Yes! I said.
Well... after I kissed him repeatedly.
I'd say it a thousand times over if he asked me again today.
We met and got to know each other half way around the world in Spain.
We dated for nearly 2 years before he asked me the big question.
I'm not sure I've ever told the story here and I happen to think it's a good one.
In our family, we have "figment" stories. Stories we tell our children from when they were just "figments of our imaginations."
(R always claims that they were very small figments for him whereas I spent many years imagining myself as a wife and mommy.)
Today, I told Will and Ellie the figment story of when Daddy asked Mommy to marry him.
Nine years ago today.
First, he drove to my hometown the week before and sat on the dock at the lake with my parents where he told them why he loved me and asked for their blessing on our marriage.
I, of course, was oblivious that day that he wasn't in town.
Last week, my dad emailed us an excerpt from his devotional that day - he had marked in his book that R was on his way to town to "talk." Nine years later he came across his notes from that day.
How precious to us that we have parents who believe in the sanctity of marriage and who not only showed us by example but prayed for our future spouses and instilled in us a respect for the holiness of marriage.
On the dock, he was given their blessing. And the planning began.
Apparently, he also handed them plane tickets.
Meanwhile, I was teaching school. R asked me to accompany him to California where supposedly he was considering a few graduate schools. We had talked about getting married someday and so he wanted my input on those potential schools. Naive person that I am, I bought a map (the laminated kind) of Los Angeles & circled on it not only schools for him to look at but also potential nearby schools for me to teach at that I wanted to check out. I remember being so worried about the two of us trying to navigate LA traffic together.
So, off we flew on our little adventure.
When we got to CA, we never went to LA. We went to Orange County and specifically to Dayna Point. We rented a car (you know - for exploring those schools ;)) and went immediately for a walk on the beach.
Where we had a fight.
I wanted him to be romantic as we walked the beach.
He was distracted from me.
(Apparently he was searching for a perfect place to pop the question.)
Then we went to dinner. At a super yummy, super expensive, beautiful little French restaurant. We were both scared to spend so much money I think we ordered the cheapest thing we could find. I'm pretty sure I ate French Onion soup. R was too nervous to eat.
Afterwards, he kept glancing at his watch and he asked if we could go get coffee.
After that, we drove Highway One for awhile - enjoying the views before heading back to Dayna Point. Suddenly, as we pulled into the parking garage, R began kissing me repeatedly.
This was not like him. He is a very cautious driver. But I was thrilled with his sudden burst of affection.
(I didn't know it but he had flown my parents there and he had spotted them in the parking garage arriving from their late flight and he was afraid I would see them to. So he distracted me from seeing them by kissing me.)
Then he asked me to go on a walk with him. I remember we walked down a big hill to the beach. I was wearing my famous black engagement dress.
(Ya'll. Several of my friends over the years have worn this dress and ended up engaged the night they wore it. It apparently is a magic dress. Just saying.)
In wearing that dress, I didn't really think he was going to ask me to marry him that weekend but I was going to do whatever I could to push him that direction. :)
I think the dress may have helped.
It was cold and windy on that hill so he shared his coat with me.
We got to the beach and took a little walk.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, I turned around and he was down on one knee.
And then he asked the best question ever.
And I couldn't help myself. I began to cry and kiss him.
I think he had to ask me for an answer.
Yes. A thousand times yes.
He began to get a little nervous - on a beach at night in CA - so we headed back to the hotel. He had gotten each of us our own room. We were not yet married and it was important to us to honor each other and God and his His purposes in marriage. He walked me to my room where I was dying to call my parents. He pulled out several phone cards (I know. phone cards. Before the days of using cell phones for everything!) And just as I picked up the phone to dial my parents, he said,
"You don't have to call them. Let's just go tell them!"
And I squealed as he grabbed my hand and we ran down the hallway to my parents' room.
They were anxiously waiting with champagne and our first engagement gift.
We told them the story and laughed at R's trick kisses to distract me from nearly seeing them.
We missed having R's parents with us - they had planned on coming but his mom had become very sick from a recent trip to China and was unable to fly. So, we called them excitedly to tell them the news.
We made a list of all the people to call the next morning.
We took pictures and celebrated!
And then my parents got to stay all weekend and take us out to dinner (after our Friday night expensive dinner, we were so thankful to have them around Saturday! :))
I loved having my mom there to begin wedding planning and dreaming with.
What a fun weekend.
I love that he made it special. I love that he put so much effort and planning into such a significant question. I love that he was romantic and wanted it to be unforgettable. I love that it is a fun "figment" story for our children.
I love that he said this morning he would ask me again.
7 months later -
(wedding photo courtesy Sam Smead Photocreative)