In the back of the diary I kept when I was 13 laced with movie stubs, song lyrics and fortune cookie sayings are some carefully cut out IM messages that read:
Alisha: If it’s not exactly the right person, is the feeling still the same? Is the love you felt when you were in 8th grade the same as the love you’ll feel for your husband? Or is it a stronger love?
Dakota: It will be different in some respects, but the feeling at certain times in 8th grade that I had I will have with my wife when I get older. It has to be the best feeling in the world.
I was sure I loved him then, the most consistent thing in all my diaries was how sure I was that my heart wanted him. Written in pretty pink pen on every page is my love for a blonde guy with mischievous eyes.
On April 18th Dakota surprised me with a trip to Florida. He proposed that evening when we were walking the beach. Dakota and I have taken lots of trips together over the years; he knows me. So when we walked by a couple taking a vacation selfie, he knew it would be almost impossible for me to walk by and not be compelled to offer to take their picture. My burning desire to save everyone from bad photographs tends to cut into our time so I tried to pretend like I didn't notice the struggling couple (sigh.. selfies). And to my surprise, he suggested I help out. After composing a nice shot of them with the sunset, he suggested we have them take our picture as well, another rarity.
I’m one happy girl to have such lovely photos of Dakota proposing. That couple had no idea what they were getting into. :)
The evening progressed into a breathtaking sunset, celebratory beach cocktails and a 5-star meal that made me feel like a princess.
Fourteen years later I’m more in love than I’ve ever been before. He's right - it's the best feeling in the world.