It really happened! On February 23rd 2011 Daniel John asked me to be his wife. Oh dear, even writing the word 'wife' in reference to myself feels foreign to me. For those of you who don't know some of the background details, Daniel and I started dating on January 2nd 2010. We had met in 2008, but hadn't become close friends until the late summer of 2009.
Our relationship has been like learning to ride a pesky horse; constantly being knocked to the ground, lots of bruises and bumps, but all entirely worth it for that first few moments of cantering. I suppose comparing our relationship to falling on my face isn't the most romantic metaphor, but to me it is beautiful. So much of that beauty is being able to look back and see how many times I felt like giving up and heading and retreating into myself. But Daniel always made me change my mind. He is so steadfast and devoted that I just knew our bruises would heal, and that all we needed to worry about right now was getting back on that horse.
Now, I wont go into any more background detail (sorry to those feeling sick from the sappiness of all this love talk), but I would like to share with you my engagement story, and some photos of that very special day.
It was a Wednesday afternoon, and I was having such a good day! I had met with an old friend for coffee in the morning and had spent a good two hours catching up, reminiscing our high school days, and talking about plans for the future. We both have boyfriends, and after seeing a number of our old classmates tie the knot, the topic of marriage was inevitable. I couldn't help feeling a little burst of joy talking about it, and confided in her that I thought Daniel might propose that very day! As I said it out loud, though, I almost wanted to take it back. What if he doesn't ask today? I thought to myself I don't want to get my hopes up and ruin a perfectly good date when he doesn't ask. But I didn't need to worry.
Daniel had been caught in traffic, so our 'date' was a good hour and a half behind schedule. As I drove out to his house, snow was falling in puffy white flakes and I wondered if we would really be doing something outside. He had told me a few days earlier that our surprise date would be outside, and that I should wear a warm jacket and a hat. I'd decided to bring some gloves and boots along too.
As I drove into the house, Daniel's dad came jogging in from the barn saying that Daniel wasn't there, and had in fact just left. Odd. Moments later when Daniel did arrive, we both climbed into his noisy gold car and headed towards town. He pulled into the Miracle Beach parking lot, and we spent some time wandering through the beautiful big trees. Miracle Beach has always had a very special place in my memory. Growing up we would come to Campbell River to visit my grandparents, and would often go to Miracle Beach for picnics.
That day was different though, the skies were gray and the ground was covered with a layer of pebbly white snow that crunched under our feet. We walked and talked and laughed, and I called Daniel a girl for not wanting to go through some trees to get the the beach. Eventually we found a way that suited him, and came out into the open to be greeted by the empty beach. A few steps more and I saw three white balloons tied down next to the path. Daniel had written the words "Jordan", "Plus", "Daniel" on them, and tied them with green ribbon. We stopped and both pretended to be mystified at where the balloons had come from. He tied them to my wrist (I was sure I would accidentally loose grip and let them fly away) and on we went.
Just a few paces past the balloon spot, we turned a corner and came upon a little table and chairs set with a teapot, cups, honey and milk. I began saying something to Daniel but completely froze when I noticed his slate board sitting on one of the chairs. It read: I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?
Everything after that was a flurry of emotions and smiles and laughter. He got me to sit in one of the chairs, and then knelt down in front of me. He asked me to marry him, and I told him I would, and he slipped the ring on my finger. We laughed at how big the ring was compared to my little finger (apparently I do NOT know my ring size), and I stood up and we had a good long hug. While we stood there embraced, he told me how he wanted to live through everything with me, through the good time and the bad, and how he most importantly wanted to learn about the love of our Father through our love for each other. I don't think I have ever been as happy, joy filled, peaceful, and completely content as I was in that moment.
So, this is where our new story begins.