How we got engaged
This is the detailed account. You have be warned…
We were planning to spend the weekend with my family in the Fort Worth area to celebrate Mother’s Day a week late and go to a Rangers game (Bryan’s first!). Little did I know what he was plotting. Bryan came to my office after putting gas in the car on Friday afternoon, and my boss came out to talk to us around 4:30. He asked what our plans were, and then said that we should go ahead and leave. I was surprised, because I was working on a project with two coworkers. I thought, “Wow, that’s really nice!”. I asked several times if he was sure he didn’t want me to stay, and he insisted. My parents said they had a youth function at church on Friday night, so my sister had suggested earlier in the week that Bryan and I meet her for dinner at an Italian place because she “had a gift certificate”.
When we were about ten minutes away, I called and she sounded really stressed. She said they were slammed with work at her office, and we would have to wait on her for awhile. We said that was no problem, and when we got close I realized that the restaurant was near the Botanic Gardens. Bryan suggested we go walk around since we had some time. That seemed totally normal to me. We had been there once before when he came to visit me at Christmas in 2009. We turned the wrong way the first time and ended up passing the restaurant twice before getting to the gardens. Both times I mentioned that we should go ahead and put our names on the list since it would probably be crowded. He protested, saying that we didn’t know when Katie would be coming. When we got out of the car, we were talking about the contrast between how everything looked now and last time we were there. Everything was grey and baron before, and it was really cold. This time it was lush green and a beautiful 73 degrees outside. There were flowers everywhere. I was enjoying the romantic atmosphere and the fresh air when Bryan said, “I’m nervous…” I whipped my head around to look at him, and he finished, “about talking to your Dad.” I relaxed, and started advising him about it. He had led me to believe that he was planning to ask for my parents’ blessing on Saturday, AND that he had not yet bought the ring. When we reached a fork in the trail, I suggested we go up the steps. He pointed to a path leading into a more secluded, wooded area. There was a girl getting her bridal portraits done on the steps that I wanted to walk up. I was like, “Bryan, we can just go behind the photographer. See? Those people are doing it.” He didn’t really say anything, and I decided his way was fine. I did, however, tease him about being afraid of brides as I walked over to the path he chose. haha.
We walked a little ways down the path, and he pointed out a pond with a small clearing in front of it. He said that it reminded him of Costa Rica, and we started walking toward that area. He put his arm around me and started telling me about a conversation he had recently with his mom. He said that he was telling her how I have the qualities that he’s always wanted. He said, “How do you call them? Virtues?” I replied, “Yes. Aw, honey, that’s so sweet.” It’s important to understand that Bryan says sweet things to me all the time, so this didn’t seem unusual. He was still talking about this when we reached the clearing. I heard him say, “And that’s why I need to ask you…” At this point, he started to kneel down, and I stopped listening. My mind was racing… “What?!…He’s joking. Surely he’s joking. He doesn’t have the ring yet. Here?! Now?!” Then I heard a clicking sound to my right. I looked over to see my sister in the distance–dressed in green with her hair tucked into a green hat. She was emerging from the bushes holding her camera. This was HAPPENING. I looked back and Bryan was down on his knee pulling a ring box out of his sock. I just remember yelling, “Ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness!!! YES!! Ohmygoodness. Ohmygoodness!!” After a lot of hugs and a few tears, we stayed there for a few more minutes while Katie took pictures. At one point, a couple walked past and said, “Congratulations!” I was confused because there was no one near by when Bryan asked me. Katie explained that they had seen her hiding in the bushes while she was waiting for us, so she told them what was going on. 🙂 I kept saying that I wanted to see my mom and dad and asking if different people had known, and Bryan wouldn’t answer any of my questions. He said that we just needed to go to my parents’ house. Katie got in her car and said she would meet us there.
From Fort Worth to my parents’ house, we were driving into a brilliant orange sunset. I really felt like God was smiling down on us. I was still processing the shock of getting engaged when we turned into the driveway. I began to see familiar faces. Family and friends from all over were standing in the driveway waving brightly colored tissue paper flowers. I found out later that my mom’s class had made them for Cinco de Mayo. So, everyone stormed the car, and we got out. I started hugging people one by one. I was laughing and tearing up, just feeling so overwhelmed and loved. Friends from Abilene and Fort Worth, my roommates, a friend from Oklahoma, my cousins and grandparents…after several minutes of hugging my way through the crowd, I found myself standing in front of Lisa and Baby Kara. I couldn’t believe that they had come from Utah to share this night with us. It was amazing having them there. We all went in the house, and my mom had made heart and wedding bell-shaped cookies. I told the story, and we were able to see the beautiful pictures that Katie had taken. I found a Fed EX package from Jordan, and I knew what it was before I opened it. I couldn’t believe it, but she had saved a wedding magazine that she bought for herself when we were in Costa Rica back in 2009. I remember her getting this mischievous look when she showed it to me back then. It was the first wedding magazine that she bought. Her note said that she had saved it back then with the hope that Bryan and I would get engaged someday and this could be her engagement present to me. 🙂 That was pretty cool.
It was an amazing, unbelievably happy night. I will never forget it. Bryan knows me so well. He did a wonderful job making me feel honored and special and loved and even MORE excited to spend my life with him. On Sunday, we did, indeed, attend Bryan’s first Ranger’s game. They won.