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Archive for the ‘The Proposal’ Category

If I could use one word to describe the proposal it would be “proud”. Let me explain why.

Friends and family have known for several months that we had been talking marriage.  In fact, each of us had developed a-go to response.

“We were talking about it but we weren’t in the financial position to the begin planning.”

Brandon played along pretty well.  Always telling me he had no idea when he could afford a ring.  Mind you, it was a very believable scenario being with economy the way it is and pizza delivering not the most prestigious position.  For months, I hashed is out with each one of my best friends impatiently waiting until they day I could yell from the rooftops, “I’m engaged!”

Make no mistake though; plans were blossoming in my head.  I am a planner at heart after all.  I was thinking and scheming in generalities, but refusing to make any real decisions until it was “official.”  It was so important to both of us that Brandon follow tradition and surprise me when he popped the question.

But as the months passed I was less and less convinced that it could happen any time soon.  It seemed like several milestones passed and there was no ring.  Brandon was a wonderful actor and there was no indication that anything was in the works.

So when the time finally came I was totally and completely shocked.

My trip to AZ had been tons of fun.  I reconnected with my best friends, reminisced about my college days, and got some much needed rest.  The trip though was definitely a time for me to think about the life I had chosen in TN.  Details are not needed, but suffice it to say that I came to terms with a lot of choices and paths taken.  I felt like new doors were opening.  Looking back I realized it could not have been a more beautiful precursor for what was to happen when I got off the plane.

I love airports.  There is something human and emotional and real about them.  Every time I walk through BNA the significance of the place is not lost on me and this time was no different, despite the total frustration I had with myself for leaving my phone on during the flight which consequently resulted in its deadness.

As I came down the escalator, I couldn’t help but smile.  Standing there, red rose in one hand, was Brandon.  He was smiling too.  Hugging him tightly I remember thinking it was so nice that my boyfriend would meet in the middle of the airport dressed up.  He is so romantico!  I also remember thinking how odd it was that there was a weird guy behind the pole taking pictures of us.

As Brandon starts with his speech I got to say I remained clueless for the initial part of it. Anyone who has seen the pictures can testify to that. But eventually I caught on and through my tears, hyperventilating, and the shakes I got out that very important, “Yes.”

In the days following I could do nothing but smile. I was so happy. The proposal, the ring, the surprise… was everything I could have ever asked for. It meant the world to me that he loved me enough to go through all of this. I will remain forever thankful for this beautiful time in both of lives.

I was so proud. Proud that he had picked out the perfect ring without my input. Proud that he surprised me with such a heartfelt and meaningful proposal. Proud that this thoughtful and loving man was my fiancé and would one day become my husband.

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So Shannon decided that our first two blogs should be about the proposal itself, from each of our perspectives.  I thought this was a cute idea and decided to get the ball rolling while I lie in bed.

First of all, the location.  I proposed to Shannon at the airport.  The reason?  The airport holds a lot of significance to us and to our relationship.  Obviously, since our relationship started off long distance, the airport was really our only means of seeing each other.  The first place I saw Shannon with my own eyes was at the airport.  BNA, to be exact.  Which is the place I proposed to her.

Now, how did I hatch this scheme?  Well, in part I have Brooke Boncher to thank for that.  Brooke was a senior swimmer at the University of Tennessee when I was working as team manager.  We began talking quite a bit on bus trips because while everyone else was goofing off we were usually doing homework.  We considered ourselves the elders of the group (Brooke had missed a couple years swimming due to an injury, so she was older than all the other swimmers).  We talked a lot about Shannon and I.  She herself had a boyfriend waiting for her, back in Massachusetts.  Therefore, we had something in common.  One day, she was asking me if I thought Shannon was the one.  With all Shannon and I had been through at this point, I couldn’t help but think that she was.  So, my response was, “Yes, I believe so.”

“How are you going to propose?”

Well, I had never thought about it extensively to that point.  Up until then, I had always had a specific spot in Nashville I wanted to propose – but I felt something else was needed for Shannon.  The idea came to me like a bolt of lightning.  “At the airport, of course.”

This was in March of 2008.

So that brings us to the second part of the proposal: The Ring.  After proposing, one of the first questions Shannon asked me was, “How did you find this ring?”  My response was the truest response I could think of: “Well, it sort of found me.”

Explanation?  You see, my sister-in-law’s father is a jeweler and has been for sometime.  So, when I decided to confide in my brother and sister-in-law that Shannon was the one, Sara immediately asked, “Do you want my dad to keep an eye out for a ring for you?”  Of course I said yes, not thinking he would find a ring that really suited myself or Shannon.

Several times Sara brought a ring to me that, although beautiful, simply didn’t fit what I had envisioned for Shannon.  Then, in October of 2008 she brought one to me that I absolutely loved.  I told her – tell your dad he’s got a buyer.

Unfortunately at this time, I was working a full-time internship for the Nashville Sports Council.  I say unfortunately because the internship was unpaid.  A couple weeks after committing to buy the ring, I told my brother I’d simply have to pass on it because I didn’t have any money and didn’t know when I’d even be able to start paying for the ring.  Sadly, I let it go – not knowing how I was going to find a ring anytime in the near future.

Then, in early 2009, my brother called me.  “Hey, I don’t know if you’d be interested or not, but Al (Sara’s father) got that ring back from the guy who had originally purchased it.”

I was all over it.  From that point forward I began making payments on the ring.  In early summer, I got a date for the proposal: August 12th.  Why August 12th?  Because Shannon was going to be returning from Phoenix on that particular day.  About a month or so away from August 12th, I ran into a problem.  I wasn’t satisfied with the ring.  I loved the design and I loved the layout, but the center diamond left something to be desired.  It was nice enough, but wasn’t exquisite.  So I called Sara and Thomas and talked to them about it.  She told me she’d ask her dad to keep an eye out for a nicer diamond to put in the ring.

On a day off, I made a trip to Genesis Diamonds to price a loose stone for Shannon’s ring.  They showed me one that was beautiful, albeit a little out of my price range, but I committed to buying it.  I put a down payment on the diamond and had two weeks to decide whether or not I wanted the stone.

A little off topic here.  It was at this point that I phoned Danyella (Shannon’s best friend) and asked for her blessing to marry Shannon.  She said yes and reassured me that Shannon was completely oblivious to the me proposing to her.  In fact, as Danyella put it, “I think she’s given up any hope of that happening in the near future.”

Al to the rescue once again.  A week after putting a down payment on a diamond at Genesis, Sara called me and told me Al had acquired a beautiful Marquise cut diamond.  I excitedly went and checked the diamond out and was in love.  This was the diamond that was going to complete Shannon’s engagement ring.  I committed to that diamond, and the next day, went and got my money back from Genesis.

Which brings us pretty much up to the proposal, itself.  The day Shannon left for Phoenix, I went and picked up the ring from my brother and sister-in-law.  I was blown away by its beauty.  The new diamond looked amazing and the ring, at that point, was exactly what I wanted.  Now, I would just have to wait for the long week to go by.

The week did go by, very slowly.  Luckily, I worked at least one of my jobs every single day of the week.  Unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble sleeping that week.  Not due to nervousness, but due to excitement.  I was truly anxious for Shannon to get back so that my plan could finally unfold.

It was the day I was set to propose that I phoned Shannon’s sister and mother to ask for their blessing.  I didn’t trust them to keep the secret.  I didn’t think they’d blow it maliciously, mind you, but I felt certain that they would accidently let something slip beforehand (sorry to you both, if you are reading this).

The night before Shannon was supposed to return, I didn’t get to sleep until approximately 6:30 AM.  Again, not because of nervousness, but because of excitement.  I worked both jobs that day and before I knew it, it was 10:30 PM.  Shannon’s flight was due in at 12:30 AM.  After finishing my shift at Pizza Hut I sped home, took a shower, got dressed, got a rose from the store, and headed to the airport.

My best friend, Travis, was meeting me at the airport to photograph the whole thing.  We arrived at the airport at around midnight, and it was pretty dead.  I paced anxiously, constantly checking the arrival board for any updated on her flight’s status (partially because they had left Phoenix almost half an hour late).  While waiting, and pacing, Travis worked on his photography skills, trying to get a feel for the beast of a camera he was using to document this momentous occasion.

Shannon’s flight from Phoenix had three other flights that had connected to it, Las Vegas being one of them.  The only two flights due in at 12:30 were hers from Phoenix and one from Charlotte.  12:30 came and like clockwork people starting streaming down the escalator.  I turned to Travis and said, “I think this is it.”  After a few minutes and no sign of Shannon, I asked one of the passengers waiting on their luggage where they were coming from.  “Vegas,” he replied.

This had to be it.  I could feel myself starting to sweat.  This was the only point at which I was nervous.  A few more moments passed and after talking to the gentleman again, I realized this was not Shannon’s flight.  His flight from Vegas was a direct flight, and half an hour early.

So, approximately 15 more minutes passed (although, let me tell you, it felt like an hour).  Then, once again, people began streaming down the escalator.  I turned to Travis once more and said, “This has got to be it.  There’s no other flights coming in.”

So, finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I saw her coming down the escalator.  She saw me immediately and began to grin and I did the same.  She ran to me and we hugged for a moment and then I started my speech.

“You know, the airport has held a lot of significance in our relationship over the years.  In fact, it was almost in this exact spot that I was standing when I first laid eyes on you…”

I continued and Shannon seemed utterly confused.  She was giving me a look that said, “I’m tired.  What are you talking about?  Let’s go home.”  It wasn’t until I said the line, “So I called your mother and received her blessing,” that she knew what was happening.  At this point, she began choking back tears.  And of course, right on cue, when she started to choke up, so did I.  But I took a deep breath and said, “Shannon.  Breathe.  Don’t have an anxiety attack.”

Then, I finished my speech, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me.  She said, “Yes!” through her tears.

From this point forward, I was so excited.  It had gone exactly as I had planned.  I could tell from her reaction that no one had spilled the beans – she was completely shocked.  We spent the next 15 minutes at the airport.  Laughing, crying, kissing, and checking out the goods.  We went home and ended up staying up well past 3 AM because we were both so amped up and so excited about it.   The news spread quickly, once again thanks to Facebook and text messaging.  It wasn’t long before we had well-wishes from so many of our friends and family – something that surprised us both (not that we had well-wishers, but the number that we had).

So, that’s the proposal, from my perspective.  Sorry it was so long.  There was a lot of backstory here.  Hers should be shorter.  🙂

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