April 28, 2012
Nichole: It all started the morning of Saturday, April 28, 2011. I was about to leave to go to the gym when I received a text message from Jeff who was back in the bedroom still. It said, “ARE YOU READY? You have a long day ahead of you. There is a series of tasks that you must complete by the end of the day. I hope you are up for it! If you wish to accept text me the words ‘challenge accepted’ and you will receive your first task. PS: I love you!” I immediately was overwhelmed with excitement. I texted back I accept and he brought me out the first card. It read “Challenge Accepted” on the front and the back read, ” Your 1st task is to go to the gym if you want, but you must be showered and ready for the day by 10 am. Complete each task and take a picture of each one to receive the next. ” (Then on the bottom of the card was a quotation which every card ended up having. I wrote those as the caption to each picture.) I was super excited, but still went to the gym. I happened to go to spinning class that morning and it seemed like it took FOREVER! I was so anxious to get home and see what the day had in store for Jeff and I. 🙂
Jeffrey: I was optimistic that Niki would be ready on time, despite going to the gym Niki was able to be ready by 10:00 and we set out for the day. I was anxious to give Niki her next card, and I gave it to her when we were in the car and it read “Vantage Point.” The task was to “find the best vantage point you know, kiss your man, and enjoy the view.” So we headed up to the Craig Mountains (with a suggestion by me) to look for a view. I had been working in the Craig Mountains for 4 years and wanted to share the beauty of the area with Niki. We stopped at the top of Wapshilla Ridge and found the “Vantage Point.” The view from there you can see for a long ways including three different states: Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. I received a much anticipated kiss and the task was completed.
Nichole: It was a long drive to the Craig Mountains, but well worth it. It was a beautiful view and after completing the task Vantage Point we decided to go explore a little bit. We went and looked through the Zaza town site; which has a couple ruins from old cabins from many years ago. It is said to be an old ghost town.
After exploring a bit, Jeff decided to give me the next task card. It read “Hungry?” on the front and, “Drive to Nezperce and have lunch with Bob, Kathy, and Jeff.” This was perfect timing as it was getting to be lunch time and we were both starving! We drove to Nezperce and Jeff had planned ahead with his mom for her to cook us lunch. We had delicious barbequed chicken, salad, and fresh fruit. We enjoyed some time visiting with Jeff’s family before we got back on the road.
Jeffrey: Back in the car I gave Niki her next card, “Pinochle!!!” I was excited for this one because I love me some cards. The task read “Drive to Juliaetta and play a game of pinochle with your mom (Jana). Don’t worry you don’t have to win to get you next card!” It was a good thing because I pulled out the victory in a game of three handed pinochle. We visited with Niki’s mom for a bit after the game before continuing on with the day.
Nichole: After we left mom’s house, I received my next card in the car. It said “Ballin'” on the front and the task on the back read, “Play a game of PIG with Jeff, again you do not have to win.” We drove back to Lewiston and went to the outside courts at Jennifer Junior High. It was a close game of PIG, but this time I DID win even though he made it a point to say I didn’t need to. Haha. I made sure to rub it in a bit!! 🙂 Jeff said we had a couple more stops that we needed light for and it was starting to get close to dark so we hurried off after finishing our game of pig. The 5th task was complete.
Jeffrey: It was time to swing by the store for a couple of things, lettuce and a loaf of bread. The lettuce would be used later but we needed the bread for the upcoming task. Before arriving at the the store I handed Niki the next card and it read, “Quack” on the front. The task on the back read, “Buy a loaf of bread and go feed the ducks.” Good times!!! We made our way down to the Kiwanis Park and the ponds along the levee to find some ducks, but that would prove difficult as the ducks were limited that day. We eventually found a few but they were in the middle of the pond so there wasn’t much feeding. However, we turned this into who could hit a duck with a handful of bread first, Niki won that one too. Task 6 complete!
Nichole: When back in the car Jeff gave me our next task. And by now it was late evening so I was happy to see that it said, “Let Us Eat”. The task on the back said, “Eat dinner where you had your first date with Jeff, but in the parking lot. (You will need to stop at the store for some lettuce. Haha lettuce, Let Us, get it?) Jeff thought he was pretty funny as he named the card after the lettuce that we needed to get at the store. We already picked up the lettuce before the previous task so we drove to McCullen’s where we had our first date together on January 22, 2011. He had made a picnic that we ate out of the back of his Rav4. People were looking at us funny as we were having a picnic in the parking lot of the restaurant. But we didn’t care. I thought it was funny and made our day that much more unique :). We enjoyed our dinner together and then took our picture as the next task was complete.
Jeffrey: The next card was “Dirty Ole’ Train” and read, “Kiss Jeff on a train.” Well how would we complete that one? Locomotive park of course. We made the quick trip to locomotive park where we enjoyed our first kiss on a train. We snapped a picture and were on to the next task.
Nichole: The next task we were in for a surprise! The card read, “Little Man Love” and the task was, “Locate the only other man in your life and give him a hug.” The other most important man in my life that Jeff was referring to was of course my little nephew, Spencer. I called my sister, Dani, and asked her where they were at. It turns out they were out in Juliaetta at my mom’s house! We then had to drive back out to Juliaetta to complete this task. Although, this was unexpected, it didn’t bother us at all because one of Jeff and I’s favorite things is road trips. We can always keep conversation going for hours and listen to music that we both love and sing and act like fools together. So we enjoyed the trip back out to Juliaetta together and when we arrived we ran inside. Spencer was completely confused on what was going on, but he went along with it great! I got my hug and we got a couple pictures. We visited the family for a few minutes before we were on the road again.
Jeffrey: We were getting close to the end of the day now, and the sun was starting to set as we rolled back into Lewiston from Juliaetta. I handed Niki her next card and it was called, “Walk to Remember” and the task read, “Take a walk holding hands with Jeff along the river.” So we made our way to the levee along the walk path, and went on a walk to remember. We enjoyed the sunset along the river. It was starting to get cool, and the anticipation was starting to get to me, so I handed Niki her second to last card.
Nichole: After a perfect little walk together, we jumped back in the car and I was told that this was my last card. I immediately got major butterflies in my stomach! The card read, “Home Sweet Home” and on the back the task read, “Return home and look for the final task card. Where might it be kept? The possibilities are endless, yet its location makes perfect sense. Hint: where might what you really want be kept?” Of course I knew what was coming and some may say how lame that I knew instead of it being a complete surprise. However, it was the exact opposite. The fact that I knew what was coming made the emotions build up more and build through out the whole day anticipating what was to come. On the drive home we listened to our song since the beginning of our relationship, “Have a Little Faith in Me.” This song put everything in perspective and I started crying. I couldn’t believe what was about to happen and all the work and thought that Jeff had put into everything! We made it home and Jeff ran in quickly before me. Once he allowed me to come in, both bedroom doors and the bathroom door was shut. I then opened our bedroom door and Jeff had candles lit all around the bedroom. I started searching in the room for the next task throwing the comforter back and looking on my dressers. Then I went to the jewelry box and opened a drawer and found the next card!
I was turned towards my jewelry box and read the card. It said, “Smile” on the front and the back said, “It may be your last task, but it’s only just the beginning of a lifetime of love and happiness. All you have to do is smile and say yes!!!” I then turned around and Jeff was down on one knee. I was completely overwhelmed! I have never felt so much emotion run through me all at once before. I started crying before Jeff could even talk! haha. He then told me how much I meant to him and honestly I was in such shock I cannot remember exactly what he said. All I know is he then asked me to marry him! I just knelt down and said, “Of course” and kissed him! He then opened the box in his hands and took the ring out and put it on my finger. I was in shock! It was GORGEOUS!! After we embraced and I was able to stop crying Jeff said, “Technically you never said yes.” hahhaha. He can be ornery even at huge moments like this :). I then said, “yes yes yes!”
Jeffrey: I wasn’t able to give Niki an expensive trip to ask her to marry me and I certainly wasn’t going to do it in front of a group to make it dramatic or anything (I’m really shy haha). So I simply tried to include everything about the area that we love whether it was family, the mountains, the river, basketball, or where we’ve just spent time together before. The day was amazing because I got to spend it with the love of my life. I can’t say I wasn’t nervous because I was, but it was nerves of anticipation and excitement. I knew long before that day that I would spend the rest of my life with Nichole!