Tuesday, September 1, 2009

An Anniversary of Sorts

Let me tell you what an important day September 1 is. Around September 1st, of 2006 is  when CT3 and I initially re-connected. You see, CT3 and I had met in 2003 out at the JH Ranch in California. After that summer, we had not kept up, with the exception of a Ranch reunion here and a Ranch reunion there. 

Anyway, in 2006, one of our mutual friends was getting married and we were both invited. The wedding was in North Carolina, and I was going with two other girls, Jamie and Jamie (a.k.a. The Jamie's). Since the Ranch summer of 2003, the Jamie's had kept up with CT3 and knew that he was going to the wedding as well, so they told him that we would pick him up as we came through Atlanta...and that's how it all started. 

We got in from the wedding at 4:30 am, and sweet CT3 bought all three of us ladies Waffle House. That was my first inclination that I could like this man...Waffle House, my fav, and paying for the ladies!! We got to my parents house and the girls scattered upstairs to sleep, and CT3 retreated to the basement. That was around 5:30 AM. 

At approximately 8:30 AM, I hear a guys voice in the kitchen just chatting it up with my parents. It took me a few seconds to realize it was CT3. I TORE out of bed, hoping to "save" him from my parents. After all, I hardly knew the boy, so who knows what he and mom and dad would be chatting about. I quickly invited him to run and grab Starbucks, thinking that a quick jaunt to the coffee shop would give the Jamie's time to get up and around and keep us all from any more awkward moments. 

Little did I know first off, that CT3 didn't drink coffee, and second of all, that our quick trip for coffee would turn into a 3 and a half hour date. Anyway, there is more to our courtship story, however I will leave it at that for now. 

Fast forward to a year from then. September 1, 2007. We had decided that we were getting serious in our relationship and were considering marriage. I was planning on leaving my job with the Ranch in Birmingham, and so I was going to move four hours away to where he was. CT3 had told me (and been insistent) upon the fact that we needed to live in the same city for at least 6 months to a year before even getting engaged. 

{Insert female train of thought: been dating for a year + date for another year in same city + get engaged for 6-12 months = potentially 2 more years before getting married}

I was perfectly content with waiting on the Lord's timing, however it sure was difficult up and moving my entire life for a boyfriend I hoped would become more. Nonetheless, we were committed, and I knew CT3 was, so I went on with it. I packed my bags, Mom and Dad came and moved me and on August 31, I finished my last day working for the JH Ranch. 

I left early that day and headed for Atlanta to meet CT3, to then go on to Myrtle Beach for a long weekend with the family. CT3 had told me we would be going out on a fun date to celebrate my leaving the Ranch, moving to where he was, and of course our one year anniversary. That said, I thought nothing of a fancy dinner out after a day of playing with the family on the beach. 

Long story short, he took me to a quaint little park. When we drove up, I couldn't see much of anything, so I was quite baffled (I actually thought he was lost - ha). We walked down the sidewalk and a man approached us. He was donned in a chefs uniform, and behind him was a table still set for two. It was across from a fountain, and behind that a lake. CT3 prompted me to follow the gentleman and have a seat at the table. The chef prepared a wonderful three course meal, that consisted of my favorite foods - of which I later found out that CT3 had specifically requested. 

At some point during the meal, I moved the ring I had on my left hand middle finger to my right hand thinking maybe this would be the big night. I quickly moved it back first, not wanting to be presumptuous, and second due to the previously mentioned emphatic-ness from CT3 of us living in the same city for a while. 

Music played throughout our meal and after we ate, CT3 asked me if I wanted to dance. We danced to a song (of which I don't remember) and at some point after the song, he got down on one knee and proposed. I think my exact response to his question of "Will you marry me" was something like, "is this a joke, because if it is, I don't think its a funny one." After him reassuring me that it was for real and that the ring was real too, I think I muttered a yes, or of course I will, or something more appropriate. 

We got home, and the whole family was eagerly waiting. Mom's grin was about to burst off of her face, Dad was his quiet, calm, but happy self and Kristin was excited for me and just wanted to see my bling. Kristin's friend Fred (Laura) was there too, and she just sat off to the side and smiled awkwardly as if she was in the middle of a big family moment. HA. If you only knew Fred, you would know how appropriately funny it was. We all went out for dessert and to celebrate the new couples next step in life and to talk about when CT3 had talked to my parents and how everyone had kept it a secret from me. 

Anyway, the rest of the weekend was full of engagement phone calls, putt putt golf, the Dixie Stampede (my favorite childhood past time) and fun memories on the beach. You can see why September 1 holds a special place in my heart! As always, here are a few pictures of our engagement night back in 2007. 

On our way out to dinner

At the dinner table

Our wonderful Chef preparing our food

Me chowing down...CT3 probably sweating at this point. HA! 

"Is this a joke!?!"

Afterwards out to dessert with my family, all preplanned by CT3

The family + Fred (Laura)

SIL and BIL with SIL checkin out my new bling

Whole family :)

P.S. Can I say here that my hubby did a fantastic job and was a super duper planner!! I have NO idea how he found that chef guy, much less planned everything from a completely different state. Our dinner was supposed to be on the beach too, but the winds were too high. You can imagine how baffled I was when CT3 was tearing down weird back roads and then pulled into a park - yes, there were NUMEROUS times I asked him if he REALLY knew where he was going. Hehehe! 
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