Guys I am soooo overjoyed to share with you Clayton and I’s proposal story. This past week has been the best week, full of excitement, friends, family, and a promise that I get to look down at on my hand every day! I can’t say enough about how thankful I am to be Clayton’s girl, and how excited I am that I get to spend a lifetime with him!
So let’s hop into the story, shall we?
We were in Portland, OR visiting one of my college roommates and her husband who moved there about a year ago. I had been searching for a good time to come visit, and when I saw the ticket prices drop, I jumped on it and invited Clayton to join too! The whole weekend was absolutely incredible. From foodie spots to hikes on the coast, it couldn’t have been a better trip. Clayton has been sooo busy with American Native and we had been fighting for quality time together, so this trip came at the perfect time. We hadn’t even started our first day in Portland when I mentioned how good the trip had already been, being together and focusing on nothing other than being together. Little did I know one of the biggest moments of my life was around the corner!
It was our first morning there and we woke up early, our bodies touching the ground on each of our deflated air mattresses in Julie & Trav’s living room. Luxury travel, I know. Because of the time change, we were up preeeeety early, so we decided to go on a little run through the city to get the day started. It was absolutely perfect weather, sunshine and only slightly chilly. We got back, and Clayton seemed a little eager to get the day started. (I only found out later that he was on a timeline with the photographer). So, we decided on a breakfast place, and headed out to enjoy one of our favorite meals of the day together.
We settled on a brunch place called Screen Door. They specialize in southern food and let me tell ya, it was probably my favorite meal of the trip.We love early mornings and breakfast food, so it was the perfect way to start an engagement day. His order: chicken and waffles. Her order: Veggie Egg Frittata. Um, YUM. We had the best time, people watching from the patio and seeing multiple trucks come in with farm-fresh produce. Needless to say, I was already loving Portland.
To my knowledge, the day was free and there was no agenda to be had. I was open to anything! Clayton mentioned going up to Mt. Tabor, a mountain that overlooks Portland to get a better view of the city before we jumped into our weekend activities. I had heard him mention it before, so I had no obligation! We headed that way and it was the first time I had a good look at the trees in Portland. They were huge, and made you feel so small. I haven’t seen anything like them before! From where we parked, it was a short 10 minute walk up to the top of the mountain, where the overlook was. We parked and started our ascent.
As we walked up, I noticed all the wild daisies sprouting up everywhere. Wild daisies like this are my absolute favorite flower, and every spring I feel like a kid in a candy store, nose against the window looking at these beautiful little things that just grow on the side of the road. These daisies that sprout up, without permission and in no need of adoration, are one of the ways I really feel Jesus and am reminded of how much he loves his kids. It’s always been that way with wild daisies, and so it was just that much more special to see these all over the place I would be getting engaged.
We got to the top and saw the overlook of the city, the trees, and enjoyed the sunshine for a bit. Clayton suggested going down in the center of the park, under the trees. When we arrived, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a little book. He suggested it was just a ‘little something’ and truly y’all, at this point, I STILL did not know a proposal was about to happen! I flipped through the book and saw that Clayton had compiled all the polaroids that we had taken over the past 16 months of our relationship. Pictures from our trips, various dates and events, all such sweet memories that I loved looking back on with him. Polaroids are kinda ‘our thing’ so we have quite a few piled up over the past year and a half. When I got to the end of the book, I saw that he had written a little something: “Will you be in my polaroids for a lifetime?”
My heart stopped, and as he sunk to one knee, I was truly in shock! I could not believe THIS WAS THE MOMENT!!! I kept saying “oh my gosh, wait, wait! slow down!!! Pause! Let me soak this in!” But of course, he didn’t stop, he continued to pull out a beautiful blush, crushed velvet ring box with a gold-foiled “C” on the top (Chamberlain, his last name). When he opened up the box, I truly couldn’t even keep myself from freaking out. I was shaking and tears were comin’ and I just couldn’t believe how beautiful this ring was! He slid it on my finger and I even think I forgot to say YES because I was so lost in the moment (I followed up with a YES, DUH, OF COURSE afterwards).
As if this wasn’t like the peak experience of my life, Clayton tells me that my favorite photographer, Phil Chester, was here to photograph our proposal!!! I hear some clicks from a camera, and there he is!! I start shaking and freaking out even more. Phil has been like my favorite photographer for YEARS and I couldn’t believe he was HERE to capture OUR engagement!!! CAPS!
It was such an unbelievably special time and even now, I can’t believe it’s real: that I actually get to marry Clayton Dean Chamberlain!!! After Phil finished up our photos and headed out, Clayton and I continued to stick around and talk about what the heck just happened. I begged to hear all the details: how he got Phil, how he decided to do it in Portland, when he got the ring, how he got the ring box, what secrets he (and all my friends and family) had been keeping from me! I wanted to know it all, and he was an open book.
After I had heard it all and cried some more, we got to spend some time praying together. I think out of everything, this was my favorite moment of the day. It was the first time Clayton and I were able to really pray as a couple committing their lives to each other and to Him together! It was such a freeing moment, not having to worry about emotional/spiritual boundaries because of the promise wrapped around my finger. It truly was amazing and opened up the door even wider for thankfulness, joy, and expectancy for what’s to come.
The rest of the day, as you can imagine, we were just on cloud 9, loving life, loving eachother, calling friends and family to share the exciting news. The rest of the weekend was enjoyed in Portland as a committed, engaged couple. (Stay tuned for a Portland recap and Bae Vacay video ROUND TWO!).
Lastly, though, I just have to say – Jesus is so faithful. Since I was young, I have hoped and most importantly, prayed into my future marriage. I would day-dream about what he’d be like, what his qualities would be, made my list and checked it twice of my ‘wants’ and ‘musts’, and while those ‘musts’ are important, Jesus knows my desires and needs wayyyyyyy better than I do. Clayton is my answered prayer, but he’s so much more. He’s God’s grace on my life, he’s all I want and exactly what I need in a life-partner. He makes me better and stretches me to be more Christ-like. So so so thankful and can’t wait to begin this adventure through life with him.
Photos by Phil Chester