I forgot that you weren't around as our love story unfolded like everyone else from that LIFE Group. Just for you, here's a recap of how we met and how he popped the big question. Warning: Those pregnancy hormones just might get the best of you. Be ready to cry!
Much to the surprise of our friends and family, we met on eHarmony. We were matched on March 4, 2008 and slowly got to know each other over (long) e-mails and (even longer) phone calls. We finally met face to face on June 9, 2008 and fell in love instantly. After dinner at Panera and an evening with the LIFE Group, we went to Starbucks to talk. There, D.J. told me that he wanted to court me with the intention of pursuing marriage. Three days later, he asked for my dad's blessing - which he enthusiastically gave. The rest, as they say, is history...
The day we both got out for Christmas break, D.J. was acting super funny but I didn't think much of it. (Looking back, I can tell just how "off" he was!) He said that he had missed me tons and wanted to go on a fancy date. I'd just bought a new dress for a friend's wedding and was anxious to show it off again. D.J. told me to be dressed and ready to go on a fun, fancy date at 4:30. When 4:30 arrived, there was a knock on my door. It wasn't D.J. at all - but Jay Mathis! He handed me a rose and a card from D.J. The card was a simple letter from D.J. explaining that the night would be a celebration of our love. Jay would drive me to all of the places around town that were special to us. So I climbed into Jay's car, more nervous than I could ever say (and really really hoping this was the proposal I thought it might be), and headed to Panera. When we got there, my little sister was waiting for me with another rose, a card, and a camera. After a few (very) tearful words of encouragement and blessing, she handed me the next card, took a picture, and sent me on my way. The next location was the Starbucks where D.J. had made his intentions clear. Waiting there was a precious couple from church that we were really good friends with. They were far too nervous to offer many words of encouragement, so after a few giggles, several hugs, and a shaky picture, was on her way again. However, I was a bit nervous and mis-read the clue. It told me to go to where we had our second date. So I headed to Barnes and Noble where we had met up with Jay for coffee just days after we officially started dating. When I got there I wandered the store, shaking violently with nerves and anticipation. I was sure someone was going to jump out from behind I bookcase, I'd scream bloody murder, and trip on my high heels, falling flat on my face with no ring on my finger. Jay ran to the car and made a quick phone call only to discover that we were supposed to be at the Dr. Pepper Museum. (Oops!) Once Jay and I finally arrived at the correct location, D.J.'s sister was waiting for me with another rose and a card. She had a few more tearful words of encouragement and wisdom before sending me off to Johnny Carino's. By this point, I was dying to see D.J. (and go to the bathroom) but was thoroughly enjoying the evening and the special friends I was seeing along the way. At Johnny Carino's a friend from LIFE Group was waiting for me. When I walked into Carino's I busted out with, "Dang it! Where's D.J.?" My friend re-assured me that I would see him soon, but she was so nervous that she forgot to give me the rose! (Random side note: We were both thrilled that our friends were so excited for us that they were as nervous as we were...) This final card led me to the church. When I walked in, I was greeted by 200 tea light candles lining the walk way from the door into the sanctuary, up the aisle, and across the altar. Waiting for me at the altar was D.J. (At last!) He told me how much he loved me and how much he looked forward to all of our tomorrows and then said, "It would do me a great honor if you would answer me this one question..." He then got on one knee, pulled out a ring box, and quietly said, "Will you marry me?" I was shaking quite violently by that point and trying hard not to cry but said "YES!" several times. I think I might have even screamed it. After celebrating and admiring the ring, we had our very first kiss. After attempting to race to blow out all of the candles (and finally getting to go to the bathroom) D.J. suggested that we head over to my parent's house to show off the ring. When we arrived, however, there were almost 20 people waiting for us with a surprise engagement party.
He did an amazing job planning and pulling off every single detail. I was so proud! I still am proud to tell that story and to know that it's my forever husband that did all of that for me. I truly am the luckiest girl on Earth!