my family requested photos of the actual proposal moment so here:

and then us frolicking after the big moment:

this photo is off of my iPhone 6. I set up my iPhone on a garbage can and set a self timer photo. 
I love this photo. so much.



the proposal


Mike completely surprised me with a beautiful sparkling band on May 3rd, 2015. 

I am so unprepared. You'd think I would have my dream ring picked out since I was 13 but I don't. I still don't know what I want. But Mike being the gentleman he is totally hasn't pressured me or stressed me out about picking a design. It's just me stressing myself out because time was starting to catch up to us!

Mike and I wanted to be engaged soon but also decided to wait for the ring to make it extra special. We had talked briefly about getting a nice band separate from the engagement ring but Mike played it off like he really wanted to wait for my decision on the real engagement ring. So my expectation timeline for getting engaged was the end of May/early June. 

So what happened yesterday was a complete and total surprise!

After church on Sunday we drove out to Half Moon Bay and sat by the fire pits at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton hotel (a beautiful hotel that sits right on the coastal cliffs in Half Moon Bay--seriously Google it, when it gets misty it is seriously like Ireland) Mike suggested we walk along the coast and take some photos.

We had to run through the tide because it was coming so close to the rocks. It was a great adventure and were enjoying being together in such an amazing place. I kept saying "oh mike this is such a beautiful place-this could be 'our spot'!" Mike laughed and we kept walking. Later Mike told me he was thinking at that moment "well it's definitely about to be 'our spot' so good call Ishel". 

 After we had walked for a bit Mike led me to a little cove where I saw rose petals strewn along the sand. I didn't suspect anything though because I knew he didn't have the ring(because I hadn't decided what I wanted yet!) I honestly thought "oh no, someone must have dropped their roses over here!" 

But I began to understand what was happening as he led me closer and his hand tightened around mine. He knelt on one knee and told me he loved me since the moment he saw me. I was in shock and couldn't stop smiling. He pulled out a little box and said some other stuff we both can't remember because SO MUCH ADRENALINE but I do remember he told me he would be honored if I said yes to being his wife. 

My heart exploded and I said yes a million times. We excitedly put on the beautiful sparkling band that Michael had just bought the day before, a special representation of our commitment to each other. Even though this ring isn't my engagement ring, I'm going to wear it forever because it has such a sweet significance (plus when we travel it's the perfect ring to bring that doesn't scream "STEAL ME!")

It was such a sweet moment filled with so much happiness. I felt so honored to be Mike's fiancĂ© and glad that he had made it so special. 

After the tender moment, we turned to see our friend Brad along the coast taking beautiful photos of us the whole time. Mike was so sneaky and made sure to have photos of us together-- he really knows me and how much I love photos.

Honestly Mike and I are NOT models but Brad captured so many tender moments and made us look beautiful (also sorry that almost all of them are us kissing but come on we just got engaged!!) For the next hour we were laughing at how completely clueless I was!

It was a magical, beautiful and completely perfect proposal.

We are getting sealed in the Salt Lake City temple on July 31st, 2015 and couldn't be happier!

How they met--Mike & Ishel

Mike and Ishel met in June 2014 at a massive camping trip in Moab, UT.   He was a BYU Finance graduate, about to begin his full time job in California and freshly returned from a trip to Costa Rica.

 She was enjoying the summer before her senior year studying Art Education at BYU, about to visit her home in Virginia Beach then explore NYC for a week.    

She saw the handsome blonde hair blue-eyed boy walk over to their campsite and immediately knew she wanted to get to know him.   

He saw a beautiful brunette sitting on top of a car watching the sunset. He fell in love the instant he saw her and she said her name. 

They stargazed for hours together on the very first night in the campground. They spent the entire trip together hiking and exploring Arches National Park. And when Ishel became very sick after the camping trip, Mike extended his stay in Utah just to take care of her. 

  After her recovery and the best Fourth of July celebration ever, Mike left for Palo Alto to work full-time for KPMG and Ishel stayed to coach a week long BYU Dance camp. They talked every day and planned when they would be together again.  

 When Mike returned to see her two weeks later on his birthday, they began dating. They dated for six full months long distance, Mike in California and Ishel in Utah.  Mike was dedicated to flying out to see Ishel every other weekend and even flew out to Virginia for Sarah Kay and Derek's wedding reception to meet Ishel's family!  It was hard to be apart but so good to talk every single day. They made some great memories in California when Ishel took a few trips to visit Mike.  

 When Ishel's sister Sarah Kay was diagnosed with cancer, Mike was fully supportive and helped out with Ishel's family during and after the diagnosis.  

One December night in downtown San Francisco, Mike told Ishel that he loved her.  Ishel decided to take her winter semester off from BYU and work full-time as a nanny in California, just to be closer to Mike. They were finally together, in the same state! They explored the coast, city and mountains and fell in love with eachother (and San Francisco).  It was a wonderful time full of adventure, beautiful places and growing love.

........to be continued 

(This is already so long I'll do the proposal in another post)