Don't you just LOVE random fun holidays? No? Just me? Alright.
Over the weekend S & I had a little impromptu pre-Mardi Gras dinner with some friends of ours. I volunteered to make the King Cake. And before you go thinking that I went to OH SO much trouble...I'll burst your bubble and tell you that I didn't. I found a super easy recipe on the internet last year and it was my go-to again for this year.
It's not the fairest of them all but it ranks with yummiest.
We headed over to the Wilsons where Emilee didn't disappoint with the tablescape.
After dinner, we cut into the cake to find the baby! (Everyone's favorite part of a King Cake.)
*WARNING: The next pic might be a little gross to some readers. See, I used a little cherry filling in this year's cake. And well....like I said earlier....not the fairest cake of them all.*
So if you are like me and do celebrate the random holidays for the fun of it, HAPPY MARDI GRAS!!!
This post has been a long-time coming, so without further adieu, this is how November 16th, 2012, changed our lives forever.
I love Stephen, with all of my heart. But bless him, sometimes keeping a secret, or at least keeping something REALLY important to himself and a couple others is near impossible. It's how he handles things, he needs to talk it all out, get others' opinions, get it off his chest. I'm almost the total the opposite.
By the time the proposal day finally came around, there were several people who were fully aware of what was going on. (Including me. I have an unusual ability to just "figure things out"...always have.)
While I had a clue of what was happening, I did not know what his "plan" was. Somehow, I hadn't figured that out. Which is just fine with me, because at least that part of the day, which would be the most important part, was a surprise to me.
We started talking seriously about marriage months before, we had even gone as far as to talk about being engaged before the end of the year. So as far as I knew, it was going to happen at some point in 2012.
We had plans one night to go to Nashville for dinner and to just hang out. I had had a busy, stressful week at work, and I was sooooo looking forward to our Nashville date night. S picked me up and we headed west. Right before we got on the interstate, he realized he had left a gift card at home that he wanted to take with us, so we needed to make a pit stop at his house.
As soon as we pulled up, I noticed christmas lights strung all around the living room and suddenly realized, Nashville wasn't the plan. Instead, I walked in to hear music playing, and a candlelit table in the middle of the room. The living room had been transformed into a private dining room. S's brother, the chef, prepared a fabulous meal for us, complete with a menu on the table. I was so shocked I just got this gut feeling that this was it. I had butterflies all night.
We enjoyed all 4 courses of our meal and just had a great evening.
But, there was no ring.
A few weeks later, our big family trip to Disney was approaching and I started wondering if it would happen on that trip. SO much so that I started telling my friends, "I wonder if he's going to propose at Disney!?!"
We went to Disney. We came back home. There was no ring.
By then it was mid October and I thought, ok, Christmas or New Year's definitely. It never once crossed my mind that it would happen BEFORE Christmas.
Wednesday, November 7th, is the day that I knew it was going to be happening soon.
Stephen was acting different....weird....giddy. I asked him multiple times, "What are you up to?" He repeatedly said, "Nothing's up." Because my suspicion was so great, I even told him that after we got engaged, whenever that would be, I would come back on him and ask him if he was up to something on that particular Wednesday night.
*Remember this part for later.*
I got a few tips that something was on the horizon of happening from one of my best friends and my sister. My sister, laaaaw that's another story. All I had to do was say, "I think there's a ring coming soon" and she just immediately burst out into this nervous laughter and that was ALL I needed to know to confirm my suspicion.
Stephen also left several tips during that time. One night he randomly asked me, "Did you dress cute for work today?" Of course, my response to him was just a baffled look plastered over my face followed by a "I guess...why?" "Just wondering." (Typing this now, makes it sound like I was looking waaaaay far into things and that I should've taken this as just a simple question. But it wasn't. He'd NEVER asked me that before. It was just a weird question...weird timing, and I did look into it as maybe I should be sure I start looking cute for work in case this thing happens during the day.)
The following Wednesday, we met up at church and afterwards we typically leave at the same time. On that particular night, he went back inside after I left, which he had also never done. He said he was going back in to talk to this friend Matt. Later that night I asked him what he and Matt talked about..his response, "oh, just talk." Again...NOT a Stephen Stafford answer, and again, I looked into it.
Everything was adding up, and I all of a sudden had this overwhelming feeling that he was going to propose that weekend. I had butterflies in my stomach all the way home, called my sister, she just nervously laughed during the whole conversation and admitted that S had talked to her too. To which I said, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure everybody knows by now." I started shaking uncontrollably with nerves, anxiousness, excitement. I sat in my car in my driveway a good 20 minutes before going inside. I prayed that God would help calm me then in that moment and keep me calm in the coming days, and that all the steps that S and I had taken in our relationship were all paving the way for what was about to happen leading toward the committment we would soon be making to one another. Then, I cried for a while, and then I was ok.
In my mind, I had EVERY intention it would be happening on Saturday. Because Friday was Riley's birthday and we already had a bunch of family plans for that night. Saturday was his party, but only for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
Never did I think, it would happen smack dab in the middle of a work day.
Friday, November 16th, started like any other Friday only with several extra butterflies in my stomach, thinking the ring was coming the next day.
I got to work, and within thirty minutes of being there, I knew that it was happening THAT day. Some of my co-workers were in on the plan. (Imagine that.)
Mike and Lorna came into my office, together, and awkwardly said, "we're all going out to lunch today." To which I said, "Why? We can't all go at the same time. Or do you mean, someone's going to go pick up lunch and bring it back?" (because that's usually what we do) They were insistent, that the 3 of us were going out to lunch, our boss was fine with it. Then, they both got up and walked out together. It was all very awkward.
I immediately picked up the phone and called my aunt who works down the hall from my office and told her everything that was going on. She said, "go back there and tell them you're going to lunch with me. See if that throws them off." So I did. Lorna's response was a blank stare followed by, "That's rude. You CANNOT go with them today. You HAVE to go with us." I looked at her, started grinning and said, "I'm on to you" and walked out.
As the morning wore on, I grew more and more nervous of what all was about to happen. Or at least what all I thought was going to happen.
Lunch time came and I was a NERVOUS WRECK. Mike, Lorna and I went to lunch...nothing happened except them giving me a hard hard time since they knew I had figured it out. They milked my nerves for all they were worth. It. Was. Torture. Nothing happened at lunch. NOTHING.
Driving back to work, Mike turned onto a road that we didn't need to be on and said, "I need to pick up something at the dry cleaners." We passed the dry cleaners. "I think we all need to take a walk in the park." UGH....
This was IT!
We parked the car, we all got out, I looked down the pathway and saw Stephen sitting by the fountain. I started my walk toward him thinking, this is it, this is it, this is it.
After a few minutes of casual yet awkward conversation, he got to the good part, and I will admit I don't remember half of what he said but I do remember him getting on one knee and saying...
"Will you marry me and be with me forever?"
Obviously you know my answer.
(*Remember when I said I knew he was up to something the the week before on Wednesday and he said he wasn't and I said I'd throw it back in his face later on if he was and I knew.....yeah.....welllllll......he was. Turns out that was the night he went to my parents house and talked to my dad. I love my dad. He basically told S that we were both adults, it's not his place to give "permission" but that he would support our decision and knew we wouldn't take any of it lightly.*)
Then I noticed my sweet friend Julie pop out from behind a tree from where she had been snapping pictures the entire time. *Great move S ; )
I am so glad we have these pictures...forever from this very special and life changing moment.
I showed off my ring, we snapped more pictures, a good time was had by all. Then I went back to work and Stephen went and got lunch on his own. Ha. True story.
Later that night, we celebrated Riley's birthday with my immediate family and showed off this rock a little more.
Novemeber 16th....one of the best days of my life and the start of our forever!!
I am convinced that "nesting" isn't just for pregnant women. It is also for brides-to-be. I have the sudden and overwhelming urge to clean, organize, rearrange and purge. I feel the need to get all of this done in order to make room for new stuff and the Mr.'s stuff.
Monday night I cleaned out my closet. (feverishly before The Bachelor came on…priorities, ya know.)
I managed to fill a trash bag with shoes for donation, a trash bag of clothes for donation, and 4 trash bags of trash. I also found $76.70. Not in one place, but nonetheless, I found $76.70. It’s like I paid myself to clean my closet! You’re probably wondering where the title comes into play.
Well, in one bag that I found buried in the back, I found a medicine bottle, wrapped with a paper towel. I could tell there was a note with it, so I unwrapped it to find this…
Apparently in 2006 both my grandmother and I had bad coughs. She got the Rx medicine then lent it to me, which is totally legit, right?
But what I LOVE more is her own “Doctor’s orders” note she left with it. And just in case I didn’t believe her, she put the doctor’s name on it. Bless her.
I also love the line about taking it if “cough is bad, not just coughing now and then.” I love her. With all my heart. Always have. Always will. (I’m pretty sure I’m keeping this note forever.)
Hey there! I’m Erica, welcome to my little bloggity blog!
I am blessed beyond measure every day by a loving & merciful Lord. I have THE BEST family and friends a girl could ask for!
I married my sweet husband on September 28th, 2013...it was truly the most perfect day ever! After struggling to have a baby we were blessed to learn of our first pregnancy in June of 2015, only to suffer a heartbreaking loss 8 weeks later. Fast forward through months of tears, grief, prayers and fertility medications, we joyfully welcomed our twin daughters, Amelia and Mae Parker on October 2, 2016!
I have a job that I genuinely enjoy and look forward to every day. It is rewarding and I feel like I make a difference in people’s lives.
Laughing until it hurts.
Sun Drop & Dr. Pepper.
Reading other blogs.
The great state of Tennessee.
Waking up on a Saturday with NOTHING to do.
My grandparents’ backyard.
Cooking and Baking.
Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!