me, rachel

So remember when a week and a half ago I promised you a story “tomorrow?” Well…yes. I realize it is not the 16th today, and I am sorry. However, it is yesterdays tomorrow…just in case that means anything to anyone. But I digress.

In case you hadn’t guessed, that gorgeous ring symbolizes something quite exciting. It means that I am now engaged (!!!!!). I have a rock on a very important finger, and in the not-too-distant future will be walking down the aisle wearing a white dress. I’m getting married!!!!

So, I promised you a story. Before I begin, I feel that a disclaimer is necessary: while I find this story to be amazing, the most romantic of my life thus far actually, I realize that to those of you who are only just meeting me, it may not mean a thing. So many of the things that happened that night were so special for us, I don’t expect you all to understand all of it. But I think you may enjoy the story anyway.

Dave and I have been dating for 2 and a half years. We had been talking about getting married for a while, but I had no idea when he was going to pop the question. I was thinking it might be this summer, maybe in May when we get home from school for holiday. In any case, when we went home for Easter break early, a proposal was the last thing I was expecting.

A few weeks earlier, I had planned a shopping trip with Emily, since I needed a semi-formal dress for an event coming up at school. We were going to spend all day Friday out on the town, tracking down the perfect dress at the perfect price (meaning as close to free as possible…I am a poor college student!). So, Friday morning, I got out of bed and got dressed for a shopping day. She had brought a friend, Amy, home from school, so she went with us, as did Emily’s sister April and my sister Sarah. Before we left, Emily had me grab a “springy” outfit, because she wanted to do one of her signature photo shoots when we got back.

That girl is camera happy.

So, we go out, spend 2 hours in Plato’s, and then hit the mall. I preferred the idea of going to Goodwill or something, because something from the 80’s is bound to cost less than something from Macys. But, whatever. I don’t look that good in 80’s anyway. So, we go in and scout Deb, in the process getting thoroughly glittered. We tore through the Disney store (there was a great blue one…but unfortunately it only came in size 3T…oh to be a kid again…). By this time, we had worked up an appetite so we hit the food court for some sustenance—aka ice cream. Fantastic way to fit into obscenely tiny dresses.

After a small vanilla cone, I lead the fast-fading troupe of girls to JC Pennys, to check out their hot pre-Easter sales. We tore through their racks, everyone grabbed something to try on for fun…I grabbed 20 to try on for serious. I was getting sick of shopping. After misgauging my size (darn those dresses run small…), I found this great ivory colored one for only $20! Woo! That’s speaking my language! So, we bought it and took off.

When we arrived back at Emily’s, I was waaay to tired to be a model, and I told her so. So, we all went upstairs and crashed.

Then, we decided we wanted to see “our boys” so we took off again for Carl’s house.

Once there, we discovered (with much glee) that we got to watch a chick flick for once! So, we put in Failure to Launch, which was really quite hilarious, and ate dinner. Grilled cheese sandwiches, I think. Unfortunately, Carl had a meeting at church at 9:30, so we all got kicked out around 9:20. Ok, not kicked out. Carl left, so we all sat around staring at each other for about 30 seconds before Emily decided to take Amy home, so Dave and I took off, too.

It was a gorgeous, cloudless night, and still so early, so we decided it was a shame to go home already. So, since we were up there anyway, Dave suggested we go stargazing at Five Pines, something we had been talking about for a long time.

Unfortunately, in the 3.8 minutes it took to drive over there from Carl’s, I started thinking about how Five Pines might not want us stargazing on their property uninvited. And of course I voiced my concern. And of course Dave told me not to worry about it. So, of course we went stargazing.

We lay down on one of the big tables in the nature circle and took in the breathtaking view. Then, I started thinking again about stargazing at Five Pines without permission, so we got up to leave. We got in the car, and drove out past the Activity Center. This is when we noticed that one of the lights was on.

Since Dave and I had both worked here in the past, we knew how to get in if we needed to, so Dave suggested we go in and shut the light off. I let him, and I stayed in the car. Silly me.

So, Dave goes in and shuts off the light, then comes back out and says, “Rachel, come on in! I think there’s something here you should see.” So, I’m mildly curious and majorly suspicious. I mean, how cool would it be to propose at Five Pines, where we met and fell in love??

So, I go inside and voila! A gorgeous candlelit setting for two, a fire in the fireplace, flowers everywhere, and when I turn around, Dave on one knee! (!!!!!)

So, neither one of us can really remember what he said next…just that he ended with “Will you marry me?” I, brilliantly, asked “Is this for real??” before squealing a very excited “YES!!” When he got up, he sat me down and poured two cups of tea, then went to cut the cheesecake. Unfortunately, he forgot a knife so he cut it with his fork, silly boy. Once we each had our tea and cheesecake, he sat down and started telling me how all this had come about.

I was too excited to eat. Imagine, me, too excited to eat cheesecake. Yeah, it was weird.

So he told me that everyone (meaning all my best friends) were totally in on in and waiting for me to call them so they could come swarm us. And that Mike (our small group leader when we attended Five Pines) was “on call” with a wicked awesome camera to take pictures for us.

So, this is when this epic dilemma comes into my life: I was not dressed for a proposal, but it had happened anyway! I was wearing my comfy sweater, nothing gorgeous or glamorous...then I remembered (ok so Dave reminded me) of my clothes from the never-quite-happened photo shoot and my new dress out in the car. So i went and got them. And decided against them. Even though I didn't look glamorous. So there, fashion. I felt beautiful even though I wasn't wearing anything glamorous. Ha ha ha.

So, I called Emily, who had no service on her phone. So I called Holly, who ran out of Aaron and Sarah’s so fast she nearly forgot her shoes. And Holly called Emily and got through. And somehow Carl got grabbed and dragged along.

And they came and attacked me. Us. Tackled. It was quite exciting.

And I called home to tell them the good news ASAP, and Dad told Mom that I was thinking about it. And I laughed. Hard.

And Mike took pictures, and everyone but me ate cheesecake, and I couldn’t stop smiling, or being distracted by the bling—er—ring on my finger, and I still can’t stop being distracted by it. It’s very exciting.

Oh, since I never said, it was Friday April 10th…it was a very Good Friday ;-)

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