The Proposal, Part 2

And now, a continuation of my engagement story…Roger’s proposal! (Catch up on Part 1, here!)

So it comes time for me to drive to Tampa.  I get my nails done (tragic designs…I should have kept it simple), because I believed their would be bling on my finger and my hands would be in a lot of photographs.

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That night I meet up with my sis and we go to meet my parents at the Tampa airport to say hello.  Then we go to Roger’s hotel where the three of us spend some time hanging out.  While we’re hanging out, Chelsea gets a call that her dog has gone nuts and eaten everything in the house, including eating through a vitamin bottle, and she is now pooping everywhere.  So we all go to Chelsea’s house to assess the situation.  By this point, it’s nearly 12, and I don’t want Roger to be out too, too late.  So I offer to take him home.

While I’m driving (which is very unusual, might I add), he says “hey, is there a park anywhere around here?” And of course, my girl wheels are spinning, and I am thinking to myself, “This is it! Why else would he want to go to a park at midnight!”

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We find ourselves driving toward the beautiful Tampa Bay and park at a Presbyterian church.  We walk across the street to the bayfront and walk along it for a while.  We talk about work and how our week was.  And I started thinking, “maybe he won’t propose…maybe he genuinely just wants to know about my week and spend some alone time with me.  Oh well.  This is very nice, at least.”

And then we come to an alcove in the walkway.  Roger starts by saying some very sweet things.  Then he says, “You I know I love you.” And I’m like….duh! Of course, I know that!  And he proceeds to get on one knee and says something like, “And with that being said, will you marry me and be my wife?”

Once he pulled out the ring box and opened it, I immediately grabbed it from his hands and gushed over it! I took it out of the box, but then remembered I hadn’t said yes, and that also, HE was the one that had to put it on me.  Soooo, I gave it back and said, “Oh, you have to do that, right?!” lol.  I was so incandescently happy that I forgot about proposal protocol!

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I’ll be honest, because I feel I can be…part of me freaked out by the proposal.  That question of “was I ready?” kept popping up.  But I remembered how I freaked out when he asked me to be his girlfriend, and remembered saying “yes” to that was my best life decision yet, so I knew saying “yes” to him for marriage would be even better!

And don’t get it twisted…it wasn’t that I wasn’t sure if I loved Roger. I knew I loved him with all my heart.  It’s just, the institution of marriage in general is a scary thing, and I tend to be a commitment-phob.  I cried when my parents asked me to buy my aunt’s nice, barely used car because I would have a car payment–and that freaked me out.

All I knew was, this man standing in front of me was more than I ever dreamed of for my husband.  And he continues to surprise me and bless me.  I love him, and am so glad I said yes!

Following the “yes” we of course took several selfies together! I tired to call my jet-lagged parents that night, but had no success.  So we called his parents and were able to share the news with them and his sister.  It was a special time! Which was followed up the next day with loads of calls, texts, and photo shoots, of course! lol

IMG_4551(still on the bayfront after it just happened)IMG_4628
(in the car right before we called his parents)
Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset(in the parking lot of his hotel)
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(in the lobby of his hotel)
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(the next day!)
Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset(the FBO shot for our announcement!)

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The Proposal, Part 1

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After our extensive 6 part courtship series (haha, sorry about that!), I thought it best not to delay too long in giving you the skinny on the proposal!

So.

We got engaged in March 2014, but I knew he bought the ring on Thanksgiving 2013.  Boy can’t keep a secret, and he told me the following Monday that he found a good deal on a ring he thought I would love and went ahead and bought it.  And if you know Roger, you know he cannot pass up a deal.  I guess in his mind, he knew he wanted to marry me and he had the money, so why not?!

Well, this of course tortured me for months.  What did it look like?! When would he ask?! Would I like the ring? Was I even ready to be married?

On the ring itself: It’s gorgeous! My man did a great job–he’s got good taste for sure (I mean, obvs, he married me…lol).  But one thing that helped calm me down my “what if I don’t like the ring” worries was my ever-wise roommate at the time who reminded me it wasn’t the ring that mattered, but the person giving it to me.  I would love the ring because it was from him.  And I did.

Now.  To the proposal story…or at least the background for it:

Roger lived in Texas at the time.  But he was going on a weekend trip to Tampa, FL in March for work.  My sister lives in Tampa, and it’s only a 7 hour drive from Atlanta.  I figured I could go down for the weekend and stay with her and get to see my man while he was in driving distance.

IMG_4179(another pic from the Valentine’s Day visit)

This was only a few weeks after my wonderful Valentine’s Day visit to meet his parents in San Antonio.  I realized on that trip that I was ready to marry him, and so flash-forward a few weeks to his Tampa visit in March, I was really hoping and believed he would ask me to marry him during that weekend visit.

My parents would also be in Tampa that weekend.  Which is unusual because they don’t live in Tampa, but were flying in that same Friday night after having just spent two weeks in Italy.  My wheels started turning, and I believed with all of those perfect coincidences, Roger would propose that weekend.  (As you can tell, I always try to figure out surprises!)

And then this happened.

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(my fav part about this text has to be the random lunchbox emoji! lol)

And even though it may seem like I hate surprises, I don’t.  I just like to figure them out myself like a sneaky detective.  So of course, I was a little taken aback that my mom told me! But not mad…lol

Up next, the actual proposal weekend!

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The Courtship: Meet the Galabeasts (Part 6)

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The following month (February), I flew back to Texas to meet his parents.  We knew we didn’t want to wait long for me to meet them.  It wasn’t fair.

I flew to his city first, getting to work alongside him for a few days before he could take vacation.  We had a blast, and it was good to see his coworkers again!

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(At an event for his work the night before we hit the road for San Antonio)

We started our roadtrip after 2 days to San Antonio to meet his parents.  We had such a good time on the trip that I forgot to be nervous. That is, until we drove up to his parents house, and I had somehow discovered the function to swallow had eluded me.

I was so nervous! I had heard so much about them.  But what if they didn’t like me?!

My fears were put to rest within a few minutes of walking through their front door.  They made me feel so at ease. I loved being at their home.

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My visit to San Antonio was filled with amazing homemade meals (both of them can COOK!!!!), a trip to the River Walk and the Alamo, hours of talking, and we were even joined by the rest of Roger’s family (his sister and brother-in-law and their two children).

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I had the most wonderful time.  Plus, I was in San Antonio over Valentine’s day.  And Roger was my first boyfriend…so ya know…it was special!

He took me out to a lovely Italian restaurant on San Antonio’s River Walk, and gave me a beautiful necklace to match the ring and earrings he had given me at Christmas.

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Being with his family made me realize how much I loved Roger, and how much I’d really like to become his wife!

Unfortunately, he wasn’t sure if I was ready and left the ring at home.  I was only slightly disappointed.  But I knew it would happen when the time was right.

Next up: The proposal.

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The Courtship: Meet the Parents (Part 5)

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Three months after my first visit and saying yes to being his girlfriend, it was time for Roger to meet my parents.

BIGGEST STEP EVER! Not only had I never been anyone’s girlfriend before, but no one in my family had EVER brought someone home.  Our family was about to change big time, and even though I made it seem like a natural next step (and it was), the bigness of it was not lost on me.

First things first, we made signs for Roger for when we picked him up from the airport.  My brother’s read “Welcome, Fluffly!” (because he resembles the comedian by that name). Mine said:

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(Oh ya know…had to straighten my hurz for the occasion. Then me and my momma posed while we waited for my bro to get his butt in the car!–PS we look alike!) 

My mom, brother and myself met Roger at the airport (sans my sister who was peacefully sleeping), and we drove to meet my dad for lunch.  During lunch, my brother and I accidentally went to the bathroom at the same time, leaving poor Roger to face my parents all by his lonesome.  Woops!

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Apparently all good things were said. Hopefully.

Roger had brought presents for my family and myself, and my family and me had presents to give him, so that evening, we all exchanged our gifts.

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 (Roger got everyone in my fam a gift, even my little sis.  And I got Roger some headphones he had been wanting.)

It was like heaven–home cooked meals, a trip to see “Saving Mr. Banks” in theaters–quality time spent with the family in every way!

They loved him because: well one,  he’s awesome, but also because they saw how much he cared and loved me.  From his Christmas gifts to me, to the way he spoke to me, and the affection he showed me. My parents could see our love was mutual.

I had planned to leave the parents after a few days so we could make the journey back to Atlanta.  I wanted him to meet my friends and see me in my natural habitat so he could know me better.

We started our road trip from Southwest Florida to the ATL making a pit stop for lunch in Gainesville, FL to meet his best friend from High School.  And then going a little out of the way to Tallahassee so Roger could meet my best friend from High School . We were gonna hit it all!

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His visit in Atlanta was short but sweet, and I enjoyed every bit of it!

BUT I had another freak out.  As you can now guess, I’m a bit of commitment phob.  I knew he had an engagement ring.  He had purchased it over Thanksgiving.  The question was when he would propose.

And I started getting scared.  Marriage is a big commitment.  We would talk about it and one day I couldn’t wait to be married, and the next I was scared out of my mind.  Again…fickle.

He kissed me once that weekend and I didn’t feel the butterflies anymore.  For the first time.  And I had a meltdown.  What did that mean? Were we destined for failure after all? Wasn’t I supposed to feel those butterflies for an eternity? Was I over it, or was I just too concerned with my commitment issues that I couldn’t enjoy the kiss?!

By the end of the visit, I told him we needed to cool the marriage talk.  I wasn’t ready.  It was all happening too fast.

We were still together by the end of the visit! DUH! But we parted both a little unsure of the future.

Up next: Meeting his parents!

favpicroger_janvisit(one of my favs from the visit!)

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The Courtship: LOOOONG DISTANCE (Part 4)

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This part of our relationship is called {LONG DISTANCE}

They don’t call it long distance for nothing! That mug was looong!

Once Roger and I got our shtuff together (aka, decided to stay together and NOT break up!), we continued in the talking phase.  That is until I decided to fly to Texas for a visit.

There was much debate on this subject from my friends and roomies.  In my previous crazy relationship (less than two months that felt like two years), I was the one to fly across the country to meet the guy.  And it didn’t end well. Obvs.  Hence an end date to the relationship.

This time, with the scars of that last relationship ingrained even on their minds, they suggested I let Roger come to me.  It wasn’t a bad idea, but I wasn’t comfortable with it.

I still felt awkward about it all.  It wasn’t a full-fledge relationship, and I was worried about him coming and having forced parties with friends so they could get to know him.  I was worried about being overwhelmed by the thought of being someone’s girlfriend for the first time in my life, and it happening on home turf.  Plus, I knew who I was.  I wanted to visit him in his natural habitat so I could have a better picture of who he was.  You can say a lot on the phone and in text that maybe isn’t true.  I had been burned before, and was extremely cautious even at the thought of entering into a relationship without really knowing who he was.

Also, pre-break up, he had planned a visit to meet me, and once I ended things, I felt I owed him.  I should be the one to make the first visit.

(The pic I took from the plane before I took off for Texas.)

So I flew to Texas.  Which is a crazy story in itself–worthy of its own post.  It basically involved me renting a car and driving two hours with complete strangers. And yeah…I drove.

After the awkward first hug that was witnessed by my new stranger/friends, he took me to the hotel to check in.

We were both nervous about the visit, but him more so.  He was being awkward, and that lasted that first night and into the next day.  The awkwardness was to be expected, so I let that pass.  But on our first “date” that Friday morning to IHOP, it was clear that if he didn’t get over his nervousness, this wasn’t going to work.

He did warm up and we had normal conversations.  For the first time in 12 hours, it felt like it did over the phone, and that was nice.  It put me at ease, because it let me see that I could do this.  I could be in a relationship–a shocking revelation in and of itself.  And more importantly, I could be in a relationship with him.  Which, of course, was the whole point of the trip.  To figure out if this thing had a real shot.

It was a great first trip, filled with a forced party so his friends and coworkers could get to know me (I didn’t mind it, btw….it was fun!), several trips to the movies (again, I love movies), a day visit to his sister and brother-in-law’s house two hours away, and a Sunday worship service where I found out my man could saaaang!

It was legit.  He asked me on the Saturday night of the trip (after we got back from his sister’s) if I would be his girlfriend.

AND I FREAKED OUT!!!

Wait a second! I hadn’t had time to be a total girl and mull over whether or not we should continue the relationship in that capacity! I hated dating casually, and that’s especially hard to do long distance.  If I said yes, did that mean we were gonna get married?! I wasn’t ready for that!!!! I needed time to think about this!!!!

So naturally, after this two minute freak–out that seemed to last an eternity, and even after asking if I could wait to give him my answer, I finally said, “You know what? Yes.  I will be your girlfriend.”

relationshipPhotoShoot(Followed by the “official” relationship pic photo shoot, and an announcement on FB! Haha.)

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 12.15.43 PMAnd the rest is, as they say, history.

HA!

Next post: Meeting my parents

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The Courtship: Birthdays and Break ups (Part 3)

Bloglovin_post_buttonAfter our first phone conversation, we talked on the phone every night, missing maybe only 10 nights in our whole time a part from one another (which ended up being about 9 months).

Shortly after we started “talking” (that messy in-between, getting-to-know-you phase), I had the biggest birthday of my life.  My golden birthday.  I was turning 26 on June 26.  And he showed out.

(Not only did Roger show out, but so did my roomies.  They threw me an awesome London themed party for the occasion!)

Even though we were long distance, he did his best to cover the gap. He created a scavenger hunt for me which he implemented through my roommates.  Each clue made up an email address log in information.  But to get the password, I had to call him.  A nice touch, but still weird as I called him in front of my roomies, and felt a little awkward about his cheesy-ness.  Don’t get me wrong.  I loved it! Just felt a little self-conscious with him and I still being in the awkward pre-relationship stage.

(Oh, ya know…just some birthday selfies from that special day… #26onthe26th)

He filled the email account with 5 simple emails.  Each a shipping notification of a gift he had gotten me.  One was a gift card to the movies–because he knew how much I like going.  The second was pair of Toms ballet flats that he sent me (I wore those things OUT!). Third and fourth were two pairs of earrings I mentioned I liked on Etsy.  Fifth and final was a phone headset so I could talk to him on that for our long conversations together (it looked like an old school phone…in my fav color of blue!).

toms(Oh, that’s what my fav Toms started out looking like!)

He blew my mind!

I loved being spoiled, but I also felt a little weirded out.  It felt a little too much, too soon.  You know how girls are…fickle.

A doubt was created in my head.  Maybe he was “too nice” (as if there’s such a thing).  Maybe he wasn’t what I wanted.  Plus, I was trying hard core to move to London for a year-long internship.  How could he and I have any chance of dating that long distance.  We’d both be in so deep by that time that we’d only get hurt.  I didn’t want to hurt him.  In fact, I knew I couldn’t hurt him.  I knew he was a special person.  I didn’t think he’d me my special person, but I knew he was special.  There was just something about him.  And I knew I had to do my best to minimize any pain I might cause him.

Since I couldn’t see how the relationship could end well, I broke up with him. Said I needed my space.  That we should just be friends.

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  And he took it so well.  I knew he’d be hurt, but I knew he’d be a lot more hurt if we lasted for nearly a year, and then broke up when I moved to London…or broke up when I decided he and I just wouldn’t work out regardless.

The break up lasted a total of 6 days.  And it was a hard six days.  Texting him wasn’t the same.  It was clear he was hurt.  And I hated myself for that.  Calling him was short and to the point, and he said he needed his space if we were to just be friends.  He just needed time away from talking to me.

The weekend was the worst.  I didn’t have the busyness of work to keep my mind occupied.  And I woke up that Saturday feeling like we should be together.  But I knew that was stupid.  I had made up my mind, and needed to stick to it.

We were back together the next day. 🙂

Next post: the trials of long distance

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(You can buy me shoes anytime, darlin’!)

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The Courtship: Facebook Chronicles (Part 2)

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I didn’t even know his name.

But he had my curiosity, nonetheless, and so I went facebook hunting for him.
Yes, it was a hunt!

I didn’t have much to work with, but something about him led me to believe that he was from Texas.  It’s a Salvation Army thing…small world, ya know. So I knew that if I had no idea of who he was, he must be from a state where I knew the least amount of people…haha.

ANYWAY….I found him on facebook looking like a lady killer with this profile pic.

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Dying.

I was like, “Ok….guess he thinks he’s a thug….” He certainly didn’t seem funny, which was an endearing quality to me.  I was momentarily saddened.  Until I saw this profile pic:

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I friended him, AND THEN HE TOOK A WHOLE DAY TO ACCEPT IT!!!! What?!! Maybe he wasn’t that interested in me after all!

I was waiting and waiting to see that he accepted my friend request. Then suddenly, on the following day, he sent me a message on FB!

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To which I replied:

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Which of course, I felt was the right blend of friendly, with a hint of “I’m interested,” without trying to sound over zealous.  I may not have pulled all that off, but it was worth a try.

Then he took like THREE HOURS to respond! I was starting to get nervous…did I come off too eager, after all?! Did I sound desperate? Was he not interested? Was I being rejected?! Where would this go?!?!?!?

As I came to find out later (a whole four days later), he was carefully formulating his response so he didn’t come off too eager, either.

We kept on talking back and forth on facebook.  Asking each other questions.  Learning likes and dislikes.  Pet peeves and fears.  Most embarrassing moments and past relationships.  This went on from about Tuesday through Saturday when finally I gave him my number.

(This is a pic I posted on instagram the day I gave Roger my number.  I was just soaking in the sun…which clearly I needed!  Miss that pool!)

I was waiting for him to ask for it…my Southern girl training from Georgia.  But then the impatient-non-southern-belle came out of me.  I knew he was going out of town that day, and I knew talking via FB would be impossible.  So I thought maybe we could transition to either texting or talking on the phone, even.  I wasn’t even sure if I was ready for that step.  I was so nervous about the thought of it, but was also excited by the possibility.

We texted some that day (once he was safely at his destination, of course).  And then that evening as he was driving back to where he lived, he called me.  I was so nervous I could barely swallow.  It was like 11 o’clock at night, already.  But I wanted to hear his voice, and to see if there was a future with the interesting guy who intrigued me in person and on facebook. The fact that I was still interested in knowing him more was a good sign!

We stayed up for 3 hours talking that first evening.  And I went to bed that night alight with all the possibility of what he and I could be.

Next post: the break up.

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The Courtship: How we met (Part 1)

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{A question my husband and I have been asked a lot from the beginning is: How did we meet.  So I’ve devised a 6 part (I know…but they’re manageable installments) series on our Courtship.  How we met, how things progressed, leading up to an entry: The Proposal. }

RojelioPic1…my husband and the love of my life. How did it all start, you ask?

Where to begin.  He was one of those people that really blindsided me.  I had no idea he was coming, or what hit me once I met him.  My life was a certain way one day, and less than a year-and-a-half later, it was completely different.

We met while I was working at a conference for The Salvation Army.  Roger and I both work for the wonderful organization, and he was there playing in one of their famous brass bands (ok..so maybe they’re only famous to us…lol).  He lamely found a way to introduce himself to me during the conference,  and I took the bate.

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I had a short, really crazy relationship that ended two months before I met Roger…which was coincidentally as long as that pervious relationship lasted.  I was pretty burned by the whole experience, and didn’t want to even think about dating.  A few guys had approached me in the interim…which was a new place to be.  I wasn’t the girl guys were coming out of the woodwork for.  But the thing about these guys were–I either wasn’t interested.  Period.  OR they were cowards in the way they approached me.

Roger was different.  He was sweet and funny.  I could tell that straight away. And most importantly…he was forward about his regard for me.  Go Roger! He knew what he wanted, and wasn’t afraid to go for it:

RojelioPic2On the second day of the conference, he tried to sell me a brass band CD (no thanks), and at some point during the sales bid, he said he would let me have the CD for free because of my beautiful smile.  Actually, he said “free ninety-nine.”

I know, I know. So lame! BUT I later found out that the only reason he was selling CD’s for his band was for the chance to talk to me.

At the time, I was so flattered.  And when he walked away, I turned to my sister who happened to be acting as my assistant through the duration of the conference and asked, “Who was that guy?” I  was beyond curious!

My duties for the conference were so tiring that I didn’t have time to think about the encounter again.  But then, I saw him do something astonishing.

Without regard for whether or not I was watching, Roger stood up on the conference stage during a time of commitment.  By this act, he was saying to the whole auditorium that he was open to doing whatever God has in store for his life.

I know it’s weird.  But I loved seeing a man be so serious about his commitment to God.   I may get lost along the way, but it is my sincere desire to be where God wants me to be, and to do what He wants me to do.  To see a guy publicly making that statement was refreshing.  My first thought was, “Oh, that’s the guy who thinks I have a beautiful smile!” And then I had a deeply emotional reaction to it all.  I wanted to know him more!

And that’s all you get for this post.  That’s how Roger gained my curiosity.  Stay tuned to how Roger captured my attention!

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