So if you can't tell from the headlines, Brandi and myself have just made the biggest jump in our lives to date. We're finally engaged. After dating for over a year and a half, we were finally able to take this next step in our lives.
How did I do it? Why, thank you for asking! Here goes...
I got the ring on a Thursday morning, 4/19/12 to be exact, and I still had no idea how I wanted to propose. I knew it didn't need to be some elaborate, extravagant story, because that's just not who we are. We're simple and fun. So I racked my brain for a few hours. I texted my friend Emily and told her I had the ring, told a few other friends, and of course, my mother, and Emily texted me back and said I should do it that evening. Well yeah, who wouldn't want to do it immediately?
I then remembered Brandi had been clammoring for us to take a picnic together. We had even tried once already this spring, but we made it as far as the front porch of her house (not exactly a picnic). I texted Brandi while she was at work, and I said "Whatcha wanna do tonight? Maybe have a picnic? Take it somewhere pretty? :)" Yes, I even used the word pretty with a smiley face.
She replied with, "Holy moly yes!!!!!"
I knew I was on the right track.
I told her, "Ha. Sounds good! Maybe we could take it out to Two Rivers Park, and look for some places to shoot these bridals on Saturday."
Basically I needed a not-so-awkward place to put the ring box, other than my pocket. She totally would have known what was up if I didn't have anywhere to put it.
"Sounds like SO much fun!!!!!" - Brandi replies.
After work, we went to the grocery store to pick up some "picnic supplies." You know, sandwich meat, grapes, a little wine. The suspense was killing me. I was the most nervous I had ever been. In my mind I'm trying to calm myself so I don't fumble over my words, or freak out in the midst of asking my love to join me in my life. I kept trying to think of other things, like the simple task of which wine to pick out, and remembering that I'm the one driving the car.
Upon selecting our items for dinner, we proceeded to the park. Now my heart is pounding out of my chest, still rehearsing my simple speech in my head, wondering where the perfect spot will be and how in the world am I going to transition from stuffing our face with dinner, to telling Brandi how much I love her.
We had forgotten to bring a blanket, so we drove around until we found a park bench. Perfect. It's right near the river. The sun was beautiful. Setting right behind us, it provided a wonderful orange and pink glow. The sky was clear, and it was a perfect 73 degrees outside.
God couldn't have blessed us with a more perfect day.
As we're walking to the park bench, me carrying the camera gear and a few other food items, and Brandi carrying the rest of the food, just a few paces in front of me. I reach around to the camera bag to pull out the ring box.
Now I'm as nervous as I think I'll ever be. My palms were sweating, my heart was thumping so hard I'm sure if I had enough mind to pay attention to it I would have been able to hear it.
I made up my mind right then, I wouldn't wait until after we had eaten to ask.
Brandi set down the food, I set down what I was holding, and I carefully slipped the ring box into my pocket.
I walked around the bench and took Brandi's hands in mine, and looked her in the eyes and said...
"Soooooooo..." (I had no idea how I was to start this.)
Brandi said, "Babe...?"
"I love you so much. I promise to always love you for the rest of my life. I promise to serve you, guide you, and love you in a Godly manner."
I dropped to a knee as I pulled out the ring box.
"Will you marry me?"
"OH MY GOSH, BABE! YES!!!!"
I was overcome with joy and emotion! We were smiling and laughing, people were honking and yelling from the parking lot, fish were jumping, birds were chirping, and mosquitos joined in all around us.
We were engaged.
Alas, my love for the past two years is to be my wife.
I couldn't be happier!
Now to plan the wedding, which by the way, if you hadn't heard, will be September 15, 2012 in Little Rock, AR.
We have a lot to do, but I couldn't think of a better person to have by my side!