Lauren Casper »

mm&m: the proposal!

Last week I wrote about meeting my husband … this week is the proposal!! I am so thankful that Rachel decided to have the meetings, marriages, and memories carnival because I love telling our story and I love hearing yours! If you’re not already a part of it – please join in here!

John and I had a long distance dating relationship. He was at VMI in Lexington, and I was at ODU in Norfolk. We grew to know that four hour drive very well! In May, just 5 months after we started dating, John graduated from VMI and took a job there. I still had another 2 years left of college. I was so diappointed because I thought he would move back to Norfolk and work there, but God had another plan. If anyone has ever had a long distance relationship then you know how hard it is. We were only four hours apart, but I didn’t have a car, and John couldn’t always come home on the weekends. His summer job in Lexington was very time consuming and most nights all we had was 5 minutes on the phone. We might have seen eachother twice a month… not totally sure. It was TOUGH! Then his job at VMI started in the fall and I was in school again. We usually saw eachother twice a month, occasionally more. But, we talked on the phone every night for hours … (my father in law can tell you all about the phone bills!) My Christmas present from my dear father in law was a verizon cell phone so that we could talk for free! haha
I knew I wanted to marry John very early on in our relationship. There was no doubt in my mind at all, but John wasn’t quite so sure! Time went on, and there was a little hiccup in the relationship due to some issues with a past girlfriend (I quickly made sure she was out of the picture for good) and then we moved on. God did some really neat things during that time and we came out closer because of it. Slowly John began to realize that he wanted to marry me too and he started dropping some hints. The actual proposal came the day after Thanksgiving … nearly one year after the day we met.
Some of John’s family couldn’t make it down for the actual Thanksgiving day celebration, but they came the day after. So, we had another Thanksgiving dinner at his parents house to include the Aunt, Uncle, and cousins that couldn’t make it Thursday. I had never met them before and they came with John’s wonderful Grandma Gina. John picked me up from my parents house and I noticed he was acting weird on the car ride to his parent’s house. His hands were all sweaty and he seemed flushed. I thought it was odd but tried to ignore it. We got the the house and I loved meeting the other family members! We had a great time at dinner, but then it was weird because they immediately got up from the table as soon as they had taken their last bite and said “well, thank you, we’ve got to go!” I remember thinking, “wow, that was rude – just eat and run!” haha I now know that John had told them he planned on proposing and asked them not to linger! haha
After they left, John volunteered us to do the dished for his parents. I thought this was so sweet and dove right in with the dish washing. The only problem was that as soon as I got into it John disappeared! Even weirder was the fact that my in laws just sat at the kitchen table and watched me do the dishes! I couldn’t believe it – I ended up doing all the Thanksgiving dishes by hand (they don’t have a dishwasher) at my boyfriend’s parents house. I have to admit I was confused and slightly irritated. I now know that it was a way to keep me occupied while John was preparing to pop the question! So… when I had finally done all the dishes and his parents creatively kept me away from the windows for a few minutes, John came walking through the door. “Where on earth have you been?” I asked him. “Cleaning out my truck,” he replied. (ummm what?!) Then he asked if I wanted to get some icecream and go for a drive and listen to Christmas music. I was excited about that idea and got my purse to leave.
We got out the side door and instead of walking to the truck he started to lead me to the backyard. I asked him what was going on but he didn’t say anything. When we got to the gate I saw A pathway of candles leading to the small heart shaped garden in the middle of the yard. There is one tree by the garden and it was covered in white lights and there was one chair sitting in the middle of the garden. There were candles everywhere and I could hear Jim Brickman playing lightly through an unseen CD player. I gasped and said something like “Oh my gosh!” Then John said, “Are you ready?” and began to walk me down the candle pathway to the chair. I sat down and he got on one knee and reached into his pocket to pull out a beautiful diamond ring. Then he said, “Lauren, will you be my wife?” I was crying by then and nodded while he slipped the ring on my finger … a perfect fit! I loved that he asked me to be his wife rather than saying “will you marry me?” Any girl can marry someone. But, it takes a woman of God to be a wife. That’s what he was asking me – will you be my wife, my helpmeet, my friend, my support, my comfort, my safeplace? It was a serious question … and I took my answer very seriously too. We held eachother and John and I both cried a little bit and then John noticed that one of the candles in the yard was leaning…
He got up to fix the candle and I was staring at my newly adorned finger when I noticed weird movement out of the corner of my eye. When John had reached down to secure the candle it had lit the sleeve of his sweater on fire!! He was waving his arm around to put it out — which worked thank goodness! After we laughed for awhile and hugged and kissed a little we ran inside to tell his parents… of course they already knew what was happening! All the pieces of the evening started to come together for me and I understood why he was acting so odd, why the family acted odd, and why I did all the dishes!

John and I the night we got engaged: November 26, 2004

It was a beautiful day and we celebrate the anniversary of it every year! The next phase was long distance wedding planning – I had 8 months to get ready! Tune in next week to hear the story of our wedding!:)

Don’t forget to visit Rachel for more love stories!

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