About their engagement session:
"We took our engagement photos in one of our favorite places in San Diego. Sunset Cliffs, is the home of one of our first dates. The beauty was undeniable then as it is shown today in this shoot. We are so thankful that Christina made the trip from Los Angeles to take these photos in a place where we felt the most comfortable. Initially, we were very nervous about shooting intimate shots while surfers and joggers passed by. Christina immediately made us feel at ease. We felt as though it was just the two of us standing on the cliffs and walking down the beach. It was important to have a shoot that captured us to our very core. Christina has given us beautiful memories to cherish for years to come. She not only captured the beauty of one of our favorite places but the love that we have for each other."
Kevin's story in preparation for Clark and Brooke's engagement party: I was sitting at the Petersen's logged into Brooke's Facebook account, combing through her friends. I clicked on each of the many cute friends asking who was single, and who would be there. After clicking on one (Ashley Pappas), I asked, "So who is she and will she be there?" Both instantly said, “Ohhhh Pappas… no way she's way to crazy for you.” Well engagement party came and gone, and if you read Ashley's story, you know some cheesecake and sangria later we knew there was something special. I took the weird first step and reached out via Facebook. This was a huge step for a non-Facebook user like myself. We messaged back and forth for what seemed like forever. It turns out it was only two weeks. Then came the infamous "Do you want to have coffee, beer, dinner, or whatever?" message from Ashley. Finally, we exchanged phone numbers and met for a drink outside of Disneyland. There were not to many things better than meeting Ashley after taking Claire and her friends to the happiest place on earth. Only ten days after the first date we went to a full fledged Pappas wedding (Lauren Pappas) and took a two hundred mile detour on the way. For four hours we talked, joked and laughed. We were driving up the 5 Freeway, when we stopped in Buttonwillow, California for a bite to eat before either of us realized what we had done. To put it in simple terms Buttonwillow is one hundred and ten miles away from where we needed to be. With two smart phones, a Garmin, and both of us knowing the exact directions from LA to Ventura, we managed to ignore logic and be completely distracted by each other. Three hours later, I met the Pappas family, including Nick, who greeted me with "Hi you must be Kevin. No sense of direction, huh?" I joked "No…no… mesmerizing daughter." He turned around without a word, and the fear only a father can instill set in. After the wedding, things took off. The Pappas family is the most incredible group of people I know, and I am completely in love with that mesmerizing girl.
Ashley's story: Little did I know that I would meet my soon to be husband the night of Clark and Brooke's engagement party! Here is my version of how it all went down. I was pouring myself some sangria when out of the corner of my eye I saw a tall, dark, and handsome guy. Instead of being the outgoing person I normally am, I became a shy junior high girl with a crush. I immediately leaned into Brooke and said, "I didn't know cute boys were going to be at this party?" She smiled and laughed at me and told me that was Kevin. As the night went on I continued to chat with everyone at the party EXCEPT Kevin. Later that evening we had an awkward encounter at the dessert table. Thank you Jen Abbrecht for picking up Kevin's dessert plate and eating his cheesecake. It made for a nice segue into, "Hi... I'm Ashley and I'm a teacher, what do you do?" After hearing about Kevin mentoring, lifeguarding, coaching, and his recovery from is shoulder surgery I had a dumb blonde moment mistaking Kevin and Michael for twins. I knew I wanted to get to know more about Kevin Smoker. With a name like that how could you not. After our first date, our trip to Buttonwillow and a family wedding I realized that he was the guy for me. Kevin is the tall, dark, handsome, motivated, hippy that I have always dreamed of.
I took Ashley to show her where I had been frequenting the past year and a half. She had never been to Joshua Tree to climb, despite a collegiate fascination with climbing gyms. After a night of camping we bolted straight for Headstone trying to beat the crowds. I told her she had to climb one of the more classic climbs in the park, all the while hiding an engagement ring in my jacket. I quickly climbed up and waved my jacket around my head signalling to my brother, Michael, to get ready. Michael had been hiding out at another camp ground for the past 24 hours. He continued to hide behind shrubs with a camera at the western base of the climb. Ashley started up the face of the rock. Once she reached the hardest move of the climb, I knew she was scared. There was more air below her than she was comfortable with. When she made it up to the top she was excited and amazed by the view. Anxious to get down she missed most of what I said until I dropped to one knee and proposed. Thankfully, she said yes otherwise it would have been a really awkward rapel down and even more awkward drive back to San Diego.
What he loves about her:
I love Ashely because life with Ash is always fun. From simple such as hiking in the country to more sophisticated long dinners featuring foie gras and sweetbreads, Ashely just makes life more enjoyable. She's completely at home when teaching special education or running around like a barefoot six year old. She brings out the best in me at all times and I love here dearly.
What she loves about him:
I love Kevin because he makes me laugh. One thing I absolutely adore is when he hums his very own theme music and dances around the house. I love Kevin because he makes me feel loved, special, and safe.