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When it comes to sharing the story of our relationship with other people, Jaryd my fiance, likes to take the romance 10 notches down. We met through an AmeriCorps volunteer program known as Public Allies where we were placed in a non-profit for 10 months. I worked at a non-profit helping house previously homeless individuals with evictions and felonies, while he did home make-overs for impoverished families. Sweet right? I always knew I’d meet my future husband volunteering. He says we got together on Facebook after I moved into his apartment complex because he wanted $300 off rent. Cool.

We recently had our engagement party and when asked for “the Proposal story” he began with “Traci, ate a lot of prosciutto so the ring didn’t fit.” Can you not? I think we could both use some revisions with how we tell our story, but it really just illustrates our dynamic. We laugh so much.

Anyways since I’m a better story teller than him we’ll go with my version:

traci ducusinFor the past two years I’ve been telling Jaryd that I wanted to go to Zion National Park in Utah. I was kind of obsessed. We finally made it after spending a year long-distance and as we hiked up, we overheard hiker’s on their way down say “Did you see those people get engaged? I wanted to tell them to stay engaged forever.” We laughed, thinking about our future together. I had reason to believe he would be proposing this weekend (because my dad told me they had the talk right after they had the talk lol), but I also had my hesitations because I told him that if he ever proposed to me while hiking I’d tell him to try again. Every time we go hiking Jaryd and I are both aware that the probability of us breaking up increases by 10%. Contributing factors include: heat and moods of hanger. Both of those things seem to only impact me, creating an awful person, yet we continue to hike because we like to voluntarily test our relationship for some reason We hiked up, we hiked down, and no proposal. Not surprised. Not disappointed.

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Knowing how hangry I get, Jaryd always joked that he would have to propose to me after a hefty Italian meal when I’m nice and full of Cabernet. Coincidentally, we ended up at an Italian restaurant and I wondered whether it was time. Oh, wait I picked the restaurant on a whim so this couldn’t be it. The weekend was coming to an end and Jaryd had a 10 hour drive ahead so we went on our way. I offered to drive most of the way which I never do since I avoid driving at all costs and came to the conclusion that this weekend wasn’t it.

Driving back to Arizona from Utah, we decided to stop at Horseshoe Bend in Page AZ. We had been here two years prior and it was just a pit stop to stretch our legs – at least that’s what I thought.

Just like two years before, the stop was crowded with foreign tourists taking in the beautiful sights. We found a spot to sit. I brought 4 cameras, trying to capture the beauty of AZ, and while I was taking a picture of a lizard – Jaryd got serious. Wait a minute I thought. By the time I turned off the camera to listen to what he was saying, he was handing me a ring as our feet dangled off the cliff. Although I was anticipating that moment all weekend, I was still surprised because well, who makes someone drive to their own proposal?! Time stopped in that moment. We kissed and kissed and kissed  – and laughed noting that people probably didn’t appreciate our PDA.

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“Hi, we kind of just got engaged right now do you mind taking our picture?”

Jaryd had to get back to training for the Army so we hurried back. It was weird spending the week apart and not being able to celebrate right after, but the happiness I feel simply grows everyday. Neither of us imagined we would be engaged at this point in our lives, but we feel so incredibly lucky to have found our love early on! Thank you to everyone who has shared our excitement and took the time to celebrate with us!

 

Life is happening my friends!

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Posted by:Traci Ducusin

Traci Ducusin is a self-help junkie with an entrepreneurial spirit and an advocate for the “good” work. She believes that everything is a reflection of who she is and that success happens when personal and professional aspirations align. Off the clock, she focuses on self-improvement, both mental and physical, which leads to a more productive and intentional individual.

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