Part Fourteen – He Asked…

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 “I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.”
-Shakespeare; Much Ado About Nothing (Act IV, Scene 1)

It was August. The Harrison family (except Drew) was visiting California. It was a beautiful summer day and we had plans to spend our evening at the beach and have a bonfire once the sun set. The overcast skies had spots where the sunlight streamed through in the most magical way. When the light started fading, my best friend asked if I would go on a walk with him and that’s when he asked me to be his wife.

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He had handed me a beautiful glass bottle with a scroll inside and when he pulled out the paper, he read me a Shakespearian Sonnet he had composed. (Throwback to one of our first email conversations being about which of Shakespeare’s sonnets were our favorites.) That’s when he dropped down on one knee in the sand (and Austin loathes sand) and pulled out the most stunning ring.

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It was a very out-of-body experience for me. Listening. Watching. Realizing that ohmygoshthisishappening. Wait. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. I remember when it hit me that this was The Moment. He was proposing. I remember willing myself not to let anything slip away and to savor every little detail. Still, it was a whirlwind and, before I knew it, I had said “yes” and had hugged him and he put the ring on my finger and it was perfect. So ridiculously amazingly perfect.

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I looked up and noticed a woman sneaking around with a huge camera snapping pictures of us. Our families had surrounded us by this point with smiles and congratulations and the photographer introduced herself. My amazing mom had emailed one of my favorite photographers (Connie from The Great Romance Photography) and had asked to her to shoot the proposal. I will forever and always be thankful that she did.

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I couldn’t stop gazing at my left hand. It was so sparkly. I’ve never liked fancy jewelry or really cared about things that sparkle and shine. However, once it was my engagement ring and it was on my finger, I was enthralled. He did good. ;)

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Everyone wanted to hug us and see the ring and and it was a blur of hugs (my favorite thing) and family (my favorite thing) and the beach (my favorite thing) and holding Austin’s hand (my newest favorite thing.)

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Fist bump. When the photographer asked if I had any shots I wanted her to take, my mind went completely blank. And my answer probably sounded like mumbly version of “I don’t think so…” That’s when my brilliant fiancé had the wherewithal to ask her if we could take this one. This is why I need him around.

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My favorite people. Seriously. The only thing that could have made everything more perfect would have been if Drew had been able to be there too. I am so blessed to not only have a fantastic family but also the best future-in-laws. (Also. Beth’s sandy jeans in this photo. Gosh.)

wegotengagedcollageAfter Connie left and all of the excitement settled down, we built our bonfire. We texted family and friends and took a WE JUST GOT ENGAGED selfie. The sun set and we made s’mores and I got sticky marshmallow all over my bare feet and accidentally threw sand all over Austin (who forgave me – thankfully.)

Up until the day this whole crazy thing became For Sure, I had been praying that God guide us and just reveal whatever His will was for us in this. Some times had been easy. Other times not-so-much. I had been battling insecurities and fears since the very beginning but this made one thing very clear. I didn’t want to have to face those fears without Austin by my side. I was ready to let down all the barriers I had put up and I wanted to take them down with him. Getting engaged at 19 was never part of my plan, but God knew what I needed better than I did and when the shock and surprise settled to reveal absolute joy and happiness I knew with all certainty that saying “yes” was the best decision I ever made and I couldn’t wait until we could start The Rest of Our Lives together.

(credit for the majority of the photos in this post goes to The Great Romance Photography)

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