“I’ve fallen in love with adventures, so I begin to wonder if that’s why I’ve fallen for you.” -E. Grin
A week ago today, I went on an adventure. Little did I know that my kayaking adventure to Bear Island would lead me to a new adventure all together.
Garrett and I had been planning a trip to Bear Island for months. We would kayak the sound and explore the island. Unfortunately, life got in the way with me working and him trying to finish his thesis, so it kept getting postponed. We finally decided that we’d go on May 3rd.
Thank goodness we decided to go on May 3rd. I had just told myself a few days before that if I couldn’t propose to Marisa by the second week in May I was throwing the perfect proposal plan out the window. I was gonna propose to that girl no matter what, even if that was in her driveway!
The days leading up to the 3rd, I kept asking Garrett if he was sure he was ok to go. I knew his thesis was stressing him out, and it wasn’t turned in yet. The night before we left, he texted saying that he had sent it in! “Great! Now we can celebrate by kayaking,” I said.
Garrett picked me up and we headed to the coast. We talked the whole way there and stopped at McDonalds for brunch. Once at Hammocks Beach State Park, we packed our kayaks, put sunscreen on (him more than me), and launched into the sound. It was an absolutely perfect day—sunny, but not too hot, breezy, but not to where we struggled paddling. It was a made to order kind of day. It took us 1.5 hours to reach the island. Bear Island has a sound side and ocean side. We kayaked the sound side, but when we landed, we walked to the beach side.
On our walk down the beach, we found jelly fish, sand dollars, and plenty of seashells. We laid out towels, and ate some snacks. I fell asleep on the beach, but woke up after a while.
Meanwhile Marisa is sleeping. I’m racking my brain trying to find and excuse to get Marisa to stand up. Gosh this is proving difficult… Wait, I’ll just ask her to take some more pictures; she loves pictures. That will make her stand up!
Garrett asked if I wanted to take a few more pictures at the beach. So, I got up, and we snapped some selfies. We then just stood looking at the view. The following conversation then occurred:
Garrett: It’s been a pretty perfect day don’t you think?
Marisa: you are pretty perfect and so are we.
Garrett: Well, you know what would make this day even more perfect?
*Garrett drops to one knee
Marisa: No, no, no, no (note this is a “no way I can’t believe this is happening” vibe not my answer. I’m also known to respond to major declarations in a bad way….more on that later)
Garrett: If you would make me the happiest man alive and be my wife, Marisa Linton, will you marry me?
That is all I remember of the conversation. I was crying and shaking at this point. He gave me the ring, but I had to give it back because I was shaking too hard to put it on. After that, I kind of just hugged him for a solid 10 minutes trying to compose myself. I was shocked. I never thought he would risk taking a ring on a kayak!
One of the first full sentences Marisa was able to form after I asked her to marry me was “How the heck are you so dang calm?!” To which I replied “If only you knew how long I had been planning on doing this. I am just so glad that all of this finally came together like I had planned.”
He then told me all the secrets he had been keeping from me to pull this off. Poor guy had been trying to do this since early March. I didn’t help either. I asked to reschedule our trip once…I might not have done that had I known I was going to get proposed to!
She canceled on my proposal plans! Can you believe that the love of my life cancelled on me asking to marry her!!! Who would have saw that coming!
One of the secrets was that he hadn’t turned in his thesis. He said he did so I wouldn’t reschedule again. Sheepishly he asked if he could finish it up in the car and stop somewhere with WiFi to turn it in. So, that’s what we did. After kayaking back the 2 miles, (with the ring now my responsibility) we packed up, rinsed off, changed sat in the truck. I called my parents, who apparently already knew this was happening. I also told Alec who at first didn’t believe me and had to get confirmation from Garrett. He then screamed with excitement. While I called folks, Garrett worked on his thesis. I also was discovering that as Garrett put it, I was Lady Lobster. Oops…. I may never learn.
We went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse and drove back home to show off my new bling. Speaking of bling, let me take this moment to brag on Garrett’s jewelry picking skills. He has always done really good at picking jewelry for me over the years, but the ring he picked is amazing!! I love the setting and oval. He picked it all himself too. He’s also basically an expert in diamonds now. And me, well I stare at it a lot.
We then went to my house where I broke the news to anyone who didn’t know and showed off my ring. I was also filled in on some behind the scenes activities. For example, Garrett asked Daddy’s permission months ago over lunch. I knew they had eaten lunch together, but I thought Garrett had to go meet his internship people who work near Dad. Apparently that wasn’t a thing. He just needed an excuse to talk to Dad. Mom and Dad never let on and had super good poker faces. Sneaky people I tell you.
And with that, I had a fiancé, a sparkly ring, and a new adventure to go on. We are so, so excited for this. I have had to pinch myself several times. It’s real, though. I get to marry my best friend and go on the greatest adventure!
For those who don’t know how Garrett and I met and started dating, here is a very condensed version:
It really started in high school. We’d compete against each other in livestock skillathon and judging contests (I’d typically beat him). After one contest, Garrett approached me and struck up a conversation about who had more ribbons.
Later that week, he reached out on Facebook to ask if I’d be showing at State Fair so he had a chance to redeem himself. From then on, we would talk. Ironically, though, I thought he was just being friendly, and he thought I was just being nice. Clearly, we weren’t good at flirting. We were good at talking, though. It was never awkward with Garrett. It was always natural.
Fast forward to freshman year of college. We both kind of did our thing. He was at NCSU and I was at Campbell. I dated someone briefly but Garrett and I would still talk. Freshman year passed, and the summer of 2012 came. Both of us were single and started talking more seriously. We’d hang out at 4-H events, but I had the hardest time getting him to go with me to a movie or hang out outside of an event. Our first date was at the Smithfield movie theater. We went the whole fall competing against each other in the hog showmanship circuit.
It wouldn’t be until October 21st 2012, that he’d ask me out. We had spent the day kayaking and watching movies. In the driveway at my house, he asked if I wanted to make things official. I said yes. A week later he’d say I love you, but my answer was “why.” Awful I know. The guy flustered me, though. It had only been a week. It’s ok, though I said it back after he gave me reasons why. The rest is history. We’ve gone on dozens of day trips, spent a whole summer without seeing each other, gotten to know each other, had tough conversations, and fallen in love.
We started our friendship with livestock and still bond over it. We started our relationship with kayaking, and now we have started our engagement with kayaks. I know everyone has a great love story, but I really, really love ours. It has always proven to be an adventure, and I’d have it no other way.
“Love is meant to be an adventure.”—Gordon Hinckley