I’m getting married March 11, 2017 to a man I’ve known for just over two months.
It doesn’t make sense to some people, but to the people who have watched it unfold from the front row, it came as little to no surprise.
A lot of you have wondered the back story, and so for those of you up in the nosebleeds, here’s Brian’s and my take on how it all happened:
Corinne: About a year ago I was working at WinShape Camps, and I had a camper named Megan who’d become my “mini-me.” She kept trying to convince me to date her older brother.
She told me that he was “the male version of Snow White” because of the way he trained nature, and because he’d tamed/raised two baby beavers and a flying squirrel named Starlord.
But every time she mentioned it, I told her I wasn’t interested.
Brian: So I’d heard rumors about this National Treasure named Corinne Rogero, who was famous all over the internet…an “E-lebrity” if you will. And my sister happened to know her. And I saw a picture of her, and I was like, “wow, what a babe. Holy cow.”
I said, “Megan, this is your camp counselor?” and she was like, “yeah, this is her. Brian, I’m serious. You guys would totally hit it off.”
I’d always told Megan my criteria was: she’s gotta love the Lord, she’s gotta love a good time, she’s gotta have a good sense of humor, and a couple other minor details.
But loving the Lord and having a good time were top priorities. And Megan was like, “Brian, this is the kind of woman that would laugh at your jokes, would tell you jokes while outside in the wilderness, drinking a beer with you. And she loves Jesus.”
And I was like, “she doesn’t exist.” And she said, “no, she does. And her name’s Corinne.”
And I so I stalked Corinne’s Instagram and I literally showed all of my friends.
A few months later I shot her a text (very poorly, might I add, because I can only communicate well verbally).
C: So back in August, Megan commented on one of my Instagram posts and was like, “will you please date my brother so we can be related?” And I thought to myself, “those two things are so far separate.”
But this time I said, “I mean, I am single.'”
And so a couple days later I get a text, and it says, “Howdy Corrine! My name is Brain Steele, and I’m Megan’s older brother. She just showed me your Instagram and it looks like your life is perfect. I’m moving out West in two weeks…”
And so we just started talking. For me it was very absentminded, I hate to admit. I was like..
B: I was like a falcon hunting.
C: ..and I was just like, “oh, here’s another boy trying to talk to me.” Because I wasn’t looking for a relationship.
But I mentioned to him that I was going to be driving through Utah on my way out of Montana and that I was interested in seeing some of the National Parks.
B: And I asked her which ones. And when she said, “Arches,” I thought to myself, “cool.” Because I was actually going to go there one weekend, might as well make it that weekend.
And so I took it upon myself to scout out the entire National Park so I’d know what I was talking about when she got out there.
So I went out one weekend and adventured on my own. And I took notes on which ones she might like best, and I made a game plan for when she’d be there so that we’d only see all the best ones.
I had no expectations. I just though she was an incredible person, and I had never met her.
So I invited her and her friend Annie to stay with me on their drive through Utah if they needed one.
C: In September I left Montana with Annie, and we camped in the Tetons the first night of our road trip. It dumped snow on us while we hiked at 2am to our campsite, and we were both wearing shorts and Chacos in the freezing cold. We were miserable.
The next morning when we woke up were covered in dirt and exhausted, and I told Annie, “this guy Brian wants to meet us on our way through Salt Lake, but I’m really not in the mood, I’d rather just keep driving. Maybe we can just stop at his place to shower and get cleaned up?”
She said, “okay, let’s just play it by ear.”
B: Am I, chopped liver here? “Oh we should just use his things and leave.”
C: (laughs) So we get there, he introduces himself and shakes my hand, and the first thing I say to him is, “am I hobo enough for you?” Because I was just disgusting.
But the first thing I noticed about him was how tall he was. I didn’t even find him attractive at first.
B: Well my side of the story is that she looked like the best looking hobo I’ve ever seen.
C: (laughs) You’re ridiculous.
Anyway, long story short, we end up staying for longer than I’d intended, and we went to Antelope Island State Park and watched a lightening storm that night…
B: ..I took them to my favorite state park. There were wild buffalo, mule deer, and pronghorn sheep and I’d hiked it several times.
So we go there and it’s about to dump rain on us, we see some wildlife up close, and I’m totally fixated on Corinne, and she’s watching lightening, and we’re all just like, ‘WHOAH!’
And so then we went out to dinner. Apparently I had a meaningful conversation with her..
C: Yeah, so Annie had stepped out to take a phone call, and Brian asked me, “so, how was Glacier this summer?”
And I had this passing thought that I could just BS this and tell him it was great and just as good as Instagram looked (leaving out the part that it was incredibly spiritually dry for me), or I could be truthful and tell him that I wasn’t the same person that I normally am- that I’d made some decisions I wish I hadn’t.
And so I told him the truth, and his response of “me too” was what made me realize I could trust him- that he wasn’t just trying to impress me.
So then the next day we continued hanging out and went to Arches and got dinner afterwards..
B: And at that point I’d worked up the courage to tell her how I felt about her, because that day had gone perfectly. We’d driven through canyons and and it was spontaneous and adventurous and there were mountains.
C: So after dinner I walked with him to his car to get my things out (Annie had volunteered to drive my car separately that day), and he was like, “hey, I’ve got something to tell you. I’ve had a really great time today..”
And without knowing it, I cut him off and was like, “yeah, me too!” I just gave him a hug and was like, “drive safely!”
And walked back inside.
B: She was like, “peace out buddy/buckaroo/see ya, partner!” And I was like, “oh shoot. That didn’t go how I’d wanted it to.”
C: So he calls me ten minutes later. Apparently he’d had a conversation with his sister Megan in that time. And he’d told her, “I don’t know what to do. I really like this girl and..”
B: I was like, “she’s the one and I want to tell her how I feel.”
And Megan said, “whatever you just told me, tell her.”
So I call her and tell her, “the last 24 hours have been some of the best in my life, and you’re one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met and I’ve been wanting to hold your hand all day long. And I just had to get that out.”
And she goes, “Oooh. Really? Yeah, me too? Uh..can I call you back?”
And I was like, “uh, yeah, sure? *click*” I was about to vomit for the next hour until she called me again.
But little did I know Annie was having a migraine..
C: ..So I didn’t want to talk about it then. But anyway, I eventually called him back and told him I felt the same.
That week went on and we talked every day after that. And one night when we were Facetiming, he said he was looking for plane tickets to come see me, and that’s when I realized he was serious.
He was the first guy that had put forth that type of effort to come see me and was open about his intentions.
I called my mom that night and told her to start praying because I’d met the man I wanted to marry. She told me later that there was something in my voice in the way that I talked about Brian that was different from any other guy I’d talked about. (It’s a mom thing, I guess.)
So a week later I got to fly back out to see him because his parents offered me a SouthWest Airlines buddy pass that they’d gotten for free. And we went to..
B: We went camping in southern Utah and we drank beer in the woods and looked at the stars..
C: ..and you made me dinner. We just worked well as a team..
B: ..and we made out..
C: ..okay, anyway..
B: What? This is important. See, we were kissing each other, and she told me that she loved me, and..
B: What? This is important!
C: Okay, you’re right, you’re right.
B: And so she told me that she loved me, and I said, “you beat me to it!” And I was kinda pissed because I was gonna tell you, and anyway…
C: ..I was like, “I hope this doesn’t scare you, but I love you.” That was only the third day we’d ever hung out.
And he just stops and looks at me and says, “I love you too, Corinne. Danggit! I was going to tell you first!” Anyway, the rest of that trip was basically just us adventuring and reading each others minds, which still happens today.
B: Seriously, it’s a regular thing. But anyway, she left after that weekend and as she walked away in the airport, she blew me a kiss goodbye, and I called my dad and I said, “dude, that’s Mrs. Steele and she just left on a plane, and what do I do?”
And so I quit my job (I’d always hated it) and I followed her back East.
C: I got to fly back out to Utah again when he quit his job, and we went camping at the Grand Canyon, and at that point we’d talked about how we didn’t want to date for very long- that we knew the other fit our expectations for a spouse.
I didn’t really know where it was going to go, but we just agreed we’d just play it by ear. But he was very deliberate with the way he spoke to me and making known his intentions. Which guys rarely do these days.
So then at that point I’d told my dad, ‘Dad, this is the man I’m going to marry.’
And so we drove back across the country together and we didn’t know what jobs we were going to have (we were both unemployed at that point) and..
B: The Lord had it all figured out. I wasn’t really worried about it, if we’re being honest.
C: ..I know, but I was. I had been unemployed for a month and a half, so I was a little worried about it.
But that Saturday we were leaving Dallas, Texas, and we got a phone call from a Chick-fil-A operator who was like, “I want you to come out to Colorado Springs with me. It’ll be a springboard for you to become a Chick-fil-A Operator. You’ll live with me for free, and you’ll be making a lot of money in the end.”
And so Brian met with this guy and was like, “hey, I’ll take your offer, but I want to marry this girl; she has seven years of Chick-fil-A experience as well. What can we do to make this work?”
B: No, I didn’t say “what can we do,” I said, “what are we going to do?” I was adamant.
I was like, “she needs a job too. This is a two person deal.” And they were like, “Oh?! Okay!”
C: So yeah, the week after that, he met my family for the first time..
B: ..And I asked them to marry her. On the first time I’d met them. Can you imagine that?! I was about to throw up for like..the whole week. I was so nervous.
C: I know. We couldn’t even talk about it on our road trip home.
B: I still get stressed about it.
C: But they said yes!
B: But I still get stressed about it.
C: So then at this point I was trying to figure out when it was going to happen. Was he going to wait until we were in the Rockies to propose? But I told him I was wanted to be engaged by the time we moved to Colorado.
I just wanted to get it over with, because it had felt so prolonged since we hadn’t really been able to tell anyone. It had just been a long waiting game..
B: ..A long waiting game? Imagine that: a whole month. Like holy cow.
C: (laughs) I just felt like every second was just stretched, you know what I mean?
So he proposed on a Wednesday and..
B: I don’t even remember that..
C: ..and we left on that Thursday for Colorado Springs.
B: ..oh yeah, I do remember that..
C: Yeah. So I was over at his house (we were packing the trailer to leave the next day), and he was like, “Okay. Go get dressed for where we’re going to dinner tonight and be ready by 4pm.”
And so I was thinking, “he’s going to propose at dinner.”
So I went downstairs and got ready, and I’m ready by 4 like he said. And then 4:15 rolls around and I decide since he hasn’t come to get me (he said not to come upstairs) that I’d lay down to take a nap.
And then his ten year-old sister comes downstairs and was like, “Corinne! I think something’s going on in the backyard!” And I was like, “ohhhh, okay.”
So I walk outside and he’s standing two-hundred yards away, on the other end of his backyard and he’s wearing a suit and tie. And my heart skipped a beat.
And I yelled, “do I have to walk all the way down there?!”
B: It wasn’t the most romantic thing she could’ve said in that moment. We could’ve slowly walked towards each other and I could’ve asked her halfway..
C: ..but you just stood there ..
B: ..And she was like, “hey! You’re pretty far away! You want me there sooner?!” And then she just started running..
C: I just took off in this maxi dress and sandals, ’cause I was like, “there’s no point in dragging this out.”
Little did I know he’d been out there for 45 minutes already.
And so I get down there, and he got down on one knee and said, “I’ve been praying for a woman like you since I was a little boy. I love you so much, and I want to spend the rest of my life showing you how much I love you. Will you be my forever adventure buddy?”
B: I kinda blacked out..
C: And I said, “are you sure you want kids that look like me?”
B: And I said, “oh hell yeah.’ I said, ‘baby, we’re gonna make some beautiful babies.”
C: *rolls eyes* Anyway, so we’re here in Colorado Springs for about a year, and it’s pretty sweet!
B: After that we’ll be back in Peachtree City for two years.
And there you have it.
See, what I never mentioned in my article last January about how I should be engaged, is that on my drive to Joshua Tree, I could feel something deep inside say that I’d not only be engaged with people and places this year, but that I’d be maritally engaged by the end of the year too.
I laughed and told God he wouldn’t do it. In fact, I dared Him to do it because I didn’t believe He would.
Leaving Montana in September, I told God, “You’re running out of time. It’s September, and the year’s almost over. There’s no way you could do it.”
I was wrong.
Oh, I was so wrong.
But every broken heart I’ve experienced, every mistake I’ve made in past relationships, they’ve all been worth it for this.
Brian makes me most like myself, and he’s gracious in the way he provides for me and takes care of me.
I remind myself constantly that this timeline doesn’t have to make sense- that it’s part of something so much bigger than us.
Our goal as a couple is to make the people around us feel most like themselves when they’re with us and to see as much of this world as we can.
I still think life looks better engaged, whether there’s a ring involved or not.
It just so happens that I have one now.