Becky: Justin and I met at a family camp in Central Oregon, Camp Dwight, in the year 2006. At this point, the only interest I had in Justin was that he was one of 14 children!
W-O-W! Over the next five years, his family welcomed me into their home for various visits and I got to know his family as a whole before my eyes were opened to what God had set in front me.
Justin: I distinctly remember that day. At the end of camp we sat down and chatted for about 3 hours... and I remember noticing her red shoes that matched her red shirt. Due to Becky's warm personality, a bond quickly formed between our families. My family knew from early on that Becky was a good catch. I, however, didn't realize this until October of 2010...
Being born and raised in the city, I had always wanted to go hunting. When my sister and brother-in-law moved up to Idaho, I saw my opportunity to go. I booked flights for my sister and me and AFTER booking the tickets, I found out that Becky was going to be in the area at the same time. Not intending anything, I suggested that she drop by for a visit.
Becky: In October of 2010, there was an occasion where Justin and I were both in the Spokane area of Washington at the same time… Looking back on this now, I say that someone (our original matchmaker) made two people, one from Rowland Heights, CA and the other from Bend, OR meet up in a place even further North. Justin- going up to go “hunting” (for an elk or me, I don’t know) with his brother-in-law and myself - going up to visit my sister at Whitworth University. Although our visit only lasted for an hour, max… I felt something begin to stir inside of me…
Justin: Having been the one who invited Becky out, I felt bad when after only an hour of visiting, we had to head out to the brush for a week of unsuccessful "elk" hunting. A quick apology text turned into a series that sparked a very small flame of recognition of who Becky really was.
Becky: Through the course of the next two and a half months, we corresponded primarily by texting. I noticed this sudden interest from Justin that hadn’t been there before. In the previous years the only thing we’d text about was his truck, a Ford Excursion (my favorite vehicle) and how he “really wanted” to sell it to me. However, his texts now, were daily and full of questions about me. These questions circled a lot around food and how picky I was (and still am). I’d happily answer questions and respond to his texts, but was honestly trying to be careful and guard my heart, especially since our only communications were based on texting thus far.
Justin: Not being totally sure, but wanting to know more, I began asking general questions in an effort to grow our friendship. I liked what I was learning and sensed that I wanted to take this further... I decided to arrange a way we could hang out together without her thinking anything of it.
Becky: In December I had wanted to go down to visit his family and started to coordinate a trip with Justin. I mentioned that I’d be in Menlo Park (San Francisco Bay Area) over Christmas and could just catch a flight from there… At this time, Justin insisted that he had wanted to visit San Francisco for a long time to see the sights, (BINGO!) so if I could get to Menlo Park, he’d make sure I got a ride to his house from there. Two days after Christmas, Justin and 3 of his sisters came up to Menlo Park to hang out for a few days. We spent a day in San Francisco walking the Golden Gate Bridge, going to the wharf, and doing some sightseeing. We drove all over the city, up and down the crazy streets. During our trip down the coast to his house, I discovered his love for adventure, his caring personality, his ability to make quick decisions, and his easy conversation. Once we arrived at his family’s house, I was thinking to myself that this guy is way more awesome than I first thought and there were so many things we agreed on and discovered about each other that we really liked.
Justin: Believe it or not, it IS true that I had wanted to make that trip for a long time. I was really happy when Becky agreed to driving the scenic route down the coast. We enjoyed driving and sight-seeing, but two moments during the trip really stood out to me... Becky's sense of adventure- When we decided to take a 10 mile detour on a wet, dirt road and despite my sister's protests, Becky was egging me on. Becky's easy going company- During our drive, Becky and I enjoyed long conversations on all manner of deep topics.
Becky: On New Year’s Eve the Dortignacs hosted a pizza night and by the end of the night I was more convinced then ever that I really liked Justin. One of his sisters (Joanna) had sat down and started listing qualities she wanted in a guy. Justin was drug into this conversation and was now heading it up with about 6 girls answering. The conversation went something like this: Justin would bring up a topic and then the girls would each give their own opinion and we’d all just discuss our thoughts. This conversation went on for about 3 hours covering all sorts of important topics. One of them was, “If a guy wants to pursue a girl, how should he go about it? 1. Go straight to her dad? 2. Go straight to her, then to her dad? 3. Or skip the dad altogether?” My opinion was the guy should go to the girl first and then the dad so she at least knows of his intentions and then she can forewarn her parents and tell them her position and opinion of the guy. The other question I remember is, “When a girl and guy enter into a relationship, how should they go about doing things? Should they both sit down and discuss the nitty-gritty, theology, and other stuff about a relationship and see if everything looks good… or should the guy try to win the girls heart first?” I readily gave my opinion that it would be ridiculous to win the girls heart first and then discover something just wouldn’t work in your relationship. Justin agreed. It was at this point, I was like, “Wow! I’m learning a lot about him and he sure is learning a lot about me whether he likes it or not!”
Justin: Yes... the pizza night conversation. I really enjoyed myself, especially when Becky joined the conversation. I recognized this as a generic opportunity to learn some important things. Working carefully, so as not to tip my cards, but dying to know Becky's opinions more than anyone else's, I tried to be careful to direct conversation to the whole group and I was very happy with the results. Throughout the course of her visit, I came to the conclusion that Becky was the one for me. Not wanting to make the situation awkward... I waited until the last day of her trip before I talked to her about our relationship.
Becky: Throughout the rest of my time there, I had several chances to see what an amazing, hard-working, easy going, “everything I ever wanted” kind of guy Justin was! (And still is) Our last day there was Tuesday, January 4th, 2011… Justin had previously said that he was only going to work a half-day so he could take Naomi and me to the airport that evening. Everyone ended up going (Justin, Naomi and me, plus 9 of his siblings) and we toured a little bit of downtown L.A. Being from Bend, OR (tallest building is 5 stories), downtown L.A. was fascinating! The last building we went to look at was the Bonaventure Hotel. It has a big, glass elevator that goes up the outside of the building and Justin thought it’d be fun to take us up in that. Almost at the top, we got out and were just milling around when Justin told me to come with him. I followed but noticed no one else was following. I asked Justin where we were going and he said, “All the way to the top, the view is gorgeous from up there.” Sounded like fun to me, and I just assumed that no one else wanted to ride the elevators any more. Never making it to the top due to construction, we stopped on some random floor where we began walking around. I, just following because I felt directionally challenged and assumed we were making our way back to the group. Justin stopped me and said, “Not to make this situation awkward, but I want to know if you want to pursue a relationship with me and take our friendship to the next level???” I was totally knocked off my feet, in shock. I had honestly wanted this to happen, but didn’t think it would happen this soon!! I said yes, (after several minutes of trying to breathe again…) and asked him if he had talked to my dad. He responded, “Wait- you said on Friday night that the guy should come to the girl first!” After this we made arrangements for him to fly up and talk to my parents. This meant a great deal to me and showed that he was really serious!
Justin: Yes, I was nervous. There is always the chance of rejection, but if I had read the signs correctly up to this point, I was on solid ground. Sure enough, she said yes!! Then began the waiting as she flew home and opened up the conversation with her parents. It just so happened that I was installing a granite counter-top at that time and I was scared to death I was going to ruin it from lack of concentration. But praise God I didn't! And I waited... and waited... and waited... and waited... and waited.... and waited.... and waited... and waited... and waited... and waited... and waited... for TWO WHOLE DAYS. My phone rang and it was Mr. Kalebaugh. He said, "I hear you want to come visit?" I said, "Can I come tomorrow???" He said, "See you then!" The rest is history.
Becky: So began the expensive, often, wonderful and educating visits in our relationship!! Justin flew up 2 days after I got home and we went on our first date January 8th, 2011. We talked over all the important aspects, thoughts, and ideas of a relationship. It was the best date ever, lasted for about 5 hours, and had me completely convinced that this was who I was supposed to marry, who I had been waiting for, and who the Lord had been preparing me for.
Justin: Our first date was amazing!!! I had about 5 pages of discussion points (I know… so romantic) and I was pleasantly shocked at the results. Either Becky or I were lying to each other or we agreed on everything! Returning from that date I was walking on air. I had complete confidence that this was for real!
Becky: By the end of the short weekend, dad gave us his blessing to get to know each other with the intention of marriage. With fun dates, surprise trips, and romantic places, our courtship continued until April 3rd, 2011 when Justin showed up as a surprise and asked me to marry him!!!!
Justin: I knew Becky liked surprises so I began to plan... It took me a little over a month. With lots of input and assistance from our awesome families, I finally had a satisfactory strategy to pop the question. A friend of ours readily agreed to show up at the crack of dawn with her amazing photographic talent to document our special event.
Becky: In April, Justin was supposed to fly up on the 5th and stay for about 5 days. I was eagerly hoping that he would propose sometime during this trip because it was my 23rd birthday. After e-mailing me a fake itinerary, Justin and his sister Annie drove up and spent long, cold, night in his Excursion waiting for me to arrive…
Justin: It was a long, cold night... dropped down into the teens, but it was worth it! And I just want to say thanks to Annie for her support!
Becky: My trusty but sneaky friend, Rachel Zwonitzer, had planned a sunrise hike to the top of Smith Rocks (a local rock climbing area) on a Sunday morning. I honestly wasn’t that excited about hiking in the freezing temperatures, in the dark, when I could’ve easily just stayed in my nice warm bed. However, because 7 other friends were going, I decided to go. My two brothers and I woke up at 4 am Sunday morning and headed out to meet everyone and make the long hike up to the top to see the sunrise. The hike took about an hour and it was breathtakingly beautiful at the top on such a cool, crisp morning. Rachel and I sat down and were just beginning to flip open our bibles to James, when I felt someone come up behind me and cover my eyes with one hand and his other hand around my waist. Thinking that this was one of my brothers I started to get annoyed. “What are you doing??? I’m trying to read! I can’t see anything! Please take your hand off my eyes!”
Justin: Also a special thanks to Rachel for being willing and crazy enough to put together a freezing sunrise hike! Annie, our photographer, and I arrived at the top of Smith Rocks, scoped out a hiding place, and anxiously awaited the arrival of the group. Watching as they walked by within feet of where we were, we waited until they got situated, then we made our move...
Becky: “Guess who??” Came the deep voice I only knew too well… I couldn’t believe it!!! Justin was there behind me, on top of Smith Rocks, with the sun slowly rising behind us. I turned around, ecstatic and crying still trying to figure out how on earth he was here! He, having to push me away so he’d have enough room, got down on one knee right there and proposed!!! In front of 12 people, telling me he loved me, (as best as he could… he had trouble talking because it was so cold!) and putting the most beautiful ring on my finger… It was so perfect and beautiful; I could not have imagined it any better!! Since it was still early morning, everyone headed back to my house for a big breakfast where I discovered that everyone knew what was planned for a long time before this!! Justin thought of everything to make the day the best. He hired a photographer, who drove down with her father from Washington at 1:00 in the morning, hiked Smith Rocks with all her camera gear, and shot our proposal!! She spent the day with us and that afternoon we did our engagement pictures.
Justin: She said YES again!
Becky: I’m engaged to the most wonderful man that God gave to me and we’re both very much looking forward to our wedding and life together, working to serve our Lord.
Justin: I'm very excited to see the Lord lead with His timing and direction through friends and family and all of their support. This journey has been amazing up to this point and I only expect it to get better! By God's grace we will live happily ever after!!!!!!!!!!!!!