Wednesday, February 23, 2011

4th times the charm

The story goes something like this...

With precious cargo on board I stepped on the plane keeping a closer eye on my bag this time. This weekend was going to be one of a kind. This weekend I was leaving single and coming back engaged (at least I hoped :).

The plan was as followed...

Saturday: Go to Sam's baptism, afterwards head to the hills to snowboard and propose on top of the mountain, then return to her place for a romantic candle light dinner set up by Mom and Devin.

That was the plan at least, but today the plans had a mind of their own...and decided to play tricks on me.

We reached Sundance ski resort after a memorable drive up the canyon passing the frozen water falls and the car that slid off the road landing nose down in the creek. This should have been a sign that not everything goes as planned.

This was Amber's first time snowboarding so we started off on the tow line. Well if you have ever been snowboarding you can recall the first time as being one of the most frustrating days of your life. I remember mine, I just wanted to quit and was mad at everyone trying to help me. Well, after stumbling several times frustration was setting in on Amber and I began to think that this wasn't such a good idea. What if she said "no" out of frustrations?!? We took the lift up twice and on the second time was show time. We got off the lift and I tried to get Amber to walk over to a more secluded area but she didn't want to unbuckle the board and take the walk. Strike one.

So I think, "well, I'll just find a spot lower on the mountain." and we start so ski down.

A little further down now, I motion for Amber to come join me, which she did...But I watched as she wasn't wanting to stop along and continued down the mountatin. Strike two.

We reached the bottom and having missed my chances on the mountain we headed back to the car.

Determined to make it happen today I texted Devin the alarming news, "It didn't happen...but proceed with the plans. We'll be home in about an hour."

On our way down through the canyon I told Amber to pull off to one of the parks along the canyon so we could "take more pictures of us", secretly thinking I could find a pretty spot to propose. As we traveled up towards South Fork a policeman decides to worry us by following us. We SLOWLY drive all the way up to the park only to find a park that wasn't that pretty, the sunlight nearly gone (ruining any hope of pictures) and a cop that just needed to use the restroom. So I decided to just head back home, thinking I could ask her during the romantic dinner. Strike three.

About 10 minutes before reaching her apartment I text Devin, "we'll be home in 10, how are things going?" and I wait...and wait....nothing. Starting to get a little nervous I text him again as we are pulling into Amber's apartment complex, "We're pulling in, where are you at?" And again...nothing. As we drive up to her stall we can see lights on in her apartment. Not the soft glow of candle light but the flood light coming from every bulb illuminating brightly in the apartment. Amber thinks it's her roommate which I knew wasn't the case because I had spoken with the roommate. Before I could stall, Amber had parked, jumped out of the car and was running to the apartment leaving the phrase, "grab what you can, and lets go" trailing behind her. I started to shout "wait...wait!!"

Reaching the front door Amber burst inside finding the most unexpected sight...her boyfriend's mother standing in her kitchen. Like two deer caught in the headlights they stared at each other. Finally Amber backed out of the apartment and shut the front door. "uh....TRAVIS!" Down at the car I just shrugged my shoulders and thought, "oh well."

I join her at the top of the steps and went into the apartment together, "surprise" I nonchalantly said. Grinning, Amber is getting a kick out of stumbling upon the surprise not fully understanding the circumstances. I wasn't quite so giddy seeing how this day wasn't as smooth as I intended it to be. I sent her to the back room to wait while we finished getting the table decoration for the dinner. At this point Mom fills me in on the hang ups. All the flower shops were out of Amber's favorite flower (gerber daises) so finally after visiting 4 shops they were able to put a bouquet together. Then the ordered dinner was taking longer to make so Devin dropped off mom to start decorating and he went back for the food. Well Devin's phone died so he took mom's phone which left her unexpecting at the apartment and which is why Devin wasn't answering my texts. When devin got the food he found out they forgot the salmon so he had to wait on that

Finally, after everything was in place I brought Amber out to the candle lit room, with our songs playing in the background. My thought now is that I would propose during dessert. Neither one of us were that hungry but we ate anyway leaving us stuffed. So when I brought on dessert Amber says, "Oh, I can't eat any more. Can we just watch a movie instead."
"Are you sure you don't want dessert??"
"Yeah, I'm stuffed. Let's just watch a movie and we can have dessert after. Can I blow out the candles?"
"uh....(long hesitation)....ok." Strike four.

Well we got through about 30 minutes of the worst chick flick in the world when I couldn't take any more and Amber agreed and said, "I'm really tired, Can I just go to bed."
"Sure" I reluctantly say.

As she heads to the bathroom to start getting ready for bed I start lighting the candles on the table again--One way or another I've got to do it! Desperately thinking I write on a conversation heart which was decorating the table.

"Amber, you need to come back out here"
"I only have one contact in, is that ok?"
"Oh Yeah, that's just fine..."

I explained that we needed to play a game where we picked one of the conversation candy hearts decorating the table and do whatever it says. I select first pulling a heart that says, "big hugs", so I gave her a big hug.

"Alirght your turn," I wait...praying she picks the right heart. She picks THE pink one and reads, "Will you marry me."

That's when I got down on one knee and proposed. Finally Success!

Well that's the story. Not quite as planned but the job was done and she said "Yes". I'm excited to get married to a wonderful girl and start a life together. Special thanks to Devin and Mom. Even though things didn't work actuality they really did. Thanks for your help.

Go to Amber's blog to hear her side.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

For my Valentine

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Jesse's wedding

One of my good friends and college roommate moved to southern California after graduating. There he quickly found a girl that he fell in love with and the two got married in January. My other roommates and I decided it would be fun to get a way from the cold weather and join our friend in San Diego for the wedding. Plus it gave an excuse for the old gang to get back together and spend the weekend together just like old times.

We all got down there Thursday night and checked into a Marriott. Conveniently, Caleb works at Marriott so we got a sweet deal on a nice room for our stay...I just wish their hide-a-bed didn't feel like a spring factory and didn't ever seem to have enough towels (I don't know when Jeffery started using one towel for each appendage). After our complimentary breakfast, which we eagerly looked forward to every morning, we headed out to Sea World. Thanks again to Caleb's hook-ups we got into sea world for free and got a spacial picture with the Shamu and his buddies after the show. It was impressive that they can train sea creatures to flip around. We spent the day exploring the exhibits and being entertained by the shows. I've decided I want a few pet dolphins to ride around on.

Can't you just imagine me riding like this? 4D movie experience where we would even get sprayed with water during the show
Water ride with some Aussies
Shamu and the gang

Saturday we went to the wedding at the San Diego Temple. That temple is awe inspiring. It was so neat to be there and see our buddy get married. After a few pictures, Caleb, Jared, and our friend Veda, who lives in the area, and I did a session. It was a neat experience and the Celestial room is a beautiful two story sanctuary.

Yea! Jesse and Katie

Good luck getting the girls looking like that. (Caleb, Jeff)Gary (Jesse's friend)and Wife, Jared, Caleb, Mckell (Jesse's sister), Jeff, Me, Kristen (Jesse's sister)
The gang
I always laugh a ton when I'm with the boys. Whether it was telling Jared that breakfast ended in 15 minutes and see him jump out of bed just so he didn't miss a meal or Caleb's random "RAGNAR!" comments, or Jefferey's "special bond" with the temple worker-- I was laughing the whole weekend. Thanks for the good times and fond memories and congrats Jesse!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I couldn't wait for the first three days of the week to be done. Because that meant I was done with work for the week and off to Utah for Thanksgiving break. The day I left, Dayton was under flood warnings but luckily that didn't slow things down and I touched down in Salt Lake late that evening.

Amber and I stayed up at Devin's for a few days. For Thanksgiving we went up to Logan and got together with the Utah Barlows. It was good to see family again especially grandma. Amber got a warm welcome from the family with Gordan announcing, "We'll have Travis introduce his girlfriend and then I want everyone to come up and talk to her at some point." With that unexpected announcement Amber got to know the family quickly.

This year I didn't really have the desire to get up early on Black Friday. Even when Devin asked me to get up at 3:00am, I had to "regretfully" decline. Amber and I did brave the stores later that day to seek out a new SLR camera for Amber. She got a great camera and we had fun testing it out with a little photo shoot up the canyon.

This weekend was the weekend of animation. We saw Toy Story 3 with Devin and Katie and watched the New Disney movie Tangled. I really wanted to go to it because if Amber was made into a cartoon figure she would look exactly like Rapunzel from Tangled. Both of the movies were really good.

Friday night we took a carriage ride to see the lights at thanksgiving point. It was a cold night and I felt bad for our horse Jody for working under such harsh conditions. We also went down to Provo to watch the BYU game. It was fun to see my friends but heart breaking to watch BYU lose to Utah.

The weekend came to an end all to fast and I found myself back on the plane to Ohio on Sunday. I'm looking forward to Christmas break in Georgia with Amber's family.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Who doesn't like a photo shoot when they are the star? Well, when you have a talented Sister-in-law that is always looking for "test" subjects and a gorgeous girl-friend it's not a hard sell. So I couldn't turn down the chance to have us magically transform through the lens of Shonda's camera. Here are a couple of pictures from that shoot back in July.

This last weekend when Amber came out we took our own little photo shoot because the leaves looked wonderful. For some reason, I've appreciated the beauty of fall a lot more this year then ever before.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

After a long 49 days I finally got to see Amber again. I've been looking forward to this weekend and it was fabulous. First off Amber helped me pick out a couch. It's great to finally have something to sit on.

My boss recommended the Haunted Cave so on Friday we decided to check it out. About 30 minutes away after passing through this spooky ghost like town we arrive at this old mine that is now haunted by the undead. As we pulled up we were surprised to see probably 100+ people waiting to enter the cave. Intense music and Signs warning about bats and other things and lined the 80 ft slope down into the cave. We entered the cave in a group of about 8 people. The first part was surreal. With Amber tightly gripping my arm and her head buried in my sweater we started by walking across this rickety bridge which seemed to be suspended 100's of feet in the air. It was nearly completely dark and foggy and it sounded like things were falling on the bridge and falling in to the water below. That is when something grabbed my ankle! To make an hour long adventure short, it was very well done and will be in the Guinness Book Of Worlds Records as the longest haunt.

On Saturday we went to Hocking Hills state park which is like a outdoor playground.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

From coast to coast

The second half of my vacation took me from wading in the waves of the Atlantic to tickling the shores of the pacific. Trying to get out of the airport in Atlanta was crazy though and we wondered if we'd ever make it. Who knew plane traffic gets so bad. We were about an hour late in leaving.

I flew with Amber into Portland, Oregon where we met up with Devin and Kati to drive to Corvallis. We got there later that evening just in time to catch the end of the madness for the day. Thursday we went to the coast in Newport (hence the coast to coast). The Oregon coast is quite different then the coast in NC. Amber learned that real quick.

We had a great time playing in the sand and even brought the trampoline with us to jump on at the coast! Of course we had to have an obstacle course and this time Zac caught some crabs to eat.

On Friday, we went to the park and played games like blob tag, drip drip drop and sponge relay. We also played a movie on the barn. Saturday we headed up to Portland to take a jet boat ride down the Willamette river. Other then that the family reunion had the typical food, teasing and good times. I was grateful to see my family and introduce Amber to them. She seemed to fit right in. I'm looking forward to the next time we all get together as it is sure to bring good times.