It finally happened...
Well, the word is out. Amanda and I have decided to get married. Yep, we did the whole engagement stuff and everything. I figured that this would be something worthwhile to blog about. Since I promised that Amanda would be the next person to write on my blog BACK IN FEBRUARY, and she would tell the story better, she has done this entry. A warning; This blog is very girl-intensive and takes your through each detail of our engagement evening. That would mean that it will be a little longer and A LOT GUSHIER than my typical blogging, but hey I didn't write it. At some point I will get back to telling stories about stupid stuff that happens to me, but first things first. Thank you sweetheart for this entry. I love you and I look forward to this next step...
With that said, here's Amanda
I don't think I've ever been so flattered, so honored, so excited. As I reflect back to last Thursday night, I am still in awe of the effort he went to, the clever secrets he kept, the chosen few he let in on the plan. All plans made to surprise me, to make me feel special, to ask ME the (2nd) most important question anyone has ever asked me. I'll say it again - I've never been so honored. And so freakin' excited.
Anyone who has seen The Sixth Sense and experienced the "surprise" ending is able to spot the tell-tale signs of Mr. Willis's condition upon the second viewing of the film. It seems so obvious, we think. As a viewer we feel so tricked. And we love that someone was able to trick us right before our eyes.
Well, as I'm learning how David secretly planned his proposal right under my nose, I am amazed at his efforts and just thrilled that he was able to plan such an elaborate evening right in front of me. Now that I know the ending, looking back thru the events of that day and last week, his mood, the random phone calls, etc. etc. I can better see how he did it all and I had no clue!
Suffice it to say we had talked at length about getting married, being engaged, ring type (VERY brief conversations. He always seemed to turn green when we discussed anything "shiny"), and sometimes the time line within which all this would unfold. So, I was hoping, and praying, that the question was coming. But, I had NO idea he was like, 4 steps ahead of me.
Last week, one of my best friends, Heather Perry, was in town for the whole week preparing for her beautiful little sister's, Camille's, wedding. The wedding was Saturday at 6:30pm. I had been over to the Perry house on Tuesday night for awhile, working on flower arrangements, decorations, and the like. Perhaps we even had a brief conversation that started out like this, "what the crap is taking so long? what's he thinking, you think? are you sure he wants to even get married?". All the while, in a house only a few blocks away, he was working on the proposal! Wednesday evening/night, I ran wedding errands with Heather. We had a great time running all over Abilene looking for white dots (don't ask). We were in and out of University Church of Christ a few times on Wednesday night. I promised to return the next night, Thursday, to continue helping in whatever way I could.
So, Thursday comes. As soon as I see David, I can tell something's slightly off. He's just being flat wacky. Goofy. Like a little kid. We made sandwiches at my house for lunch. It seemed like he was in a great mood. But, it could also be that he had finally gone crazy from exhaustion, work stress, all this wedding talk. Hard to tell. We had plans for Thursday evening - an ACU baseball game, a quick dinner, and then I was off to the church to meet up with Heather. We had fun running around to all these things; dinner was especially weird because David was still being kinda silly, and he didn't even eat the half of his meal that we'd split! I keep looking at my watch, saying "We can NOT be late! The Perry's are on a tight schedule and I have to be there for them!". He just kept saying "ok. ok. we'll get there." We left Cracker Barrel and headed to University. He dropped me off at the kitchen door and I said "I'll call you later. I have NO idea how long this is going to be." He said he was going back to the office (which was a totally legit thing to say), gave me a kiss goodbye and drove off.
I went into the kitchen to find Heather, who was busy putting the final touches on Camille's beautiful wedding cake. I noticed soon that she was acting kinda weird too. Throughout our conversation, she could barely look at me. She seemed very distracted. I was just thinking "Man, this wedding thing has her totally stressing. I can't even seem to make her laugh!". I stood around and watched her work on the cake for about 20 minutes. Her cell phone rang, it was Rosalyn, telling her that she was bringing the flowers into the church and we were to come meet her now to work on the arrangements in the giant auditorium.
We walked from the kitchen, outside, into the pitch black giant auditorium. Rosalyn was no where to be found. No flowers. No vases. No decorations. It was dark. Heather was continuing with her unusual behavior. Not really talking to me and walking very quickly. As we walk thru the darkened auditorium, I say "Where is Rosalyn? What, are we playing hide and go seek? Where are the flowers?". Heather walks with me thru the auditorium, into the little hallway on the side, and up to the chapel doors. (University has a separate, small chapel, behind it's auditorium.) She like, walks with me up to the double doors, and then just walks off and says over her shoulder "Go in there". At this point I'm thinking "strange that Rosalyn and the flowers are in here." But, who knows. These Perry girls have this place running like clockwork. What do I know?
I push open the double doors to the chapel, and almost run smack dab into David. He's in a suit. With a tie. The chapel is dark, only illuminated by the dozens of little candles that line the stained glass window sills. Ok. At this point, about 1000 different things are running thru my head. "This is not where the flowers are.", "Where is Rosalyn?", "What is David doing here?", "Did he bring the flowers?", "AHHHHH, HE'S PROPOSING!!", "Maybe he just wants to pray or something?", "HOW DID I NOT KNOW HE WAS PLANNING THIS?", "What does my hair look like?", "Do I have any lip gloss on?", "OHMYGOODNESS, I THINK HE'S PROPOSING!??!", "What the crap is going on?" All screaming in my head at one time.
He greets me with a soft kiss on my forehead and says something, but I don't remember what it was. The voices are still talking in my head. I slowly start to absorb my surroundings. I notice rose petals along the aisle we are walking down. "All the Heavens" by Third Day is playing over some speakers. The candles. There's a projector and screen at the front of the church. There's a table to the right, down front, that has candles and roses strewn across. On top of the rose petals are slips of paper, cards, receipts, ticket stubs. Laid out on the stage at the end of the aisle are framed pictures, more candles, more roses. There are two chairs off to the left. Roses rest in one seat. We walk slowly down the aisle. I am just giggling, saying "oh wow! oh my goodness! oh wow!". Nice. I know.
He leads me to the table with all the paper on it. He points to card I've sent him, telling them what they meant to him. He points to ticket stubs of fun events we've been to - football games, movies, comedy clubs. He shows me receipts from memorable meals; boarding pass stubs from trips to LA and Nashville. We've had a busy 18 or so months!
He then walks me over to the stage where the framed pictures are on display. The pictures are of my grandparents and great grandparents. There's a picture of my parents, when they got married in the exact chapel we are standing in, standing on the exact stage their picture now rests. He talks to me about the long line of strong marriages I come from. The heritage of faith and love that came before me.
He then leads me to the seat and tells me to sit down for the "next part". He steps over to the computer and starts a video. Pictures of us smiling, kissing, dancing, with best friends, at weddings, being stupid, laughing, come to life on the screen. He's carefully chosen the pictures, the music and the statements between the joyful images.
At the conclusion of the video, he stands up and kind of walks around in front of me. He steps in front of me, I'm still sitting in the chair, and drops to a knee. He pulls a box out of his pocket. Ah ha! The Ring! (nope. not the DVD.)
David starts to fumble with it, looking at it, looking at me. Starting and stopping his speech. He says many sweet things. Things that make me smile, makes my heart jump. No tears though, I am just so stinkin' excited I can't even handle it.
He finally asks me the one thing I've wanted to hear from him since the day I took him home from an engagement party a few Aprils ago.
"Will you marry me?"
"YES!!!!! OF COURSE!!!!!"
Slipping on the beautiful ring was so surreal. I still stare at it and think "is this really mine?". (And then I think "oh, I gotta take this off before David sees my playing around!")
Just when I think my heart, my head, my face, are all about to explode because of joy, he tells me there are people that want to see us outside. Of course! The Perry's must have known about this! This is why Heather has been acting so weird! While I did want to sit in the chapel a little longer and just absorb the moment more, I couldn't wait to share the good news with whoever was out there.
We walk out the back door of the chapel - I'm still just saying over and over "ohmygoodness! I can't believe this! Oh wow! Oh man, this is so cool!". We walk down the hall and into a classroom just down the hall. Waiting in there with HUGE smiles are my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, David's dad and Elliott, Clayton and Felicia Woods (DP's best friend and a precious couple that played an integral (sp?) part in David's whole proposal), and Tom and Diane Rose - our mentor couple from a class we took at Highland. Of course more screaming happened - it was so fun getting to share this huge moment with them. And realizing that my parents and brother and sister-in-law had known for a long time was also fun. They did a GREAT job of keeping a secret. After lots of hugs, and some pictures, we all walked back into the chapel to show off David's handy-work. We watched the video again and I started hearing about the little details of how David's plan came together, how he was able to 'fool' me, how much our friends and families were involved. I really loved hearing about it all.
Clayton Woods gets the hard-worker award - he did a great job of picking up the whole chapel, scrapping candle wax off the window sill, packing things up, while David and I just stood around in awe with big, goofy grins on our faces, still chatting with our parents. After everything was picked up and gathered together, we all headed to Copper Creek (a BEAUTIFUL restaurant here in Abilene) for a little engagement party of sorts. The stayed open late for us - and we all enjoyed sitting and visiting over delicious and decadent desserts. It was such a sweet and special time of celebration.
Obviously, it was a late night. I am so thankful to our friends and families for taking the time and making the effort to share in our special night.
We are so blessed by the love of so many. We cherish their support and prayers. I couldn't be more excited or thrilled. I couldn't be more proud and honored to be engaged to one of the greatest men I've ever known. I know this whole wedding planning season could be a crazy one. I know I most likely will get stressed by random little things like what exact color the roses are, how we're going to decorate the reception, etc. etc., but I couldn't more thrilled, or more thankful to be walking thru this season, and this life, with David.
I love you, David Michael Pittman.
Let's "get'r done".