Yesterday was National Proposal Day and for the lovingkind, that is a holiday worth observing (even if it is belated)!
No matter how it happens, whether it’s grand or simple, I find sweet beauty in the act of a man asking a woman to share the rest of her life with him. I love to listen to stories of “how he asked,” but even more importantly, I love to see the light in the eyes of the girl who has just said yes.
When I think back on the day Woody proposed to me just two years ago this month, I get that same light in my eyes. It was a moment unlike any other and I am so thankful for where that moment has brought us today.
When determining how to best share my own proposal story, I filtered through ideas and wrote a new post, but ultimately settled that the story is not about a perfectly written memoir, but rather the raw emotion and clear memory from the day it happened. So, for the first time on the lovingkind, I am opening the pages of my personal journal to share with you the entry I wrote the night we were engaged. I hope the the simplicity and transparency of my memory takes you back to the way you felt on your own sweet day.
A couple things to note before you read:
~Please overlook any fragments, run-on sentences or poor composition—a girl on the heels of a beautiful proposal cannot be concerned with grammar and matters of the like! I have tried to correct a few areas for readability sake.
~The original entry is 18 pages long (what do you expect from a writer?!), so I have pulled out excerpts for this post. Don’t worry, there is still plenty to read!
~It is all written the night we got engaged from St. Simons Island (SSI), one of our favorite spots and where we were visiting when we got engaged.
~Everyone always asks, "how did the cameras not give it away?" and it is a great question! Well, for one, when I had asked a couple days into the trip if I would be happy" in 5 days (yes, that was me not-so-subtly alluding to a proposal) Woody told me no, so I had removed the possibility of a proposal happening on that trip completely. Secondly, we had been planning to hang out with new friends and wedding photographers, Sarah and Brent. When Sarah said she wanted to bring her camera along (thanks to the behind the scenes planning with Woody) it seemed totally natural since she is a photographer and I didn't think anything of it! Their cover was flawless!
March 14, 2012
This is the beginning of what is sure to be one of my favorite journal entries ever...Woody and I are engaged!!! I can't believe how good it feels to say those words. I'm engaged. He's engaged. We're engaged. He is my fiance!
I am overcome with delight and excitement. I've gone to bed many nights dreaming of this and now I'll go to bed thinking of this wonderful day, beautiful proposal, and gorgeous ring. Wow. I had no clue it was coming today, not at all. Woody did so good. He surprised me and proposed in such a special way. He just amazes me over and over again with his intuition and great love.
Before we came to SSI, we made plans to hang out with Sarah and Brent DeShaw…Sarah suggested we go to a picnic on Driftwood Beach and we thought it was a great idea. Sarah shared that she wanted to bring her camera along just to get a few shots. Well of course I loved the idea and welcomed it. This also meant I had been chatting with Woody about outfits and knew we had to look cute!
We had a beautiful drive over to Jekyll Island. We chatted and rode and I was anxious to get there since we were a bit late. But we got there and then followed Sarah and Brent to Driftwood Beach. We got to the beach and it was amazing. The driftwood trees were huge and glorious. We spent some time walking around and quickly found a space for our picnic. We spread out our blanket and then began to walk at Sarah and Brent’s suggestion. Sarah got out her camera. I was very excited for her to get some shots, but also very nervous as to what to do or how to act. She talked about how her sister wanted some photos of trees and started snapping away.
I told Woody and Brent we were going to walk down the beach and they quickly followed. We hadn’t been walking long when Sarah said, “let me get some photos of you guys. I just can’t resist!” So we let her, but I think we both were a little nervous and unsure. Then she posed us and asked Woody to stand behind me with his arms around me. He did and that felt comfortable and sweet. Then, she told us to face each other and put our foreheads together. We did and had sweet moments.
It started to feel better and more natural, but Woody kept holding both my hands and keeping them about elbow length and he kept kissing me and saying he loves me. I felt like he was being a bit stiff and then realized he was shaking. I said something to the extent of, “you’re shaking, don’t be nervous,” and I was laughing because I wasn’t sure why he was so nervous.
He told me beforehand he was unsure how to be in front of the camera, but this seemed a little extreme. So I looked at him as he was intently gazing at me and I said, “you’re nervous,” with a little laugh hoping I could calm him down. It was at this moment he nodded in agreement and I clued in to what was happening. It was that sobering moment of “oh my goodness this is happening now.” I could not have been more surprised or expected it less, and just the realization that he was surprising me and doing it in this moment was breathtaking.
I’ll never forget that moment of realization—I see the soft gray, blue and white hues of the beach behind him, I hear cameras clicking and I see his beautiful, blue eyes with a soft yet piercing gaze looking at me as they brim with misty tears, and I feel his tender shake as the breeze blows. My realization is stronger when he starts to speak, “33 years and one day ago, God created me…I believe God made you for me…you asked if you’d be happy in 5 days and I said no, because I knew you’d be happy in 4…Mattye Caroline LaSuer will you be in my life forever?” And as he began to say my name he got down on one knee.
I felt like a princess—I was feeling like royalty and incredible humility at the same time in the face of this gesture of love. He opened up a black ring box and I noticed a ring more beautiful than I ever hoped and while I was so excited for that, I was more excited to get near and kiss the man asking me to marry him!
I remember as he was talking to me having moments where I was giddy with delight and moments where I was zeroed in and completely consumed with the moment and hanging on his every word. I just wanted to soak in everything. When he was down on one knee, it was by far one of the best moments of my life—so precious and sweet and just ah! Perfect! Then he put the ring on me—it was amazing! So incredibly beautiful and truly felt like our creation, our symbol since we had spent so much time together picking out different elements but we had yet to see it all together (well, he had seen it of course!) Then, I proceeded to jump around and scream and hug and kiss my new fiancé!
It feels so good to say that and I truly do feel like a new woman. And I feel differently toward Woody- I just have this love and respect and admiration for him for what he did for me and for us that I just want to give myself wholly and completely to him—such a desire given from God.
After Sarah and Brent captured tons of amazing photos we had yet to see, they went to prepare the picnic and give us some time alone. I was so grateful for that. We looked at the ring, kissed, talked about the how, the what, and lots of questions about it all. We laughed, hugged, kissed—and let me just say I am absolutely overjoyed this is the man I get to do this with for life. I am even more convinced now than ever that he is the perfect partner for me and I could not ask for a better best friend.
Read more from Woody's side of the story on a sweet post from Style Me Pretty!