This post was originally posted on November 26, 2004.

I am engaged! For those of you who would like to know how it happened. You can read below! 🙂

First, I picked her up for a date. We had planned on celebrating our nine month anniversary by going to P. F. Changs, one of her favorite restaurants, and Starbucks, one of our favorite places to go. Well, I picked her up for our date, which is something she never lets me do since we live so far apart. Since it was our anniversary we were going to exchange gifts. She gave me mine, which was a DVD set with the original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer show like the one shown on CBS every Christmas, and I told her that I was going to be giving her a series of gifts. Later on, I told her that her gifts were all “keys.”

The first “key” I gave her was a New Living Translation One Year Bible; the “Key to the Kingdom.” She had been wanting this for a while, and I had originally planned on giving her it for Christmas, so I used this as something to catch her off guard. Well, we were driving and I needed some cash, because I knew I didn’t want to wait around for my debit card to be processed at the restaurant. I just wanted to give the waiter cash so we could head to Starbucks. Anyways, I pull off at a Schnucks grocery store that has a Bank of America ATM inside. I go in and get some cash and buy her a single rose. The Bible and rose were good subtle ways of diverting her attention.

We go along our way and arrive at P.F. Changs. When we parked I asked her if she wanted her second gift. She said, “Yes,” and I gave her a set of keys to my vehicle; the second “key” was the “Key to my Vehicle.” She says this was the greatest key of all, because she knows how particular I am about my belongings, and how I don’t just give anyone access to my personal items. 🙂

On our way into the restaurant I tell her that her last gift is a card, but she’ll have to wait until later to get it. We go in and go to the table that I had reserved about a week earlier. We’re sitting, talking, and eating for about thirty minutes when our topic of conversation moves to my proposing to her and how I was going to do it. She was telling me how that she wanted to know when I would do it, but she didn’t want to know because she wanted it to be a surprise. You know? Well, I told her that I’d give her a hint. I said, “It will be sometime between now and December 25.” She then proceeded to deduce when she believed the date of our proposal would be. While she is doing this my brother walks in the door of the restaurant with the dozen roses and teddy bear I had asked him to pick up and deliver to her. I had purposely seated Sarah so her back was to the door. When I saw Vernon walk in the door, I asked her if she wanted her card. She said “Yes,” and that’s when I took the card out of my suit coat pocket and stood up. When I did this she was looking at me like, “What are you doing?” Then she saw Vernon standing there with the roses and bear. As Vernon was walking in so was the next party being seated at the table nearby us. When they saw Vernon with the gifts and me pull out the card and begin reading, one lady said, “Is he going to propose!” 🙂

I proceeded to read my card to her and then dropped to one knee with the ring box, opened the box, and asked her if she’d marry me. She looks at the ring, does a double-take, and then says, “Yeah! That’s the one I wanted!” while clapping her hands. She then begins to reach for the ring and I jerk it back and say, “Well, will ya?” She said, “Yes!” and I took it out and slipped it on her finger. When we did this everyone on our side, and possibly the whole restaurant, began clapping and cheering for us, and I turned around to them and gave a bow. 🙂 Well, she was so excited that she couldn’t eat anymore, and I was so excited that I had to eat something or I was going to pass out! This was the third, and last key for the night, the “Key to my Heart.”

Well, we leave P.F. Changs and she is so excited that she wants to call everyone. I, somehow, convince her not to call people yet. To wait until after we leave Starbucks and then start the calling; that way Starbucks could be our little way of celebrating on our own. On the way to Starbucks she says she just wants to do the drive-thru so that we can hurry home to show her parents and family. I told her that I wanted to buy a certain type of coffee mug, which I did, and that I don’t think they would do that at the drive-thru.

What she didn’t know is that I had previously arranged for my parents, grandmother, and little sister all along with her parents, siblings, a set of grandparents, and a few aunts, uncles, and cousins to all meet us as a surprise for her at Starbucks. Well, we pull up to Starbucks and proceed to walk up to the door. That’s when she started seeing people she knew and got all excited again and we spent the rest of the night celebrating with our family at Starbucks.

Afterwards I took her back home and made it one of our only official dates where I went and picked her up, we did something, and then I took her back home.

~ACD