Monday, February 14, 2011

The Way We Decided to Get Hitched, Part III.

Ahhh, Monday. But this Monday is different - it's Valentine's Day. A day to appreciate your sweetheart, and ALSO, in my opinion, to cherish the people that love you. Family that loves you is a gift from God, and friends, though you can put your heart and soul into being friendly, are also a tremendous blessing that you just have to chalk up to Providence. I have incredible friends across the United States that are in all different places in life. Some are single, some newly married, some are parents, and some are close to being grandparents, but no matter what we have or don't have in common, we have a bond that is truly wonderful and special. To all of my friends and my wonderful family - Happy Valentine's Day! You are more of a blessing than you'll ever know.

But today I am also so thankful for Brian, and when I find myself in these sappy moods I get a hankering for a good old love story. So although my own love story isn't one for the ages, I sure do feel lucky to be living it. And I suppose today is as good as any other to finish telling you...

The Way We Decided to Get Hitched, Part III.

(If you're not caught up, here's Part I and Part II.)

When we finished Part II of this story, I was anxiously wondering when Brian was going to make me his FIANCEE. We had picked a wedding date - and it wasn't far away - and I wanted to get started on wedding planning as soon as possible!

But convinced that I would be waiting until May (less than four months before our selected wedding date) to have The Question asked of me, I began planning a few things for the wedding. I admit, it was exciting, especially since my mom was all aboard The Wedding Train, too. We got some books out of the library and began doing a little footwork. And one day, as my mom, my sister, and I were driving home from an appointment that was just in the way of a bridal consignment shop, I suggested we pop in and check out what was available.

And that day, even without an engagement ring, I bought my wedding dress! It was four sizes too large and it wasn't at all what I'd expected to like, but the minute I put it on and the seamstress pulled the fabric behind me so that I could see what it would look like if it actually fit, it was beautiful. She assured me that she could work her magic on it and make it just my size, and the thought of spending less than $200 for my wedding dress appealed in a pretty big way.

Throughout the weeks leading up to my visit to see Brian in March, I began to feel peace about waiting to be engaged. I embraced the excitement of planning our wedding and I was so looking forward to spending time with Brian in North Carolina. His parents were flying down to see him and wanted to pay for me to come, too. (As a side note, God bless them! Happy Valentine's Day to my in-laws, who are a second family and more than I could ever have hoped for. They are also a tremendous blessing from God, and I love 'em like crazy!) Anyway, I was simply counting down the hours until our plane would leave Detroit and take us south to my true love.

The night before we left, my bags were packed and my mom insisted I do my nails so that "they would look nice for Brian." She gave me a beautiful French manicure.

When our flight touched down in Raleigh, Brian's parents rented a car and we drove to pick Brian up from work. He walked out of his office building to greet us, and I ran to him and jumped into his arms. All the time we had spent apart made it so much sweeter to see each other.

That night, the four of us went to a hockey game - one of Brian's coworkers had given him tickets for great seats in the Priority Lounge. Brian's parents were so much fun to hang out with and we had a fantastic time eating pulled pork and watching the game. At one point, Brian held my hand and pulled my silver, heart-shaped ring off my finger. He slid it onto his finger and it didn't even reach his knuckle. "I'll hold onto this," he said, "for... sizing." He gave me a pointed look and I smiled at him. "Okay, babe."

The next day was Thursday, March 2, 2006.

Brian had to work that morning, but after noon he was coming home and we were going to head to the Outer Banks to spend the weekend. Brian's parents and I drove from our hotel to his apartment, stopping on the way to get groceries for a special lunch. Sandy and I worked in his tiny, barely-stocked kitchen to make Swedish dumplings and blueberry pie. The food was steaming hot when Brian walked in. "We made your favorite food!" we told him excitedly. "Oh.... great," he replied, a little hastily. "Awesome! Well, let's eat, I guess, and then we really should get on the road." We enjoyed the meal and wrapped up the leftovers, and Brian was simply itching to get started on the five-hour drive.

Once on the road, he seemed to relax. The day was a little cool, but the sun was shining brightly and the trip to the coast was enjoyable. Brian and I were having fun talking with his parents and soaking up the time with each other. We had about four more days and an exciting trip ahead of us to the islands off the coast of North Carolina, and I didn't want to miss a second.

The sun was beginning to set when we reached the coast, and Brian convinced us that it'd be best to stay overnight instead of trying to make it to the ferry that would take us across the sound to the Outer Banks. "I really want to walk by the ocean before the sun goes down," he insisted. So we pulled off to the side of the road and walked over the dunes, and there was the ocean, roaring in the sunset.

Brian's parents walked along the shore and the two of us lagged behind, walking hand-in-hand and looking at purple seashells that lay scattered on the sand. I planned to keep a few as mementos of the trip. "Look at this one!" I exclaimed, picking up a particularly vibrant one. "And look at this one!" Brian picked up a few too, and I slipped them into my pocket. We looked out at the waves and strolled slowly together as the wind whipped my hair. Brian looked down at the sand, then turned to pick something up.

"Hey, look at this one!" he said, turning back around. And I looked down, and between his fingers was a diamond ring, a beautiful sparkling round solitaire on a thin band of white gold.

Completely astonished, I actually thought he had found that on the sand. And then I realized that he was proposing. And my hands flew to my mouth and I gasped, and he laughed. And he got down on his knee and he said, "Maegan, will you be my wife?"

I can't tell you how my heart pounded, how thrilling and special that moment was. I'm sure I said yes but all I wanted to do was hug him. I pulled him up and I jumped into his arms and I squealed, and he spun me around and we kissed. And then he slipped that ring onto my finger, that perfect, beautiful ring, and he said, "Wait 'til we get inside and you can really look at it. It's a good one." But I knew that already. Brian never did anything halfway.

In a second we were running to his parents, and I jumped up and down and held my hand out to his mom and said, "Look! Look!" She cried, and she hugged us, and Brian's dad slapped him on the back and good-naturedly scolded him for keeping such a secret. "You guys would've spilled the beans somehow!" Brian explained. Turns out the only person he'd told was my dad, and now, thanks to my mom, I had beautiful nails to go with my perfect ring.

The rest of the visit was a fabulous blur of excitement. We called our family and friends. We went out to a beautiful restaurant and proudly told our news to the server, who brought us a special dessert to share. We spent the rest of the trip looking from the ocean, to each other, to the ring on my finger - so many beautiful sights to take in, over and over again. We made so many incredible memories on that trip, but there's no question that the best one was the moment Brian asked me to marry him. I don't think I'll ever forget that night - I don't think I even could - but now, it's here on my blog.

Maybe I'll read it out loud to Brian tonight.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!


1 comment:

  1. I got behind on your blog and just read Hitched I II & III. Beautiful story. You were so bummed that Brian was not going to propose to you on that trip, while I knew that he was! :) :) :)