The Bride's POV
Nelson and I initially met in Jr. High, he was a friend of my younger brother, Spencer. We never thought about each other romantically, until... (fast forward to 2009, Nelson and I had not seen each other since high school nearly a decade ago)... I spot him in line while skiing at Snowbird. Nelson was no longer the young boy I once knew. Oh no, he had grown into a handsome, studly man. After chatting in line, and detecting some serious charisma, I invited him to a Christmas Party my friend and I were throwing that weekend. He came, was there that we first hit it off. We talked, laughed, and connected, and somehow, he fake proposed. I answered, a fake yes.
It was all a big joke- it was the first time we had ever hung out! But in that joking around, I got my first glimpse of his sense of humor, charm and wit. I liked it, and wanted more of it.
Nelson, however, was not quite ready to start anything. Timing just wasn't quite right yet.
A year later, I received an intriguing email from him- a cleverly designed invitation/riddle that didn't say much about what he was inviting me to. All he gave me was a date, time and address, that I had to dress up like Audrey Hepburn and to dress warm. Hmm.... Do I go?
How could I not?!? I channeled my best Audrey in a mesh black hat, full arm gloves, and my grandmother's fur. I bought him a boutonniere and went to the mystery address he had given me, a restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City. And there he was, handsome as ever, wearing that same charming smile I remembered. Again, we got carried away chatting, including about how timing hadn't been right the prior year. We continued the night going ice skating (hence the need to dress warm). At one point, Nelson skated off to the men's room (or so I thought), when over the intercom I was asked to go to the middle of the rink while everyone else went to the side. Laughing and in shock, I went to the middle of the rink. Nelson slid out to me, ON HIS KNEES, and fake proposed again! Are you kidding me? This guy is a crack up. Again, I said a fake yes, and we skated around the rink in fake celebration. If the rest of the rink only knew.
As we continued to get to know each other, adventure together, and grow together, he didn't pull a stunt like that again, as he knew the next proposal would have to be a real one. Plus, how was he going to be able to top that one?
And he did.
White water rafting is one of our favorite adventures to go on together. Nelson is an amazing oarsman. In June, 2014 we went with a group of good friends down a section of the Colorado River called Cataract Canyon. It's a pretty intense section with class V rapids- and we went at high water, making some of the rapids even bigger. The biggest rapids on the stretch are called The Big Drops, and they are very worthy of their names. Knowing rapids like these are coming up causes an inexplainable adrenaline/ fear/ stress/ anxiety/ excitement that I'm sure our entire group felt. However, as I watched the oarsmen scout their rapids and plan their lines, this overwhelming peace came over me. Maybe I was being naive because I had never run rapids THIS big, but in that moment I knew everything was going to be alright. In that moment, I knew I trusted Nelson with my life.
Well, of course unconventional Nelson decides to run a different line than everyone else. They all thought he was crazy. Except for me. He and I high-fived, kissed, and proceeded towards the rapids. No turning back now. He warned me we may have to jump out and swim. We were both silent except for the sound of his slow and controlled breath- the kind of breathing he does when he needs to remind himself to breath. I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. We were right above the rapids when the raft in front of us flips. Our hearts beat harder and faster. They get on top of it and flip it back over. Here we go. Another raft to the side of us gets sucked into an area called Purgatory, an eddy right above a hole called Satan's Gut. Another hole worthy of it's name. He recirculates in the eddy to regain his strength so he can row out to avoid The Gut. We enter the rapids. Nelson navigated down those rapids like they were no big deal and we rode those babies like they were roller coasters. We made it through safely and it was awesome. We couldn't get fully excited yet, as our friend was still up in Purgatory. We grabbed the throw bags and prepared to rescue, The Gut often creates carnage. With our eyes peeled on the water, hearts pounding, we spotted him... in his boat! His boat was upright, filled with all of his passengers! We all made it through safely. It was then that we got to breath. And of course Nelson chooses that moment...
On June 4, 2014, in a raft below the Big Drops in Cataract Canyon, Nelson got down on one knee and asked me to marry him- for real this time- and gave me a ring he had made out of rope.
I think my heart exploded that day.