Lightly scattered snowflakes gently floated all around us...
The air was calm, cool, and fresh.
It was perfect...
We were getting ready to hike the 1.5-mile scenic route at Sequoia national forest. Amber put on her jacket with a ski mask to cover the lower half of her face from the cold. We slipped on our warm gloves and put our gators on to keep the snow out of our boots.
I repeated the lines in my head as each step crunched in the snow. I needed to find the biggest tree on the trail to represent what I wanted to say to her. I held her hand as we enjoyed taking in the big round huge sequoia trees around us. The trees stood strong, their bark was thick, some had burn marks along with its bark, but outlasted the test of time. I looked into her eyes and could tell how beautiful of a smile she had beneath her ski mask as she looked around in awe of God’s creation. She had a smile and expression of joy that would light up a room.
We continued crunching through the fresh loosely packed snow, enjoying the perfect peace and harmony of the snowflakes free falling with grace onto our skin. I felt calm and nervous at the same time.
Finally, halfway through the trail, I spotted the tallest sequoia tree I could find. It stood high above the others. The tree stood strong, the branches were broad, and its pine needles that peeked from under the snow cover were bold, green, and healthy.
This is it… I’m going to do it.
Then a faint doubt crossed my mind. “What if she says, No.”. I pushed it off and pressed on.
My heart started to pound a little faster and a bit harder as I recited my lines again silently in my mind.
“Hey babe, let’s take a closer look at this tree. I think it’s the biggest tree on this trail” I said, as we walked off the trail a bit.
We were about 20 steps away from the tree I picked when I stopped her for a moment and asked her, “Will you dance with me?”
“Uhh ok… “ she said
I took out my phone from the chest pocket of my snow jacket and played the song “Say it - by voices of theory”.
Little did I realize when I first planned it, but we couldn’t move side to side while we danced with our legs sunken into 6-inch pockets of snow…
It was silly...
We both belly laughed together. Looking up to the sky we smiled and put our heads together while we listened to the rest of the song. We waddled like penguins while looking into each other’s eyes while we danced.
As we listened, the lyrics came up
“I give you all that you need there's no better place you could be
And I know that in time you'll believe me
So please hold out your hand and let's exchange these golden bands
Cause I want you in my life I want you to be my wife
And I wanna know if I can live inside your world
And I wanna know if I can give it to you girl
You know that I wanna say it
You know that I need to say it
You know that I'd love to say it
My love just goes on and on and on” (credit to Voices of Theory - Say It)
I smiled at her and looked deep into her eyes during that chorus and continued to hug dance the rest of the song.
I looked at her with sincerity while trying to cover up my nervous voice and said,
“Amber, the sequoia has a bark that grows thicker over time. It can withstand forest fires that try to hurt it. I know that love will grow stronger over time and no matter what comes to bring us down that our love together will withstand the trials and tests of time. I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
I got down on one knee, opened the solitaire ring, and asked, “Will you marry me?” I couldn’t see the expression this time through her ski mask…
Then felt like minutes...
Then finally she uncovered her ski mask, and I could see the smile that brightens up my heart, “Yes! Yes!” my eyes began to well up with excitement!
During our marriage tree ceremony, Amber poured dirt into a pot as I put a baby sequoia tree to signify our love and union. The plan was to plant that baby tree at the same spot I had proposed.
We continued to hike as we loved the trees and mountains. We felt free to be able to get away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. We used our trail backpacks, hiking poles, and rugged cook wears a lot and over time I began to notice my ring clanging, scraping, scuffing against the metal of our equipment.
During our hikes, I would randomly take a bad footing and slip as I tried to brace myself with anything I could find. I’ve grabbed onto tree branches or braced my impact with my hands on the rugged rocky trail as I fell to the ground.
I noticed my wedding ring was getting scratched more and more each time we went out. The luster and shine, the symbol of our marriage, started to fade.
These symbols mean a lot to me. Just like the symbol of our baby sequoia tree in our ceremony. It represented who we are, our passions, and our identity. We would wear these symbols proudly.
I started to look for a ring that wouldn’t scratch like the one I had, and I came across tungsten carbide, but they were boring, plain, and didn't have symbols that represented the love we had together and the feeling we felt of being free to explore when we hiked around the trees and mountains.
If it was an unscratchable ring, then how could anyone put a design on it? I dove into learning the process of how tungsten is forged with really hot temperatures similar to how a hard diamond is made. That's how tungsten got its hardness and if high heat and pressure can make tungsten, then high heat can etch it.
So I discovered a process and a machine capable of laser engraving a ring with temperatures high enough to leave a beautiful design on a tungsten carbide ring.
We were then able to design a beautiful “trees and mountains” ring that reminded me of the day I proposed and the freedom we felt when we hiked.
Every time I looked at this beautiful ring. I felt grateful for my wife and was always in awe of God's glory through his creation of massive trees and mountains.
My friend, who was in the military, was upset that his ring got scratched during training every time he used his rifle. The rugged equipment, the recoils of his rifle created micro scratches on his ring. He asked me to create a ring that represented his love of country and a symbol that promised to seek justice and punish our enemies. So the tattered American skull ring was born.
When I showed the ring to David, he looked at the ring, paused, and didn't say a thing. Tears welled up in his eyes… he swallowed the lump in his throat. And said… You have no idea what that means to me…
He was my friend and I knew him well. All I could imagine and feel at the time was remembering the thankless job that he does that no one knows about but he does it because of his love for country, people, and the freedom of our nation. That's the feeling he gets and the motivation to continue when things get tough, and the will to keep showing up each and every day, whenever he looks at his ring.
Then more and more people wanted a design that represented what mattered to them. Nurses on the front lines working tirelessly day and night, firefighters rushing towards danger as others flee, police officers who risk their lives every day to protect thankless people, or it could be as simple as a symbol representing their passions while they are fishing or hunting, or sales teams representing a sales goal, all wanted a custom-designed ring that represented who they are, and a deeper meaning to fulfill that commitment they promised themselves.
That’s how Friends of Irony Rings was born.
If you don't see any ring that is exactly what you are looking for let us know your idea and we'll do our best to create a custom design for you at no additional cost.