Okay, we've all been waiting for this day for so long and I'm a bit surprised that I didn't pee my pants when the judges emailed us their verdict last night, so without further ado, a message from the judges:
We loved reading through everyone's stories as well as the comments made by friends and family. You are all so loved and it is beautiful to see. We wish you and your marriages all the best. Narrowing down such an impressive list of candidates was difficult, but here goes. Our top three picks are:
Our relationship in a nutshell:) Timeline style.
January 23rd- Nathan moves to Denver from Pittsburgh.
March 15th- Sarah met Nathan and his roommates at all night pick up sand volleyball.
April 1st- Sarah went to the rock climbing gym with Nathan and roommates, then they made cookies:)
April 4th- Sarah was amazed and impressed with Nathan’s cooking/hospitality skills at party.
April 6th- Sarah hangs out with Nathan’s roommates and wishes she was with Nathan instead.
April 9th- Nathan drives an hour in a snowstorm to snow hike, eat cinnamon rolls, and shop for axes with Sarah.
April 10th- Nathan proves to Sarah he has wicked Frisbee skills (obviously the way to my heart:), buys her Chipotle and stays with her all day.
April 12th- Nathan goes swing dancing with Sarah and friends. Dances only with Sarah all night. Neither of them realizes that the other is getting butterflies too when their hands touch.
April 13th- Sarah does her first multi-pitch climb on the flatirons in Boulder with Nathan and friends. They bake cookies and talk until 2:30 AM after everyone else leaves.
April 16th- Sarah goes snowboarding with Nathan and makes a great impression by face planting so hard she breaks the lenses out of her goggles on the first run. Nathan buys Sarah dinner… date? Nathan rushes out to Sarah’s car as she is pulling away and tells her that he really likes her. She feels the same:) Can’t stop smiling.
April 17th- Watched Space Jam and held hands for the first time.
April 18th- Cuddled in a fort at Sarah’s grandparents’ house. Also Mac n cheese. Also, Nathan and Sarah are official :)
April 22nd- First kiss.
April 25th- Climbed the flatiron again, but just the two of them. More kisses, but on an epic mountaintop.
April 27th-29th- MOAB, UTAH :) Road trip! Tent camping, rock climbing, swimming in the CO River, mountain biking, enjoying the beauty of creation… The outdoor lover’s paradise!
May 1st- Nathan meets Sarah’s dad. Sarah’s dad teaches Nathan the proper way to make chocolate pudding.
May 6th- Nathan says to Sarah: “I think I’m starting to fall in love with you. I honestly think I have been since the day I met you…” :)
May 14th- Sarah knows she loves Nathan.
May 16th- Nathan buys Sarah daisies and helps her study for exams ALL DAY.
May 18th- Nathan buys Sarah camping hammock for one month anniversary… This IS love.
May 28- Nathan takes Sarah’s dad out to breakfast to get to know him.
May 30th- Sarah and Nathan climb a 14er in a white out blizzard. Nathan tells Sarah he loves her. Sarah was just about to tell Nathan the same thing.
June 6th- Flew to Pittsburgh to go to a wedding and meet the family. Perfect weekend.
August 9th- Week long road trip to Northern Cali! A freezing cold ocean, warm sand, swimming hole, blackberry patch, redwood, coffee shop, long conversation, rock skipping in rivers, San Fran, Yosemite, driftwood fort, beach camping, hammock nap, rock stacking, turkey wrap and gummy bear adventure:)
October 18th- 6 months. Nathan makes Sarah the most romantic dinner of her life. Grilled maple salmon laid out on a home made table with hanging lanterns, lights, and a toasty fire nearby:)
December 30th- Nathan asks Sarah’s father and mother for her hand in marriage.
January 9th- Nathan proposes to Sarah and Sarah says yes… ABSOLUTCHES. :)
Jillian & Jason - we chose Jillian & Jason to be finalists because of how genuine their love is, how great their support system is, and because they are destined to impact the world in a positive way together.
Rebeckah & Steven - We love their story. We can't believe he spent $700 on Christmas lights (but what an amazing proposal!) and they are obviously loved and celebrated well.
We started falling for each other in grade 12 chemistry class. Steven sat behind me and was the most annoying 15 year old boy on the planet; but he was cute and funny, so I secretly liked him bugging me.
He eventually started pretending he needed help on his projects, and with studying for tests, so I would comply and then he’d get better marks than me. Haha, he’s a natural genius, so he probably should have been helping me. Soon we became inseparable at school and with a bit of prodding from my friends, he asked me to be his girlfriend one afternoon while he walked me to my bus. My response to that was “FINALLY!” and then I gave him our (big) first kiss. Steven still teases me for that – he says I gave him whip lash!
The first two years of our relationship were long distance. I was away travelling the world, and then went off to Bible College. We did a lot of texting and skyping and letter writing (at one point we had a crazy walkie-talkie app, and we communicated with that for a while before we realized how we were being! lol) Sometimes Steven would come visit me at school, and would spend the nights in his van because I lived in an all-girls dorm and he wasn’t allowed in. When he visited during the winter, we would order Chinese-take out and fold the back seats down in his van, and have candle-lit picnics in there; we had so much fun! Whenever I visited home, Steven and I would go to my favourite spot; an old bridge near my house that overlooks a beautiful river & mill. We would dance under the stars and the fireflies; it is always so romantic and peaceful.
After Bible College, I was accepted into a program in Toronto, so Steven and I made the move there; we live in separate houses, but it’s nice to be closer. We are both country kids at heart so Toronto was quite the change for us, but our adventures continue in the big city (one night we got locked inside a cemetery while walking home….apparently they lock cemeteries in the city?!)
This winter, a few weeks before Christmas, Steven decided that we should go spend a weekend back home with our families. We made the drive home in the evening, and of course stopped at our bridge.
After dancing in the snow, he said he had a surprise for me, and I needed to close my eyes. When I opened them….nothing happened. He ended up taking me home, and then returning to get me a few minutes later. So, we went back to the bridge and started from the beginning; we danced, and then I closed my eyes. This time, when I opened them again, the entire bridge was lit up with Christmas lights!
Steven got down on one knee, and proposed. I was so surprised he had to ask me three times before I could say yes! It was so special. Turns out, one of the extension cords (that ran all the way to the nearest house) was faulty, so Steven had called his brother and they tested all the cords with an electric saw to find which one didn’t work, and then fixed it. Haha. Steven felt so bad that the proposal didn’t run as perfectly as he had expected (he also opened the ring box upside-down) but I think the little quirks add to our beautiful night.