Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Girl Meets Boy

Now that you all have read the story of our engagement, I thought I would take you back to the very beginning and share the story of how Daniel and I actually met. Many of you already know this story, but for some, this may be the first time you hear it and for those of you who already know the story there may be some details you were not aware of.

I had the awesome privilege of spending the summer of 2004 in Guatemala serving with Buckner Orphan Care International as their senior intern. My summer was filled with visiting various orphanages and assisting numerous churches as they came to Guatemala to hold Vacation Bible School in the orphanages. It was a phenomenal summer. I loved every minute of being in Guatemala. Each week brought new surprises as we loved on the beautiful children. Little did I know that I would be greeted with a surprise in the form of my future husband my last week in the country!

On July 24, 2004 the interns and I were at the Quinta Real, the hotel in Guatemala City where incoming teams stayed their first night in country and where they stayed their final night in country. On this specific night we were saying good-bye to a team from Seattle, Washington and welcoming a group from Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. I must add here that I had spent the past 24 hours in bed not feeling very well. I thought I had a stomach bug. That being said, I arrived at the hotel not feeling my best. The interns and I said our farewells to the team from Seattle and then joined the Park Cities team for their welcome dinner. I remember standing in the lobby of the hotel and greeting the PCBC team, but I do not necessarily remember seeing or talking with Daniel. However, as we gathered in one of the banquet rooms for dinner, Daniel and I ended up at the same table. It was during dinner that we learned that we were both from the DFW area and that we were both seminary students. I had one semester left at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where I was pursuing a Masters of Divinity and Daniel had just completed his first year at Dallas Theological Seminary. I do not remember too much of what was said that night at the hotel but the next day I certainly noticed Daniel as the team and the interns arrived in Antigua and from what I now understand Daniel had noticed me as well.

Daniel and I were able to spend some time talking with one another over lunch that day and while we visited the orphanage that afternoon. Unfortunately, I was still not feeling very well and spent much of that day in my hotel room. By Sunday afternoon, the interns and several members of the PCBC team had come to the conclusion that Daniel and I needed to get to know one another and they began playing matchmakers!

Unfortunately, their matchmaking would have to wait a few days as what I believed to be a simple stomach bug turned into something a little more serious and caused me to make a trip to a hospital in Guatemala City. I spent the next day and a half in the hospital being treated and then returned to Antigua where I spent the rest of the day in my hotel room. That evening I joined the team for dinner and this is officially where the matchmaking began. The PCBC team members and the interns tried their hardest to make sure Daniel and I had to sit next to one another. Of course, neither of us complained about this. We were both enjoying getting to know one another. After dinner we headed back to our hotel where Daniel and I spent several hours talking. The next day we continued to get to know one another as we spent time at the orphanage. I truly believe it was watching Daniel hold a precious baby named Marina that truly set my feelings for him in motion. Again that evening we spent several hours talking to one another. It was so comical watching the team members and interns as they would whisper about Daniel and I and as they would plot how they were going to get us together.

Our last day together was spent with the team at Lago Atitlan. Daniel and I enjoyed our time together on the boat as we crossed the lake and walked around the market together. I knew that I wanted to get to know Daniel better but was not sure what he was feeling or thinking. However, before we parted ways that day, Daniel asked me for my phone number and said that he would call me upon my return to the United States. I gave him my phone number not knowing if he was just being polite or if he would truly call me. That uncertainty did not remain for very long as the very next day, before he left Guatemala, Daniel emailed me and told me how much he had enjoyed getting to know me. I knew at that moment that this was going somewhere.

I returned to the United States on August 3rd and within just a few hours of my arrival I received a phone call from Daniel. I was elated. Of course, I kept telling myself to guard my heart and not to get too excited. I had already told my closest friends about him and they were just as excited. When Daniel and I hung up that afternoon we had tentatively set plans for us to go out to dinner the following week upon my return from a trip to Georgia. I could not wait.

Our first date: Daniel and I went on our first date on August 11, 2004. We met for dinner at Humperdinks in Arlington. I remember leaving from that date not knowing where this relationship was headed but certainly excited about the possibilities. And as the old saying goes….”the rest is history!”

Friday, September 30, 2005

A More Than Decent Proposal

On September 24th I asked Gloria to marry me, so here's the story.

The Build-Up
I had been thinking for a couple of weeks about how I could propose to her even though our time together was pretty limited. Normally on Saturdays Gloria is coaching her cross country team, but her meet got cancelled which freed up her day. Seeing this as an opportunity I said to Gloria, "I have an idea." and asked Gloria if she could come and stay the night at my parents' house on Friday night. I began making plans Tuesday morning; however, I became aware of Hurricane Rita two hours later. After cursing the hurricane I began making a backup plan in case my plans were foiled. As the week progressed I refused to tell Gloria what we were doing which drove Gloria into a matrimonial frenzy because she began to suspect that I might propose that weekend. Upon seeing Gloria's response to those secret plans, I not only greatly enjoyed her pleas to know the content of said plans but I resolved to withhold said information. While I was driving Gloria crazy, Hurricane Rita was driving me crazy. I checked the weather about every two hours that week until I realized that both my initial plan and backup plans had been foiled. Fortunately, I did not despair, but made new "weather-proof" plans.

The Day
On Saturday I got up to make breakfast for Gloria: lemon poppy seed muffins (I forgot to put the two eggs in but they tasted fine anyway), fruit, and coffee. I served her breakfast and we watched TV that morning but Gloria still did not know what the day would hold. At about 11:15am we got in the car to go to our first destination: the nail salon. I had said one time I would do something with her that she greatly enjoys -- a pedicure. I had never had one and was the only male client in the shop, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Gloria enjoyed it as well and walked out of the shop sporting a lovely pink shade of nail polish.

The next stop was Target, of course. Gloria needed to pick up a few items she had forgotten to bring with her. After that quick stop we were off to lunch -- Fuddrucker's. A surprising choice to some, but this was the home of Gloria's favorite arcade game --Ms. Pac-Man. First, we ate lunch, an American burger for me and a cheddar burger for Gloria. Then we enjoyed a couple lively games of Ms. Pac-Man with half of a 7-year old soccer team watching us play. This made it interesting because they had a peculiar ability to interrupt at key points by pointing at the screen and covering it up at the same time.

The Proposal
After we finished playing Ms. Pac-Man, I told Gloria that we needed to stop by my apartment so we could pick up some things for later in the evening. When we arrived in the parking lot I told Gloria to wait in the car because I needed to check on something in my apartment before she came up. I said I would call her on her cell-phone when I was ready. At this point Gloria knew "something" was about to happen. So at this point her previous category 1 matrimonial frenzy was upgraded to category 4 matrimonial tailspin. What Gloria didn't know was that I had prepared my living room with cards and pictures that she had given me as well as other things that represented key memories from our relationship. I had covered the windows with foil to block the sunlight and set out some candles in the fireplace and on the mantle as well. I went upstairs lit the candles, made final preparations and then called her up to my apartment. Gloria and I sat down on the couch and I shared some sweet things with her, then got down on a knee and asked her to marry him. She said, "Yes".

The Celebration
The next two hours were spent on the phone telling everyone we knew about our news. One of the more humorous memories was that Gloria had to ask me if she had said yes because she couldn't remember saying the words out loud.

I wanted one of the first things we did as an engaged couple was to worship together. So later that day we went to Sat. evening worship for a very unique and meaningful experience for both of us. After that we went to Sevy's for dinner to celebrate our engagement, and we've been celebrating ever since.