I left for Costa Rica with a carry on, a personal item, pale skin and a boyfriend. I returned with the same two bags, much darker skin and a fiancé.

On March 31, 2014, Adam and I started dating “officially.” And on March 30 of this year–almost two years to the day–he got down on one knee and asked me those four special words: “Will you marry me?”

So many girls dream about this moment. They view proposals that have gone viral, make Pinterest boards for topics such as relationships, dating, engagements, marriage, weddings, etc., and they watch romantic comedies wondering if it’s possible for a man to love the way depicted in the media.

I am here to tell you that it is.

Ever since I met Adam I knew there was something special. He was the most selfless person I had ever met, and he had a continuous interest in getting to know who I was–the good and the bad. I never felt like I had to hide who I was or the way I felt. He has been by my side through some of the hardest years of my life.

Two years later, I am in even more awe of the person he is. I have learned so much about God’s love and God’s grace through my relationship with Adam. He forgives me over and over again and loves my faults, and he loves me on the days I even have trouble loving myself.

So my answer to his question? “Yes.” And a giggle.

We had planned to hike to a little hill in Tamarindo to watch the sunset on Thursday. It had been recommended to us, and we had watched the sunset every night we were there: why not change the view? When we got back from an adventure tour on Wednesday, however, I decided that we could just change our sunset plans to that day. Little did I know I threw Adam off his game. When I showered at the condo, he ran to a local shop and picked out the smallest ring that a woman there had made, thinking that a Costa Rican ring would be a better prop ring than the other cute ones he had brought.

I was sitting around in my comfy pajamas when he got back (For anyone who knows me, this is typically my evening attire). “It’s 5:05,” he said. “We have to get going. The sunset is at 6:00.” Apparently I hadn’t realized what time it was, so I quickly threw on some other clothes and tennis shoes to prepare for the mini-adventure.

We had planned to photograph the spot, so I grabbed my DSLR camera and my iPhone, and he grabbed his GoPro and phone as well. Once we made it to the top of the hill, I was left breathless. The sky was beautiful, the birds were chirping, and no other sound could be heard. The wind hardly bristled the grass, and I immediately pulled out my camera to start shooting some pictures.

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In all of our time working on photography together, Adam has taken time lapses, so I was not at all surprised when he set up his camera on the ground aimed at the sunset. However, when he set up the GoPro and two other phones to shoot time lapses as well and took several timed photos of us in the spot the cameras pointed toward, a few thoughts crossed my mind.

I kept taking photos. Then I heard an abrupt “Ali, look!”

I turned around in a split second wondering if something had happened, and instead saw the man of my dreams on one knee smiling up at me. The ring fell out of the mini yurt it was sitting in, and we both giggled. He had been so nervous about messing up the proposal, but there was no way he could have done that–even if the ring fell. To me, it just encapsulates our lives. We fall, we get up. We don’t always stay where planted. And neither of us are the most smooth either. I, in fact, am very uncoordinated.

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The ten-second timed photo captured the moment. As did two videos. And to be honest, that is all I had ever wanted in a proposal. I love photos and capturing moments, and this moment was one I wanted to capture forever. I never told Adam this, so I suppose he has me (mostly) figured out.

I look back to June when this blog began and cannot comprehend all that has changed, but I am so blessed to have experienced it all. Life is great. God is good. Love is never-ending.

And now, I am engaged.

To be honest, I may never look at a sunset the same way again.

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