We have been applying every month for the past six months to win a permit to hike to "The Wave."

"The Wave" is an amazing sandstone rock formation located near the northern boarder of Arizona and Utah sitting on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness of the Colorado Plateau. Or you know, located on your Windows computer under "desktop backgrounds."

There have been countless stories posted of people who have applied for 4 and 5 years never receiving permits, and even though we figured our chances were slim, Austin started applying late last year.  

The wave is known for being a hike that gets many trekkers lost, dehydrated, and unfortunately killed from the draining desert heat and lack of water. We packed half in confidence and half like we were possibly going to be facing the zombie apocalypse. 

The landscapes were utterly gorgeous. With a lot of the hiking being on rocky mountain terrain with steep grades, there is no set foot path like you would find on most trails. You also only receive a map with about 10 photos when you do gain entry. There are little to no trail markers, so paying attention to landmarks around you is key. 

The hike was almost a full ten miles, but you become so focused on landmarks and so distracted by the beauty of everything around you and under your feet that you really start to lose track of time. Plus, in February you find yourself constantly playing "wait, now I'm hot... wait, now I'm freezing" as you traveled from sun to shade and back again.  

And then just when you wonder how much further it could be, your whole deep sandy world flips upside down, and you see one of the most gorgeous things you've ever laid eyes on. 

We sat and ate sandwiches on a steep ridge of the wave wall, taking in all of its beauty and laughing with our dear friends, eating sandwiches from the grocery store we bought the night prior and munching on homegrown carrots. I couldn't fathom anything more beautiful, or perfect, or memorable. 

...And just when I said to myself, "this couldn't be a better, more beautiful life," the man whose hand I've had the pleasure of holding in mine for so very long got down on one knee... 

and asked, with a ring that he had made himself, if I was happy enough to marry him. 

(A huge thank you to our good friends Brynne and Mike Payne for getting photos of this amazing moment for us - and for freaking out in the most genuine way only real friends could. We will cherish this photo forever).