Monday, October 28, 2013

August 10, 2013

I honestly had no idea, except that when I woke up that morning, I thought, "Today is the day that I'm getting engaged," and then I tried on every item in my closet.

I'd seen a text or two that I shouldn't have, and Stuart had all too frequently been using the word PLAN in relation to our Saturday night. I didn't think he knew that word before he began mercilessly begging me to agree not to return to Pre-Rush after we attended a friend's wedding. It only made sense, but his dad was out of town, and we'd talked about this before--There's no way he'd propose before the summer ended. There's no way... but what if he does... tonight?
I pick a pink dress I bought this summer and decide that maybe I'll curl my hair.

Stuart picks me up from the chapter room. I have no idea what we talk about on our way to Montgomery. We arrive at the church and part ways as I robe-up to sing the special music for the wedding we're attending. I can't remember the last time I was this nervous about singing for a crowd. My heart pounds. I don't think noise will come out of my mouth when I stand to sing. I pray a lot. I sing anyways. I don't remember it. A friendly woman leads me around the back of the church to my seat next to Stuart on the last pew. I sit down next to my boyfriend and my engagement ring. I cry when I see the beautiful bride, and I remember no part of the rest of the ceremony.

We go to the reception, get in line for food, and Stuart begins to put his plan in action...
"Okay. This is going to be really weird, but you have to trust me. Do you trust me?"
"Yes."
"We need to leave in fifteen minutes."
"Okay."
"I'm really sorry. I know that's really weird. Just trust me."
"It's okay; it's really okay."
"I'm so sorry!"
"Stuart, it really is fine."
"Okay, I really am sorry though,
... etcetera.

Stuart piles his plate with food and stops talking. We sit down with friends. Stuart stares at his pile of food, making unusually awkward small talk as needed. Fifteen minutes pass. Stuart interrupts my conversation, "Okay. We really need to go now." I explain that Stuart has a surprise planned, and that we have to leave. I decide I need a drink before we leave. I remember I have to hug a friend goodbye before she moves away. I forget that I left the wedding gift in the car. Stuart finally gets me in the car, and we are on the road.

Once in the Blazer, I find fingernail polish in my bag and realize I'd rather die than get engaged without pretty fingernails. I ask Stuart if he minds, and then I paint my nails... just in case.
This is when Stuart says he knew I might know... which I didn't... but I kinda did.

(This is my favorite part:)
I ask Stuart what his favorite hymn is. I don't remember his answer (oops), but we sing it. And then we sing another, and another, and another. Our ride home has just turned into an impromptu worship time. We are happy rejoicing in the Lord, and all my nerves are calmed.
Unplanned, but beautiful.

About two miles from the exit ramp, Stuart says, "This is the second weird thing I'm going to say tonight... Do you have anything you can use as a blindfold?"
(I love Stuart because he does things like forget to bring a blindfold when he's proposing to me.) 
After he tells me to look at the breath-taking sunset over the exit ramp to College Street, I hold a t-shirt up to my face, and I'm not really sure what we said or sang or did on our drive down College Street.

Stuart parks the car, and I try really hard to determine where we might be on campus. I know we're on campus because of the driving time, but I couldn't follow the turns from behind my "blindfold." He comes around to my door and helps me out of the car. I keep my eyes closed, leave the "blindfold" in the passenger seat, and take his arm. Carefully, he leads me down a sidewalk and into some damp, summery grass. He gently stops me and takes both my hands as he stands, facing me.

"Open your eyes."
We are on Samford Lawn.
"Look left."
Sweet candles light up the dusk from inside mason jars.
Roses and a cigar box full of letters lie on top of a white, lace table cloth.
Stuart's handwriting reads, "'This is my beloved, and this is my friend,' Song of Solomon 5:16."
I see all this and immediately begin to cry (or bawl, rather).
I look back at Stuart, and I know I love him.

He smiles and cries with me.
He begins to give his short and sweet speech, looking surprised but happy to hear his own voice.
He doesn't remember any of this, but I do.
He tells me he loves me for the first time, and I tell him I love him, too.
Then, Stuart Spooner takes a knee and asks me to marry him.
I say yes.

We kiss.
A crowd cheers, and car horns honk.
We both cry, and I don't really ever stop crying.
I see our sisters, Caroline and Anne, taking pictures from the bushes, and I keep crying.
I've never been so happy.

We are finally engaged.

I always knew.

"This is my beloved, and this is my friend."

On June 28, 2014, I am going to marry Stuart Spooner!

Left, the card Stuart wrote Song of Solomon 5:16 on.
Middle back, a dozen red roses (my favorite and legitimately the most
beautiful I've ever seen) in a pitcher because a pitcher is Stuart's dad's
prayer picture for him--he prays Stuart would be filled up and poured out,
and Stuart says that is what he prays for us.
Middle front, a letter to read on August 10, 2013, with another stack of
letters that Stuart wrote, beginning with the time he first knew he loved me
and written every time after that, that his calling to love me was confirmed.
Right, Stuart's cigar box full of every letter I've ever written him.


Both crying as Stuart told me he loved me for the
first time.

Stuart asking me to marry him.


Like I said, a lot of crying (and kissing) was involved.
We've laughed at this picture.


The ring is absolutely perfect.
It's what I've always imagined, and Stuart picked it out by himself!


I read this about four times through while we were
there, and not once, did a single word make sense.
I had to read it again the next day.

The all-time favorite.
WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!

6 comments:

  1. WHY HAVE I NOT SEEN THIS UNTIL NOW? This is amazing and y'all are adorable and my word, how perfect! By the way you should know Sophie linked to you, so prepare for a spike in blog views. :):):)

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  2. How very sweet! We all need a picture of the ring! Congratulations!

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  3. What a sweet story, and what a sweet and thoughtful man. :-)

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  4. What a sweet story, and what a sweet and thoughtful guy! :-)

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  5. Just ALWAYS remember that you love the fact that he can be forgetful.....it's hard sometimes......like maybe he forgets the new baby in the car when you go in a restaurant (it was baby #3, but still ?), he forgets to make the car payment and y'all decide to splurge a little with your "extra" money that month....you get the point. Or wait, you have a child (or two) that has the same "habit"....you get them all the way to the school and they realize their shoes or lunch or term paper are at home. Remember the LOVE! Without it, we wouldn't have survived 22 years! :)

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  6. Love this post, Rosie! I'm so happy for you both!!!

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