He took me on our first date on January 9th, he asked me to be is girlfriend on March 6th, and on December 20th at 11:07 PM he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him (a thousand times YES of course!). To truly love someone so completely and experience that same intense love in return is the most amazing feeling. I never thought I would be so lucky to be so in love, but it's happening and I'm in love and I'M ENGAGED. It was a complete surprise and Kyston did an amazing job making sure I had absolutely no idea it was happening. But as every story goes, there are always two sides and two viewpoints of how it all happened. So here we go - a "her side" and a "his side" of how the whole night went down!
Kyston took me ring shopping for the first time on November 5th. He asked me out on a date to go to our friend's slam poetry event but before we went he drove us to Wilson's diamonds. I was shocked and SO excited he took me there! I mean we knew we wanted to marry each other already so I had just been waiting for him to take me to look at rings. That night we tried on lots of gorgeous rings - honestly, I did not want to leave Wilson's. It was diamond heaven in there and the whole room was filled with love! I have always told Kyston that whenever he proposed I wanted 3 things to happen: 1. I'd like someone there to take photos of our reactions, 2. I wanted to have my nails done, 3. I wanted it to be a complete surprise. So in order to make sure that 2 and 3 were met, I told Kyston I would make sure to always have my nails done from the time we went ring shopping to the time he proposed. Well, now almost two months later I have burned a hole through my wallet getting my nails done haha. So coming up to the Christmas season I had a feeling it would be happening soon. I knew it was a crazy time of year but still how would he not propose during the Christmas season when there are so many wonderful opportunities!? On Monday, December 12th, I attended my best friend's Christmas party with her. During the night I was talking to her about how I would really like Kyston to propose sooner than later. She just laughed and told me that I needed to just really make sure my nails were done that week. Because of Madie's comment, I thought for SURE that Kyston would be proposing the upcoming weekend. Finals ended the upcoming Thursday so of course, he would propose before he left to Vegas for Christmas break. Well along came Thursday, the last day of finals, I think to myself that there might be a small chance that Kyston would propose to me that night. He hadn't said anything to me so far about making plans on Thursday but I thought he was just trying to keep it a secret. That night we ended up going to the gym and making dinner. So Friday rolls around and again I am thinking he is totally going to propose either tonight or Saturday. Friday night we went up to Salt Lake City to watch Ballet West's Nutcracker. I knew Kyston wouldn't propose while at The Capitol Theater. But I think to myself that he has something planned up his sleeve for after the performance. Well after the performance I ask him what he would like to do. He responds with a shoulder shrug and an "I don't care"mumble. We went to dinner at The Dodo that night. I was totally bummed but thought "it's okay, now you know that he is going to 100% propose tomorrow!!!" Saturday night Kyston asked me out on a date to go see Temple Square lights. We drove up to SLC, got hot cocoa and walked through all the Christmas lights. Even though getting engaged at Temple Square was not my ideal proposal, I thought to myself that at this point I'd take any proposal! The entire time at the lights I was on the edge of my seat thinking I would turn around at any moment and he would be down on one knee popping the question! Well, we walked around Temple Square and nothing happened! After the lights we went to dinner at PF Changs and then thinking that he would do it after dinner, I asked him what he would like to do. He told me he was tired and wanted to head back to Provo. I was SO discouraged and sad. I thought for sure he was going to ask me that night if I would marry him. Sunday rolled around and I just wanted to give up hope. I got it in my mind that he wasn't going to propose anytime soon and that I just needed to be okay with that. On Monday, knowing it was his last day in town we had a mini date night going out to dinner and seeing Moana for the second time. I didn't think Kyston was going to propose - even though I wanted him too. On Tuesday morning, Kyston headed back to Las Vegas. Or at least that is what he told me he was doing! I was sad he was leaving but didn't want to push him to stay any longer since school was out and I knew he wanted to spend time with family. Tuesday was also my best friend's birthday and I was excited to take her out to dinner and spend the night at her place! Throughout the day Kyston snapped me several times in the car, told me he was stopping at my house in St George for a break on his way to Vegas and even had my mom text me saying he stopped by my house on his way down. I was 10000000% convinced he was in Las Vegas by 8 PM that night. As for me, that night I packed up all my things and headed up to Salt Lake to be with Madie and take her out to dinner. We met up with a bunch of friends at Squatters in Salt Lake and had a blast chatting over dinner. After dinner, we headed over to Keys On Main for some Tuesday night karaoke. I was stoked because it sounded way fun! I even put my name on the list and sang my heart out to Black Eye Pea's Where Is the Love? While I was on stage singing everyone derived a plan to leave Keys on Main as soon as possible. Apparently, Kyston was all ready to propose and was just waiting for Madie to take me to the location. Everyone left the second I was done singing. I told Madie I was down to hang out there for a bit and listen to other people sing but she told me that was weird and we needed to go. Haha because it was her birthday I didn't want to argue so I said okay and left. Once we got to the car Madie asked me if we could go take a birthday photo of her at the trailhead of Mount Olympus. She has been wanting a photo of her there overlooking the entire valley for a while now. We drove up to the trailhead and the entire drive I apologize to Madie saying "I'm so sorry sis, I always thought you'd be there when I got engaged but Kyston left and I think it'll happen over Christmas break when you're in Idaho. I really am so sorry, I had no control over this!" The entire time Madie is telling me it's really okay (while secretly laughing to herself because little do I know...) Anyway, we reach the trailhead, and Madie says let's climb up! We started to climb up the stairs and reach the starting point. I take a few photos of Madie with the view. I show her because I had to use flash and before I take any more I wanted to make sure she liked them. She says that she wants to hike on top of the boulder by us to take photos on top of that so they aren't in the photo. I say okay and we start to hike up. As we are hiking up the giant boulder I see candles and this body (Rachael crouching down behind a rock) hunched over. My first thought was "oh my goodness they are doing a vigil/memorial service for someone who died in this exact spot last year!" I really thought that someone must have fallen off the cliff either hiking or climbing and they were honoring their death with candles and praying. Suddenly this boy (Kyston stands up from behind a rock edge) looks at me and we make eye contact for a brief moment. I hurry and turn around and immediately start apologizing saying "I'm so sorry, we don't mean to interrupt....". And then at that moment Madie grabs me by the shoulder and says "give me your camera dummy." I turn around and suddenly it all clicks. I finally see all of the candles, the flowers, Honne's Someone Who Loves You starts playing on the speaker and there stands Kyston with his hand out ready to grab mine. OH MY GOODNESS KYSTON IS PROPOSING! I step over this rock edge and Kyston gets down on one knee and says "Mikyla, I've been waiting 25 years for you. Don't make we wait another day. I love you, will you marry me?" I freak out and say a combination of "Yes" and "Of course" a million times over. This entire time Madie is taking photos and Rachael is recording videos. Once he slipped that ring on my finger they hiked down the rock to give us some time to be alone. At this point, Kyston is just holding me and kissing the top of my head as I am just there in his arms crying because I am so happy. Once Madie and Rachael hike back up they brought lanterns for us to light and send off into the sky. We lit two (a struggle because of the wind), soaked up our last lil' moment up on that rock and then hiked back down. It was freezing and Kyston and Rachael had been up on that cliff for over two hours!!! I can honestly say how Kyston proposed was absolutely perfect. I was completely shocked! I wouldn't have changed a thing. I loved he surprised me and I loved that he had two of my closest friends there to share the moment with. It wasn't this over-the-top production. It was intimate and a surprise - completely like the proposal I had always hoped for and dreamed of! I'm ENGAGED to the man of my dreams! I absolutely love you Kyston Tongawhiti Warwick Manuirirangi!!!!
For a long time, both Kyla and I knew we wanted to get married and start that journey together, so an engagement was the next step and one I wanted to take before 2016 ended. With the BYU Fall semester wrapping up in a couple of weeks, I had started a group text with some of Kyla’s closest friends, Madie Stone and Rachael Affleck. It was time to get the ball rolling in orchestrating a plan to ask her hand in marriage. Being discrete about the group message—and discrete about the whole proposal for that matter--was a feat in itself because of a featuring characteristic of Kyla, and one that we love about her is that she can be a little snoopy. She’s not inconsiderate and certainly knows her boundaries, but don’t be surprised if she tries putting two and two together, impatiently thinking, “Well, I’m confident he has the ring because we visited the jewelers multiple times already, he didn’t propose to me on our date tonight, but we have one planned next weekend before he goes home so it has to be then, and I even went as far to ask my friends if they know anything about Kyston proposing”. It’s an interesting dilemma some girls at this point of a relationship put themselves in. They want to be surprised and enjoy the thrill of an unexpected proposal, but half-heartedly try to figure out when he pops the question. Going into the last week of school and preparing for finals, Madie, Rachael, and I softly committed to setting up the proposal for Thursday night, December 15th. The girls were to invite Kyla up to Salt Lake City to spend the night while I was left “taking” my last exam and then the three of them would rendezvous to some place, finding me waiting on one knee; however, plans quickly changed as Wilson Diamonds, the local jeweler where we bought our ring, informed me it wouldn’t be finished yet. Living in Provo where purchasing rings and getting engaged can be a popular date night activity backed up Wilson’s, so I had to wait until Tuesday, possibly Wednesday, of the following week. Still not 100% knowing the exact day and time I’d propose surprisingly worked in my favor (and to my amusement even more). If I didn’t know, Kyla certainly didn’t know. That Friday night, December 16th, was date night, attending the Nutcracker production in Salt Lake City, seeing the huge gingerbread house in the Grand America Hotel, and then topping off the night with a late dinner at the Dodo in Sugar House. I do not doubt Kyla thought this night to be a perfect opportunity for me to drop on one knee, but still not having the ring obviously ruled it out. Throughout the night I could sense her thinking, almost feeling certain, that I was going to propose. Sensing this was almost heart aching at times because I wanted to ask just as much as she wanted to be asked, but we had to be patient just a bit longer. The weekend had passed and on Monday, Wilson Diamond’s called and let me know the ring was finally ready for pick up the next day. For me, Tuesday, December 20th, quickly transformed into the day I would propose to the love of my life, but for Kyla, it was the day I’d “return” home to Las Vegas for the break. Outside of it being disappointing news for her, I think she was actually a bit pissed (I later found out she texted both Rachael and Madie, calling me a punk for ditching out and leaving her in Provo unengaged). I “packed” my bags and said goodbye, sending her snap chats in the car making it seem I was on the road. Her parents live in St. George, the last major stop before Vegas. I even asked Marilyn, Kyla’s mother, to text her saying how great it was for Kyston to stop and say hello. I was shooting for that thrill of an unexpected proposal and this was me laying the ground for it. While Kyla was under the impression I was on the I-15 headed south, I was driving the opposite direction to Salt Lake City. After picking up the ring, I drove to Rachael’s home in Cottonwood Heights that evening around 9:30 pm. Showtime was at Mount Olympus at 10:30 pm. Madie had a birthday dinner in Salt Lake with a bunch of close friends, including Kyla. As time drew closer, Madie and Kyla would then drive to Mount Olympus at 10:30 for “birthday” photos. Madie was great at convincing Kyla that she wanted to do some night photography, even with it being less than 20 degrees outside. We knew Kyla wouldn’t argue either because who’s going to turn down a birthday girl’s wish (And just for the record, I wouldn’t have taken away from Madie’s birthday night unless she was okay with it). It was freezing setting up candles at the top of the lookout (and bit of a tiring hike too with the box of candles to carry), but despite the frozen hands and cold, red ears, the view was gorgeous and the moment so much better. Everything was set up and after patiently waiting, we finally see Kyla and Madie pull up to the lot. Immediately my heart picked up pace. Any guy will deny this and save face when asked, but they’re just as soft-hearted as anyone else because they too imagine of the night like this. I slowed my breath and shook my hands the same way I do right before entering a basketball game or beginning a climb up a difficult route. Their voices got louder and louder and as they made it to the top of the lookout, I stood up and extended my hand toward Kyla. It was comedic at first because she didn’t recognize me (it being night-time) and thought she and Madie were interrupting a vigil, or memorial, remembering the death of a loved-one lost. It wasn’t! It was me hopping down on bended knee, holding her ring. I love her so much. I began proposing and she was so excited with tears that I couldn’t even finish asking. She said “YES!!!” before I could say the words, “Will you marry me?”. The rest was history. And in her defense, from the time I told Kyla, “I love you”, to the times of going on memorable summer adventures; having tough conversations; talking about our future and my (or our) little girls visiting me at work; to her finding me on one knee with a ring in my hand was all one big ask: Will you marry me? May 20th is the big day. xx, m. + k. P.S. Our proposal was featured on How He Asked. You can read the feature here!