Erika: I guess you can say it all started with a “home.” Our story sounds like a sweet country song. I was living in Nashville, Tennessee at the time. I wanted to move to Clarksville, to make my commute to work easier. A friend had told me about this charming tiny white house with a front porch surrounded by magnolia trees that was going to be available for rent over the next month. I pulled up to the address, parked my car, and that’s when I first saw Kyle. My heart literally skipped a beat. Kyle was outside having just pressure washed the porch. He was barefoot, wearing wranglers and said in his sweet southern drawl, “Hi, you must be Miss Erika.” I still remember the first time I heard his sweet laugh. The house was all of 300 square feet, so as cute as it was, the tour didn’t last that long. Instead, we ended up chatting for hours that day on the porch. As it turned out, Kyle was moving out of the house to relocate to Colorado. I ended up signing the lease that day, excited for my new home, but bummed the cute cowboy who lived there wouldn’t be local.
Kyle: I remember her leaving to sign the lease. I wanted to get her number but I didn’t want to be too forward.
Erika: Well it all worked out! I called my friends on the way home to Nashville and they were like “How was the house?” They still joke that the first thing out of my mouth is “Oh my God! A really good-looking cowboy lives there!” His huge heart was the first thing I was drawn to – he has a heart of gold. When I moved into the house a month later, I opened the mailbox and there was a stack of mail for Kyle. I was able to get his contact information and I messaged him asking if he would like me to shred some of the important looking documents.
Kyle: That’s when I said, “Hell no! I’m coming back to Tennessee to get them myself!”
Erika: Pretty close to that! He replied and said plans fell through in Colorado and that he still had work in Tennessee. And he asked if it would be alright if he stopped by in person to get the mail. I remember being so excited to see him again. I immediately said, “Yes! Come on over!” We started dating shortly after Kyle came back to Tennessee and the rest is history.
Kyle: Best decision I ever made. Next to asking her to marry me.
Erika: I fell in love with Kyle’s heart the minute I met him. He has this huge, warm smile and kindness just echoes through his being. I had a crush on him for months! I think it was love at first sight for me.
Kyle: She is such a good person. We could talk like we had been friends forever. I thought she was beautiful when we met, but it was when I came back to Tennessee that I knew we had something special.
Erika: We were supposed to backpack Zion National Park last Thanksgiving. The weather turned crazy basically all over the country. We ended up heading to Joshua Tree National Park because it was the only area we could find that wasn’t getting plummeted with a storm. We drove out to Joshua Tree (from Arizona, where we were living at the time) and when we arrived, Kyle saw snow covering the San Bernardino Mountains. So we drove towards the mountains and stumbled upon Idyllwild, California. It was so cute! And absolutely covered in snow.
Kyle: It was awesome! I found us a campsite. We went in and spoke with the ranger, and she told us that in just an hour the town was going to have their annual tree-lightning where they lit up five giant Sequoia trees in the middle of town. I knew that was it.
Erika: It was the most beautiful mountain town engagement! I was so surprised when he proposed. After Kyle set up the tent, we walked into town and explored all the shops, and then he took me to a romantic dinner. When we left the restaurant there was a snowball fight happening in the center of town and we jumped in. We had a lot of laughs. After everyone went home, we took one last stroll around the lit up Sequoias and that’s when Kyle took me to the center of them all and got down on one knee. Of course I shouted yes! It took my breath away.