Okay, so this is long overdue. Inquiring minds want to know, and have been asking the last couple of days. In my defense, I’ve just been really busy. Amy and I went back to California over the Thanksgiving weekend and we had a pretty tight schedule the entire time, so I never had an opportunity really to sit down and type this all out. I don’t really have much time now either, as I’m on my lunch break, but here goes…
We’ve been talking about marriage for awhile now, and we went ring shopping towards the end of October. In using my ring hook-up, however, that part of the process got delayed and it actually still isn’t resolved, but more on that in a bit. In my mind I knew that this had to happen before Thanksgiving, ring or not, so that we could start openly planning for the blessed nuptials and get the show on the road. She was really anxious for it to move, but had been really patient in not bugging me too much about having the engagement actually happen. With the days passing by and Thanksgiving looming on the horizon, I decided that I would propose the weekend before. I thought it wouldn’t be a problem, but I didn’t schedule my helper in time and she had to babysit the Friday when I wanted to do it. So it got pushed back to the following Monday.
The thing that was most important to me was just making sure that it would be a surprise. Unbeknownst to me, she had assumed that I was just going to wait until Thanksgiving weekend to do the deed so she had resigned herself until that time. So having it be on a Monday, not even a weekend night, worked out in helping maintain the surprise.
So the week before I began coordinating with Mike and Lauren about where we would set up (Lauren’s family cabin in Sundance) and what the setup would look like, how the night would unfold including conversations and how to get everyone out without arousing suspicion, all of that. The problem that I ran into for that Monday was that Sunday it started snowing a pretty good amount. I wasn’t sure how much at the time, but I kind of just went on assuming that it would work out and we would be able to do it there. Now came the time to tell her about the evening so that she could plan for it and be available.
On the drive home from her brother’s place up near Kayesville, I pretended to check my phone for a voicemail message that I would say was from Mike. I picked up my phone, held it up for a minute, and then closed it, and asked her if she wanted to do an FHE with Mike and Lauren and some other friends the next night up at Lauren’s cabin. She asked if I wanted to skip our ward FHE for it, I kind of just brushed it off, and didn’t bring it up again until we parted ways that night, confirming that we should go and that it would be fun to go up to the cabin.
The next day went by in a rush as I tried to figure out whether the cabin would be feasible given the snow from the previous day, and what kind of backup plans we could have in place if it wouldn’t work out. I resigned myself to not using the cabin, then resolved that I would check it out and see if there was any way that we could do it there for that night. The thing about the cabin, or any cabin for that matter, is that for Amy and I, cabins are special places. We even have joked about that throughout our relationship. My friend’s cabin is where she and I really first noticed each other in an attractiveness kind of way while playing ping pong, and the next trip we had up there was where we first held hands. Cabins hold a lot of sentimental value for us as well as just being a nice locale for the event, right?
Well I left my office hours early to drive the road up to Sundance. It wouldn’t work. Just before the resort my car lost all traction and I was barely able to turn myself around and get back down the mountain. Then I called and texted several people to see if their vehicles were all wheel drive, and if I could borrow theirs. Most people didn’t respond, and the ones who did either didn’t have all wheel drive or were weird about letting me borrow their cars, so scratch the cabin plan.
The alternative was to do it at another house that Lauren’s family owns on Center Street in Provo. I had full confidence in Mike and Lauren to set everything up because Lauren is in love with anything wedding/marriage/engagement related and has helped a number of other people with their events, and Lauren has impeccable taste. I had her and Mike buy flowers and get the dining room set up, and then I went out and bought Amy’s favorite meal, and some other items.
They texted me to let me know they were done setting up and I went and picked up Amy. This part was crucial. I had to sell her on this being like any other evening and that we were simply going to go hang out with some friends and play games, no big deal. She told me later that the thought that this might be the night didn’t cross her mind until right before I picked her up: “Wait a second, a cabin? Cabins are special to us, could this be it?” I walked up her stairs to get her and she asked if she should grab anything. I hadn’t told her the change of venue till then, so in my most casual voice I told her no, that we would be dropping by the other house to pick up games because we couldn’t go up to the cabin that night because of the weather. That appeased her and she decided it wouldn’t happen that night.
I still wasn’t sure if she was unsuspecting yet, so to put it beyond all doubt, in the car I said to her, “just to set your expectations about everything, because I know you’re anxious to get things moving, and I am too, but I talked to Kevin today and the ring won’t actually be ready until two weeks from today.” Which was true, at the time. She got quiet, and I even heard a sniffle. I reached for her hand like I normally do in the car and she was totally unresponsive. I sensed her sadness and then I felt a smile start to creep over my face. Mission accomplished. She has no idea what’s about to hit her.
We arrived at the house a minute later. I asked her to come in with me to pick some stuff out, and we entered in through the back of the house into the kitchen. The dining area is completely blocked from view so when I opened the door, she walked into the room and saw the candles and flowers and whole arrangement, she knew exactly what was happening and the tears came immediately thereafter. I had my speech prepared, but at that point it didn’t really matter what I was going to say. I knelt on one knee, asked her, and she said yes.
I don’t have pictures of the setup yet, and we’re actually still figuring out the ring part of it, so those details you’ll have to wait for, but we’re looking at the end of March, specifically March 19th.
To get just a little gushy about my girlfriend and now fiancée – Amy is the greatest girl and best fit that I could ever hope for. There have been other times and other girls that I’ve dated where I thought that I had everything that I would ever need or want, but in her she has filled needs and done things for me that I didn’t even know I needed. She makes me want to live a better life, however grudgingly I might want to do so sometimes, and it has everything to do with me feeling like with her, I am moving towards and becoming the person I hope to be. However foolish I have been, am now, or will be, she still seems to really love me in spite of it all and I’ve never felt so lucky to know someone like her and be able to maintain her constant affection. I couldn’t be happier. Thanks for coming this far.
UPDATE: Here are Amy's additions.