It was a dark and stormy night…

Actually it was a crisp October morning in good ol’ Manhattan, KS during the Fall of 2008.  I was in my student teaching semester, while Ryan was a Junior in digital arts.  Kansas State is a small school, but it is amazing how you can go 3 years being in the same school and never meeting until the end!  Ryan and I began volunteering with the youth group at our church, Manhattan Vineyard.  Ryan played music, and I worked with the students.  It was not until the annual youth campout, however, that we even spoke with each other.

Kids like to eat gross stuff and play ridiculous games on campouts, so we had a lot to get ready for.  Ryan picked me up the morning of the trip, and we drove around town picking up extra hot-dog buns, camp stoves, and Underoos.  (The Underoos were immediately frozen in a bowl of water, for the kids to break apart and get on their head.  I told you, kids are werid.)  That was really the first time Ryan and I had any reason to hang out.  We have talked to each other almost every day since then.

Upon graduating from K-State, the inevitable had come: I needed to move back to Texas to find a teaching job.  I said goodbye to Ryan, and we spend the next 2.5 years talking nightly on Skype, iChat, or the phone.  After dozens of flights to and from Kansas and Texas, love letters sent by snail mail, and lots of prayers for each other, Ryan told me he was moving to Texas!

When Ryan got a job in Dallas, I began applying for teaching positions all over the city.  We finally live in the same city, after 2.5 years of long-distance love!  Ryan proposed to me in December, 2011, and we will be getting married this summer!

You want to hear the engagement story, don’t you?

THE STORY

As Thanksgiving Break was coming to a close, Ryan and I traveled back to Dallas from our respective families.  Over the holiday, Ryan had decided that enough was enough, and it was time to propose.  Coincidentally, I had planned a cheesy Christmas Tree Decorating night complete with Ella Fitzgerald and egg nog.  The plan was to  arrive back in Dallas Sunday night, and purchase/decorate the tree the following day.  Ryan convinced me that he was really tired, and wanted to buy the tree the next weekend.  I compromised for Tuesday.  Little did I know, I had given him less than 24 hours to prepare to propose, call my dad, and generally freak out.  Tuesday came, and I had NO idea.  Ever since we talked about one day getting married, I just knew that he would give it away.  He’s always been terrible at keeping gifts a secret, and I figured he wouldn’t ever be able to keep this one inside.  As the night went on, we ate at Philly Connection, bought a beautiful little Douglas Fir, carried it up the tiny staircase in my building, and began decorating.  I’m still oblivious to his plans at this point.  Ryan had set up his camera and tripod.  He wanted to practice his time-lapse photography skills.  (He could probably explain that better, but that’s all I got.)  The camera took a photo every 15 seconds throughout the entire evening.  Once the tree was decorated, we were about to turn off the camera, but he told me to wait.  He had forgotten that he made an ornament for me at work!  My exact thoughts were, “An ornament at work? Random.”  He went to his bag, and pulled out a little black box.  I don’t remember exactly what he was saying, but he got down on one knee, and asked, “Will you marry me?” The next few moments I only remember because it was caught on camera!  I believe I eventually said a tear-filled, “YES!”  And now WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!  (The video is on the home page if you want to watch it again after you read The Story.  You will probably cry this time.)

THE RING

He picked out the perfect ring.  It is a vintage 1920′s art deco ring.  When he ordered it, he didn’t know my ring size.  He told me he had torn my apartment to pieces trying to find any rings, but I don’t wear rings.  He knew the ring was it, so he decided to buy it, and we would worry about size later.  When he slipped it on my finger, it could not have been a better fit!  I guess he really is my Prince Charming. :)