I Said Yes…

Photo Credit: valentinadesign

…two years ago today!

We knew we wanted to get married. In fact, we knew we wanted to marry each other not very long after we’d met in June of 2009. We knew where we wanted to get married, and when, but the official proposal hadn’t been made… Yet.

I was finishing my master’s degree in linguistics at the University of Florida, which meant I needed to write a thesis. So I was in Atlanta, GA for the weekend collecting conversational data from students and teachers at the school where I had taught for 5 years. Atlanta is also where Brock and I had our first date…

As I was driving into Atlanta on Thursday, February 5, Brock and I talked on the phone. He was asking all kinds of questions about my plans for the following day. Questions like: “What road is the school on?” “Where are you going for lunch tomorrow?” “What street is that on?” “Where are you going for dinner?” “What time will you be going?” “And what street is that on?” As strange as these may seem, because our entire dating relationship was long-distance (I was in Florida, Brock was in Arkansas), we talked all the time and about everything. And he had asked similar questions once before when I was traveling. Brock is curious, and he is interested in me and in what I’m doing (one of the many, many reasons I love him!). So while it was a little strange that he wanted to know what streets the restaurants were on, I really wasn’t fazed.

The next day, I spent the morning interviewing ESL students about their experiences at school. In order to thank the teachers for helping me (and for letting me pull students out of their classes all day), I bought them lunch. So since teachers have a notoriously SHORT lunch period, I left in plenty of time to go get their lunches from a café that is just around the corner from the school.

On my way there, I got a text message from Brock, asking what I was doing. I texted him back when I got to the restaurant and told him that I was getting lunch for the teachers. He asked me if I wanted to talk. Now, this was a little strange. Because it was 9-something in the morning in Arkansas. We never talk at that time, because he’s at work. So, while it was weird, I said I had a few minutes before the food was ready.

Then, here’s the kicker: he said “Well, come outside”

Wait, WHAT!?

Right after he texted that, my food was ready. So I was in the middle of getting about 9 lunches together, and paying for everything. He texted again and asked if I was coming outside.

I made my way outside, and there he was, leaning against his car. REALLY!!?? He had DRIVEN FROM ARKANSAS!!?

He walked right over to me, got down on his knee in the gravel, and asked me to marry him. Of course I said YES!

Where we were was in a little “square” area in downtown Roswell, GA (any Atlanta people know it… I picked up lunch at Artisan, and he proposed behind Raiford Gallery and Eclectic Finds). The owners of Raiford Gallery and Eclectic Finds came out and celebrated with us (they watched the whole proposal!), and then I had to run, since I had everyone’s food and they have such little time to eat!!

I spent the rest of the afternoon interviewing students and collecting more conversational data (and gazing at the shiny new diamond on my left hand–one student even asked me why I kept looking at my hand), and Brock checked in to a hotel–since he had driven all night long. Turns out he drove instead of flying because he figured I’d know if he flew (because he wouldn’t be able to call me at all our routine times). So he had left at 11 p.m. on Thursday night and driven through the night. When he called me on Friday morning (because we talked each morning before he left for work) and he was already driving, he told me that he was on his way to pick up donuts to bring to work, when he was really in Birmingham, AL on his way to propose to me.

He had asked all those suspicious questions in order to determine where I’d be throughout the day so that he could surprise me where ever I’d be, and whenever he was able to get into town.

We went out for dinner that night to celebrate with several friends. And again the next morning with several more!

What a great weekend for us! He managed to surprise me with something that I had a feeling was coming. But I would NEVER have guessed that it was coming that way, or that weekend!! And that he proposed in Atlanta–where we first met–made it even more special!

The text conversation that got me outside so he could propose!!!

The deck of the Raiford Gallery. Brock proposed right next to this building.

The ring!! I couldn't stop staring at it... still, 2 years later, I catch myself staring at it. He did such a great job picking it out.