engagement story / cisco, UT

by Kaylah Stroup

Things were pretty quiet on the blog front last week. I actually think that may have been the longest I didn’t blog in the history of The Dainty Squid. Jeff and I took a short vacation, I did a poor job planning content then immediately came home and got a gnarly cold. So, if you don’t follow me on Instagram you may have missed the big news. Uh, THAT happened. (Check out the announcement + ca-yoot photo here!) Needless to say, It’s been a whirlwind week!

Let’s throw it back three years. Jeff and I had been dating two and a half months when we decided to take our first trip together. We flew into Denver, Colorado, rented a car and drove around six states including Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. We spent two nights in a hotel, one night in a wigwam, and the other three in the car. In the six days we were on the road we racked up a whopping 3,204 miles. It was the most incredible trip of my life at the time. We had so much fun and really bonded that week. It’s a massive piece of our relationship.

Each year since we’ve taken a similar trip – flying into the cheapest city out West and just driving! It’s something we’re both wildly passionate about and something we talk about endlessly. We flew into Los Angeles back in April of this year for our “4th annual road trip” but as always, as soon as landing in Cleveland, one of us was mumbling about wanting to go back. I figured our big trips for the year were done, that maybe we’d take a small trip somewhere before the end of the year but certainly wasn’t expecting to be heading out on the road again like that any time soon.

Then one day, all of a sudden, we were planning a second trip. A bit shorter than our previous ones but it didn’t matter to me. I was just excited to get out again, and explore somewhere new. For this trip we flew into Denver, Colorado and promptly made our way into Utah where we’re wandered around kind of aimlessly for two full days. Utah is just… a hidden treasure. Truly one of the most underrated states but more on that another day! I have lots of posts from this trip coming in the next few weeks, promise!

On that very first trip in 2014 our first stop was a little old ghost town in Cisco, Utah. We had landed in Denver in the evening, grabbed our rental, and started heading toward Utah immediately. We stopped at a rest area, caught some z’s and started driving again slightly before sunrise. Once we got moving again I opened the Roadside America app and found that there was a ghost town coming up. The timing would get us there right at sunrise. Well, Cisco ended up being the most incredible start to our trip. I wrote this post about it, where I rambled on about how special of a stop and trip it was to me.

Since we flew into Denver this time, and we were heading into Utah, Cisco was once again on our map. I was super stoked to revisit, re-shoot, and just revel in this place that I had built up in my mind so much since the last time I was there. After eating the best BBQ of my life, we arrived in our beloved ghost town right at sunset. The timing could not have been more perfect. I was a little bit stressed we’d get there after dark but considering what was about to happen next, I’m sure Jeff was even more stressed.

The second he put the car in park, I dashed out of the car and started running toward a building I want to shoot. When we’re short on time Jeff and I usually head our seperate ways to get the shots we want instead of wandering around together. After a few minutes he joins me and asks if I want to get a shot of the two of us together. On the plane I had the brilliant idea that we’d take a nice photo together in each ghost town we visited on the trip since Utah is just littered with them and they were going to be our main stops. So, I thought nothing of it. I was just glad he remembered because I was so excited it hadn’t crossed my mind to slow down a second for a photo together.

cisco, utah, ghost town rainbow cloud

Sidenote here – Look at that cloud! IT IS GOSH DARN RAINBOW. That cloud was in the sky as we were about to pull into Cisco. We both freaked out. Neither of us had ever seen anything like that. It’s apparently called cloud iridescence. Little did I know that fifteen minutes later I’d be getting proposed to. How’s that for some cheesy rom-com material?!

I take direction as he tries to line me up for the shot, he runs over to join me, and immediately kisses me. I’m thinking “Oh, Okay? This isn’t really the shot I had in mind but cool.” Then before I know it he’s on one knee and I’m ugly crying. I don’t remember anything that he said, I just remember looking at the ring and nodding my head ethusiastically. It was such a blur. I was shaking like a leaf and just wanted to hug him forever, it felt like the only way I could stand up. Then he’s like “By the way, I got that on video!” and I sob some more.


As much as I’m into super non-traditional wedding stuff, something that was really important to me was that Jeff ask my dad’s permission. I was a bit worried that he didn’t have the chance because my dad was actually in the hospital the week before we left on this trip. Jeff revealed that he had taken a half day off work and visited my dad in the hospital to ask. This made me cry so hard I nearly threw up. Y’all I was already a cry baby but this last week I’ve been a wreck. I didn’t think it’d effect me this much!

So yeah, the man of my dreams asked me to marry him at one of our favorite spots in the entire world. It’s definitely not everyone’s picture of a romantic location but there isn’t anywhere that could be more ~us~. I am so happy and so damn excited to have a lifetime of adventures with this sweet man. It’s been just over a week and I basically haven’t stopped crying or looking at the shiny new addition to my ring finger yet. Life is good.

PS. You’ll have to excuse any typos or sentences that are just plain out of order. It’s hard to type when you can’t tell the dang story without crying.

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Lotta Losten November 13, 2017 - 9:44 am

Oh my gosh, Kaylah! That video made me cry! So beautiful and lovely and Iโ€™m so happy for the both of you.

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:24 pm

Thank you so much, Lotta!

LEslie November 13, 2017 - 9:51 am

The video! Genius man of yours. Congratulations, you guys are awesome!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:23 pm

Hah! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jodie November 13, 2017 - 9:59 am

Very happy for you! Congrats!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:22 pm

Thanks, Jodie! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kaitlin November 13, 2017 - 10:19 am

Ahh what a great story! Congratulations! What a beautiful/unique setting (and ring!)!

Also, not to be totally distracted, but what is that nail color? It’s perfect!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:23 pm

Thank you, Kaitlin!

I’m not sure off the top of my head but it’s Sally Hansen in the square-ish bottle.

Kato November 13, 2017 - 10:19 am

So incredibly sweet. I love that you guys got engaged here! It would be my ideal spot as well!
Congratulations Kaylah! xoxox

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:22 pm

Thanks, Kato! ๐Ÿ™‚

Crystal November 13, 2017 - 10:25 am

This is so cute! You guys are adorable. I love when people get engaged at quirky places. My husband proposed to me at the drive-in and it was perfect. (I actually wanted to get married at the same drive-in but theyโ€™re not open in November! Ah well.) I hope you have a lot of fun planning your wedding and your life together! Yay! โค๏ธ

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:21 pm

Aw, so sweet! Thank you, Crystal! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ruth Belmont November 13, 2017 - 10:42 am

Now I’m crying too!! That video was so sweet! Congratulations!!!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:21 pm

Hehe! Thanks, Ruth! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jill November 13, 2017 - 10:43 am

Congratulations! That all sounds so romantic and wonderful! Also, that ring is GORGEOUS.

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:20 pm

Thank you, Jill! ๐Ÿ™‚

Louisepirate November 13, 2017 - 10:48 am

This is the most lovely engagement story! I’m so happy for both of you!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:20 pm

Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

Alice November 13, 2017 - 10:58 am

Congratulations! Itโ€™s so sweet that he set up a video for the surprise. Best wishes to the two of you as you continue your adventures together.

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:20 pm

Thank you so much, Alice! ๐Ÿ™‚

elissa November 13, 2017 - 1:19 pm

Gah! This is so exciting!! Congratulations!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:19 pm

Thank you, Elissa! ๐Ÿ™‚

Angela Tolsma November 13, 2017 - 2:29 pm

Congrats! That video is so wonderful

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:19 pm

Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com November 13, 2017 - 2:37 pm

Oh my gosh, I freaking love that video – & how wonderful that he got it on video in the middle of nowhere. CONGRATS, you two!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:18 pm

Thanks, Kate!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sam November 13, 2017 - 4:43 pm

I didn’t tear up. I didn’t watch that a few times and feel stupidly happy for you both……. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:18 pm


Amber November 13, 2017 - 5:04 pm

Congratulations!!!!!!! I’m so excited and happy for you both!!! What a cool spot for a proposal! I hope you are both wildly happy for the rest of your lives!! โ™ฅโ™ฅโ™ฅ

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:17 pm

Thank you so much, Amber!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tessa November 13, 2017 - 5:17 pm

Love it! This post made me so happy. Congratulations ๐Ÿ™‚

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:16 pm

Awwww. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bonnie Luhman November 13, 2017 - 8:25 pm

I AM SO HAPPY FOR Y’ALL. Best wishes to you both. Beautiful ring ๐Ÿ™‚

A day without Kayla is like a day without sunshine!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:16 pm

Thank you, Bonnie! ๐Ÿ™‚

Otter November 13, 2017 - 9:12 pm

This almost made me cry, it’s so sweet and amazing! Congratulations!!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:16 pm

Aw, thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jess H November 14, 2017 - 8:03 am

I’m so happy for you! It’s such a fun story too. I hope you guys have many more exciting trips to come. ๐Ÿ’–

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:16 pm

Thank you so much, Jess! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jess November 14, 2017 - 8:05 am

Congratulations to you both!!! So exciting!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:15 pm

Thanks, Jess!

ADร‰LA November 14, 2017 - 8:29 am

Congrats! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:14 pm

Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jeannie November 14, 2017 - 8:56 am

I’m so happy for you! Congratulations!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:13 pm

Thanks, Jeannie! ๐Ÿ™‚

Katie November 14, 2017 - 9:42 am

So happy for you! I’m also now a blubbering wreck – beautiful story ๐Ÿ˜€

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:13 pm

Hehe! Thank you so much, Katie!

Allie November 14, 2017 - 9:59 am

A billion congrats – you guys are the best <3

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:12 pm

Thank you, Allie!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Meg Green November 14, 2017 - 10:48 am

Congratulations and best wishes!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:13 pm

Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hannah November 14, 2017 - 12:06 pm

SO CUTE! Congrats! What a beautiful setting (especially the magic cloud!). So excited for you both.

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:11 pm

Thank you so much, Hannah!

Hannah R. November 14, 2017 - 1:38 pm

This is so wonderful!!! I won’t lie, I may have scrolled down to the video first before reading the whole post… I’m so happy for you both <3

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:11 pm

Hehe! Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristina B November 14, 2017 - 1:58 pm

I am SO OVER THE MOON excited for you guys. I watched the video and it kept stopping and I’m sitting in my store yelling “STOP BUFFERING!!!!!!!” Like, Jeff’s hand is in his pocket and it just STOPS I was like GAH!!!!!!!!
So much congratulations for 2 people so in love.

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:11 pm


Thank you, Kristina!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sarah November 14, 2017 - 8:48 pm

I’m so excited for you guys!!!! Congratulations!!!

Kaylah November 14, 2017 - 10:10 pm

Thank you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Natalie Mulford November 15, 2017 - 6:28 am

Eeee! Congrats! I love engagement stories like this when it is just SO suited to the couple. I love that you also have that moment captured forever!!

Kaylah November 15, 2017 - 10:59 am

Thank you so much, Natalie! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lisa November 15, 2017 - 10:15 pm

Congratulations! There is something about a man who gets it right! My fiancรฉ, as of August 29, also had the proposal videotaped, asked at a memorable place and even asked my dad first. I cried so hard at that one too! Thank you for bringing all those good memories to the forefront! I love your story and wish you two years of happiness!

Kaylah November 24, 2017 - 12:20 pm

Thank you so much, Lisa! ๐Ÿ™‚
Congrats on your engagement.

Lisa November 15, 2017 - 10:16 pm

Oh, and I love your ring! It is unique and looks great on you!

Kaylah November 22, 2017 - 10:40 am

Thank you so much, Lisa! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kait November 16, 2017 - 12:35 pm

Such a lovely story! Huge congrats!

Kaylah November 17, 2017 - 8:58 am

Thanks, Kait! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sian November 18, 2017 - 6:08 am

Congratulations Kaylah and Jeff!! I’ve been keeping up with your blog since I was at school – I have since been through college and university – and it’s wonderful to see you both SO happy! What an absolutely beautiful story, and I’m so glad to hear that life is good <3

Kaylah November 22, 2017 - 10:39 am

Thank you so much, Sian! ๐Ÿ™‚

Megan November 18, 2017 - 11:38 am

I’ve been following your blog for awhile and wanted to wish you: Congratulations! This is amazing!

Kaylah November 20, 2017 - 8:32 am

thank you, Megan! ๐Ÿ™‚

Johnna LaFaith November 19, 2017 - 1:42 pm

So romantic! best to you both, always!

Kaylah November 20, 2017 - 8:26 am

thank you, johnna! ๐Ÿ™‚

Amanda November 19, 2017 - 4:35 pm

Aww, that’s such a lovely story! Congratulations!! Very happy for you!

Kaylah November 20, 2017 - 8:25 am

Thank you, Amanda! ๐Ÿ™‚

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[…] Cisco, Utah at sunset. This was taken just minutes after Jeff proposed. (You can read about that here, in case you missed it.) I still can’t believe this whole trip was […]

Orchid grey November 20, 2017 - 10:47 am

What an awesome story and that video! I teared up! Congratulations all around, so, SO happy for you two! xo

Kaylah November 22, 2017 - 10:33 am

Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lesley November 21, 2017 - 5:02 am

I’m so incredibly happy for both of you. He sure is a keeper!! I hope you long continue to blog about your life and adventures in your new life as a married couple. Regards from Nottingham in the UK.

Kaylah November 22, 2017 - 10:37 am

Thank you so much, Lesley! ๐Ÿ™‚

Amaris November 23, 2017 - 12:54 pm

This was SO freaking cute! And the location is perfect! I love places that are unique to the couple as opposed to being “classically romantic”. My fiance proposed to me a few months ago at an electrical box on the side of the road about a mile from our house because it was a geocaching spot we couldn’t figure out months before. So, weird spot but perfect for us. I’m so happy for you, been reading your blog for like 10 years now and you seem so happy. Congrats!

Kaylah November 24, 2017 - 10:53 am

Awww, that is so sweet!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Chrissy February 1, 2018 - 8:26 am

So cute ๐Ÿ™‚

Kaylah February 1, 2018 - 9:09 am


reem February 11, 2018 - 7:23 pm

aww! this is so adorable! so happy for you Kaylah ๐Ÿ™‚

Kaylah February 12, 2018 - 10:21 am

Thanks so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

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