introduced him to myself and my family. He then walked me out to his Jeep, and since my dress was a bit too short for such a high-up vehicle, I knew I wouldn't be able to get in without potentially embarrassing myself. He noticed my hesitation and immediately scooped me up into the passenger side of the car. I knew right then and there he was a gentleman, and his consideration was pleasing to me. We became quite partial to one another right away. We had the most delicious outdoor dinner at Beach Fire in San Clemente then later walked the pier at sunset. Later that night, we shared our first kiss overlooking the city of San Clemente underneath the beautiful night sky.
On the evening before the anniversary of when we first met, Benjamin and I were up at Lake Tahoe for a summer trip with his good friends, Brandon + Ally. On Instagram a few months prior, Ally DM'd me and offered to take some photos for us for a little "3-Year Anniversary" photoshoot. We had just drove into town the night before and had fun on our paddle boards at one of the beaches on the North-East side of the lake called, "Sand Harbor." When we came back from shore, Ben and I got ready in the back of our camper for our fun little photoshoot. With sand still in my toes, I got my lace dress on and curled my hair. Little did I know that evening would change our lives forever. Everyone that crowded that beach and its boardwalk earlier that day had now all cleared away when the sun began to set; they migrated up to the outdoor theater nearby to watch a cheesy Shakespearean play. I was so stoked to have it just be the four of us walking around as pictures were being taken. We discovered the most beautiful, private spot that overlooked the lake, sand, mountains and trees. It was a circular end to the boardwalk that Ally began taking pictures of us on. She then had a funny idea to have us turn our backs from each other, leaving some space in between, and on the count of three, we would turn quickly to run toward each other and grab one another's butts. We did it the first time and it ended in a silly-looking embrace that left us both nearly cackling. Ally instructed us to get back into position to try it again. With my back turned to Benjamin, and assuming he was doing the same to me, on the count of three I turned around to find him not only facing me, but this time down on his left knee, holding the most gorgeous ring in his hands. "Will you marry me?" he asked with nervous giggles and gentle tears sneaking out of his face. I felt my heart fall to my stomach. An adrenaline rush like nothing I had ever experienced before came rushing into me. While still in shock, I managed to say yes in between a few small gasps for air and tears. We hugged each other so tight, and I felt like I never wanted to let go. He gently took my left hand and placed the ring on my ring finger. It fit so perfectly; it was the most stunning thing I have ever owned in my life. Although it was physically stunning, I immediately treasured the value in its significance more than its beauty. Benjamin had taken over a year of planning this perfect moment out. He had secretly asked my parents and brother for their blessing months prior while we were in Big Bear, had the ring designed from scratch from a reputable jeweler in LA, and had his family and our friends involved in planning this entire proposal down to the day. After the big question, we spent the evening walking along the sand and ended up getting in the lake at twilight while still in our dress clothes. Later, we made dinner together in the camper as Benjamin hung fairy lights above our kitchen and bed. At midnight, we talked about life and how crazy it is that we just did that. We are each other's best friend, and now, we are spending the rest of our lives together.