Little did I know I picked the perfect time to blog about New Year's Resolutions and specifically about not being stressed. Well, I sorta had some idea that I might need to declare my intentions to not be stressed sometime in the future...but here's the story!
Every month, Jon is allowed to plan one surprise date. It was our compromise between his love of planning surprises and my completely type A, have-to-know personality. I've come to really look forward to these surprise dates, and I know Jon has great fun planning them. I'll take you back a few months...November, Jon and I went to a Straight No Chaser concert. They are an A Capella group that started at Indiana University (Jon's alma mater). Great fun! December, Jon hinted that while November's surprise date may have been my favorite so far, he was planning something that just might top it. We went to the Nutcracker! It was wonderful and lots of fun! January rolls around and Jon claims his surprise date day early...January 8th! Jon tells me it will be an early morning, probably around 7:00 (later became 6:15) and we will be back around 3ish, and that we will be outside.
Jon and I have been very intentional about our relationship, and we made it clear that our intentions were to get married. Jon worked very hard to keep the timeline of his proposal a secret and to keep me guessing. It worked! (but still I kept wondering...)
Saturday morning, Jon picked me up at 6:15am and we headed north! We got to the Deer Valley airport, and I sort of had a feeling we were going on a hot air balloon ride! We were! And it was wonderful! It was a great view, great weather, and a great time to just relax and enjoy hanging out with Jon!
After the hot air balloon ride, we decided to go to a park and just hang out before deciding what we would do for lunch. On the 101 as we were about to Broadway, I said, "Oh, we passed Tempe Town Lake, the park there." Jon said, "Yeah, I just thought we'd go to Kiwanis." I obliviously go along with it. When we get to Kiwanis, we start walking around the lake. I noticed that Jon was holding my hand a little tighter and his breathing was a little nervous. But I instantly dismissed any thoughts he might be planning to propose since he had basically dismissed all notions of the possibility himself (a week before he said, there are numerous steps that still need to happen, which at that point, there were). On our way around the lake, I noticed a girl sitting on a blanket and reading. I almost pointed her out and said I really liked that idea and thought that Jon and I should do that sometime. But I kept my mouth shut...she comes back into the story shortly!
After almost rounding the lake, Jon suggested turning around and going back. I wondered aloud why we didn't just go around. Jon said he just wanted to walk back the same way. I said, we could sit in the sun for a little bit, so we sat down. Right after we sat down, Jon told me that he loved me and that he wanted to walk again, not sit down. So we stood up, but we didn't start walking right away. He again told me he loved me and that he always would. I responded, "That's good! I'll always love you too!" To which Jon said, "with that (gets down on one knee) will you marry me?" I reached for the ring while saying yes and mentally pinching myself!
After a couple minutes of celebration, I turned to notice our friend, and wonderful photographer, Stacy (here's her website) was snapping pictures! Stacy had been the girl hiding behind the tree, reading! Jon had truly thought of everything as Stacy approached me and handed me a couple gifts from my future husband: a Bible with my future name engraved, a journal with my future name engraved, and a tote bag embroidered with my future initials.
It has been a busy couple of days as we've shared the exciting news with family and friends, but I could not feel more blessed to be engaged to such a wonderful man! I think this shot perfectly captures how I feel: giddy. My best friend used that word to describe me in this picture, and I thought that is exactly it!