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|The one terrible quality picture we have from that night... :)|
We found a ring at a little place called S. E. Needham’s in Logan, Utah and we decided to go with it. (Ashley doesn’t know when I finally made the purchase and I don’t think I’ll be divulging that any time soon. She just knows that she had to wait for me to pop the question when I was ready.) It was a new feeling to realize the next phase of my life would be with this wonderful woman I had met only a few months before. We hadn’t really known each other for all that long before we had decided we didn’t want to know anyone else.
It took me a while to decide how I wanted to do it. I wrote (and rewrote) a poem which I would read before I would get down on one knee. I thought of different ways to ask her in some romantic way... But I decided to propose in front of the Temple, on Holy Ground, and start our forever from there. I wanted to be able to look back at the Temple the whole way through our marriage and have it as a centerpiece of our lives together. Since that is where I received the help and guidance I needed to find her and where I would receive and make covenants to be with her forever. In my mind, I couldn’t ask her to marry me anywhere else. I suppose I wanted to be sure that Heavenly Father was as close as possible so that I could feel his approval and acceptance of our choice.
The night of the proposal was unique, as I am sure everyone’s is. No two people are alike and so their story will always be somewhat different. Ashley and I went for a drive, as we came to enjoy doing so that we could be out of the apartment and talk about our day and whatever else might be on our minds. I played it out as if it were any other night and Ashley thought for maybe a split second that it could be the night, but she soon felt like it was just another drive through the town. Up to this point in time, she had become more and more vocal about her displeasure in waiting for me to propose. It had almost become a not-so-funny joke anymore because it seemed like I was taking my dear sweet time to get on with it. So she had a little... fuming moment while we were driving around town, and it was with reason. It may be what makes this story so much better. As she was going on a marriage-hungry “whats taking you so long??” tirade, I drove my way up to the temple and parked out in front. I suggested we take a walk around the temple and she said something less than anticipatory of anything amazing that might possible occur soon.
She claims she thought for a second it might happen, but as we walked around the ground she lost that expectation. At least, maybe until we had a made a full circle around the temple and I suggested we take a walk inside the grounds.
Now, at this point she still didn’t realize I had the ring in my pocket. I had slipped it into a small compartment under the steering wheel of my car and as we stepped out of the car to walk around the temple, I waited for her back to turn so that I could slip the ring box into my coat pocket. The window of opportunity was so narrow that I am amazed that I managed to do it so quickly without her seeing me. By the time we reached the sidewalk I was already running a million things through my mind about how and where I was going to get down on one knee. I had even toyed with the idea of getting down on one knee and pulling out my chapstick and asking her if she needed any. But that would have ruined the moment for sure.
Here we were inside the temple grounds now and I was panicking at this point, because I was sure it was obvious what I was going to do (but, I mean, did it really make any difference at this point, if, what it looked like it was, was what it actually was?). And, with it being about at night, it made for a seemingly empty grounds, so I found a spot to have her sit down facing the temple behind me. I pulled out that poem I had hand written and read it to her (I made so many mistakes reading what I wrote because my heart was pounding up inside my throat, which would make it difficult for anyone to talk, much less read something) and she started to get tears in her eyes. We embraced after I finished reading it, she thanked me for it, and then I had her stand up, I got down on one knee and pulled out the ring box and opened it to her and asked her to marry me. She started crying and, of course she said yes! I put it on her finger and we marveled that we had finally taken that leap into being engaged and promising ourselves to one another.
The proposal night was indeed magical, but I'll readily admit that I was getting a little impatient about when it was going to happen! I picked out my ring the first week in February, and he didn't propose until March 20th. Every single time we were together, I was suspicious. I wanted so badly to be surprised, but I also wanted to be ready for it! I just couldn't suppress my curiosity. I was so curious about when he was going to do it, that I even convinced myself he was hiding the ring in a Redbox DVD case one night. Umm.. how would that have even been possible? Yeah, I made myself crazy. Plus, the fact that he never told me (and still hasn't! The punk) when he actually got the ring, made me all the more crazy because I had no idea when it was going to happen. We went to St. George to meet his family the week before he proposed and I thought FOR SURE it had to happen there, but it didn't.
So, yes, I couldn't let a day go by without asking him when he was going to propose, and the night he actually did it was no different. I had convinced myself so many times before that he was going to do it, and then ended up being wrong every time, so this particular night I didn't believe it either. Especially after we circled the temple grounds once and got back to his car, I thought for sure he was just pulling my leg again. But once we went in and he sat me down, I knew it was finally time. :) The poem he read was so sweet, and it definitely made me cry. I thought about sharing it here, but I think that's something that I'll just save for us, but the way he professed his love for me through that poem was soooo beautiful. While I think it would've been hilarious had he done the little chapstick bit (well, maybe I wouldn't have thought so then... ;) the way he did it was perfect. So simple, sweet, and wonderful. I love him, and that was one perfect night.
Now, obviously we didn't get married in September, so what happened next? More on that coming up! Only a couple parts left.... :)