The Proposal

[Weeks of January 1-13, 2012]

After we returned from our trip to Kansas City (for the OneThing: The Magnificent Obsession Conference) on January 1, 2012, we immediately went back to the daily hustle and bustle of life; both of us too busy to discuss our upcoming five-year anniversary on January 15.  We did, however, speak of how much we missed and loved each other and how putting God in the center of our relationship saved us.  Weeks passed, and I finally thought about making plans for a Saturday date night to celebrate.  When I asked Tristan, however, he suggested we lay-low and have a spontaneous date (night in downtown, nothing fancy).  Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I quickly assumed in my mind that he had something up his sleeve and happily agreed to a "spontaneous' date.

[Friday, January 13, 2012]
At this point, I had no idea what we were going to do the next night, but I didn't sweat it since I planned on wearing a cute "ready-for-anything" outfit I could scramble up from my closet.  Tristan came home that night and said he would be hanging out with Dean Berman and Jekris Certeza, and I thought nothing of it and he was out for a few hours that night... "chilling."

[Saturday, January 14, 2012]
Tristan worked that day, so I was at home with Aiden enjoying my day off.  I became curious as to our plans for the evening, so I started texting Tristan.  I guess I let my imagination go wild - because I was awfully disappointed when his answer wasn't "skydiving, hot airballooning, or star-sighting."  Instead... he responded with, "I don't know yet.  We'll just go around Downtown Fort Worth and eat dinner, maybe watch a movie? Whatever we can find to do! Let's just enjoy our night out alone together!"
Normally, on any other anniversary, I would've been elated, and said, "Yeah! Let's just roll with it," but this wasn't just any anniversary... this was our FIVE year.  FIVE!  When he asked me to go on the date, I expected him to have something from a movie planned out.  Something not as simple as dinner and a movie?!?!  So... of course, I was pretty upset.  I didn't bite my tongue as I should have... and I went off on a rant and told him how disappointed I was that he was so nonchalant.  I finally gave up with my rant - as I grew increasingly frustrated with his calmness.  I agreed to "dinner and a movie," and sulked around the house for the rest of the afternoon...
*** Here's what gets me the most now that I look back on it, Tristan was SO convincing.  He didn't argue back, he just acted apathetic and tried to convince me that going out to a dinner and movie would be fun since we are such homebodies.  He emphasized that "time alone together" was all we needed.  I didn't agree - so my mood was awfully sour at that point...
Evening rolls around, and I decide I have nothing I want to wear.  I became frustrated and am no longer looking forward to our date night.  Tristan arrives home around 7PM, with a dress bag from Express in hand.  Instead of thanking him, I immediately jump down his throat for not allowing me to buy my OWN dress, and for him picking out a dress that I thought looked awful on me!  He played it cool and told me how beautiful I was, and I still managed to complain...

Sarath & Brett came over to babysit Aiden, and so we left for the night.  He said he had reservations at the Reata Restaurant at 8:00 P.M.  I'm not sure why, but I wasn't in the mood for such a fancy place.  I turned it down, and requested that we go to Piranha Sushi for dinner.  We didn't realize there would be a 30 minute wait, and as I was about to change my mind, he reassured me that we had all the time in the world tonight... {obviously, that didn't give me any hints to the surprise since it seemed as if our night was spontaneously planned... lol}

During our dinner, however, it was extremely loud and he kept playing with his phone.  I was getting pretty irritated that he wasn't paying attention to me.  I sulked and waited for our food to arrive, and I started noticing how sweet he was being.  Even with my grumpy mood, he looked me longingly in the eyes and caressed my hands softly.  I soon realized I wasn't benefiting us by being unhappy, and I finally shook off the negative energy.

When dinner was over, we got in the car, and I suggested we go see a movie.  He ever-so-slyly suggested we go do something more spontaneous, but that I had to be blind-folded while he drove there.  I don't know how stupid I must have been not to suspect something when he pulled out a legitimate blindfold from his glove compartment... but I threw it over my eyes and put on some of our favorite songs as he drove for 30 minutes. While I was blindfolded, all I could think about was how much I loved him and how sweet he was being to me when I was fussing over everything.  I felt so silly for being unappreciative...

After 30 minutes of driving, I felt the car angling back, driving up a hill.  I knew where we were. There was only one place in the DFW that we had to drive up a hill.  It was the one place we escaped to.  It was the place he brought me on the sundeck overlooking acres of forest and the skyline of three cities, where he first confessed his love to me.  We used to sing Dawson Creek's theme song and wish for the world to stand still as life passed us by...  We were at Mountain Creek Church in Dallas.
My heart started pounding.  I immediately told him I knew where we were, and asked if I could take my blindfold off.  We hadn't been there in years, and I wanted to jump out of the car and run to the sundeck to see the beautiful skyline.  He said, "No. Not yet."  He continued to slowly creep up the hill as a million thoughts ran through my head... unfortunately, due to my low expecations for his romantic date-planning skills, I assumed the best of it would be a candlelit dinner/dessert from his trunk prepared for us to eat while watching the night sky...

As the car came to a stop, he asked me to keep my blindfold on.  At that point, I became puzzled, as I knew there was gravel outside of the car, and I wasn't looking forward to walking in my heels and tripping... but, as soon as I stepped out, he threw me on his back (piggy-back style in my dress, in 50 degree weather.. oh yeah), and carried me a few feet.  He set me down, and I immediately knew we were in the gazebo as I landed softly onto the wooden planks.

Once more, I asked if I could take off my blindfold already, as I was getting impatient (haha).  It was then, that he took both of my hands in his, and pulled me close to his body.  I felt his heavy breathing on my ear as he leaned in.  I could feel his pulse against my own... beating fast.  Our hearts would have pounded right through out of our bodies if he didn't finally break the silence...

"Monica.  Do you know how much I love you?  I love you -pause- so much more than you will ever, ever imagine.  I want to spend the rest of my life with you - fifty, sixty, one hundred years from now. Forever ----"

At that point, I was so shocked and breathing just as heavy as he was, blindfold still on... and I felt him let go of my hands, and as I heard his knee drop down onto the wooden floor, so did my heart.

"Please take off the blindfold baby."

As I finally took off the blindfold, I blinked a few times trying to regain sight as tears began flowing... and I heard a guitar strumming closeby, then a familiar voice filled the air, singing:

"Youre my unfathomable precious unimaginable joy... and you're exceedingly excited and abundantly more than I could ask for... be my wife..." [Jimmy Needham - Unfailing Love]

It was our friend, Dean Berman, serenading us. As he continued to sing, and I was coming into realization of what was happening... I looked down to find the love of my life on his knee with the ring that I had been wanting.

Of course, I said "yes."
{Well actually, it was more like, "Omg omg I can't believe this, I can't believe - omg - you - ugh - omg - what -- omg -- yes!"}

And as he put the ring on my finger, scooped me up and held me close, I heard an applause from around us.  I was, again, bewildered by my surroundings.  I looked out around the gazebo to find our family and friends surrounding us with love and support.  At that moment, Sarath brought Aiden up to us and life couldn't have been any more perfect.
Thank you everyone for coming out to share this incredible moment with us :)

Pastor Herman
Dean Berman - thanks for your amazing music :)
Sarath & Brett, Chris & Raye Anne, Oscar & Susan, Friso & Shelby, Alan, Brandon & Irene, Jekris, James & Nayali, Mauricio, Jade, JC & Chinx & Josiah, and Eddie.

It was more than I could have ever asked for in a proposal.  I have to give Tristan major props, because he pulled out all of the stops!  (he made it a point to tell me that this was going to make up for the next 10 years of gifts, LOL)


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