So, I am writing to you today for the very first time as an engaged woman. Yesterday, the man of my dreams asked me to marry him, and I would have been an absolute fool to say anything other than “YES!” Many of my closest friends would tell you that I have been waiting not so patiently for this day. Wes himself would tell you that I am terribly hard to surprise and one of the nosiest people on the face of the earth. But, despite all that…despite all my many flaws, he still asked me to spend my life with him, and that, of course, makes him absolutely perfect in my eyes.
The weekend couldn’t have been more perfect. It started out with a trip to Orlando on Friday night with my mom. Wes had gotten us Taylor Swift concert tickets for Christmas and, so, off we went for a super fun mother/daughter evening (and what I didn’t know at the time was my last night as a “single” girl). The concert was wonderful and my mom and I had a lot of fun pretending to be "22" for an evening. Saturday morning we got up and got ready to head back to Jacksonville. My mom and dad had said they wanted to go to a nice dinner that night, and my mom suggested we get ready before getting on the road. She insisted that we wouldn’t be motivated to get dressed up if we waited half the day to do it (little did I know, the wheels of a much bigger plan were already in motion).
Back in Jax, my dad and Wes were supposed to be spending the day at a brewery on the river. My mom and I were going to meet up with them when we got back to town, but we had to make a pit stop at my house first. That’s when the most magical day of my life officially began….
I walked into my house to find a dozen red roses and an envelope containing the first of seven clues for a scavenger hunt that would eventually lead me to Wes waiting to ask me the most important question I would ever hear. The moments I spent reading the note that sent me on my journey were probably the most surreal of the day as I began to think of all that it implied. I had a couple moments of utter shock and then the frenzy started. I immediately started redoing my hair, touching up my makeup, adjusting my outfit. I shouted to my mom that my hair was never going to be good enough. Eventually, though, I just couldn’t wait any longer to see where he would send me and I accepted my hair for what it was and we set off on our way.
The first clue sent us to KIPP, where Wes and I both work and where we first started to spend enough time together to realize what we somehow missed for so long. Once there, I was supposed to Instagram a photo and Wes would send me a video with the next clue. His sweet video clue sent us off to O’Brothers where he and I had dinner for our first unofficial date (unofficial because I asked him). We sat at a table outside for hours and everything started to become a little clearer. We shared stories about ourselves, and, although we had known each other for two years, it was like I was getting to know who he really was for the very first time.
The next clue sent my mom and I to get coffee and a manicure. I have a wonderful man who knows me so well. He knew I would have been humiliated at the state of my nails without a manicure. He really took care of every detail.
Then, it was off to Memorial Park, where I was mildly suspecting he might be waiting. But I was wrong and the next video clues sent us to Chan’s Chinese (our absolute favorite) and then to EverBank Field to take a picture with the jaguar statue.
Finally, I received a clue that said I was headed to see Wes. Although I thought I knew what I was coming, I was still very nervous. I couldn’t wait to see him! We arrived at our last stop (the Friendship Fountain across the river from the Landing) and my eyes immediately started searching for Wes. Once I found him, I just wanted to soak everything in. I walked to him (too scared to run because of my treacherous shoes) and we smiled at each other the whole time. When I finally reached him I just wanted to kiss him, so that’s what I did. Of course, that’s when we asked me to marry him, and the rest is history.
My dad was able to capture the whole thing on camera, which I was so grateful for. It was wonderful having both of my parents there to celebrate with us. The hour after his proposal is kind of a blur. There were so many phone calls to make that I barely remember the many sweet conversations we had. My hands were shaking the entire time. It wasn’t until the four of us were at dinner that I calmed down enough to soak it all in.
Today, our first full day as an engaged couple, has been pretty normal as far as Sundays go. Except that it hasn’t been normal at all. I can’t stop staring at the stunning ring on my finger. I can’t stop saying “fiancé” this and “fiancé” that. Grocery shopping and email checking and house cleaning never was as exciting as it is now that I know I am beside the man who, for some amazing reason unknown to me, has decided he wants to share his life with me. Honestly, I can’t believe the two years I spent as this amazing man’s friend and the last eight months I spent falling in love with him led us to this moment: the first of many ordinary, yet somehow absolutely extraordinary days.