Monday, November 4, 2013

The Proposal Story :)

If any boys are reading this, pay attention!  This is how a proposal should be done.  I realize that my last post was in February, and I was talking about events that happened a year ago.  So I'm just gonna skip ahead to this and then go back and re-cap the last year.

I just had to get this story up because lots of you have been asking to hear it.  And it's so good that it just has to be told!  So here is the story of how Jeff and I got engaged:

This may be long...

A few weeks ago I got a text from Jeff that said not to plan anything for Oct 17, Oct 29, Nov 8 and Nov 9 because he had dates planned for those days.  I -accidentally- looked at the calendar on his iPod and saw that October 29th had an event entitled "The Date".  He told me that he was meeting with my roommate on the 21st to pick out the ring (I picked out 6, he narrowed it down to 2, and then recruited Jaylene's help/input to pick the final one).  He was so good at lying and deceiving (hope that's not the case for the rest of our marriage. haha.) that I didn't think the proposal was coming for another couple of weeks.

The plan was to leave at 5 (after work) on the 17th to go up to City Creek mall and eat and do a little shopping.  So I was surprised when he came at 3:30 and told me he arranged for me to get off work early.  I could tell something was up, but I was SO convinced that he was just doing all of this to make me think that he was gonna propose and then he wouldn't actually do it.  So I didn't want to have any expectations for the night, or get my hopes up just to be disappointed.

We ate dinner at The Garden on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, then we did a little shopping at City Creek.  We went to walk around Temple Square, and as we were waiting to cross the road a horse and buggy drove by.  I turned to Jeff and said, "when it's Christmas time and all the lights are out, can we go on a carriage ride?"  He said, "maybe".  We entered Temple Square and started walking to this obscure area that I've never really been to and I said, "Do you know where you're going?"  He said, "Yes" and we walked out the gates, where that same horse and buggy was waiting for us on the side of the road.

We got in the carriage and rode up to this adorable area of Salt Lake and into Memory Grove Park.  We stopped at this cute little bridge and the driver said, "This is a good place to stop and stretch your legs.  I'll go turn the horse around and see you in a few minutes."  We got off and walked over to the bridge and Jeff started looking over the side saying, "this is a cute little stream."  It looked like he was looking at something so I leaned over to see what it was.  When I turned back around, he was on his knee holding a little black box.  I thought for sure that he was faking it, but then he started talking all serious about how we've had so much fun together the past few months and how he can't wait to marry me and keep having fun.... honestly I don't remember that much.  It was all a blur, and even up to this point I wasn't for sure if he was actually proposing or not.  He showed me the ring and it was definitely not any of the ones that I had picked out, so that was another reason I thought it was a joke.  But then he said, "this is not the real ring.  It's just a place-holder for tonight and you will get the real one tomorrow.  There's a surprise and it will be like Christmas for you".  Then he asked if I would marry him and I nodded and he 
put the ring on my right hand.  haha.  He was nervous.  
Then he started talking about how he wanted to propose in private, but that we weren't alone.... there was someone, somewhere, taking pictures.  These random people came over and started snapping pictures with their phones.  I didn't recognize them, so it just seemed like some people passing by saw a proposal happening and they thought it was cute, so they came over to get pictures.  Come to find out, it was our friends, Josh and Karen, wearing wigs as disguises.  I totally didn't recognize them!  I was wondering, "who are these people taking our picture?!"

Josh and Karen, our secret picture takers

Putting the ring on the wrong hand...

Realizing that there were strange people taking our picture...

At this point, I had finally figured out that it was a real proposal and I started crying.... what can I say?  It was super romantic.  But it's not even close to being over yet!

The next day (Friday) I went to work as normal, knowing that there was going to be something going on sometime during the day.  I was sitting at the front desk of the office and I see a huge vase of flowers coming up the stairs.  I figured they were probably for me and got super excited.  The guy came to the desk and said, "These are for Stephanie Vincent".  My heart dropped a little, but then I realized that something sneaky was probably going on, and the flowers were probably for me after all.  *Stephanie Vincent is married to Steve Vincent, who is the 1st counselor in the bisopric in our singles ward.  I work at their Real Estate office and they know both of us, so I thought something might be going on.  Sure enough, at around noon, I got a text from Brother Vincent that said, "Come to my office and bring your phone."

I got to the office and he said, "These flowers are for you.  There's a box tied to the vase.  Give me your phone, and I'm going to record this as you open the box."  He also handed me a piece of paper with words to read out loud.

I opened the box and there was a ring inside.  I thought for a second it was my real ring, but it didn't look familiar like any of the ones I had picked out, and more importantly, Jeff wasn't there to give it to me.  I couldn't imagine that he would have someone else give me the ring, so I figured out pretty quick that it wasn't the real one.

If you can't understand me (I was apparently having a hard time reading) it says,
 "Sorry, I thought I gave them the right ring.  Like you said, it isn't always the thought that counts.  (One day Jeff said that he had thought about buying me a ring and I said, 'It's not the thought that counts'.)  I figured this would be a good place to start considering the Vincent's kept you around for me to date you longer.  Who knows what would have happened if you had moved to Salt Lake for the other job. (While we were beginning to date I was working in Salt Lake with the plans of moving up there.  This job at the Vincent's company opened up and they put in a good word for me.  Luckily I got to stay!)  It's probably been like Christmas for you all night and today, but you'll have to wait a little longer.  I left your real ring at the next locations: See you at Kneaders next to Riverwoods Mall at 1:30, your lunch time.  I love you, drive safe, don't hate me!"

So I went to Kneaders at 1:30 thinking he would be there.  I waited around for a few minutes and didn't see him, but then I saw our friend Josh pull in.... the same friend that took the pictures the night before.  We went through the ordering line and Karen was working.  She told me that my lunch of Chicken Caesar salad and a sugar cookie had been paid for and she handed it to me.  Josh and Karen ate lunch with me and gave me a bag with another fake ring and another note.

"Remember when I was supposed to throw this ring pouch away?  Well I started thinking this could come in handy so I kept it.  (A prize from Mary Kay had come in the pouch and I figured I didn't need it, so I had him throw it away.  Apparently he had other plans for it.)  Remember that time at the Christmas auction when I bought your cookies?  Well here... have a cookie - and lunch.  Also that night that we went on a little date to the other Kneaders and we overheard that customer complimenting the cashier on her ring.  I'm sure you'll get some (compliments) about your ring soon.  Hopefully you don't hate me for not having the real ring, but it looks like I didn't leave it here.  Next!  
Try out the Scera Theater at 5:00 by the concession area."

Next stop was the Scera Theater.  The back story on this location is this: Mark Gordon, the Elder's Quorum president in our ward was in a Christmas play at the Scera.  A group of us from the ward went to watch the play and we all met to carpool.  Everyone had a ride and the only people left were me and Jeff.  So we decided to ride together.  We had never met before so we started the small talk to get to know each other.  He started talking about how excited he was to see "The Hobbit".... 3 times.  And I told him how I grew up on a farm raising sheep.  I guess you could say that there wasn't a lot of interest at that point.

So I get to the theater and walk to the concession area where I find Mark Gordon sitting on a bench with a bottle of Lemonade 
(well it was Limeade, but we don't need to get technical).

"Oh shoot, wrong box.  Where on Earth could I have put that thing?  On the way to Mark's performance was the first time we sat and talked to each other.  We were stuck in the car one-on-one and I was just some nerdy guy talking about The Hobbit, and I wrote you off as a country girl.  Little did we know!  Before you head to the next stop I'm going to need you to leave your phone.  Next stop: Disneyland!  Just kidding.  Actually Texas Roadhouse.  Go straight there and I'll see you there momentarily."

Went to Texas Roadhouse and as I walked in I saw Kayla Spurlock standing by the hostess desk with a video camera.  The story about Texas Roadhouse is that we went there for dinner on my birthday.  After the play in December, Jeff and I didn't really talk much again until February, my birthday.  I invited a bunch of friends in my ward and one friend, Jared, asked if he could invite his roommate Jeff to come along.  
Jeff didn't have time to eat a full meal before he had to go to volleyball practice, 
so he just ordered some cheesecake and then left.

"Hey, do you remember that time when it was your birthday and I was invited to come along and we sat next to each other here? I just had cheesecake, barely knew you, and then I left you for volleyball. Here’s some cheesecake to remember me by. Well there is one last stop. We have to be there by 6:15, so I’ll be leaving work and
 I’ll pick you up innnnn…probably 20 minutes. 
Go home, put on a dress or something, and I’ll see you soon."

Kayla and I drove back to my apartment to eat the cheesecake.  We chatted for a minute then I decided I better go change into my dress before Jeff arrived to pick me up.  
I opened the door to my room and..... well, the video speaks for itself.

So I finally got the real ring, and it is AMAZING.

I put on a skirt and we went to Macaroni Grill for dinner.  We walked in the front door of the restaurant and Jeff just walked past the seating host.  I was confused for a second, but as we kept walking toward the back of the restaurant I saw some familiar faces.  My parents, grandparents and sisters were the first people I saw.  
Then I recognized all of Jeff's siblings, nieces and nephews, and his mom.  
They were all there waiting to celebrate with us.  
(I had been bugging him for a couple weeks saying that our families should probably meet each other. 
 He wasn't too worried about it because he had this planned all along!)

It was a pretty perfect proposal.  He put so much thought and effort into it and I loved everything about it.  He had a lot of people in on the planning and execution and pretty much everyone I know had been keeping it a secret for almost 3 weeks.  
I can't believe no one let it slip!  I was surprised every step of the way.

So that's the story!  It was an amazing couple of days and we have lots of planning coming up for a wedding in January.  Thanks to everyone that helped out with the proposal.  
It made it special to have you all a part of it.  And thanks Jeff for making it so I get to tell people a really awesome engagement story!  I love you  :)