A Marriage Proposal

  The day finally arrived; John was going to propose to my beautiful sister-in-law, Katelyn.  His plan was to propose on the John Wayne Trail, a popular walking trail in Ellensburg at the spot where he first told Katelyn he liked her.  When the day arrived Katelyn's older sister Ashley and I  sat crouched in some bushes off the side of the trail waiting for them to walk to the spot so I could discreetly take pics of the special moment.  Don't worry it was John's idea.  As far as Katelyn knew they were just on one of their usual walks along the trail.  From where we were crouched we couldn't see them approaching so we could only wait and listen intently for their voices.  After about ten minutes of silent whispers back and forth and jokes about our legs going numb from the extended crouching, we hear what could only be considered one of the most distinctive laughs I have ever heard.  Katelyn's loud and gregarious laugh can be heard from a mile away and it always brings a smile to my face.  In this case it nearly brought me to tears, knowing that in less than two minutes her life would be changed forever.  Ashley and I kept giving each other looks of excitement and anticipation over what was about to happen.  As they approach we can more clearly hear their conversation.   "...And this is where I told you I wanted to date you," John said.  Katelyn replied with, "And this is where you told me you loved me."  "I didn't tell you I loved you," John rebutted.  In a sassy tone Katelyn responded, "No...but you wanted to."  They both erupted into laughter and started singing a song that was probably an inside joke of theirs.  Finally they were in view.  John handed her a journal that he told her to read from.  This was the moment I began snapping photos, making sure to capture each significant second.  Then as he dropped to one knee Katelyn jumped back yelling, "Shut up!  Shut up!"  Ashley and I jumped out of the bushes as I continued taking photo after photo.  Katelyn was so in the moment she didn't even notice us standing a mere thirty feet away.  Sometimes it can be hard for me as a photographer to emotionally partake in what I'm shooting.  Whether it's a wedding for friends or a birth story, it's typically not until I'm looking over the images later that I can get emotional.  In the moment I'm so focused on capturing the important actions that I don't necessarily think about the significance of what is happening before my eyes.  But in this case it didn't seem to be a problem.  Taking photos became secondary to what was right before me; one of my best friends being proposed to by a man I couldn't be more thrilled to have as a member of our family.  What an amazing privilege I had to be a part of such a beautiful moment.  Once Katelyn realized we were there we ran towards her yelling in excitement as we attacked her with big hugs and kisses.  John looked at us with an expression I can only describe as complete, overwhelming joy.  The moment could not have been more perfect.  It's such a gift when two awesome people you love and care for choose to commit their lives to one another.  Or a quote my husband and I like to say in moments such as this; "It's so nice when it happens good."