We are hoping that this will be the final stop for telling “the story” of what happened Monday night.
It all began back in April, Alexis and I “snuck” into a jewelry store here in Gresham and she saw a wedding set that she absolutely loved, albeit way beyond anything that I could afford (and that was without the diamond!). But it gave me an idea of what to look for. A while later, I get a windfall of cash to help with mission trip we would be going on that summer, strangely enough I had received about $600 more than we needed. After prayerful consideration I put down $500 on that very ring she looked at, without any real idea of how on earth I would pay off the whole thing, thankfully the store let me put the ring on lay-away instead of just buying it on credit, and for some strange reason that same day he took off $600. The week after I put down that money we were visiting some old pastor friends of ours, right as we were leaving they slipped me a $500 check, the exact amount I had just put down on the ring. So, essentially at this point I’ve really paid nothing.
After this I worked my tail off and put every extra penny (at times it was like $20) towards that ring, by October I still owed a fair amount. But I remembered what God had told me just over a year ago, which was that when I finished my journal (not my blog, but a real paper one) it would be time to propose. I still had about 25 pages to go at that point, but something inside of me was pressing to pay off the ring, so I figured out how to work as much as possible and still get my intern and school duties done. By the second week in November it was done, I owned the ring. But there was still one problem; I still didn’t have a diamond. I contacted her grandfather (mom’s side) who use to be in the jewelry business, he got me some good prices on some great diamonds, but way beyond my financial ability. I contacted her grandmother (father’s side) and she had a diamond to send, and I received it, but it wasn’t an engagement diamond, however we are putting it into the wedding band. Then I looked on my side of the family, and nothing was found there either. Finally, a solution came about and just last Monday (Nov 21st) the diamond came, from what we think (no one is sure it was in a box) is from my biological dad’s mom’s ring. A beautiful, hand cut, round, 1 carat diamond.
So, I rushed into the store on Tuesday, had the diamond set, and it was to be ready on Wednesday so I could take it with us to Seattle so I could propose on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Well, on Wednesday I got stuck working late, and when I finally made it to the store, it was closed, it had closed an hour earlier than normal for the Holiday!
Plan A was to propose on the Seattle waterfront after seeing the downtown Christmas tree light up, well without the ring, that wouldn’t happen. Funny thing is, the journal still had 5 pages left.
Plan B – Portland on the following Monday. Journal now has 2 pages left. We would go to the Grotto around 1pm. The Grotto is a Catholic Church prayer center, with a park like grounds that you can walk around on, it has a rose garden and a great garden with cool paths to walk on. The best part is the 130 ft ledge that you take an elevator to get up to, and at the top is more gardens, and a prayer room made of marble and huge glass windows that overlook the Columbia gorge towards Vancouver, WA and the cascades, and the Portland airport. My idea was to take her here, walk around, go to the prayer room to pray about stuff and then read some words I had written in my journal that I wanted to say (which are posted below) and then propose in the prayer room (if no one else was there, otherwise just outside looking over the area). – Plan B failed, there was a huge accident on the I205 freeway and we were forced to go another way, which took me forever to figure it out and by the time we got to the Grotto they had closed the upper part (w/ the prayer room) and would be closed until 5pm for the “Festival of lights”.
Plan C – We went to Safeway and had a bite to eat, at this point she just thought things were fine. We were waiting for the festival to start. We went in and it was awesome, they had the story of Jesus’ birth playing, and scenes made of Christmas lights. When you made it to the end of the path it lead into a big area with a huge life-like nativity scene and a Star of David the size of our house. We walked around, enjoyed the sites, and talked, and laughed. Then as we were about to leave, and grabbed her and took her under one of the spotlights that shined down to make the image of a snowflake on the ground. And I said, “I have a gift for you”, she said “You do!”, and I said “yes”. I pulled the ring out of my inside pocket, and her face froze. I began to slip off the wrong glove, but caught myself, and slipped off the left glove. I took her hand, and said “Would you be my bride?” She was silent, and shocked, and then she buried her head into my chest. She looked up, teary eyed, and then screamed, “OH MY GOSH, IT’S REAL, YES” and did a little dance and then wouldn’t budge, and said, “I want to savor this moment!” Later on in the car I read to her the words I originally wanted to say. Oh, yeah, and the Journal got done, with a big ‘ol praise to God and closing thoughts on the future.
The rest is history.