Where do I start? Sunday was one of the best days of my life because my best friend and partner in laughter and joy asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. It was the sweetest proposal, so simple and lovely. I can't even believe it's real and that I have this beautiful ring and this amazing man and that I'm a few months away from getting a whole new set of amazing humans added to my family! I'M SO EXCITED!!
Patrick and I met on November 21st, 2016, became a couple on December 5th and by New Years Eve of that year I had a feeling that we were going to end up going the long haul. I remember being at a party with a group of my friends, Patrick was in Fort Collins with his family and telling them that I was going to marry this guy. Half of the room ignored me, a few of them laughed but two people tuned in and their opinions were on opposite sides of the spectrum. My friend Isaiah looked at me and said "I know you will. I think you really will marry Patrick," and then continued drinking his whiskey.
While another friend looked at me and said "You can't be serious, right? You sound crazy. I mean, you just met this guy! Sorry to be the one to tell you but that's not going to happen." I remember feeling so embarrassed and looking at the ground and Isaiah tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear, "she's wrong."
Growing up my siblings and I attended a home school group at Cheltenham Church in Maryland. We would go there every Wednesday and when I didn't have a class I'd go outside with my friends and play in the cemetery that surrounded the church. We would play out there week, after week, after week and eventually I developed a deep fondness for Cemetery's. One that led me to seeking out graveyards in every new city I visited and eventually deciding that it would be a dream come true to one day be proposed in one.
When I visit a cemetery I don't think about death or ghosts or anything scary. Rather, I think about the joy of being a kid and being surrounded by the people who love you the most. When I visit a graveyard I reminisce on my childhood and how the fun seemed endless. Now when I think of a cemetery I'll think about April 29th, the day that Patrick asked me to be his wife.
Everyone keeps asking me if I was surprised and the truth is, not really. Patrick is HORRIBLE at keeping secrets and as soon as he bought the ring he told me and leading up to the day he was dropping hints like a mad man so I knew that the proposal was going to happen. I'm not disappointed at all that it wasn't a surprise. The fact that I knew it was going to happen took the pressure off of both of us and instead of me always wondering when we were getting engaged I could just be excited about HOW he was going to do it instead of WHEN.
On Saturday afternoon Patrick told me that we needed to leave right after church on Sunday and that I'd have time to go home and change but I needed to be ready by noon. So after church I rush home, take a quick power nap (Lord knows I can't function without a nap) picked out my clothes and was ready just in time to be picked up. Patrick picks me up and he can barely keep it together. His eyes are all watery and he keeps saying how excited he is and that we're about to have our biggest adventure yet.
At this point I'm beside myself with excitement. I'm dressed super cute and Patrick has on a T-shirt, so I'm like ughhh okay, what's happening here? He just laughs and tell me to be patient. We get in the car and before I know it we're pulling up to Patrick's parents house in Fort Collins. We get out and go inside and it seems just like a normal visit, we all sit down on the couch and start talking and hanging out.
After about 30 minutes Patrick says he has to run an errand and leaves. 45 minutes later he comes back and he's now dressed really nice and he's telling me to grab my things because we're leaving. I jump up, because by now I'm SOOO anxious to see how he's going to do it and I hustle to the car. We get in and go for a little drive and he takes me to this area where we're surrounded by rolling hills and he pulls off to the side of the road and says that we're getting out.
We get out of the car and there's a fence next to us but I can't really see much, all I see is the fence and the hills. He takes my hand and walks me over to a gate where I see the sign 'Bingham Hill Cemetery.' The sign is white and really old and it's attached to this beautiful thin gate that zig zags and we have to enter one by one because it's so small.
He tells me that we're going to be walking somewhere and on our way there are going to be a few things that I have to find. As he's talking I'm trying so hard not to cry because I'm so happy and excited and Patrick looks so handsome and everything is so beautiful, I'm just overwhelmed. We walk down this path and over a small bridge and there's a creek next to us and we have to duck under a tree branch and walk over weeds and with every step more of the landscape is revealed and it's gorgeous.
Within like 30 seconds of walking up the hill I see a pair of legs hiding behind this information wall and it's my dear friend Shallyn (the taker of beautiful pictures) and we all start laughing and she tells me to pretend like she's not there.
Patrick takes me to a spot where I find flowers with a note wrapped around them. Since we first started dating Patrick has been writing me notes. These notes range from being super silly and random to being amazingly thoughtful and sweet. I've kept every note that Patrick has ever written me. So I find the note and it's beautiful, just like everything else about this moment and we keep walking and I find two more flowers with notes wrapped around them.
Once I've read the last note, Patrick decided that this is a great moment for him to make one of his lame jokes and he says "well that's everything, I guess we can leave now." But since you know the ending, you know that wasn't everything. So then he reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a red box and gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him.
The whole thing was so sweet and so US. I couldn't have asked for a better moment with a better man and I'm so unbelievably happy and also overwhelmed. I'm overwhelmed by all of the kinds words and messages that people have sent us this week. Overwhelmed by the excitement of all of our family and friends as we embark on the huge task of planning a Pennsylvania wedding from Colorado. More than anything I'm overwhelmed by God's tremendous grace towards us and the fact that he brought us together not through church or friends but through a dating app.
God is faithful and I feel so blessed to be on this journey of faith with such an amazing man by my side. Patrick, I love you so much. Thank you for planning such a special day filled with laughter and tears and so much simplicity. You're not the man of my dreams cause never in a million years could I have dreamed of finding someone as selfless, loving and gentle as you. You're the man that has surpassed all of my expectations and I can't wait to be your wife.