Saturday, October 23, 2010

So here's the story...

From being engaged a little over 2 months now, I have noticed that a bride-to-be tends to get the same rotation of questions from everyone they come into contact with!

1.  When is the BIG DAY?
2.  Do you already have your dress?
3.  What are your colors?

Well, I thought it would be a great way to start out my blogging by telling the story of how Hessy proposed!  I already mentioned that we have been dating for a little shy of 3 years, but here's a little more of a background...

Hessy is a bit older than me (and by a bit, I mean 12 years!) But, when it comes down to it - I've always been an older soul, and to this day he still pulls all-nighters on a new video game - so it works out.  I joke and tell people that our average age is about 30, and he always goes by his favorite philosophy: "You're only as old as the girl you date." So, the age thing is clearly not an issure for us.  Hess was born in Branson, MO and grew up all over the Arkansas/Missouri borderline.  Every summer when we get a week of vacation time, we head up there to see his family.  This year we planned a little get-away in the middle of our week in the mid-west, but I had no idea just how good of a trip this would be!

On our way to Springfield, MO with Hessy's Mom.

Grand Central Hotel, Eureka Springs.
 After a few days of traveling around the state of Arkansas, we began our 2-days to ourselves by checking into a hotel called Grand Central in the heart of Eureka Springs, AR. The place was so cool and antique looking, built in 1883, and our room looked like a doll house! The entire city is very Victorian looking and is made up of cute, older buildings and houses up and down the Ozark Mountains! We come to visit this city every year we go home but this is the first time we stayed overnight. We felt spoiled and on vacation for sure by spending rest of the day walking around, shopping, getting a wonderful massage, and eating at the best Italian restaurant I've EVER eaten at - and I LOVE Italian so I can be critical!!!!! It was called Ermilio's and I can't wait to go back!!! 

Grand Central Hotel, Lobby.
 After dinner we came back to the hotel tired and I knew we were going to wake up early to catch the sunrise at the Christ of the Ozarks Statue for some quiet prayer and devotional time. This is a 75 foot monument of Jesus Christ at the peak of the Ozark mountains overlooking the rest of the gorgeous forest and mountains. So, I turned in early but kept waking up to find Hessy on his computer almost the entire night - I was assuming he was working, but thinking WHY is he still up at 3am?! There isn't even an XBOX here....must be something important. When the alarm went off at 5:45am I was tired but excited to start the day!! We got ready and headed over to the statue with a Bible, blanket, and snacks (of course) in hand. By the time we pulled up to the statue is was about 7am and there wasn't a soul in site - not even a security guy in the booth, so we drove right in and set up camp. Perfect timing to see the sun rising behind the statue...and when we walked up to where we were going to sit we saw a family of dear eating! We took some pictures, sat down and began to read verses. About 5 minutes in, it seemed really crazy and awesome at the same time, but a bunny came up close to our blanket followed by birds and some squirrels. It really felt like we was sitting in the middle of a  Disney movie in a forest like Snow White or Pocahontas, lol - CUE deer, now cue bunny and was so cool!

Sunrise at the Christ of the Ozarks Statue - pre-proposal!

Little did I know, Hessy had stayed up all night putting together a Bible Study about love and relationships. We read and talked about what the words mean and after almost an hour we got to 1 Corinthians 13: 4-13:

On our blanket, reading verses on Love & Marriage.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This was my favorite part and actually was the same verse I put on a bracelet I gave Hessy for his birthday last year. So, at this point I was getting a little emotional! I started seeing a serious look in his eyes and we ended our study by praying together in front of the statue. When I opened my eyes, there he was somehow in front of me with a ring box. At this point we both started balling and couldn't say anything for a minute or two! (Although Hess will claim that there was NO crying involved....he was way worse off than I was!) ;) I asked him what was in the box and he told me to open I did. When I saw it was empty I was really confused?! He then told me to look back in the Bible and when I opened it I saw a pretty but very dainty diamond ring. Now, this ring is very pretty and I was only confused because it was nothing at all like I had imagined. So he then said "Before you look at the ring (of course I sneaked a peek!), let me tell you what it means to me..." this ring he used to propose is the ring from his mother and fathers original marriage. He told me mine is still being set and just wasn't ready before we left so I will get it in a few weeks! So, for now I am wearing his mom's ring as a "placeholder", and because it was too big to wear on my finger, it's on a necklace around my neck.

The Proposal - August 12, 2010
 Couldn't wait to see the real thing, but this ring will always hold a place in my heart because I get to hold onto it and pass it down to our children. After taking some pictures, we headed out to grab some coffee and breakfast (my fav and it was YUMMY!!) and then went to a ranch in the mountains to go horseback riding! I've been before, but  never in the middle of the Ozark Mountains - it was just like a scene from a movie and was absolutely beautiful!

We go back to the hotel, pack up, and head out to Branson, MO for what I think is the afternoon. I fell asleep in the car (actually I did almost ever car ride of the trip, lol) and woke up in front of a Hilton by the River. When I asked Hessy why we were here he said it was because of the "free parking"! Now, I am gullible but realize how much I really am after this trip! When I looked out the window we were greeted by Hessy's best friend from college and his wife with wine! I was SO excited to see them and finally realized we would be staying at the hotel that night. YAY for another day and night with friends, I thought....this is going to be fun!

As the day went on, more of Hessy's friends from school showed up and I was so excited to go to dinner....they were talking about making reservations at a really nice 5 star place called Candlestick Inn, but I didn't think we would get in. After an afternoon of celebrating, we got ready for dinner and were greeted with an amazing Engagement Basket in our room - filled with wine, nuts and dried fruit, monogrammed H towels, and 100 cal packs of snacks - these people did their research! :)

Still on Cloud 900 from the day, I couldn't be happier heading over to dinner with the group. As we walked into the restaurant I knew there would be 6 of us and they kept trying to sit us down at tables set for 4....weird right?! After the second move, I still didn't catch on and then I looked over to the left when the waiter offered us a big table and saw the tables filled with Hessy's family! SHOCKED, I realize this was all planned for an Engagement dinner and WHAT?!? There are MY PARENTS sitting at the end! Hess had asked them to fly in to meet the rest of his family and celebrate with us for the rest of the week! Scott had planned this dinner a month ago, and all of his family lives at least 45 mins to 2 hours away, so it meant the world to both of us that they were there, since we almost never get to see them in FL!

 Us with Hessy's Mom, Step-Mom, Dad, and my Mom & Dad!

We spent the rest of the week with our parents and started to already begin planning with them.

The perfect week, filled with 3 important things: Faith, Hope, and Love: but the greatest of these things is LOVE!

The perfect ending to a perfect day...truly worth the wait!


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