To be honest, it's really hard to think about a time in my life when his family wasn't a part of it. Ben's family has been homeschool buddies, church cronies, and friends for such a long time. It's funny watching people grow over time. Funny, but totally amazing.
Taylor and I started cleaning at the Community Center together. We talked as we scrubbed toilets. We built a relationship. We're girls, so of course we covered the entire gamut of life. She's sweet with a kick of sass (I remember being surprised when she said "turd" for the first time. but, that's Taylor. real. and I love her for it).
One night while we were cleaning, Taylor told me about how lonely she'd been feeling with concern to friends in the college ministry at our church. And, the only person she said she felt comfortable with was Ben. They had a good talk one night while they were bowling with a big group of people.
Fast forward 6 months. I saw Ben walking out of a corn maze while I was getting ready to go through it. He paused. And, he looked a little nervous. "Uhm, Erika? How would you like to photograph something?"
"Hmm. Like what, Ben?"
"Ben, is this what I think it is?"
"Yeah...I'm leaving to go have the talk right now."
"You mean the one with her dad?"
"That's the one."
"And, you know of course I'd take pictures for you and Taylor!" *insert girly happy smile here*
Ben left. A couple weeks later, he motioned me away from some friends and told me he had it. He had the ring. It was just what Taylor wanted. And, he was beaming. So, I arranged it with some of his friends to travel up to Chicago where the big proposal was going to happen.
He guised their outing as a double date with another couple. So, what did I do all evening? I wandered around following them, of course.
Ok. I'll shut up now. Their story is so much more cute when you see it. When you see them.
|Hello, beautiful Chicago. Hello, Fall.|
|THE ferris wheel.|
|Many good hours spent on this little pier documenting the adventure.|
|What good city doesn't have one of these?|
|Taylor and Ben road their bikes around the city, to the zoo, the park, then finally to the pier. Ah, yes. Taylor is oblivious.|
|Waiting for their dinner at the Italian restaurant.|
|Taylor had no idea I was there (or any of the other guys with me helping document), so getting on the ferris wheel was tricky. We scampered up the waiting line and literally got shoved by the ferris wheel people into a car.|
|Almost to the top. Whispering sweet nothings...or something like that.|
|Then, Ben manned-up.|
|And, Taylor didn't mind so much :)|
|The happily now engaged couple. Hmph. The cuteness is too much.|
|This guy just landed himself a babe.|
|Dear Ben, kudos on the ring. I'm pretty sure every other girl is jealous.|
|Taking a walk down the pier. ENGAGED!|