photos by Whitney Pawelek

Four years ago this month, Ryan asked me to marry him.

The sun was setting as we sat on the shore of Lake Ft. Phantom, and as we sipped our lattes, he told me the story of our relationship and we imagined our future together. We promised to always keep discovering each other, to never stop dating, to be each other's place of safety and security, and to never stop celebrating the little things. And then the man who had become my very best friend, my confidante, my favorite person, and partner in life over the four years we had been together, asked me to be his wife.

I think I didn't even really say yes, it was so natural, it wasn't even really a question. We were already such a team. I couldn't not marry Ryan—he was a part of me.

We snuggled on that rock by the lake, watching the sunset, and we talked about us—how we'd grown, as a unit and as individuals. We talked about our future, our vision for our life together, and our love. It was a scene like many we'd experienced before, and have many times since. It was so sweet, because it was so very US.

Part of what made this such a special, personal experience to me was that there was no one else there. No friends or family, no photographers hiding in the bushes. Just us. Me and Ryan, soaking up being together. I felt so known. It was perfect, and I still feel all warm and fuzzy remembering it.

I will never forget this day. A few weeks later, we went back to our spot and had pictures taken by the wonderful Whitney Pawelek, and they are a treasure to us! Here’s a few of our favorites from this sweet, newly engaged season together!