I know this journal is long overdue, but here it is. This is our story. How it all started…
We both started as friends in high school and for 5 years we stayed that way. She was my crush and best friend for 3 of those years (yes, I was friend zoned for 3 years.) After knowing that our relationship was platonic, I finally decided to move on. I dated someone for about a year and that relationship didn’t end well. After this, I decided to just take a break from the love, relationship, and all of the heartaches. I took this time to just reflect, focused more on myself, doing what I love, and enjoying life.
Kim and I finally rekindled after 2 years of being apart and realized how much we’ve missed each other. It wasn’t long until all of the feelings I had for her came back and I realized I still love her the same way I did before. We never know what happens in life or who we will become. The only thing we can do is just be ourselves and trust that when we love courageously without conditions it will bring us closer to those we love.
Our journey was definitely not all sunshine and rainbows, but whenever we were in a ditch; I always ask myself “How would I want to spend these moments if they were my last?” The answer has always been: “With the ones I love and doing something I enjoy.” Because love always prevails, people forget, we forgive, and we will always love again…
For my proposal to Kim, I wanted to make it unexpected. Something that was out of the ordinary. We had a trip planned for the following month in Europe so I knew if propose there it would be too obvious. Our best friends had just informed us that they were visiting and were coming to Las Vegas for a professional convention. It also happened to fall around the same time as everyone’s birthday, so I thought this would be a perfect time to celebrate and propose! So we made arrangements and planned our trip together.
Meanwhile, knowing that family is a huge part in Kim’s life, I wanted her family to be a part of this as well. The only tough thing was how can I get our Southern California families together in Vegas without triggering her alert system. So I devised a plan for them to leave a day later than us and stayed at a different AirBnB location during our time there. While we were there in Vegas, I had our younger brothers send me alert messages of their whereabouts to ensure we would not cross paths and ruin the whole entire surprise.
On the day of, we finally arrived at Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas and being a photographer, I nonchalantly asked Kim to dress up for a photo shoot because I just wanted some photos of her at this beautiful scenery. I had the family wait on standby at a parking lot nearby and the cue to follow us was when they see my car passed by. I drove past the designated parking lot and saw them at the corner of my eyes. Great, I thought to myself – the plan is in place. My heart begins to beat a little bit faster as we drive closer to the location and things are about to get “REAL”. We arrived at the designated location for the proposal and I placed us in the perfect light. I shot a few frames of Kim on my camera and gave the camera to my friend and asked him to capture some photos of us. Prior to this, I had asked her sister to give my proposal letter to our sweet nieces and had them hand deliver it to me when they arrive. On the day of, they slowly sneaked in and came up to me as Kim whisper to me “Hey, doesn’t that look like Emily and Kailey?” I smile and quietly laughed as they approached closer and she immediately knew what was about to happen. I nervously unfolded the letters and read to her the words from my heart that I’ve written and rehearsed many times a few days before. She immediately said “Yes!” and we joined hands as we celebrated with our friends and families together with laughter and tears of joy.
I am truly thankful for my new found family and for most of us, I can tell you: “If you are able to have access to read this journal, you already have everything you need… Be grateful for what we have now and accept the fact that you do have enough.” I am thankful for my health, friends, families, and being able to spend the rest of my life with my love, Kim.
I hope you enjoy our story and love the images.
Photography by Kevin Le Vu Weddings
Film Processed and Scanned by Richard Photo Lab