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The winning entry 2018

Our Love Story

(excerpts from Jarod and Leah)

J: It began in Whistler, at a bust stop in Nordic, back in the winter of 2010. While waiting for the bus most mornings there was this girl. We stood there morning after morning in that 'awkward waiting for the bus silence'. Until finally one morning she was running late. She was literally running to catch the bus before it pulled away. I held the bus up for her that morning so she wouldn't miss it. That sparked our first conversation. Her name was Leah.

L: Eventually our quick uncomfortable ‘hello’ in the morning turned into him stalling the bus driver as he saw me frantically waving my arms in attempt to get the driver not to leave without me. He looks out for me like that.

J: I finally mustered up the courage to ask Leah if she wanted to hang out. For our first date we went on a motorcycle ride up the Callaghan Valley. We saw thirteen black bears, a few with very cute cubs too. We even got attacked by a funny little ruffed grouse. It was a first date we'll never forget. She has a smile that could stop a war from starting. I knew I was going to marry her. I knew she would be the most incredible mum to our future children.

L: We dated for a couple years while in Whistler then decided to move to Vancouver together Vancouver. It was a little too busy for us living downtown, but looking back we had a great time biking the seawall and made a pact to touch the ocean every day. Our next move took us to Horseshoe Bay where we learned a lot about each other and what we wanted out of life. A quiet setting, a small family, a rich life full of experiences.

J: I called Leah's dad to tell him I was going to ask Leah to marry me. I asked him for his blessing and told him we were going up to Whistler the following day to snowboard and that's where I planned on asking her. I was scared as heck and so nervous. As we were talking I looked down and saw a very cool piece of beach glass. It was a sign. I picked it up and had a plan for it.

L: The day he popped the question started out like most weekends we spend together. Adventures are our thing, so that’s just what we did, we went snowboarding. I always imagined how romantic this day would be, so naturally, we dined on leftover pizza we brought in ziploc bags, stuffed in our jackets. We made our way up peak chair and he pulled out a piece of beach glass from his snowboard pants pocket.

J: I gave it to Leah and told her it was a special piece of beach glass and has a good story to go with it. As we got to the top of the peak chair my heart was racing, my palms were sweaty. I knew the top of Whistler mountain was where I wanted to propose.

L: He started to get all cheesy...stuttering and shaking. He got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of our days together. I said yes! A group of tourists off in the distance noticed our little display of affection and cheered for us. He promptly took the ring back and stashed it away in his pocket so I wouldn’t take off my gloves and lose it on the way down. After all, he looks out for me like that.

J: Having to plan a wedding we both realized was very stressful. We had our vision, our parents had their vision. We felt pressure to have it back in Ontario, as that's where all our family is...With the stress of everything that goes into planning a wedding we shifted our focus to starting a family. We got pregnant and the wedding took a back seat. It was time to get ready for our baby.

L: We moved across the country to be closer to grandparents - an 8 months pregnant road trip - to find out once again we were trying to make everyone else happy. We spent 7 months total in Ontario only to turn right back around and come home to BC. Jarod did the long haul with our cats in tow, while I flew out with our sweet baby girl.

J: We are now in Port Moody with our perfect little girl Olive. Having her be a part of our wedding in the mountains where we met would be a dream come true for both Leah and I.

L: I bought a dress shortly after getting engaged and it will likely never walk down an aisle. Although, I would really love for him to see me in an outfit that doesn’t involve a helmet, goggles, or a life jacket - I love those moments, don’t get me wrong, but I wish sometimes I could take his breath away. I’ve hit the jackpot with Jarod as my partner. He loves me for me. He is my best friend, makes me feel safe, shows me nothing but respect. He is the reason I’m happy, the reason I laugh, the reason I am thankful. I miss him when he works out of town, I worry when he goes scuba diving, I can’t fall asleep without him beside me. He works long hours in all types of weather, comes home covered in dirt and still walks through the door at the end of the day in a great mood ready to clock in for Dad duty. We have a lot of fun days ahead of us...He’s perfect like that.

J: Because of Whistler and the mountains there I got to meet the girl of my dreams, the mother of my child, the love of my life. My best friend. So much has happened for us in Whistler. Being able to get married there would be such a perfect fit for our story.

L: I used to get so jealous of friends who had cars when I was stuck taking the bus. Now I thank my lucky stars I got to talk to that guy at the bus stop.