We celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary last week. Sometimes I still feel like the young adults we were when we got married - 22 and 23 years old. And then at other times, I look around us….and look in the mirror - and the evidence shows otherwise.
There was no fanfare this year or a big trip…..not even a date. But we both talked about it beforehand and were good with that. We know its important for the two of us to connect and we don’t want to minimize the “essential-ness” of time for just the two of us, but we also just felt like we’d be doing it because we were supposed to…and trying to squeeze it in when we felt like other things going on took a bigger priority in this season. So, instead we hosted an end-of-the summer cookout in our backyard with youth. Isn’t that what everybody does on their 13th wedding anniversary?! (If not, you are missing out!) Our life and our marriage together is not just about us. We’re here to glorify God and to connect others to Him - and that really is what we want to be about. Our marriage feels stronger when we are on the same page about that.
Upon our agreement to not spend money on gifts or do anything big, Adam still managed to make a point to show me that he knows my love language and that he loves me in extravagant ways.
I have shared on the blog before about my strong love for movie theatre popcorn. Well, he went to a local theater that afternoon and told them he wanted to get popcorn for his wife for our anniversary. It was a new request for the staff and they indulged his request and filled up not only a typical bucket, but a large trash-bag size for him as well.
And that’s my Adam. He has a track record of doing thoughtful, occasionally over-the-top things for me.
I’ve never recorded his proposal on the blog before and since this serves as a bit of a log of our lives, it probably should contain the not-so-typical request for my hand in marriage that he planned.
We were in our senior year of college. Recent conversations had identified that we both were on the same page about this heading toward marriage. But recent conversations also led me to believe that this guy had no money for an engagement ring and that he also seemed to be on a slower timeline trajectory toward marriage than I was on.
And his gift of a promise ring to me on my birthday in September of that year really threw me for a loop and left me thinking that a proposal would not be anytime soon. (1. He knew how I felt about promise rings….not a big fan. And 2. Why would he waste money on a promise ring when I was ready for the real deal and he should be saving money for that?!?!)
But come October of that year, I had planned what I thought was initiated by me a weekend with a couple of my hometown girlfriends and our significant others. Little did I know that he was the one that initiated all of this.
While we were all hanging out Friday night, my friend’s dad who had a small plane, offered to give rides if any of us were interested. My one friend really wanted to, but no one else was showing a ton of interest. It was only a 4-seater. Adam said he thought it’d be kinda fun and asked if I wanted to. I had never rode in a small plane, so I said sure.
The 4 of us headed to the airport and I honestly had NO idea or inclination that this was anything special. Completely clueless.
As we flew over our small town, we were looking out of the plane windows and able to identify some areas of our town. I saw my parent’s property, the local schools, etc. It was cool to see the lights that lit up a small town and I was just taking it in…..and also trying not to be nervous about the fact that we were in a 4-seater plane way up high in the sky.
At one point, my friend’s dad asked if I had noticed anything out my window. I was just taking it all in. As I glanced out my window again, my eyes were drawn toward a “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” message lit up on the ground. I honestly, honestly thought, “That’s cool. Someone is getting proposed to tonight.” I really truly had NO IDEA that it was me. And then I looked over at Adam. He was looking at me and had a ring box open.
Shock hit. He tried to get out some words over the sounds of the plane and his nervousness. I could hardly listen and my mind was just blown and trying to understand how this had all happened and had been planned.
Turns out this guy had already talked to my parents. He had asked for the airplane ride. He had talked to my hometown friends about this. He had mapped out how big letters would need to be to be seen from the sky. He had bought the ring (at the same time as the promise ring….just trying to throw me off any scent that I might have otherwise picked up). He had driven the two hours from our college campus to my friend’s house in a previous trip to map out the message. He had bought all of the supplies (hundreds of candles and candlebags). He arranged for my best friend/college roomie to be along also. He had recruited and prepped the others to put out all of the candlebags once we headed to the airport. He had this all planned out….and planned out well. With me not having any sort of clue (I promise, I’m actually a pretty intuitive and intelligent person).
And that’s my Adam. He knew that my heart wanted the affirmation of a somewhat public show of his affections and intentions and that it would mean a lot to me for it to include the help of people that I was close to. We had known each other for over a year and a half at this point, dated for a good chunk of it (with a 5-month breakup in between it all) and had even agreed to hold to the decision I had made shortly before meeting him to not even kiss again until I was engaged.
And that’s just some insight into my Adam.
He’s great at keeping secrets (making me a little uneasy at times!).
He isn’t embarrassed or afraid to show that he loves me.
He can plan and execute his ideas.
He often goes above and beyond expectations.
He is so good to me. (Note: I did not say perfect). :)
And there you go. Now you know how this guy proposed to me if you didn’t already. Written down for the archives as we celebrated 13 years of marraige. (Sorry, no pics.....this was before the convenient age of digital photography). Those hundreds of candles were used in our wedding reception to decorate the tables as we celebrated our vows with over 300 witnesses that we were going to commit to love each other for the rest of our lives.
And so far, so good.