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.
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.