Thursday, January 28, 2010

He engages me

In my 24 years of life (almost 25, yikes!) I have had many a wonderful Christmas. Christmases filled with baby dolls, dress up clothes and make-up; kisses from grandma, hugs from my dad and nuggies from my brother (yes...that is how you spell nuggie. I'm not going to lie, I had to Google it.)

However, Christmas 2009 was filled with emotions. Happiness, nervousness and sadness.

Happiness: Joseph asked me to marry him. He wrote me a beautiful letter with a pen and ink well. Wrapped with a big red bow lovingly made by his sister. Our families surrounded us, meeting each other for the first time, as I carefully unwrapped the letter. He watched my eyes as I read the letter:

My Dear Jessica,
These past several months as I have come to know you better, I have come to the realization that I do not ever want to live without you.
Your love for Christ is encouraging to me and your faith in Him is something that I admire in you.
Your love for me, and acceptance of me despite my many faults, continues to surprise and overwhelm me daily.
You are the most beautiful woman, both internally and externally, that I have ever known.
Your appreciation of thoughtfulness and romance inspires and encourages me to cultivate my ability to surprise and romance you.
Your intelligence helps me to enjoy your outlook and perception in every aspect of my life.
Your love for music, writing, poetry, beauty, and thought are aspects of you that I enjoy and hope to encourage.
Your constant encouragement of me in the areas in which I need improvement motivates me to be the man of God that He created me to be.
Your gentleness and patience are aspects of your personality that I have always desired and needed in the woman that I marry.
I cannot, and will not, settle for my life alone apart from you, and implore you to join me in serving our Saviour together.
I understand that our many differences will create unknown challenges for us in our marriage, but I am certain that Christ has placed us together to grow both of us further.
I will always love you, will acknowledge you in all that I do, and will attempt to serve you selflessly in all that I do.
In following Christ, and in keeping with the commandments of Scripture, I must request that you marry me, and continue on our path together toward Christ.
For these reasons and many, many more, I am writing to ask your hand in marriage.     
Swoon! Cry! Laugh!

He then proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me to be his forever. He opened the ring box... STOP. WAIT A MINUTE.But....wait....what? Huh? That is not my grandma's ring!? What?

Yes...I said what about a million times. Joseph and my mom conspired to get me the ring of my dreams. I'm not complaining ;)

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Were you surprised on your engagement day? Did you expect one thing but get another?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The quest for a ring

Joseph and I knew that we wanted to get married early on in our relationship. We talked and wrote about it constantly. We told all of our friends what our intentions were and that an engagement would happen as soon as there was a ring.

Ah yes. The ring. The beginning of being a bride.

My mom and I went ring shopping. I tried on hundreds of rings ranging from .5 carat asscher cut to 1 carat round diamonds that would take any girl's breath away. For some reason, ever ring I put on my finger didn't feel right. It was either too much WOW or not enough. It was either to bulky or too simple.

That is when I reluctantly went to the Zales Outlet in Myrtle Beach. My mom and I were window shopping before the weather turned too cold when we decided to duck our heads into the outlet.

The first diamond I put on was perfect. A simple, round cut diamond, .75 carat set atop a bed of 10 diamonds. The ring was appropriately named "the Crown Ring". I didn't want to take it off my finger. Alas, the time came and we had to leave the store.


Little to my knowing, Joseph had already bought a ring. My heart sank. I wanted to be a part of the process. I at least wanted to go look together. I figured I would get over it.

A week later, I went over to my grandmother's house and we began discussing rings. I told her how we didn't have much money to spend on a ring and that we didn't want to put it on a plastic piece of evil that we call a credit card. She looked at me and told me to follow her to her bedroom. There, she pulled out a simple, round cut solitaire that was .45 carats. It was perfect. It was beautiful. It was hers.

She looked at me and said, "I want you to have it if you want it. Your grandfather gave it to me years ago and I haven't worn it since he passed." The tears welled up and I said yes immediately.

Upon learning of this offer I called Joseph about my new-found friend, he admitted to already buying a ring but said he could return it.

So began the process of getting used to the idea of a yellow gold ring with a smaller diamond that I had expected. However, it WAS my grandmother's ring and how much more could a girl ask for? It was the beginning of a family heirloom.

Did your fiance give you a ring you weren't expecting? Did he provide you with the ring you wanted? Post your ring and story!

The good, the bad and the short.

Like every bride who has ever ventured out into the world of white tulle and beaded bodices, I went dress shopping and found the dress that every girl dreams of.

Of course I tried on tons of dresses at four or five different bridal shops. There were some I liked, there were some I loved and then there was the one I drooled over. (No worries, I didn't get any drool on the sample dress.) 

It has everything: strapless top, graceful low back, a few modern pick-ups, beautiful glass and pearl embroidery and a lavish chapel train.

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Again, like many brides before me, I looked at the price tag and saw $1,000 plus number hand written on the white tag. It mocked me like a kindergarten bully. "Na, na, nana, na. You can't have me!" Hands on my hips, I made a note of the style number and designer, graciously thanked the bridal consultant who had helped me and went home to fire up the Vaio.

I search and searched and searched. Ebay,,, Ebay again! That is when I found her in all her glory. Casablanca 1904, Ivory and gold! I bit my lip....SIZE 10! Perfect. Everything was perfect especially the $600 price tag.

I contacted the seller and we chatted back and forth for a bit just to calm my nerves about buying a dress offline. Soon after I placed the order I received it in the mail (after working my horrendous 2 am-7am job and then interning at my 8 am-5pm internship). I was tired. The bags under my eyes had become my new accessory. I wanted my bed but I wanted that fabric on my body even more.

I opened the box carefully, slowly, just like Charlie Bucket when he opened his candy bar that held the golden ticket.

She was beautiful. Just as I had remembered. With some assistance from my mom I slid her on. She fit me perfectly. We were meant to be, the fireworks started.

Then I looked in the full length mirror and realized that the hem was 1 1/2 inches off the ground. I was in my bare feet, I had yet to put the crinoline on.

My heart sank, my fingers tingled, the tears came. My beloved dress was and is too short. There is no way I can wear heels without it looking like I was preparing for a downpour and flooding on our wedding day.

You can't tell here...but it is too short. Trust me.

She had to go back on Ebay. On WeddingBee classifieds. The Knot's Trash to Treasure.

She was going to leave me. She had to leave me.

Have you ever fell in love with something that you thought was perfect then realized it fell short? (No pun intended!) What did you do? How did you cope?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The reason we met...happened again.

In an earlier post, I enlightened all of you how we met. My Sony Vaio decided to take a sabbatical from its hard job. Well, if that one sabbatical wasn't enough, my dear Vaio made the executive (and rather selfish) decision to take another vacation and break, right before Christmas!

So I am back. My left hand is a little heavier (yes, he proposed!) my head is a little fuzzier (planning is a little bit more complicated that I first expected) and my heart is more elevated as I am marrying the man of my dreams.

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So sit back. Relax. I am back, I have much to write about and I am ready to share my journey!