At the end of every semester right before finals, BCM council members put together care packages purchased by parents for students. It’s really fun and raises money for Summer Missions, so I loved helping out with it. As we were putting them together that December, we started talking about the mission trip to Covington and the schedule for the week.
I was super excited that David was going to be able to go. Since he worked at West Georgia, I wasn’t sure his schedule would allow it, but it had worked out. He and D Rol (our campus minister) would just have to leave midweek for a meeting and then come back the next day. So as we were discussing the Covington schedule, we found out that our free night—the night we would get to go back to the big Barnes & Noble—would be the night that David would be gone for his meeting.
I was pretty bummed out. I still had engagement-ring-fever, and now I realized it wasn’t going to happen in Covington, either.
After finals, we finally headed to Covington. I can’t say enough that Covington is one of my very favorite places in the world. We arrived on Saturday evening and went Christmas caroling around the neighborhood. It was so much fun, and caroling always gets me in the Christmas spirit.
We got to work cleaning and helping out wherever we could after church on Sunday morning. We went through board games to make sure there were no missing pieces (great excuse to play games while cleaning!), cleaned out storage closets, and wiped down more walls and toys than I could count. It might not sound like much fun, but I loved knowing that these seemingly meaningless tasks were helping so many people.
On Monday morning, as I was getting ready, the power went out in the bathroom. I was in mid-blow dry, so that was a bummer. My hair is typically pretty frizzy and wavy, but I can sort of tame it with a blow dryer and hair straightener. Without power, it was going to be a frizzfest. I just put my hair up in a ponytail and headed to breakfast.
After breakfast, D Rol led a devotion time and then we found out our tasks for the day. I volunteered to help wash dishes and clean up the kitchen and David immediately piped up that he would help, too. Usually, we tried to work separately from each other on mission trips, just so we could focus on the work and not distract each other. D Rol then said he needed people to come with him to pick up some gifts at another church for the giveaway on Friday night. I volunteered and David immediately said he’d come, too. I was really surprised, but since we weren’t getting to see each other very often, I was happy, too!
So we set off to clean up the kitchen, and David was sort of bouncing around and just seemed like he was in a very good mood. I didn’t think much of it, though, and just kept working on cleaning. When we went with D Rol to pick up the gifts, David told me that we were going to get to go to Barnes & Noble that night since he wouldn’t be in town when the rest of the group was going. Not wanting anyone to get upset by that, we were supposed to say that D Rol was just taking us with him to pick up more gifts.
Later that evening, we headed out again, but this time to Barnes & Noble. I was so glad that I was going to get to go there with David again since it was so special to us. Not many people can say their boyfriends fell in love with them at a Barnes & Noble, but it’s basically a book lover’s dream come true.
When we got to the shopping center, D Rol said he was going to go do some Christmas shopping and would meet back up with us soon. It was freezing, so David and I decided to go get a coffee in Barnes & Noble. I don’t remember what we got to drink but I only cared that it was warming my hands. David asked if I wanted to sit outside to look at the view (the Cincinnati skyline is the best), and, even though it was freezing, I said sure.
So we went outside and sat down, the only two people out there since it was basically zero degrees. We started talking about music and David blurted out, “Bach was married!” It was totally random and I wish I remembered the context, but I don’t.
I had a sneaking suspicion that this was it, but I was scared to get too excited because I’d obviously been wrong before. But it made sense. This was why he was so happy that morning and why he’d passed up my favorite holiday to propose. He was going to do it here, where he first realized he loved me because he’d gotten to see me do God’s work for the first time. I was only slightly annoyed that it was going to happen when my hair looked awful.
We sat there in silence (other than my chattering teeth) for a few minutes (or maybe five seconds), and I said, “I love Covington.” He asked me why, so I explained that I loved that it was the first place I’d gone on a mission trip, the place where he realized he loved me, and it was just so beautiful. David looked at me, and I could tell he was nervous, and he said, “Well, it’s about to get a little more meaningful.” He then proceeded to scrape his patio-furniture chair back in his hilariously awkward fashion and then scraped the patio-furniture table up in order to get down on one knee (he did have a bad knee, remember).
During all of this, I kept seeing someone out of the corner of my eye looking out the window from inside the Barnes & Noble. I thought it might be D Rol or someone else that might have been in on it, trying to sneakily take photos. But no, it was just some random guy staring out at us. Creepy.
Anyway, so David is down on one knee, holding out the most perfect ring, and I was just sitting there sobbing my eyes out. He asked and, after a lot of crazy crying and a very high-pitched, “Are you for real?!” I said yes.
It was perfect. All the frustration I’d been feeling when we’d have to part ways, still without a ring on my finger, instantly vanished. I’m so glad he waited for the perfect moment rather than just asking wherever because I was being a baby.
I immediately called my mom (more tears!) and then we went to find D Rol. When we finally found him, David asked him if he wanted to do our wedding (we started wedding planning early). Then we went back to the MAC where everyone was playing an intense game of Mafia.
Due to the fact that I wanted to tell my sorority sisters in our next meeting, we had to keep it a secret. For a month. We obviously told our close friends and our families, but I am stubborn and wanted a fun sorority ceremony.
It was tough keeping it a secret for that long, but it made sense, since our relationship had sort of started out that way, anyway. It had come full circle, almost. But I finally got my proposal, my ring, and a future secured with the greatest guy I’d ever known.