That's right! I am officially off the market ;)
My soldier and I have been talking about getting married after he gets back from his deployment for a few months now...I blogged about our dream wedding here. Now I thought I would give everyone the story of how we got engaged! :)
He has been in training since January 3rd, and the last time I saw him was February 20th when his unit was moved to a post in Texas to continue their pre-deployment training. The picture at the top of my blog is one that was taken of us just before he boarded the bus to leave :( Anyhow, his unit was given a 4 day pass to come home and see their families one last time before they left.
After spending the last month and a half counting down day by day until I would get to see him again, I finally got to pick him up from the airport Thursday morning! Let me just say...it really sucks that they have the giant words implanted into the carpet that say "DO NOT CROSS"..I could see him right after he came through the jet bridge, and it took everything I had to not take off running and jump into his arms! But...I really didn't want to get arrested, so I contained myself the best I could ;) When he finally got past the exit and I finally got to wrap my arms around him, he picked me up into his arms and it was almost surreal, but so perfect! I was so happy just to be with him!
We went home and just hung out around the house while we waited on his mom and sister to drive up from Little Rock to come see us for a day or two. His little sister is a photographer, and she does SUCH a good job, so one of the things we decided to do while he was home was to go take some pictures together so we could have some good ones to keep us company while he is away. I had found a picture a while back, which I blogged about here, and I fell in love with it. I REALLY wanted us to take some pictures of us with him in his uniform, and he agreed to it! :) So that was the plan!
So anyways...before he got home, we had been talking about the pictures...what we were going to wear, where we were going to take them, etc. I suggested Devil's Den, which is a state park just south of where we live and it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! He agreed that it would be the perfect spot...sneaky...he had planned on proposing to me there all along!
We met up with his mom and sister at Devil's Den that afternoon, and we made our way down to this adorable waterfall area and started taking a few pictures...little did I know they were going to turn into our first set of engagement photos! We took a few sitting down, and then Elizabeth put us on the rock with the waterfall directly behind us. I was standing on the rock and Walter was standing on the gravel/water directly in front of me and we were facing each other. He lifted his hand and brushed my hair back out of my face, looks me in the eyes and starts saying all these wonderful and sweet things...which honestly, are a bit of a blur now...haha...but I do remember a couple things in particular! He said that that day had been one of the best days of his life just spending time with me, and he said, "I want to come home to you for the rest of my life." I am thinking, "aww...how sweet is my boyfriend!" and all the sudden he drops down on one knee, and of course I realize what's happening and I start to cry...and he pulls out a box and opens it up and there is the most beautiful ring...and he says, "Lauren, will you marry me?"
YESSS!!!! haha. I practically pulled him up from the ground and wrapped my arms around him and kissed him. I was so happy! We had obviously talked about getting married, and even planned on when we wanted to have the ceremony. I knew he was saving for a ring, but I honestly didn't expect him to propose until he got back from his deployment. It was such a beautiful surprise, and I LOVE that we have tons of pictures of that moment. It was absolutely perfect in every way. And I love that I get to call him my FIANCE now! It was a perfect way to start the weekend, and we got to revel in it for the entire four days we got to spend together before he goes overseas. I am so incredibly blessed...I honestly didn't know that a man like him could even exist. We are far from perfect, but I have complete faith that God made us perfectly for each other :)
Now time for some pictures! :)
|One of the "before" pictures :)|
|As he was saying the sweetest things to me ;)|
|I said YES! :)|
|This was similar to one of the pictures I found...I think it turned out rather well :)|
|I love the dogwood trees that are in bloom right now!|
|I found this really cool building downtown a couple weeks ago that was painted like a flag, and I thought it would make a perfect backdrop for our uniform pictures! :)|
|And....this one is my absolute favorite! :)|
We also ended up taking a few the next day in regular clothes, but I'll save those for another post since this one is getting pretty long ;)
But one last picture I have to share...
|And there it is, my gorgeous ring!|
He did so great! The only hint I had given him at all was that I liked princess cuts the best...he did the rest all by himself! He knows me so well...it is absolutely perfect!
I am absolutely head over heals in love with that man. I cannot wait for the next 8 months to fly by so I can be back in his arms again. Fortunately, I'll get to stay busy with the wedding planning! (err...and getting a PhD...haha) But I am sure I will keep you posted on my wedding planning adventures...I am really looking forward to it! :)