Tim's Side of the Story ::
To say I woke up on the day of my proposal would assume that I slept. That was not the case. I rolled out of bed and pulled the ring from its secret hiding place, just to make sure it didn’t run away overnight. It didn’t run. I went to church without the ring, for fear of losing it, or spontaneous combustion or something like that. I don’t remember much from the service other than praying that God would help me lead her in the best way possible. It was a great reminder to me to submit myself—and us—to Him.
After church I tried to make the day seem as normal as possible. I went home, ate, went over a checklist of things with my parents, grabbed the ring and put it in the midget pocket of jeans that nobody ever uses, and got my backpack on the way to our favorite coffee shop. My sister heard I was asking that day, and she treated us to coffee (unbeknownst to Liz). It was so hard for so many people to not only keep it a secret, but to not show their excitement in a noticeable way. On the outside, I was studying, drinking my chai tea, and carrying on normal conversation. On the inside, I was running through my plan, wondering if my family had everything they needed to setup the space, and trying to not shout out “WILL YOU MARRY ME?!” as I looked at my beautiful girl study. I made it through the afternoon without blabbing too soon. It was the happiest and most excited I have felt in my entire life, and keeping that contained was soooo tough. But I had made it this far, I could go a little longer.
We walked around some art galleries in Kirkland for a study break. In one of the galleries, there was a sculpture of two crows facing each other, with one holding a ring in its mouth. I said, “awww, he’s proposing!” . . . she said “No I think it must have stolen the ring from someone.” Great! Just the kind of affirmation I needed. I immediately felt my pocket just to make sure it was still there. We’re good.
Eventually we finished up our studying and work in Kirkland, and I tried looking for a neutral restaurant. Something that wasn’t fast food, but didn’t scream “I’m going to propose today”. A nice sit-down Greek place would do the trick.
But on our way across the bridge I began to realize that we wouldn’t have time to get there, get seated, eat, and head all the way over to Gasworks Park before the sun went down. I decided to sacrifice the non-fast-food requirement and get something quick so we could get there in time. We tried to find a pizza place in the U-district, but ended up going to Chipotle. I was so nervous about the timing of everything! I did what I could to make up for lost time, and I swallowed three tacos whole. We drove towards the park but ended up being a couple minutes EARLY after all that, so I pretended to go down the wrong street on accident (I had been there two days before), and stopped to get gum because I HAD to get the taste of tacos out of my mouth. We finally got to the park and I sent a secret text to everyone that read, “We’re here! Hide!” I couldn’t say much at that point. I was so happy the moment had come.
I got to the stairs, and SURPRISE! There was my friend and photographer at the bottom of the stairs. Liz immediately said, “oh my gosh are you kidding me? Are you serious?? Is this seriously happening?” . . . I took that as a positive rather than a negative. We descended down the stairs, and had our last dance as boyfriend and girlfriend. Then I explained all the things I love about her, and how much I look forward to life with her—both the ordinary and extraordinary. At last, I got on my knee and asked, “will you marry me?” Our family popped out of the bushes they were hiding in to join us. We celebrated our decision together. We exchanged words, laughs, and a few gifts. The rest of that evening was a euphoric blur. But I’ll always remember holding my bride-to-be on that sunlit walkway that looked over a glimmering Seattle cityscape. And so life together began.