#TheProposal

I did it! The girls on the playground that chased me in grade-school for kisses can hit the train-tracks because this man is getting hitched! I proposed and she said, “Yes!”

Even my writing ability and words cannot do justice the gravity and realness of the love that Allie and I share. It’s tremendous and a propelling force for me that’s pressed me through some difficult self-discovery, growing-up, and helped me increasingly become the right man for her. Her confidence and perseverance in her decision to love me has solidified my affection for her.

After lots of thought (about a years worth to be exact), several emotional prayers, and mega-anxious conversations with her parents – it was time to propose.

Let’s back up to the first time I was going to ask her parents, though. Because that’s a fun and short tale. I hop in my car and tell my parents I’m going to a friend’s house. And before you know it I find myself driving down her parent’s house street, my heart beating through my chest and sweat forming on my brow (which isn’t totally unusual for me – but let’s just say I was suddenly scared to death). I drove quickly by and and collected my thoughts in a nearby parking lot. “Do I want to do this? Am I sure? Do I really love her?” The answers came back with a resounding, “Yes!” But talking to her father and mother wasn’t an easy task. I knew the gravity of the matter. I knew the purity of the heart I was asking for. I knew she was special and beautiful and abundantly perfect beyond my wildest dreams for myself.

Gathering the courage, I drove back up the drive to their house, parked my car, and got out. Nervously I knocked on the front door. No answer! Overwhelmed with mixed emotions and anxious beyond my wildest emotions, I phoned my best-friend since grade-school Joey and told him what I was doing. He managed to calm me down and it was good.

I would eventually go golfing with her Dad and then spend the whole time trying to figure out a way to broach the subject. I found it weird that I was getting along with him and actually having fun and I just didn’t have the balls to ask until we were in the truck on the way back – “So – what do you and Jan think about me, Bob?” “We think you’re pretty good for Allie. All that matters is my daughter’s happiness – take good care of her and we have no problem with you.” “Oh cool – cuz I wanna marry her.” *Awkward silence that probably wasn’t nearly as awkward and long as it felt to me….* “Okay, Justin. Well if that’s what you want – I don’t think Jan or I have an issue with it.” #Boom #PermissionGranted

A whole lot of perseverant love, prayer, and a war against darkness later – and it brings us up to speed with our story of “The Proposal.”

I frequently tell Allie that one of my favorite things in life is when I can make her eyes light up like a Christmas tree. Christmas is her absolute favorite holiday. But it’s not just a holiday for her – it’s a way of life. She likes to celebrate the spirit of Christmas basically all year long. She’s naturally a giver and warmhearted and cheery and finds the love-conquers-all holiday of Christmas to be a source of light in a dark and dreary world and as I’ve dated her, I’ve fallen more and more in love with the holiday too.

So in order to see her eyes light up, we’d need just a little Christmas Miracle.

(Disclaimer: I had abundant resources at my disposal. Her Dad is basically Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation. Her roommate is an art-designer. And her Mom and my brother provided back-up support.)

Coordinating throughout the week – I arranged for my personal “secret elves” to show up at Allie’s duplex right after we left for dinner.

We had reservations at Anton’s KC – a taproom and steakhouse that is absolutely amazing. She loved it. For one night I made her throw out her Dave Ramsey financially-smart mindset (she’s amazing at it and I just have to get better #SuchIsLife – Financial Peace University taught us that there’s always a planner and a free-spit in the relationship…guess which one I am? ;P). But tonight was about romance and courage and beauty and celebrating. Tonight was her night. But tonight, the romantic in me could shine.

So we ordered KC Strip grass-fed steaks and a bottle of delicious red-wine and I spent more on dinner than I have in my whole life. But let me tell you – it was worth it. Because she’s worth it. And the evening was off to a magical start.

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From there, I told her it was time for Chapter 2.

We started walking in the cool Fall air toward a jazz-club that has been a favorite of ours. The Green Lady Lounge is a must-go for those couples out there that haven’t been. (It’s classier than the name puts off. In other words – we’re not going to a strip-club. It’s a legit music-hall/bar, and great date-night location.)

Sitting down we enjoyed the music and I excused myself to the restroom a time or two too often because I wanted to keep tabs on the progress being made back at her house. The secret elves let me know that things were basically done and ready to go. So sticking to the schedule I announced it was time to leave. I was “feeling tired” and it was time to call it a night.

Allie was a bit sad, thinking the romantic and super fun evening was already coming to an end. I could sense her sadness but didn’t want to draw attention to it because I knew the evening would end up getting better. Being the fiercely in love and kindred spirit she is, she quickly turned up the stereo and made me sing along to some songs on the way back. It’s one of her favorite activities because I never know the words and it cracks her up. (It’s been an amusement of my friends for decades as well. Oh well!)

green-lady-lounge

As we got closer and closer to the house, I kept singing and trying to act natural. Maybe even playing into it a bit too much to keep my cover going. We pulled around the corner and you couldn’t see any lights (I’d told them to keep it off until we parked the car). So I took a deep breath and hoped for the best. Parking the car, I gave her a good, long “Hey – we’ve been dating for a year!” kiss to give the elves inside time to “flip the switch” and when we opened our eyes, a single strand of lights was beckoning against the dark night.

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“What is this? Why are there lights? Justin, what’s going on?”

“I don’t know. Let’s go check it out.”

She’s stumbling through he grass in her high-heels. Her heart telling her something is up and her brain telling her this is insane, awesome, and perplexing all at once. I’m fumbling in my pocket from the ring. Which pocket should it be in? When should I get down on one knee? What will I say?

We get around the corner and she sees this…

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“Justin, what’s going on? Why are there all these lights?”

“Come on, babe. Let’s check it out and see what it’s all here for.”

I try to guide her to stand in the heart of lights by the tree, but have to improvise when she freezes and has to pause to take it all in. In a sort of out-of-body experience I realize I’m down on one knee, TOTALLY SPEECHLESS. Justin….speechless. When does that happen? I always have an opinion to share – something to say – I always have words. I look up at her and panic for the right words. But they don’t come. I’m too nervous and she’s too beautiful.

“Allie….I know I’m supposed to have an eloquent speech prepared but I haven’t slept in about a week trying to pull all of this together. But what do you say – will you marry me?”

“Yes! Yes! Yes! Of course! How did this happen? This is the cutest thing ever! How did you even? What? What happened? How did you do this?”

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Her reaction was the cutest thing ever it’s bringing me to joyful tears as I retell the tale of our beautiful, resilient love. Amazing that such a fairy-tale can be so real.

We stood there for a moment and she gave me the biggest hug I’ve ever received and then we prayed together over the next chapter of our lives.

“Allie, that’s not it. Our family and friends should be arriving momentarily to celebrate with us.” We then spent the evening chatting with our close friends and family. Our parents ended up loving each other (they hadn’t met yet). I tried to recover from sweating nervously and the jitters like mad from heightened emotions, sleep deprivation, and the works and didn’t actually calm down until everyone had left (so I apologize for my weirdness to all of our guests).

But overall, it was one of the most magical evenings in both of our lives.

We had exchanged some gifts. I’d given her a canvas-print collage of photos that she can hang in our future home of some of my favorite memories of us. And she’d given me a jar of “365 Reasons To Smile” (speaking my love-language of words) and a wicked-awesome wooden-paneled watch with leather strap that has the inscription, “365 days down, forever to go! Love, Allie.”

Prophetic to a T, gorgeous. Because you’ll always have me.

#BetterTogether #iPutARingOnIt #MeyerWeddingComingIn2017

engagement-photo

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