He kept saying no. He refused to see her picture. Royce was kinda over the whole “dating” scene, and when his cousin tried to set him up with a friend, he wasn’t having it.
For almost two years.
(That’s a persistent cousin!)
Shaina had been helping Royce’s cousin out with a youth group in Cheyenne called BLAST for a little over a year and had also gently been telling her no to getting set up with Royce.
Well, Royce’s cousin kept inviting him to help out with the youth group, and after he got through every excuse, Royce agreed to help out at their “Ugly Sweater” Christmas Party.
So, after confirming he’d be there, he went to find a sweater.
With such a late start to getting an ugly sweater (very close to Christmas), the stock of ugly sweaters went from ugly to very, very questionably uglier, and sizes were harder to find.
Royce chose the Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer sweater…with a fluffy bum on the back, and unbeknownst to him, pooping peppermint.
Fratboy style. And as he put it, “72 sizes too small.”
It was youth group, so ya gotta go for it, right?
Royce arrived at BLAST in his schmedium pooping reindeer sweater, and sees Shaina for the first time.
Royce thought she was knock out gorgeous when he saw her and flat out panicked. He suddenly thought he looked like a complete doof bag in his fratboy outfit.
Shaina, just glowing like the queen she is in her grandma-style long ugly sweater dress, completed her look with padded sleeves and crimped hair.
Racking his brain for ANY kind of excuse to talk with this beautiful lady, without saying “You’re really pretty, I’ve heard a lot of nice things about you, I’d like to try out for the worship team and get married to you.”
Which you’re probably not supposed to say that at youth group…and probably not when you first meet someone for the first time, either. 😉
They finally got to talking about some operations in the church and youth group, but he didn’t get her number. Shaina was playin’ it cool. Giving him a little bit of a cold shoulder, she was interested; definitely, but she wanted to watch him a bit first.
Well, that didn’t take long, because soon they were out to coffee…which turned into dinner at the garden where the olives grow.
For Shaina, it was the best date she’d ever been on. Even though she didn’t know a lot about Royce, it seemed that he was the one.
She didn’t want to emotionally be saying that to herself, because she knew emotions could be massively deceiving.
Then, there was a big turning point. Both of them wanted to know if the other was on the same page; whole-heartily in this. Royce prayed that if this wasn’t something he should pursue, that God would gently shut the door.
So on a date to Cold Stone, they both talked with cones in hand and hearts on the table. Open and honest with each other… where they both were, and how they wanted to move forward.
Later that night, after their date, Shaina called Royce to let him know that she wanted to pursue a relationship…
And he knew right then and there that he had found his person.
That same night, Shaina, in a conversation with her mom, disclosed that she knew that Royce was the one.
Then COVID hit. So they became self quarantined dating experts- truck dates. Order Doordash and eating in the truck. Talking, reading the Bible, and praying almost every night together.
A little side note… I was visiting Sadie and Noah and we went to Shaina’s (Noah’s sister) and her family’s home for tea the first time Royce met the family. Sadie was talking about this really cool hot guy that Shaina was dating, so we stalked his social media beforehand (hi Royce! 🙂 and I got to meet him in the beginning stages of their relationship, which was super duper special!
Then came a very special moment.
The moment where the most timeless, most precious words were spoken.
From Shaina came the words to Royce… “I love you.”
That very night, Royce bought the ring. He carefully picked it out, thoughtfully going through her Pinterest board, using the process of elimination, combined her favorite aspects of rings she had on her board to create a gorgeous pear-shaped cut with a delicate halo top.
Shaina had no idea when Royce was going to propose…but she knew she had to look cute at all times because he could propose at any stinking moment. She’s so assertive that she’s hard to surprise, so he took that as a challenge to surprise her.
Shaina LOVES scavenger hunts. But she’d never done one because she’s always the one putting them together, so Royce decides to make one apart of their proposal….collecting ideas from Shaina blog.
He took her to the first place they met, with a gift.
Her favorite coffee shop (opened up especially for them, due to COVID), which was their first date, with her favorite drink…the London fog.
They stopped at Cold Stone.
The Praire Prominators, where they had spent hours square dancing.
Finally, they went to a park that held some deep conversations during their dates. Standing out on this lookout over the park together, Shaina opened up the last clue. Royce gave her a fluke clue about eating pie at Shari’s.
Walking down the stairs together from the lookout arm in arm, Royce stepped ahead of Shaina and dropped to one knee. Shaina squeaked out a yes immediately jumped in his arms.
Royce asked her again, just to make sure. And she confirmed with a confident yes as he slipped the ring on her finger.
Hiding behind one of the houses nearby was her family who was swarming around them with joy and hugs to the happy couple!
Throughout their relationship, Royce and Shaina have been in awe of God’s timing. “We weren’t ready for each other, even a month before we met. There is no way our relationship would have worked without God working on our lives and putting us together at the time we were ready.”
Royce, when talking about the wedding: “God’s goodness has been shown in my life because of Shaina in ways I’ve never seen before. I’m excited to marry my Shainagirl…”
And Shaina, when talking about her excitement for the future: “Saying goodbye is dumb, we both hate it. We’re excited to start our lives together.”
After their engagement session at Turtle Rock in Wyoming (still not exactly sure which rock was a turtle, but we have a few guesses!) I was sitting in the car about to leave in Shaina’s driveway and I watched them say goodbye. In the dark with the glow of the porch light flickering. A long hug, a few words. Shaina stepped in the doorway turning to Royce for one last wave goodbye, a hand to the lips as she blew him a kiss. Royce a few steps back, hand up as he caught her kiss, and placed it to his heart.
Their wedding in Wyoming is just a few short months away and I’m counting down the days. Shaina and Royce, the way you love God and love each other just make my heart swell with joy as I can’t wait to celebrate you two!