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Before I Do

Priscilla + Lance


photo | Sparrow and Gold Photography


Everyone asks, “Did you know it was about to happen?!” And the funny thing is, I didn’t! We were going on day six in Maui and loving every single minute of it. The highlight of this day was that we were going to watch the sunset on top of the dormant Haleakala volcano. Pretty cool, right?! The elevation is so high that you reach a point where you’re driving ABOVE the clouds! (I’m already excited thinking about it again but I’ll come back here later!)

That afternoon we had lunch at The Mill House which was pretty much straight out of Jurassic Park (minus the dinosaurs). The views were amazing. It was about 90 degrees outside and we were enjoying some delicious cocktails and taking in the scenery. We took about 50 pictures here, none of which ever were posted on Instagram because they got trumped by the events that followed later!

So fast forward — we go back to the hotel for an outfit change. Apparently it’s supposed to be below 50 degrees when we get to the top of the volcano… so off we go!

Now if you’ve ever been to Maui, you must know that those “Hana Tonic” anti nausea ginger shots will give you life. Go crazy. Buy a dozen of them! Without them, I MAY NOT HAVE BEEN PROPOSED TO! We began our ascent up the Haleakala volcano and with every wind and turn, my breaths grew deeper, and I was trying to not get sick. Lance was over-the-moon excited and in hindsight, I now know why – he was about to pop the question! But I had no idea of course!

So up, up, up we go, and Lance keeps saying, “Babe! We’re driving up a volcano right now! Are you gonna be okay?!” And I smile and work my way through the Hana tonics and ginger chews we got from the hotel.

We finally made it up top! The elevation was 10,000+ feet! The views were stunning. In an instant, any nausea I had was gone. Was this real life?! There was a calmness and quietness in the air. And it was so cold!

Lance and I walked around a bit to find a good place to set up shop. When I say set up shop, it’s a thing we do. Every trip, every destination, we find a good spot, put a blanket down, then Lance busts out his Gopro, his drone… you know, all the high tech stuff. I get a solid A for effort with my iPhone 7, but hey, it makes for some great photos!

The sun started to set, and I ask Lance, “Aren’t you gonna fly the drone yet? I don’t want you to miss the sunset! We came all the way here for this!” He insisted we wait a few more minutes to preserve the drone battery life and maximize the footage. He set up the GoPro, and we took a minute to appreciate everything around us.

This is the part where everyone thinks I had to have known, but I really didn’t! Lance makes killer videos of all our trips, and this was just another day, another killer shot of an amazing place we have traveled to together.

The drone has this cool 360 degree thing it does, so Lance got it up in the air, and turned on the setting. At this very moment, I’m cold, the wind is blowing like crazy, and my hair is flying everywhere while I’m trying to view the sunset.

I remember it like it was in slow-motion. I turned the other direction so the wind could blow my hair away from my face, and in that split second I see Lance taking a ring out of his pocket. “OMG OMG OMG!” I literally said that about 47 times on the raw video footage. I see the ring, turn back around, but then do a double take! At that moment, Lance got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. HAPPIEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE!

You know that expression “weak in the knees”? I never thought it was a real thing until this moment. I was so overcome by joy and even felt like I blacked out. Everything was so surreal! I instantly hugged Lance, and fell to my knees with happiness and excitement. I didn’t even remember if I said yes! I hadn’t even seen the ring! I was just so in the moment of realizing HE PICKED ME……ME to spend the rest of his life with. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world and still do today!

The moments after, we spent sharing our love for each other and recalling how it all happened— how he chose the ring, how he shipped it to Hawaii and it sat in the hotel office for three days before he picked it up. I had no clue! He shared all the fun stories and journey of how the proposal came to be. I’m so glad the drone and Gopro captured it all so we can relive it every day. And I’m so thankful for the Hana Tonics that cured my nausea! Lance said had I not felt better, he probably wouldn’t have popped the question! I watch the video at least once a week and it gives me chills every time! Future Mrs. O’Brien coming Labor Day Weekend 2019!