And then on January 23, 2009, one year ago today, it happened. Andi asked me to be his wife. We decided to take a little weekend getaway to Duluth, Minnesota - something we usually do about once every six months. Andi booked all the plans and hotel reservations (which is pretty customary in our relationship) so I didn't think much of our spur-of-the-moment weekend trip. I was however, hoping and praying that this maybe the moment. You know, the ONE. Although, when all you think about, talk about and dream about is getting engaged, a lot of moments feel like they 'could be the moment.'
We drove into Duluth late Friday night. Andi stopped at a rest stop just on the edge of town (a rest stop that happens to overlook the entire city of Duluth). "Could this be the moment?" I asked myself. "Oh, God, please don't let this be the moment, we're at a rest stop." It wasn't. And who knows if it'll even happen this weekend, right?
We pulled up to the Beacon Point Resort on the banks of Lake Superior. Andi asked me if I wanted to run in with him to check in. I said no. He came out a few moments later with our room key and we started to unload the car. Meanwhile, my mom was calling me about some photos she wanted help uploading to Walmart.com. "Err, just give me a minute to do this for her," I said to Andi. As I opened my laptop in the hotel room, Andi mentioned something about us being in the wrong room and going downstairs to ask for a different one. "Yep, ok, whatever," I said.
He texted me a few minutes later saying we were in fact in the wrong room. "Come to room 204" he said. I loaded up our bags and went down the hall to room 204. The door was propped so I went inside and sat there for a minute. It was quiet, no one was in there and all the lights were off. I wasn't exactly sure what was going on. Then Andi came into the room and said "oops, I meant 203." I followed him inside room 203, a suite overlooking the lake, and found candles, chocolates, cheese, wine and crackers. Andi said he wanted to do something nice to celebrate my upcoming birthday a little early. We talked for a while, drank some wine and looked outside at the water. Then Andi said, "do you want to go to dinner or open your birthday present now?" Naturally, I said PRESENT! We grabbed our drinks and Andi led me into the bedroom where a tv was cued up. We sat down on the bed and he played this:
Andi & Heathers Engagement from Andi Dickson on Vimeo.
Did you notice something special at the end? A shiny new sparkly diamond on my left hand in that picture? At this point, my body was shaking and my mind racing. Was this really happening? Yep, I think so. OMG. Andi said something about our life together and sharing more memories together for the rest of our lives. Truthfully, neither one of us can really remember what he said. The only part I remember is "will you spend the rest of your life with me?" And I said yes.
Marrying Andi is the single best thing that's happened in my life. I'm so thankful for all the special things he does for me each and every day. Thankful for all the unconditional love he shows me. Thankful God has partnered me with my absolute soulmate. I'm the luckiest girl in the world.
A few photos from our engagement weekend:
Calling my parents a few moments after we got engaged
The view of Lake Superior outside our window
That's steam coming off the lake - yep, it was that cold
The day after we got engaged
Beacon Point Resort
My engagement ring / wedding band - which I love love love
ps...a few funny notes about our engagement.
1) My mom had no idea Andi was proposing. A few weeks earlier at Christmas time, Andi asked my dad for my hand in marriage. But my dad never told my mom. She just randomly called ten minutes before we got engaged to ask for help uploading those photos. Which in the end, was the perfect ruse to keep me preoccupied.
2) Andi had arranged with the hotel to put us in the wrong hotel room when we checked in. In his plan, he would tell me he was going down to the front desk to ask for different room, but actually he would go to our real room to set up the candles, cheese and wine. Texting the wrong room number to me afterwards, however, was not part of the plan. When Andi text room 204, he actually meant 203. I'm not sure who's room I was sitting in that night or who the door was actually propped open for, but good thing no one was there or that could have been very awkward!
3) In hindsight, Andi's probably very, very sorry he ever decided to propose with that video montage. It took him two month to make it (before he had his handy-dandy Mac where making videos is child's play) and now I insistently make him watch it ALL. THE. TIME. It's no secret I love video montages, especially if they're about me.
4) The weekend bartending job Andi picked up a few months before he proposed was actually part of his plan to pay off the engagement ring. Sure, now that makes sense, but at the time I was more than annoyed as Andi was, oh how did I put it? 're-living his college glory days.' Foot officially inserted in mouth.
5) And finally, after all those months of painstakingly waiting be be proposed to, it goes down in my book as the best marriage proposal of all time. I learned later that the wedding ring was tucked away deep in our basement for months ... way before I started badgering Andi about getting married. Guess good things come to those who patiently wait, and those who nag about it too.
Happy (sort of) anniversary honey!