Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Ok, this is long... but it's GOOOOD!

In chronological order, this is the story of how I proposed to my Laura Beth Atwood on April 30th, 2005.

If you haven't already, you should start by reading the post about our trip to Oxford were I met her parents (it's called "THE FULL STORY" and the link is over there on the right in blue). That was the weekend we started to talk about getting married. The drive home from that trip, we tentatively planned for a summer engagement and a winter wedding... Also, spelling and grammer and overall proof reading has not been done yet... now, knowing all that... here we go.

Saturday, April 9th
Laura Beth and I stop by a store on Bardstown Rd and looked at antique engagement rings.

Sunday, April 10th
I knew I needed to start looking seriously for ring ideas because LB was going to be leaving soon and I needed to know what kind of ring she'd liked, so that morning I started to look around on the internet. Later that afternoon, I showed her some of the ones I liked and we looked a little bit more, but she didn't really see anything that caught her eye. That night at the Noltemeyers after church I asked Hilary to look with us. Hilarys mom is a jeweler, and I knew she had great stuff and that I wanted to get the ring there. Hilary and LB looked, and I trusted Hilary to gather some information from LB to relay to her mom on exactly what ring LB would like.

Tuesday, April 13th
I was in the bowl yard at work walking up track #24 making sure all the cars were coupled, and an idea suddenly came to me that I was to surprise my Darlin and propose to her on Saturday April 30th. That was the day of the Double Decker Art Festival in Oxford and LB had plans to go down with Erin for the weekend. I was off on Sun/Mon, so I couldn't make it to the festival, but I was planning to drive down that Sunday morning to spend the day with her and also ask her Dad for her hand in marriage, stay the night, and then drive back Monday. But! I could surprise her by driving down Saturday afternoon, and be waiting for her when she got home and the pop the question. So, I called Hilary and let her know the plan and we set a time the following day to meet at her moms jewelry store.

Tuesday April 14th
I didn't take long at all... Hilarys mom had one picked out before we got there. When I saw it, my mouth dropped to the floor. It was beautiful, and I knew that that was the one I wanted to see on my Darlin's hand for the rest of my life. I said, "that's the one" and we completed the transaction. The ring was sized a bit large, and I didn't know how to get LB in there to get her ring size without her knowing I had already gotten a ring. So, I put Hilary to the task of getting with LB one day that week and getting her ring size without giving anything away. Later that day, I was talking to God, asking how and what I should do about talking to her parents. I wanted to ask them in person but it was impossible for me to get down to Mississippi and back that week without LB knowing. So, I just picked up the phone and I called LB's parents and talked to them right then and there. Her Dad and I talked for a while. I asked for their permission to marry their daughter and they gave us their wholehearted blessing. I explained my plan and they approved and the wheels began to turn even faster.

Tuesday April 22nd
Erin was also in on the secret. It worked out that Hilary couldn't go with LB to look at rings, so Erin went with her to look knowing all she really needed to do was to get LB's ring size. Erin and Hilarys mom did a great job of pretending, and we got LBs ring size without giving anything away!

Thursday April 28th
It was the day LB and Erin were to leave for Oxford. LB was still under the impression that I had to work all weekend, and that I'd drive down early that Sunday morning. I got to spend some time with her that afternoon, and while LB was away I swiped Marcies (her best friend) phone number so she could be in on the secret too. Before I knew it, it was time for them to go. I sent them away and then started to work on printing the photographs and typing the stories that she'd read right before I proposed. See, the surprise was not only me a day early or me proposing, but a photographic reminder of the major moments in our relationship that I had planned out in my head to be placed all around the house. She'd come home and see these, walk through the house reading them with Marcie and Erin and then she'd come up stairs to her room and I'd be there on my knee. So, I took care of that and then went to community group and oddly enough, the random question of the night was "what's your favorite thing to talk about" - I answered, of course, my Darlin. After CG, I used Kyle and Hilarys printer to print out the story parts. I called LB and they were almost to Oxford. About an hour later, she called to let me know they arrived safe and sound at home.

Friday April 29th
This was the second hardest day I've had to live through since I met LB. I had lunch with Mike Cosper and we talked about the weekend ahead. You see, just about everyone knew I was going to propose except LB. We talked about various different things... but all I wanted to talk about was LB. That afternoon, Kyle and I left for Bonnieville, KY where he has a cabin. I had never been, plus I wanted to stay the night away from the city to really get quite and listen to God. It was going to be hard to pull off, because LB was going to be calling me that night and I was supposed to be working. It was difficult, but she never knew the difference.

Saturday April 30th
This WAS the hardest day of my life! I had been apart from her for far too long and I missed her like crazy... plus, I knew I had a drive ahead of me and I was going to be proposing to her that night... and I couldn't tell her anything! I left the cabin and headed to Nashville to spend sometime with my great friend Greg who has been with me in so many of my struggles. I found it very fitting that Kyle and he, two of the handful of my boys that have stuck with me so faithfully, were the last people I got to see and spend time with before this life changing moment... a moment that they helped me prepare for for years. Greg did a great job of taking my mind off of things... he really allowed me to relax and just hang out. We ate lunch, looked around Nashville for a few hours and then he sent me off with a blessing. The drive to Oxford was pleasant. LB called me a few times and I just couldn't answer it. I felt so bad, I wanted to talk with my Darlin Girl but I just couldn't bare to make up things to tell her. I knew she'd ask me about work and how things were going, and I just couldn't do it. So, as soon as she'd leave a voice mail, I'd listen to it 4-5 times just to hear that sweet voice... and hear her tell me about what she was doing. Her mom called me just west of Nashville and we talked for about 30 min on the plan for the evening. We got things squared away and then it was just God and I in the CRV tooling down the roads of SW Tenn and Northern Mississippi. I arrived after dark. Unpacked and than Donna, her mom, and I began to place the photographs with stories I'd made around the house...

#1 a short letter I wrote to describe to her what was going on without giving it away... I put it on the back door

#2 the photo/story from our first date... placed on the kitchen counter

#3 the photo/story from our first kiss... placed on the piano

#4 the photo/story from the first time I told her I loved her... placed on the bathroom mirror

#5 the photo/story from our first trip to Oxford... placed on the TV screen

#6 a photograph of the ring on her bedroom door... you see, I was inside with the ring

#7 her ring on her desk in her room, just waiting for her...

So, the night grew later and later, and I was getting more nervous by the second. I spent time with her mom and dad... met her brother for the first time and before I knew it the phone was ringing. It was Erin, and she was giving me the heads up that they were on their way home! I ran upstairs and waited. It seemed like another eternity before they arrived, but I saw the car lights coming up the driveway and I knew what was about to happen. They came inside and I could hear laughter and loud speech but couldn't make anything out. Then, I heard Laura Beth reading what I had written... in the kitchen, at the piano, in the bathroom, at the TV... and then... I heard the sound of someone running up the stairs... the familiar sound of LB's feet running up the stairs... skipping every other step. I could hear her turn the corner and walk towards her room... then silence. I was on one side of the door and she was on the other. I heard nothing... I opened the doors slowly to see the most beautiful girl in the world... my beautiful girl whom I was about to ask to marry me standing there speechless... she knew what was about to happen. We hugged for a while and then I got really tense... tense because I was as nervous as I've ever been, but relaxed at the same time because I was holding my Darlin. Then I then I asked her, "are you ready to do this?"... she said "yes", so I closed the door and took her hand and lead her to a chair and sat her down. I got on my knee, got the ring from the desk and asked her the most loaded question I've ever asked... "will you marry me?" - she didn't even hesitate... she said...

"yes... of course!"


Blogger Hilary Noltemeyer said...

very sweet . . . i'm lucky to have been a part of it. if only lb would finish with school so we can see you guys!

1:10 PM

Blogger Tom said...

Wow, that was cool and the phot tour you had her on......sweet does not begin to tell of the tale...dude that was sweet night and good planning. Congrats!!

4:19 PM

Blogger Alex F said...

Well done. This has all been really fun for us to watch!

9:19 PM

Blogger Nikki Daniel said...

AAWWWW! I am VERY excited for you two. I'm uh...basically...your newsgirl. I've been telling everyone (even people who don't know ya'll) with a huge smile on my face.

Congrats! The Lord is good!

9:41 PM

Blogger Alex Jonathan O'Nan said...

All the time!

4:24 AM

Blogger Alex & Laura Beth said...

And all the time...

5:59 AM

Blogger Alex Jonathan O'Nan said...

...the Lord is good!

6:00 AM

Blogger Jodi Sowards said...

Amen. It's a beautiful story.

4:17 PM

Blogger Nikki Daniel said...

hahaha!! You two love birds are so funny!

12:31 AM

Blogger Alex & Laura Beth said...

Okay... Just to clarify, the "The Lord is good" thing was really just to be silly (even though we believe it).

5:40 AM


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