join us on 06.01.13 for love, laughter, & happily ever after
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I proposed to Madi on March 7, 2012. We both already knew that we wanted to marry each other, so that in itself wasn’t the surprise, but it was the how and when that was. Madi is all about surprises, so I can’t say that I wasn’t nervous about keeping it a secret. We were both in Wheaton when I knew that it was about the right time to propose… but here is what made it a little complicated: her engagement ring had been worked on in Texas, so I had to figure out a way to get the ring and then propose to her without her figuring it all out. While I had thought of some ways to ask her in Illinois, it was still cold and wintery there and I had wanted to propose outside. So, in a burst of brilliance, I realized that Madi and I could meet my mom and sister in Tulsa, Oklahoma where my brother, Tucker, is going to school. That way it would be roughly half-way for each of us. My mom and my sister could bring the ring, and I could propose there. So, under the auspices of a little family vacation, we hopped in the car and drove about ten hours south.
When we got there that night, I still hadn’t asked Madi’s dad, Jack, for his approval of our pending engagement. So, while me, Madi, and my family were at a Barnes and Noble’s, I snuck outside and called him. He gave his blessing, and, amazingly, when I went back inside to rejoin everyone, she was curious where I was, but hadn’t figured out what was going on. The next day, everything was set. My mom had the ring, Jack had given me his approval, and most importantly, Madi and I were in the same place. The night before, after consulting Google and my mom, I decided that I wanted to propose in a park in the middle of the city. Being further south than Chicago, spring had just begun and the whole city had just begun to flower. While I had toyed with the idea of having a secret photographer, I ultimately decided that I wanted it to just be Madi and I for the proposal. So, my mom slipped me the ring and my family said that they needed to ‘rest’ before dinner. When we got to the park, I was super nervous. We walked around, laughed, and Madi, so excited about seeing green things after a winter in Wheaton, took tons of pictures of the flowers. Those of you who know Madi, know that she is one of the most perceptive people on the planet. We joke that she has a ‘spidey sense’ and can almost always detect when something is wrong with me, even if I refuse to verbalize it. Miraculously, she was blissfully ignorant of my internal anxiety. When we walked to a secluded area in the park, I got down on one knee and proposed.
In most chick-flicks, the proposal happens at the crest of the story and that magical moment seems to strrrrreeeeetch out in length and in importance. For me, the actual moment was fleeting. I knew what I had wanted to say, and once I started, it felt like it was over. Madi was in shock. She kept repeating “Are you serious?”, and then “Yes!”, and then “Are you serious?” again, and started to cry. We hugged and I showed her the ring and put it on her finger- I had tried to remember what to say so hard that I had forgotten to actually pull it out of my pocket! In the end, the proposal was “mission accomplished.” We then had a celebration dinner with my family in the city. Rather than being the crescendo of our relationship, the proposing merely reflected all of the amazing things in our relationship that had happened in the past. Already, I have a hard time remembering what I actually said to her that day, but that wasn’t the important part. What was important was that we were solidifying the great things about our relationship and making a lifetime commitment to each other. And all that was accomplished without Madi ever realizing it was going to happen! =)
After our time in Wheaton, Madi and I separated one more time so that I could go to a geology field camp in South Dakota. She traveled around California and then went back to her hometown of Myrtle Beach to wait for me. Finally, at the end of July, I flew into South Carolina and we reunited for the last time. “Never again”, we promised. And where are we now? Both of us are in Myrtle Beach. We are together and, as our save-the-dates said, we’re keeping it that way!