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Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Proposal

For winter break my Senior year at SAGU Jeremy asked my parents if he could spend the first week or so with them, then he and I would drive out to Arizona to be with his family.

If you have never had the pleasure of meeting my parents let me give you a little insight.  The only seasonings found in my parents house are salt, pepper, cayenne & on occasion, Cavender's Seasoning.  My dad grills meat.  Every. Chance. He. Gets.  Every night we were with my parents, Daddy grilled, and every night Jeremy stood outside talking to him.  Jeremy tells me it was about the 3rd night before he finally got up the courage to ask Daddy for my hand in marriage.  My dad's reply, "You can marry my daughter, but if you ever hurt her, I'll kill you."  Permission granted.  I do think that to reinforce the "I'll kill you" promise, Daddy added a little extra cayenne to Jeremy's burger.  Point taken.

We had an early Christmas with my family and then drove out to Arizona in the Honda Accord.  New Mexico is very icy in December.  At one point we slid off the road and spun a lot.  Scary!!!  We got back on the road, and safely made it to Phoenix.  I finally got to meet Jeanene.  I'm not sure she liked me at first.  I think most of it had to do with the fact that she hadn't met me before and Jeremy was going to marry me. (I think I've grown on her through the years.)  We spent a little time in Phoenix before flying to Minnesota to be with Ranae's side of the family.  Again I was amazed at this gracious, kind and loving family.  They took me in like I was their own. I remember sitting at the dinner table and Grandpa Hofer coming behind me and squeezing my shoulders.  With a smile on his face he called me his new grand daughter. I felt so welcomed and hoped that would one day be true.

The next day we all went to church in the morning and then went tubing in the snow.  That evening, several family members mentioned that maybe Jeremy & I would like to go out to dinner, just the two of us.  I was having so much fun with the family that I didn't want to miss out spending time with them.  I had no idea that Jeremy had been planning this very day for MONTHS!  I dressed in a black velvet dress, and Jeremy's Aunt Pam let me wear her beautiful mink coat.  Just before we left we played a quick game of Spanish Race Horses in which Uncle Kevin had the honor of being "Ar'ted".  We took Rachelle's car to dinner at Kincaid's.  We had a seat by a window and could see the snow falling outside.  Absolutely beautiful!  I don't remember what we ate, but I remember Jeremy getting a phone call from the family.  He said it was something about a movie they were going to watch or something.  We finished our meal and began to walk out to the car where a limousine was waiting.  I remarked, "Wow!  Some girl is pretty lucky!"  Jeremy told me to get in.  The sound teenage girls make at a Jonas or Justin Bieber concert?  That was the sound in my head right then. 

We drove around Minneapolis and looked at Christmas lights adorning some amazing homes.  In one particularly stunning neighborhood we came across a Santa Claus walking down the center of the street.  He was walking like a drunk and asked our driver if he could have a ride.  This small town girl was scared!  What in the world was a drunk Santa doing stopping our car and asking for a ride?!  The driver told him he'd have to ask us so Jeremy started rolling down the window.  I learned later I was supposed to get out of the car, but I was so nervous I nearly pushed Jeremy out the opposite side of the car trying to stay as far away from Santa as I could!  He offered us his very last present if we would only give him a ride.  Jeremy finally talked me into at least checking out the gift.  Inside was an engagement ring.  Jeremy got down on one knee in the limo and asked me to be his wife.   In case you haven't figured it out, I said "YES!"  As we drove back to Pam & Randy's house we called my parents and shared the good news.

When we arrived, everyone acted as if they had no idea what had occurred.  I showed off my ring and they all acted surprised.  I guess we had left Santa on the curb after we got the ring because he started knocking on the back door while we were telling the story.  I didn't realize it, but "Santa" was really Jeremy's Uncle Kevin, whom I had just met that morning at church!  After Santa arrived, they asked if we wanted to watch a movie.  These sneaky folks had been video taping the ENTIRE EVENING!  We watched footage of us getting into the limo and of the whole escapade with Santa!  They'd been watching from a mini-van on the side of the street the whole time!

I'm not sure what ever happened to the video, but this has to be one of my favorite memories of all time.  I knew from the start that this was going to be a wonderful family belong to.  I know the future husbands of Zion & Zoan are going to have a lot to live up to, as Jeremy has set the bar high for our daughters expectations, and our son is learning how to respect and honor a woman from a pro!

It's been 11 1/2 years since that proposal and every moment has been more wonderful than the last.  Jeremy and I just celebrated our 11th anniversary this past weekend.  I think the quote from Dr. Seuss says it best.  "You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."

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