Archive for Relationships

What Does Amanda Say?

049-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1096 On Sunday November 24th at 2:51pm, this picture was taken. An hour before, little did I know all that would unfold. Sit tight, grab some hot cocoa, and enjoy the adorable tale of the engagement of Kevin & Amanda.

All photos (excluding my quick shots of the cards) are taken by the talented Jonathan Kuhn. You can (and should!) visit his website at

After church on Sunday, Kevin and I parted ways – I had a church meeting and Kevin had told me that he would use that time without me to go to work for a couple hours. Afterward, we would go on a “dinner date” he had planned.

I texted Kevin as my meeting was wrapping up, and he let me know that he had a few more things that needed to be done and that I should take my time getting to his place. I, heeding his advice, lingered around the church for a few extra minutes and chatted with some friends who were there setting up Christmas decorations. I didn’t see his car in his driveway when I arrived, so I parked and sat in the car listening to the CBC.

Meanwhile, Kevin001-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-0983 was in a nearby nature reserve by his house setting up a super secret surprise.


I had texted him letting him know that I was parked outside his place waiting for his return from work. I received a text right away saying “Oh come in!”. Upon receiving this, I was confused at his verb tense as he was not at his house. I then asked if he was home. To which he replied “Maybe!” “I’m home!”. Confused, I got out of my car and went into his house. I was not met by Kevin, but by my friend Krista. Surprised and confused, I questioned why she was there and asked where Kevin was. She let me know that he was not there and that he was running “boy errands” (to this day, no one knows what that means).

She then handed me a card and told me to follow her (click to enlarge photos in order to read the message). When we got out of the house, I laughed when I realized that I couldn’t follow her too far, as I was going to have to drive. We hopped into my car and away we went according to her direction! We only made a few turns until she told me to pull over on the side of the road. Once out, Krista led me to the beginning of a trail. She left me there alone, but equipped with a second card.


Card #1


Card #2

I began the walk down the snow covered trail and not a minute later, I saw two figures approaching. As they came near I realized that they were not strangers, but they were in fact our friends Jami and Tristan!



Card #3
This refers to a rabid squirrel we had encountered one day.

At this point, I had a pretty good idea of what was to come. That morning when I woke up, I did not even see an engagement in sight. However, once Krista handed me the first card back at the house, I thought to myself Oh, this is happening! Because I was pretty sure I was in the middle of a proposal, I decided to have some fun with it. As I approached my friends, we met each other with Oh! What a pleasant surprise! What are the chances! It also just so happened that they had a third card for me! As soon as they handed it to me, they continued their “Sunday stroll” up the hill.

Off I continued on my journey. Next, I met with Joanna who was “Just out picking flowers on this fine day!” Funny how there were flowers to be picked in snow covered November… It was fun playing along. And lo and behold she had a card for me as well!



Card #4
These are characteristics of a place that we had visited together out of province.

Lastly, I came across another couple. This time it was Sandra and Brian. What do you know! They were on a Sunday afternoon stroll too! And as luck would have it, they had a card for me from Kevin too! What were the chances! This card was thicker and as I began to read it, it not only was hilariously clever, but I became increasingly more excited for what was to come.

025-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1043 027-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1045IMG_5138IMG_5139IMG_5141IMG_5142Isn’t that card clever?! It’s hilariously cheesy and cute. After reading that last card as I walked, I finally made it to where Kevin was anxiously awaiting me.

028-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1048From there, he expressed some very kind words, removed his handsome hat, got down on one knee and proposed.

033-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1056034-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1059036-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1061What did Amanda say? YES! I said yes!
043-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1079This is also where we shared our first kiss. I love the way in which this moment was captured.
045-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1084 046-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1088 048-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1093We were, understandably, very excited. And still are!

059-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1124 060-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1126Here’s the ring! Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring!

063-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1135As we walked up the hill from whence I came, Kevin shared with me all of the hard work that he had put in to making this day special. He had visited my Dad to ask permission to marry me a month ago while my mom and I were visiting my Nana. He designed the ring himself and had been planning this day for months. This day was brilliantly planned – all unbeknownst to me, who was pleasantly surprised throughout. He incorporated all of my favourite things – homemade cards (which he spent countless hours on), dear friends, and to top it all off, the entire thing is documented in pictures. THE BEST. I could not have imagined the proposal going any other way. I also could not imagine marrying anyone other than him. I thank God that He allowed this wonderful man into my life. I am incredibly blessed to have him. He is my best friend and I love him dearly. I look forward to spending the rest of my life serving God with him.

055-Jonathan-Kuhn-Photography-Amanda-and-Kevin-Proposal-1113A big thank you to all who participated. Thank you Jon and Katriina for taking the time to photograph the whole event. The pictures are AWESOME. Thank you to all of our friends for their involvement and their strategic and sneaky plotting. And most of all, thank you to my fiance (ooh that’s so exciting to say!) for all of his hard work, planning, and thoughtfulness. I love you!


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Scientifically Proven Relationship Advice

And it all starts with how you respond to pie…

You might think that the way in which you react to someone’s negative event will determine the quality of your relationship over time, however it has been found that reactions to positive events (accomplishments, good news), are of even greater importance.

Gable, Gonzaga, and Strachman (2007) explain that there are four ways that we can respond to someone’s positive news. Let’s relate the accomplishment to pie, shall we?

Scene: Person A rushes into the room yelling: “I just won a pie eating competition!!!”, how do you, (Person B) respond?

1. Active-Constructive – Praise. Rejoice. Expand. Ask questions.
Person B: “That’s awesome! All that hard work expanding your stomach has finally paid off! When’s your next competition? I’d love to be there to cheer you on!

2.Passive-Constructive – Unenthusiastic praise.
Person B [smiles]: “That’s nice, dear.”

3. Active-Destructive – demeaning the accomplishment
Person B: “Wow, are you sure you want that title? You must have ingested a million calories, do you think you’ll get fat?”

4. Passive-Destructive – Completely passes over the accomplishment and focuses attention on themselves or other things
Person B: “I like pie. Did I ever tell you of the time that I ate a lot of pie? Man, it’s such an intense story…” [continues on with story]

You can probably guess that the active-constructive response is the best one to engage in, and is related to higher relationship satisfaction.

So the next time your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/friend says “I won a pie eating competition!!!”, “I created a cure for cancer!!!”, or “I just climbed Mt Everest, and I’m finally backkkk!!!”, you now have scientific information that has been statistically proven to assist you in refraining from saying a mere “That’s nice.”

How do you react when someone tells you good news? Do you always engage in one type? Or do you tend to act differently depending on the person relaying the news?

Each one of us in my class had to figure this out. So last week as part of our positive psychology challenge, we had to evaluate our reactions and discuss situations in which we engage in active-constructive ways of responding.

The following are some of my observations. And keep in mind, this is all very subjective. It would be interesting to see how others perceive the way in which I interact with them. So, if you want to weigh in, go for it!

I think I genuinely rejoice in others accomplishments.

One of our housemates came home with some pretty exciting news this week so each one of us in the house took turns rejoicing in her accomplishment and showered her with questions of genuine interest.

Sometimes however, you must make sure that your enthusiasm does not come across as fake and sarcastic. If you become more excited then the person telling you the news, it can get awkward. So I think a good gauge is to match the other person’s level of excitement.

BUT this is totally different in other situations. I noticed this while at work (I’m a support worker for individuals with developmental disabilities). This past weekend, one of the guys informed me that he had just learned how to make tea this week. He was beaming with pride and went on to show me all the types of teas he had made. I had absolutely no trouble at all letting him know how proud I was of him as well as tell him how capable I know he is in learning new things. And I felt as though this was an appropriate situation where I could over exaggerate my enthusiasm and it wouldn’t be interpreted as fake. He doesn’t always have the highest self-esteem, so although he was excited for himself, he also needed to hear it from others. I also noticed that after praising him, he felt more accomplished and sure of himself.
And with that, we moved on to learning how to make hot chocolate!

With his newfound confidence in the kitchen, pretty soon he’ll be baking pie in no time…

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