It is mid-January and my windows are open, letting in the 60-degree air, freshening the apartment and intensifying the street sounds below our fourth-floor home. On the table next to me is a vase of stargazer lilies, brought home by my sweet fiance for absolutely no reason at all. Fiance. Yep, we’re engaged to be married. Jon proposed on the Decatur Square, the site of our first date, on Christmas night. Below is a collage of the pics we have taken in the same spot. Starting top left is our very first date. We took that picture to send to Jon Whittaker, who set us up, to let him know that we were having a good time. In the upper-right corner, we are at the Decatur Beer Festival one year later. We went with our fellow craft beer-loving friends, Josh and Simone Parker. Bottom left is the same festival this past year, our two-year anniversary. We attended with Jon’s parents and Josh and Simone. Bottom right is the night we got engaged.
Jon and I were headed to Brickstore to meet up with Amanda, a Christmas night tradition, and he scooped me over to the same spot we have taken all of those pictures. I complained about being cold and wanted to walk a little faster, but he pulled me aside, hugged me, and said, “Two years, two months, and nine days ago we came here on our first date. I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I started laughing from pure joy, jumping up and down, hugging him uncontrollably. I’m pretty sure he kept talking, but once he opened the box showing me the most gorgeous ring I’ve ever seen, I have no idea what he said. He had to stop me to make sure that I said yes, to which I replied, “Yes, yes, yes…a thousand times, YES!” We called our parents, our siblings, our best friends…and then we met up with Amanda and Jon Whittaker and enjoyed a night with beloved friends who feel like family.
Now we are planning our July destination wedding…a second wedding for both of us, but sure to be our forever marriage. In our pasts, we did not know ourselves, did not know that the decisions we made independently of one another would actually lead us to each other. I would not be the woman I am today had I not gone through that marriage at age 22 and that divorce at age 25. I do not look back with regret; rather, I look ahead at my life with Jon, thankful that I will enter into the covenant of marriage with him confident in who I am, in who we are together.