Mike and I returned to Alberta for another year of adventures. This year I got a summit pop on Ha Ling way above and beyond the Ginger Cider, I had in my day pack.
In 2016, Mike and I met Annicia & Cassandra at Camp Yoga AB. We ended up talking for hours after dinner last year, ended up sharing bottles of red wine and hanging out by the campfire. We stayed in touch through social media and I couldn’t wait to see them this year. We had planned to do a late afternoon/evening summit hike up Ha Ling. Unfortunately, Cassandra couldn’t leave work early but she was there in spirit (I’ll explain more).
We met Annicia, her boyfriend Patryk and his pup Burt at their condo and headed out to the trailhead. Ok so why do we have such professional photos from a simple summit hike??
So Mike proposed on September 14, 2017, at the top of Ha Ling and completely surprised me.
Ok so here’s the backstory before more photos.
In 2016, we traveled out to Alberta for the first time. One of my friends had mentioned to me before the trip, “wouldn’t it be amazing if Mike proposed at the top of a mountain?” and when I came back “I thought Mike was going to propose to you while out there” – Friendly PSA: never do this to your friends it causes unhealthy expectations 🙂
Mike and I had even joked about the Mazda mountain proposal commercial that it was a really cool idea. At the top of our Fairview Mountain summit last year, there was this random guy already at the top when we got there and I swear he was a hired photographer and I kept waiting for Mike to drop to one knee.
Which didn’t happen.
So let’s talk about expectations vs. reality. Expectations suck. Expectations suck the life out of our thoughts. We spend allll the time thinking about what we want and not focusing on what we have. In all honesty, I wasn’t ready to get engaged last year. I still had some emotional healing to do around insecurity and my journey over the past year was so needed before Mike popped a question. I needed to be entirely secure in how I view love and our love without a ring.
Fast forward to 2017, our first big hike of the trip was up Lady Mac last Tuesday. We met another woman along the trail and she stuck with us for the hike, so I for sure thought she was a hired photographer. See I have this secret engagement Pinterest board that Mike has seen and there was really only 2 things on it. Hire a photographer to capture the moment and 2 pictures of a ring style I really liked. So I swore in my head she was the hired photographer. When she wasn’t I actually told myself in my head “oh for heaven’s sakes quit it” and that is why on Thursday I was completely surprised by what happened because I had honestly told myself to stop thinking about it and really enjoy this trip no matter what happens.
As we’re hiking up the mountain Annicia, starts telling me about meeting this really cool photographer (Rob) on a hike 2 weeks ago. She also starts telling me a story about all the crazy hikes he’s done. Once, we cleared the tree line, Patryk decides to get off the well-worn trail (please note I complained about this and was ignored) and take us up the side of the mountain which became a scramble. This was done because the whole crew was scared about the weather and missing daylight. While I was focusing on not tumbling to my death near the top I hear Annicia yell “Rob! What are you doing here!?” “Oh I’m just here shooting some photos for Travel Alberta. Do you guys mind being in some, I need people in the shots?”. Once I make it to the top I look around and we all exclaim how lucky we are as it was supposed to rain and snow all day and we were blessed with the most amazing blue sky, the sun and golden hour (as they call it in the mountains).
Since we all know I’m a social media fiend I let the photographer know, “no problem! I’d love to be in some shots!” Now, let me look off into the distance while you take nonchalant pics of us. Which is why I actually was looking off Ha Ling over Canmore and didn’t notice Mike taking the ring box out of his pocket. I had also exclaimed out loud “This is incredible!” to which I think Mike said:
Mike: “Do you want to do this every day?”
Mike: “Do you want to do this with me for the rest of my life?”
Robyn: to which I turned around to see the box (which Mike made!) and I’m pretty sure I said, “no you shut up…” a ton of tears sprang from my eyes, I covered my mouth with my hands, I could barely breathe…
Mike: “Will you marry me?”
To which there was a ton of drunk toddler blubbering which I think included “omg I thought you were going to do it on Lady Mac not Ha Ling” and then in my head “oh shit I haven’t said yes yet” before screaming “YES!” and then “YOU ACTUALLY DID IT ON A MOUNTAIN!”
So Annicia, hiked up the mountain with 2 key ingredients for this momentous occasion.
Champagne & Pinterest worthy items for pictures 🙂 This is where Cassandra comes in. She and Annicia met for coffee, dreamed up all these items and asked Mike if they thought I’d love them, to which he exclaimed: “she’ll eat that stuff up!” The banners, the scrabble pieces, and letters in our initials were hauled up Ha Ling for the photoshoot 🙂
My little girl dreams of being completely and utterly surprised came true.
The tears of joy and happiness just burst out of me because I am so truly happy in my relationship with this amazing man. We have been building an amazing life together from the moment he let me know he wanted to spend his life with me one month after we met, to the day I decided to uproot my life from Toronto and move to Ottawa (only 3 short months after our first kiss), to getting a 2nd dog (Rogue) one month after moving in, to several times this year facing moments that might tear a couple apart but only showing us how well we communicate, stay loyal to each other and build the right kind of trust that will last a lifetime.
I can’t wait to plan our big party to celebrate with family and friends. I can’t wait to take my time with it and know exactly what is important to us and what not to spend money on because at the end of the day us on a mountain utterly happy is way more important.
The End of a Happy Mountain Proposal Story 🙂
The photos are c/o Robert Lememeyer. The only photographer (out of 17 businesses that Mike contacted) who would actually hike up the mountain to take the shots! Thank you Annicia for meeting random amazing photographers while hiking who would capture this moment so perfectly! 🙂