Well, things had just been going better and better for future DH and I in our relationship since being hit with the "God bat", and I became well aware that this was, no question, the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I knew DH was feeling the same way about me, and since I had no doubt that when it was right he would ask (since he was not afraid of commitment in any way), I started to anticipate that exciting moment, as every women does.
In my mind, the next logical time would be Valentine’s day. I started reading into “clues” that appeared to indicate I was correct. For example, DH booked our Valentine’s reservation ridiculously early, which made me absolutely giddy to think about, and so I shared this with people very close to me (mom, sis JB, BFF). Also, my sister JB would be in town over that week, and I thought DH may have consulted her since she was very close to me (her husband had consulted me); she had also offered her services once to have the ring shipped to her to avoid taxes. Sis JB and I began having regular talks about dresses, dates, flowers, colors, etc. My mom and I also began to have these talks. Every once in awhile I got sheepish and would bring the conversation to a halt when I thought I was getting “too deep” in planning without an actual ring and we would laugh together about me being such a “girl!” DH and I would even have some of these conversations and then he would stop and laugh and say “who asked you to marry them?” and I would laugh too.  I “discovered” (I truly was not snooping!) a business card for a very nice steak restaurant with a handwritten reservation time on the back and began asking myself why he would actually go into the restaurant to book the time? Was he scheming with the restaurant to get it done?! I shared this with those closest to me. I did not tell future DH I found the card.  The next day future DH asked if I “had something to tell him?” “Was there something I knew?” I quickly confessed my guilt about the card and his next question was “who did you tell?” I immediately thought he couldn’t be this psychic; I thought again, he must be conspiring with BFF or sis JB whom I had told I found the card.
Well, I was sure that Valentine’s day was the day! I figured it was the Saturday before, since that is when we were doing dinner, but wasn’t positive it would be that day and not the actual day, which was a Tuesday. I made an appt to get my makeup done at a salon and told sis JB we should take the op to get our nails done-I had been seriously contemplating acrylic nails.
The Friday before the Saturday we would celebrate, future DH asked me what I wanted to do. We decided he would come out to my home town (15 min away) to see sis JB and her baby and then we would go to dinner down south. Future DH mistakenly went to my house instead of my mother’s to meet us. After some time there, he suggested I go to my house alone to change, which I had forgotten to do (I was still wearing my slippers). As I was driving the 2 min to my house I thought it might for sure be that day instead! After all, why were we going to two nice restaurants in a row (he had suggested another steak place!) and why was he so nonchalant about me forgetting to tell him the place to go? Normally he might be annoyed!  Also, why was he there alone with my mom and sister? Were they plotting? And didn’t BFF cancel our plans for that night? Was she in on it? Needless to say, I threw on some makeup and got back over to mom’s house. Future DH did not ask me that night, and I had a good night regardless. There is always tomorrow right? I hadn’t completely sold myself on the Friday idea anyway-it was just a last minute whim!
So here comes Saturday. I have an appt at 12:30 to get my makeup done (I am a complete idiot when it comes to all things feminine). Future DH and I had decided I would spend the morning with him (working out, etc) then get my makeup done, etc and then we would meet again at my hometown church. Future DH was going to be gone Sunday (his alma mater played a big rivalry basketball away game) and needed to go to mass on Sat at 5 before dinner. Perfect I thought! Our first “date” was church. He is sooo thoughtful! My mom had asked us the night before, since we were getting all dolled up, to come by her house before we went out to get our pics taken. This was a bit of an inconvenience since DH lives about 15-20 min away and we would have to go back to his house in separate cars before our dinner reservation, but I didn’t mind. Of course, the last thing I was going to do was get in the way of their plans! I figured future DH had talked to mom and sis JB while I was away getting ready Friday at my house because mom asked me right after I returned to come by for the pics..
So, here it was Saturday morning at future DH’s house, and he made a comment about going to look at rings b/c there might be Valentine’s day sales. He dismissed the comment, saying it was a seller’s, not a buyer’s market, that day, but the thought stayed with me. Hadn’t he said last week that he had gone to look at rings on sale and hadn’t found anything? Hadn’t he asked me to remind him my preferences even though we looked last June when we were at his hometown at a store where his mom knew the gemologist? Why wasn’t he going with that store like we had planned? They had everything written down we decided on! I couldn’t remember the specifics, so I knew he wouldn’t and I got worried something would be “messed up” as he tried to find a “deal” somewhere else! I got very mad at myself in general, for putting so much stock into this being the day. I realized that I had missed other signs, and read into ones that probably weren’t there. I mean, could future DH really keep a secret this well? Could sis JB and my mom really give no clue? What if there was no clue to give? I realized I had been a fool, and it was better to know now and not ruin a perfectly good evening. So I sat on the steps inside his house and called to him in the office where he sat-“you haven’t bought a ring yet, have you honey?” “No,” he replied. “Okay,” I said. But then I added something rude like, “I guess I don’t need to get my hair done.” I pouted and got sulky and made a comment about how that is probably why mom wanted us to come by, and it probably wasn’t necessary now. Future DH said something back and I realized this was our first “fight” in forever. I had ruined the day and I had better not ruin a perfectly good evening as well. I teased him that if I couldn’t have a ring, could I at least get dessert?
I decided getting my makeup done would cheer me up, so I apologized to future DH (a few times) and went to my appt. I called sis JB on the way and told her no ring, and she consoled me saying all girls think there is a time and it isn’t. I enjoyed getting my makeup done and was in high spirits feeling all dolled up. I had decided not to get my nails done (that would be the ultimate let down) and busied myself with other things after my appt.
I went to church very early. I had asked future DH to come early as well and had given him directions since this was my parents’ church. I kept my cell phone on vibrate in case he had trouble and proceeded to call him twice before mass, since he wasn’t there, with no answer. He was six minutes late, and I was a little disappointed but didn’t dwell on it. He left and went to the bathroom during mass, and I thought nothing of it, having hung up my “reading into things” hat!
Future DH and I went through pics at my mom’s (and there was a lot-fireplace, piano, all the spots). I enjoyed it, even though there was no “deeper” meaning. We drove to DHs house to drop off a car, and he surprised me with a dozen beautiful pink and white roses. He very gently said that the roses and dinner were his gift. I thanked him for the beautiful roses and totally believed him. Again, he hadn’t given me the card I knew he had for me, and thought nothing of it. I had given up looking into things.
At the restaurant, they took my coat to the coat closet, but DH kept his b/c he was still cold. We were seated, and the waiter immediately came out and poured us a champagne toast. I thought this was a great perk to such a nice restaurant and asked DH what we should toast to. He brought a card out of his pocket and I was happy to read it, as DH's cards are always the best. As I read the card, which was his best yet, I got tears in my eyes it was so beautiful. I had to stop reading it twice to thank him and cool my emotions so I didn’t leave my mascara running down my face. The last line was underlined “for the rest of my life.” I don’t think DH had ever quite said those words before, and I was comforted that even though we weren’t getting engaged tonight, we would someday soon, and spend our lives together. That was the important thing.
DH asked if I had read the words. I wasn’t sure if he meant the underlined words or his personal note thanking me for bringing him closer to God, which was beautiful. I reread the card out loud, fearing I was disappointing him for not being sure about his inquiry. When I got to the last line, he said he truly meant it; I represented everything good in this life! He slid out of the booth and, then, I finally knew. I was so scared to misread signs, I had become so dense in the last few hours!
He came over to my side of the table and knelt down on one knee. He told me I was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He wanted to know if I would marry him? I teared up, but didn’t cry. He said I asked him “are you serious?” at least three times. He told me he wanted little me’s and him’s running around and I laughed, saying the little me’s would be hitting their shoulders on the door frame and falling down! I grabbed him off the floor and into my side of the booth and curled up next to him shaking and my head spinning. I told him I loved him (I think-my head was a mess). I was laughing and shaking. I realized I hadn’t said yes. I said yes, of course, and kissed him. I was holding his arm tight; I didn’t want to let him go. I had seen that there was a ring box open on the table, but I hadn’t really looked at it. He told me to put the ring on, and then I really looked at it. Wait, I said, this is much bigger than what we looked at?! The quality was unprecedented. He beamed-I had given him the reaction he had hoped for, and it was very genuine and a definite surprise. I asked him to put it on and he did (well, tried, I had to help). I started asking a million questions about when, where, and how! He truly had pulled one over on me!
It turns out, he didn’t know he was going to ask me when he made reservations early. He decided for sure three weeks ago. That isn’t why he had a handwritten reservation card; he’d just happened to eat here with work then with coworkers. All the comments about not getting the ring were to throw me off-which they did. He had not arranged anything with sis JB about sending the ring out of state. In fact, she didn’t know anything about the proposal until the last minute. Neither did my mom or BFF. The only one to know really in advance was his mom and his aunt and uncle in the nearby state (whom the ring was shipped to, to avoid sales tax). His mom had to keep such a secret b/c I saw her two weeks ago with all her family in his college town, there was an alumni bb game and 40th anniversary party for DH's aunt and uncle. She said it was very tough to keep the secret! I, of course, had no clue from her at all!
I found out that DH did not plan anything with my mom or sis JB at my parent’s house that Friday. He mentioned to them where we were going. They were as clueless and as much guessing as I was. However, that night he was planning to ask my dad’s permission, but he was not at the house. In fact, DH had also gone to my parents’ house before mass on Saturday to catch my dad, but again, dad was not there. Sis little sis KT answered the door and DH told her he was “never there.” She never gave me any clue when we were there taking pictures after church!
DH was late to church b/c he finally decided he needed to call my dad since he couldn’t get him in person. He told my dad he’d been dating me for over two years and his feelings had only grown stronger as time passed. He said he loved me, and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He apologized for not doing this in person, and explained his previous attempts. My dad responded with a “HOLY SHIT!” which still makes me laugh! He proceeded to say all the right things-how he would be honored to have DH as a son in law and that he knew DH would make me very happy.
DH, not being familiar with my hometown, didn’t have directions from my parents to the church, so he took a wrong turn while on the phone with my dad, his given reason for being late. It made since he didn’t answer my calls or call me for directions, as that would have given it away. He had gone to the bathroom during church to “check on” the ring. Of course, he wouldn’t have given his coat at the coat check-it had the ring and card in it! He said he had planned to ask me after dinner, but with the champagne (which was only for us since they knew about the proposal) being poured first, he thought it was perfect timing. It was!
I enjoyed all of the story details as we ate (I could barely look at the menu to order and I never did let DH get back to his side of the booth!) DH had to remind to eat my huge delicious rib-eye and drink the Riesling (we had inadvertently ordered a bottle and there was no way he could drink it on his own and then drive us home). I asked him if he minded if I called and share the information with friends and family (my phone was in the car) and DH suggested we get through dinner and dessert on our own before heading out to my hometown (if we weren’t too tired) which he presumed I wouldn’t be! I shared the news with the waiter, a woman who was taking guest’s polaroids, and even the coat check lady!
We ate dinner and then walked over to my favorite dessert place for their infamous chocolate bag. And there was the final surprise that sent my tears over the edge. My family was waiting to share the moment with us! DH had thought to include them and my tears overflowed as I hugged them all and shared the ring with them! It turned out that DH had also asked my dad if they could join us at the dessert place at 9pm. I had been slowing us down! DH had realized as we took pics at my house that mom hadn’t talked to my father yet. As we went out the door, I went first and he snuck back to ask mom if she had talked to my dad. She had not, and he suggested she give him a call. That is the first she and sis JB knew and sis KT was finally free to share her part! We called sis JC in IN to share the news since she couldn’t be there and she shared in my tears. We enjoyed the wonderful dessert, the stories, the Polaroid, and I laughed more at myself and my crazy day!



Love it!... :)

My DH (God love him) is not real romantic. :) He proposed one quiet evening at home. (We were still struggling, as my faith was growing stronger and our lives were changing.) Funny thing... When he proposed, I didn't believe him! I remember him saying, "Do you need a ring?" I told him that he did NOT have a ring. He left the room and returned a moment later. He slipped a ring on my finger and, for a moment, I just didn't know what to say. I was actually in shock! I didn't say 'yes' right away, but a couple of minutes passed before I could register everything.

10 months later, we received word that the Army was sending him to Iraq. (The war was just about to begin.) Strange... I look back at all of letters over the 13 months he was gone and realize how much I really did love him. I came home to the faith (my first confession in 11 years) while he was away and he journeyed with me, even though we were so far apart. When he returned home, I began to pray in earnest for God to help me to know the vocation He had chosen. Over the 8 months that led up to our wedding, I began to fall in love with DH all over again...

Karen said...

Love the story!

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

Tears! And do you really hit your shoulders on door frames?? Because I do that ALL THE TIME!!

WheelbarrowRider said...

Of course, could I joke about something so embarrassing?!