1.) Part 1
2.) Part 2
Okay - now that we have those out of the way!!!!
I remember the morning of Sept. 11th just like it was yesterday. My cousin, who was also a student at our college, called me and woke me up (it was pretty early West Coast time). She said “I think someone ran an airplane into the White House!” The news was a little misinformed. You know the story of what really happened. Two airplanes hit the Twin Towers in New York; another one crashed into the Pentagon, and yet another one crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
After that, people were afraid to fly. Even though security tightened and airports went on high alert, people didn’t want to take that chance. My personal thoughts are: the best time to travel is right after a disaster because the public is watching your company more carefully and you don’t want to make any more mistakes for fear of a PR nightmare.
Josh called me, mentally and physically shaken. It was as if he knew right then what this meant for our future. He wanted to make sure I was okay, but he was also worried about what was to come. You see, he had only proposed one month earlier.
I don’t think our parents thought our relationship was serious at first, but in July of 2001 when Josh asked my dad permission to marry me, I think they got the hint. Did you know that my dad told my pastor before I even knew? How could everyone keep the secret? On August 7th, 2001, it was my 20th birthday. I will let Josh tell the story now from his perspective:
“I’ve known for a longtime that she was the ONE. Then I just knew that it was time to ask. So I went shopping, picked out a ring I thought she would like, and then started thinking about what to do. Her birthday was on Tuesday August 7th, so I knew I had to do it then. I asked her father 3 weeks prior and received his permission and support. Then soon after that I knew what I wanted to do.
Karina’s birthday was on a Tuesday. I had told her I was unable to be there until that Wednesday. Well, I went home to Woodinville on Monday afternoon to get ready. I got her flowers and fake presents. I left my house at 7:30am on Tuesday and got to Longview at 10am and talked to her mom. I had spoken to her mother previously and had gotten her to pack things for an overnight trip. When I got there, her mom said Karina had no idea I was coming, so that was cool.
Her mom told me she wanted lunch there at Subway, so I just surprised her at work and brought her the flowers and said, "Happy Birthday, I’m here to take you to lunch." She was shocked because she thought I wasn't coming until the next day. It was her birthday that day so she was sad I couldn't come.
I took her out of Longview to Castle Rock (4 miles north on I-5) to go to Subway. She didn't think anything of it. She just thought I was spending more time with her by taking her farther away for lunch. Well after we were done, I was using her cell phone and "accidentally" got on the freeway North instead of South. She was like, “You're going the wrong way.” I repeated, "Oh I was supposed to turn south, huh? Whoops."
So we passed a couple of off ramps and she asked, "What’s going on here?" I told her she had the rest of the day off. She didn't believe me. I told her to give me her phone; I called her work and had her talk to her boss who told her she had the rest of the day off. I told her we were going to the beach. She said, "The beach is the other way!" "I know what I'm doing." I said. "We're going to Ocean Shores."
No joke, she headed straight for the glove box and got out her map to see where it was. She asked if we would be home in time for her to go out to dinner with her friends like she planned. I told her "Sure, just call them when we get to town.” We got there an hour or so later and rolled through town. I took her out of town along the beach, and pulled into the parking lot for the Caroline Inn.
She asked, "What's going on here?" I had her stay in her seat and went into the trunk and pulled out our suitcases and (seeing the shock on her face) said, "Its ok, your mom said so." (She said she will talk about her Christian Family in the next post). She then said, "We're not going to make it back for dinner are we?" "No."
We hung out for the whole afternoon just chilling and talking on the couch. We were hungry so we went to the grocery store to get stuff to make dinner. She cooked dinner. On her birthday. I am so lucky. She wanted to! I gave her the "fake presents" I had bought for her. I think there was a CD and some candles/soaps. She was exclaiming, "This is the best birthday ever!" I was thinking, "Its not over yet!"
It was around 8pm; the sun was just beginning to set and we went out to the beach. We walked around and talked a little and she started going on about why she loved me and stuff, setting me right up. I said it was my turn and started telling her all the reasons I was in love with her and how special she was to me. Well after about 5 minutes or so I kind of pushed her back and secretly pulled the ring box from my pocket got down on a knee and asked her to marry me.
She looked shocked, wiped the tears from her eyes, and (after an agonizing 5 seconds of silence) said yes. I put it on her finger and we hugged and kissed and had smiles all over our faces. It all went just as I had hoped. A lady was even walking past us on the beach and witnessed it and asked if we wanted her to take our picture. So, we have that event documented, too. We had so much fun that day, I know we’ll remember it forever!"
Okay - Karina again....If you know pilots, you would know that they are pretty technical, straightforward people. The fact that he just got a little sentimental and decided to help me by writing out the story of the day we got engaged really meant a lot to me. I just want to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for supporting me in all my crazy endeavors. So, thanks Josh!!!!
As for our future....Due to lack of air travel from Sept. 11, airlines stopped making money. Thus, they stopped hiring pilots. Also around that time, the FAA raised the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 65, so it gave pilots another 5 years to decide whether or not they were done flying. All of this happened the year that Josh had graduated, we had got engaged, and he was trying to apply for jobs. It was the absolute worst time to be a newly certified pilot. The rest of the year was spent just getting over the death of a work dream and realizing that we were kind of stuck in our college town while Josh instructed until the airline business picked up again.
As for me, it was the beginning of my obsession with weddings!!!!
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