I cannot believe it has been TWO WHOLE YEARS since Luke asked me to be his wife! It was the SWEETEST day and one I love love love to reminisce on, so that’s what I’m doing!
The major significance of our proposal is that about two months before Luke proposed, in February 2015, Luke received an overwhelming blessing in the form of a house that some good family friends of ours were going to allow him to rent for an incredible price.
That house is the house we still rent today and we have loved making it our home for this season. That time was such an exciting time for us and I remember thinking that Luke being able to afford this rent while still in school would most likely allow us to get married a little earlier than planned.
With all of that happening, I suspected for the better half of my last semester at Clemson that engagement would be coming soon, but tried not to think too hard about it, because I usually ruin surprises when I do that. I thought about it hard for the first time in early March of 2015 and knew that there was only weekend left when Luke would be coming to Clemson before I graduated and so had decided in my head that he would probably propose that weekend, but I was oh so wrong!
I had planned to go home for Easter, but never thought for even a second that it would happen then. Earlier that week, Luke and I had planned to clean his new house on Friday when I got home as it needed a good deep cleaning since no one had lived in it in a while. As many know, cleaning is one of my love languages, so we were going to conquer it that weekend (little did I know that there would be a lot of people there the next day, so I’m glad it was clean!) 🙂
Luke had also asked me out on a date for Saturday night that weekend. None of that caused suspicion of course, but on Friday night he asked me what I was going to wear for our date. I replied that I had some skinny jeans and a blouse with a necklace. He said, “jeans?…Are you sure they are dressy enough, I just really want us to have fun with it and dress up.” This is when I thought for a brief second it could be happening, because that was so uncharacteristic of Luke, but once again, I was so sure it wasn’t going to happen that weekend that I didn’t really think much of that either. Plus, I didn’t bring home any other outfits, so my jeans would just have to do.
Saturday was a normal day. Everyone seemed so calm, so once again, no suspicions. My mom and I spent the whole day together like we normally would on a Saturday when I would go home. We went out for lunch, to visit my nanny, ran some errands to Target and other little places around Rock Hill and we got home around 4:00 because I told her I had to get ready for my date. She said that she was going to get her car washed (and it was really dirty, so I thought that was normal, but she was really going to the house to set things up with all of Luke’s family and our friends). I started to get ready for the date and I go to fix my hair, but it was just not a good hair day – I wasn’t feeling messing with it, so I put it back into a pony tail (this is the ultimate evidence of me having no idea what was coming later that night).
Luke picked me up for our date and we went to Olive Garden and shared chicken Parmesan as normal and it was delicious and so fun. We had great conversation and he was so calm and very much himself. Some little things happened that in hindsight were strange, but they didn’t seem strange to me at all in the process. We left dinner and were heading back to Luke’s new house because I had plans all week for Lindsey to come over on Saturday night to catch up with Luke and I and to see the house. Luke told me to text Lindsey and tell her we were on our way (because that was the alert to everyone that we were coming), but me being totally unaware and my normal stubborn self said “no, I’ll text her in a little while, I’m in no rush.” So Luke had to say he missed a call from his mom and called her so that they would know we were coming.
As we neared the house, Luke told me that there was something in the backyard shelter that he wanted me to see, but that I had to close my eyes because he wanted it to be a surprise. I still was sure we weren’t getting engaged that weekend, so I was like, what could he possibly be surprising me with?
He told me to put a jacket over my face so that I couldn’t see and once again, me being stubborn, said no…I rather not put a jacket over my face. Haha. (Really, I was so difficult and feel horrible about it in hindsight). So he pleaded with me to at least close my eyes and I was just like “what is going on?”
By the time we got out of the car at the house, I began to realize what was happening and didn’t know what to do with myself. I kept saying, “Luke, what is going on? What is this?” We were walking up to the picnic shelter in the backyard and it was completely covered with rose petals, and beautiful vases with candles in them and white lights strung all around. It was so beautiful. He told me to look around and as I was taking it all in, he was getting down on one knee and before I could blink, Luke told me how much he loved me and asked me to marry him. I said YES of course and then he put the most beautiful ring in the world on my finger. Then he went to grab an envelope that had the most incredible sketch of him proposing to me with an H drawn on the top along with a letter saying everything he wanted to say but knew he couldn’t get out. We read the letter together and then I began to absorb everything around me…there was 3 video cameras hidden throughout the shelter and soon after that, our families and my Nanny, Lindsey, and Ashley Creech and sweet June came running out to meet us.
Then, of course, tons of hugs and pictures ensued and it was so much fun. It was all so surreal. There is a pond further into the back yard and so I thought it would be a great idea to go down there and take some pictures because the background is just so beautiful. Anyone who knows me knows I’m all about some pictures. It meant so much to me that my family was there with us, but a small part of me was wondering if my roommates knew and other close friends and I just had hoped for a while that they would share the moment with me.
Everything was perfect, but I still wanted them to be a part of it. So I said, “Luke, do Caitlyn and Laura Beth know this is happening? What about Ashley…who all knows?” He said he was so sorry and had tried so hard to get them there, but because it was Easter everyone was at home, it was just too hard for them to make it. This made me sad for a moment, but ultimately I knew that I would call them in just a little while and they would be excited and it would all be great. I didn’t know that by going to take more pictures, I was making everyone inside wait for another 30 minutes (but once again, I just really believed Luke and wasn’t expecting anything else).
As we were taking pictures at the pond, my mom was like, “I know ya’ll ate, but the rest of us are hungry and we have some snacks and a cake inside, so let’s head inside soon.” I was like ok, sure, that’s fine. We all started to head back to the house and I am seriously thinking I will go inside, eat some cake and call my friends. As I stepped inside, all of our friends were there and were hooting and hollering. Oh my goodness gracious. That was one of the best moments in my life besides Jesus saving me and Luke proposing just a few moments earlier. I started crying and buried by head in Luke’s chest because I could not even believe what was happening and how surprised I was by every single thing that had happened in the last hour and a half and it was just so amazing and I was so happy. Everyone had parked at Lindsey’s house and caravanned over way in advance and had been waiting in the house for almost two hours getting everything ready. Wow. Once I composed myself, I got to squeeze everyone and Luke and I were able to enjoy the most wonderful night with all of our family and friends close by. Our friends and parents had decorated the house and it looked perfect.
As I think back on the past two years (wow! I cannot believe it), I love recalling God’s faithfulness to us. Nothing could have been more special to me that being proposed to under a picnic shelter that I see every morning and evening when I look out my kitchen window. And I can’t imagine anything being more meaningful than having all of the people we love come together to celebrate us in the house we have spent the last 14 months building our lives. Glory to God!!