With just two months until the big day, I figured it was high time I dished out the story. It's adorable so be prepared to gag a little if that kind of thing makes you queasy. ;) In November of last year, Will volunteered for a week-long leadership conference at Camp Miniwanca, his "home camp" in western Michigan. At the end of the week, he flew me up to Michigan so I could meet his camp friends & finally visit the beautiful Miniwanca.
He picked me up from the airport & headed straight back to camp despite the fact that it was getting late & we were supposed to be meeting up with friends for dinner. But Will seemed desperate to give me a quick tour of Boys Camp first...so he showed me the first cabin he had lived in (adorable) & he showed me the Boys Camp Council Circle (his favorite place at camp - double adorable). Then he pointed to a very tall, rather steep sand dune & said, "That's Old Baldy, the only dune in camp that campers can play on whenever they want. Let's climb to the top!"
Old Baldy from below - the photo really does not do it justice, folks.
With sand flying in my face, I followed him to the top of Baldy. I was excited, despite the mouth full of sand, because Will seemed so ecstatic to be sharing his camp for the first time. When we finally reached the top, we were greeted by one of the most gorgeous sunsets I've ever seen. Now I'd seen Lake Michigan before but only from the Illinois side & let me tell you, Chicago's view has nothing on Miniwanca's. It might as well be the ocean! We stood soaking it all in for a few minutes before we had to head back for dinner. We turned to leave but only got a few feet when Will stopped & said, "Wait, I have a surprise for you...but you have to close your eyes." My first thought was, of course, to imagine some crazy Miniwanca initiation & pleaded, "Please, don't push me down the hill!" After making Will promise not to roll me down the dune or put sand down my shirt, I reluctantly closed my eyes.
The Miniwanca shoreline & view from the top of Old Baldy.
So there, on a sand dune overlooking a gorgeous Lake Michigan sunset, Will dropped to one knee & asked me, "You want to do this for awhile?" Haha, yes those were his exact words! Momentarily speechless, I sank down next to him in the sand. With teary eyes, all I could do was nod enthusiastically but finally managed to squeak out a, "Yes!" We sat together in the sand for awhile as I admired the stunning, hand-crafted ring & Will explained that it was made of cedar, lined with birch, & set with a dark sapphire. He'd had the ring custom made from a piece of red cedar he smuggled all the way home to Iowa when we'd made a Labor Day trip to Camp Ondessonk (the youth camp where Will & I met) in Southern Illinois. That's a good 9 hours in the car & I was none-the-wiser. It makes me laugh to think about how nervous he must have been that I would find a random 12 inch piece of cedar shoved under the seat.
The ring! Beautiful, isn't it? Handcrafted by Simply Wood Rings.
That is our story...followed by an incredible giddy evening of celebrating with friends. I hope you enjoyed reading, though I'd be impressed if anyone made it this far. I can't wait to share our wedding with you. It's going to be a carnival, so get excited for some awesome photos! :)