Wednesday, August 11, 2010

An Engagement Story

Four years ago today, I was living at home, working for the family business, & spending most weekends hanging out with Nick as much as I possibly could. Friday, August 11, 2006 started out as any other normal Friday. I headed to work & had plans to spend the evening relaxing with Nick at his apartment in Springfield about 30 minutes away. We didn't have anything special planned, probably dinner out somewhere quick & easy followed by a movie back at his place.
As I got off work & headed home to change for date night, something in my head told me that I should put a little bit of extra thought into what I wore that evening. As I walked out the door, I even recall my mom saying something like "You look nice tonight, honey...be careful & have a good time."
I drove to Springfield, anxious with anticipation, but unsure of what I was anxious about. The drive was about 30 minutes, but I remember that night it seemed like an hour. I pulled into the parking lot, headed up to his 3rd floor apt & knocked on the door. No answer. Knocked again. No answer. I finally got out my key to his apt & let myself in, assuming maybe he was just in the shower or in the back of the apartment & couldn't hear my persistent knocks. I started calling his name. No answer. I walked through every room of his 2 bed/2 bath apartment & no one was there. The weird thing was that I had already noticed his car still parked in the parking lot. This part gets a little fuzzy, but I'm fairly sure I grabbed my phone out of my purse to call him--and then I noticed the note taped to the television.
I quickly read the details....and I knew. This was the night I was going to go from girlfriend to fiancee'. "You can tell by now I'm not here. If you would be so kind to come pick me up at the park...the one by Horton Smith where we usually go. Look hard & I'm sure you'll find me. Love, Your Favorite." Unfortunately I think the note somehow got destroyed in all of the excitement and the only thing I have is a photo where I can zoom in and almost read most of the details. There was a second note taped to the tv that included a map of exactly where he would be at one of the parks' where we spent a ton of time.

I grabbed my purse, ran out the door, hopped in my car, & drove as fast as I could to the designated meeting place. As I got of out of the car, I forgot the map & this is not a small park. I thought I knew exactly where he would be, but I was wrong. I started glancing across the open fields & across the pond. Finally, I grabbed my phone & called. He had been watching me the whole time & was sitting probably about 100 yards away...in the only direction I hadn't looked.

Nick had prepared a full picnic dinner, complete with a nice blanket, glass dinnerware & flowers. We had a dinner of KFC, biscuits, cheese & fruit. Again, the details are a little fuzzy. It's sad that this is the first time I've actually written out the story. Guess I should have done it sooner. Anyways, we ate...a little. We both knew what the night was about, but Nick had his timing all figured out & he wasn't going to ask any sooner than he had planned. We small talked about the day & random topics before finally gathering everything up and taking it back to my car. Apparently, his mom had dropped him off and helped him set everything up only moments before I actually arrived.

He said we should go for a nice walk around the pond & I of course obliged, waiting not so patiently for "The Moment." We walked & talked & walked some more...and we finally came back around to this beautiful hosta garden that is a central part of the park. Within the hosta garden is a small rock bridge that sits behind a fountain. (this location is actually used for weddings quite frequently). Poor Nick, there was a family that was lingering just a little too long on the bridge but finally they went on their way. Nick lead me to the top of the bridge, said a whole bunch of really mushy stuff that I can't remember at all and asked me to be his wife. And of course...I said yes.

A recreation of the moment...a few months later during our engagement pictures.

Even though I knew it was happening, I still remember feeling this incredible sense of shock that I was actually wearing an engagement ring & Nick & I were actually going to be husband and wife. It was certainly not a surprise that we were getting engaged, we had actually already planned what our wedding date would be before the official engagement & I told Nick that I needed at least 9 months to plan and I didn't really want much more than that. Needless to say, I knew an engagement was coming...but as for the details I was completely clueless.

We sat in my car and talked for awhile before Nick mentioned that we should head downtown to our other favorite park. I kept wanting to call my family but he convinced me to just enjoy the moment for a bit. He knew that once I started calling my friends & family, it would be a never-ending process. We walked around the park & finally we headed back to his apartment to simply relax & start making some phone calls. We walked in the door....and SURPRISE!!! My parents, both sets of my grandparents, his parents (his dad had flown in from Michigan that day just to be a part), and his sister, her husband, & our oldest nephew Hunter were all waiting for us with a surprise engagement party all planned out by my precious husband.

Rereading the note...still taped to the television. This is the one I can zoom in on...

Opening our first wedding gift from my mom...an entire box of the most current bridal magazines!

My Grandma Smart & I cutting the cake for to celebrate the special occasion!

We celebrated the entire evening, complete with cake & champagne. The night couldn't have been more perfect. On a side note, Nick had actually had lunch with my parents sometime about a week before & had asked their permission. Of course they granted it. The amazing thing is that my grandparents managed to keep the whole thing a secret from me. With the engagement party the night of, everyone close to me knew what was going on except for me!

Thank you Nick for asking me to be your wife 4 years ago, I could never have imagined how happy you would make me each & every day of my life.
Our first engagement picture!

11 comments:

Llama said...

AWWWWWW! GUSH! How completely sweet sweet! I love the story! I love how planned out everything was. He really went out of his way to make the engagement special. You are so lucky Happy four years and wishing for many more just like that!

Courtney said...

What a sweet story! I love the gerbera daisies. I actually got engaged on August 11 as well just in 2008. Must be a good night!

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

awww, so fun! I loved reading the story, so sweet, and I loved that your families were there afterward to celebrate!

Ria Thurston said...

Cute, Cute, Cute!! Love hearing these stories.... they never get old :)

Callie Nicole said...

That is such a sweet engagement story - and the engagement party afterward is so fun! Thanks for sharing your story!

Melanie said...

I loved reading your engagement story..how sweet!! That is such a sweet way for your hubby to propose too..I know you'll treasure those memories forever! Loved your pics too, btw!

Ms. Emily Ann said...

Oh my goodness!! What a sweet story! These pictures are just adorable!! You two are so cute, and seem so happy and in love!! ...and I love that he planned out the surprise engagement party too! ..PS That cake is so pretty :)

Risley said...

AW! so cute!!

Casa Cannon said...

SO CUTE! love the story. so happy you found love love love! :)

Jen said...

CUTE Blog! Just found you through Emily Ann's!

What a beautiful engagement story!!!

Marianne said...

Aww! That's a great story! I just love engagement stories!