My Mr and Me
Our Engagement Story
August 18th was our 3rd anniversary. Christopher came to pick me up for dinner with a bouquet of 18 long stem red roses and three white ones to symbolize our third year together. They were very large blossoms and so beautiful. For our first anniversary he gave me a dozen white roses with one red and for our second, a dozen white with two red. There had been a pattern but this year was a bit different. It is tradition for us to have our Anniversary dinner at The Halfway House and we had reservations for 5:30 but bumped them back and hour because my Mr. was busy getting things together. The ambiance at The Halfway House is very romantic, there is no conventional lighting, candles only. The food is delicious, Christopher had rack of lamb and I had chicken marsala. To start they serve hot, fresh cinnamon rolls that melt in your mouth. We usually each bring a small gift to exchange at dinner. My gift to him was a 2016 penny. I have given him one each year and they are all on his key chain. He gave me 3 oysters with 3 beautiful pearls inside. Yes, that is tradition also and they were gorgeous. One black, one lavender, one pink.
After dinner we headed back to my house. We were chatty and excited and ended up turning the wrong way out of the restaurant parking lot. We were headed north on Rt. 1 instead of south. It only took a mile or so to realize. We just laughed and in Christopher’s “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” way, he said “it’s ok, just means I can hold your hand a little longer”. He is a gem, truly a good man, heart and soul and so handsome. We have been through some big life experiences together but never, not ever, not one single time has he ever been angry. Never. Sure does make a girl feel safe and loved. Even though he was the one driving, he still didn’t get frustrated. I have learned a lot about grace from him and especially grace for myself. There is a very level headed peace about him. Not just a “don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff” but also “we can handle the big stuff, it’s all going to be ok”. After three years, I know that is true.
Once we got back home, Christopher said he needed to run next door to my Grandparents house but he would be back soon. Meanwhile, I was getting really excited to give him his gifts which were all wrapped in craft and musical note paper with big red bows. He finally came back about 20 minutes later. Odd thing was he didn’t have anything with him. He has often used my grandparents house as the holding place for gifts. He was very happy and smiling but that is not unusual for my Mr. So next I gave him his gifts. A beautiful fountain pen with ink and a leather journal. An ancestry DNA kit. Harry Potter shirts (mine says “after all this time” his says “always”). And a monogramed bracelet with our initials and anniversary date. I was feeling pretty happy about my gifts for him. Then it was his turn, also unusual as we normally give back and forth. He gave me a music box that plays “you are my sunshine”, which we sing to each other all the time and a vase that I admired when we were in Nicaragua on our mission trip in June. He had set up everything else in my bedroom. Our house is rather intimate and open so there is not much place to stage a surprise downstairs and we have cats, lots of cats who are mischief makers. Once he opened my bedroom door the first thing I noticed was three gifts on the bed. A rectangle shaped gift wrapped in felt with a bow, a roll of paper with holes punched in it (reminded me of ancient day computer punch cards) and some sort of stainless steel tool. Christopher had us kneel on the floor beside the bed to unwrap the gift which was another music box. The paper had been punched with the stainless tool with our song, “forever like that”. Christopher had spent hours listening to the song, playing it on the keyboard, writing the notes and then punching them on the paper tape. The tape feeds through the music box as you wind it. Such a beautifully heartfelt and romantic gift. As the song finished playing, he presented the most beautiful diamond ring and asked me to marry him. Tears, so many tears, happy tears, joyful tears. I said YES! He then told me that he had gone to my grandparents earlier to meet with my Uncle Eric (who has been like a dad to me) to ask for his blessing to marry me. He also told me he had been to see his mom at her church and she had prayed over him and for us. More tears. It is a gift to be loved like this, to be treasured and adored and protected. I love this man. I have searched human language to express in words how much but have never found them. More surprises were to come and next I noticed there were 3 tall glass vases filled with oysters. Then he said, “did you notice the roses”? and on the other side of the room were 100 white roses. Yes, 100. Long stem, breathtakingly stunning roses. The roses were a God wink, Christopher had ordered 50 but 100 were delivered, a double portion. We spent the next hour or so opening all my oysters 47 plus the three he gave me at dinner. Christopher said the 50 oysters represent the next 50 years we will have together. The 50 roses he ordered were to represent the same. I think since there was a double portion (100), we have a long, long time to enjoy this life together. After all that excitement, we shared desert and toasted with sparkling grape juice.
Over the next few weeks, we shared our news with family and close friends and were met with much love and support. Christopher’s mom had commissioned a painting by Jane Reed for us that is so beautiful, so us and very special. She gave us the painting a few days after our engagement and bought matching rings for herself and my mom with them they each promised to love us as their own and to support our marriage and life together. Christopher’s brother, Mathew text me to wish us a happy anniversary, he knew what was coming and later congratulated us. Little brother Eric was not surprised but happy. Christopher’s Dad has shown us so much kindness, love and support as well as his Grandparents and entire family. Christopher’s grandmother told me early in our dating that the Jones family is a good family. Indeed they are. My mom has been an incredible wealth of love, support and counsel throughout our relationship. My family has also been great, all of my grandparents, my uncles and auties. Especially my Uncle Eric and my brother, Joshua. I can’t forget our dearest friends, Channyn who nearly burst with excitement for us. Tess who said “it’s about time” and Dylan who was so enthusiastic, excited and ready to be the best man.
We are young, it’s true but the bible tells us in 1st Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise you for your youth; but be an example of the believers, in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
We love each other and we love the Lord. There is so much to our story, how we met and all the things we have been through together. We hope to share many of those stories with you. In short, we have lived through nearly drowning together in a riptide complete with life guards, search and rescue, ambulance, bystander assistance, angels and prayer. The death of a parent (my Dad). The loss of a dreamed of ballet career after years of dedication and studying at the School of Richmond Ballet. A serious injury (75% tear of the posterior tibial tendon), surgery, a second injury and recovery. Separations of time and distance with cross country family trips and summer Gov school for Christopher. Working on building a business and all that entails along with high school and community college. Such is life, but we have handled it all together. There has also been incredible love and support, from God, our families, our church families, our friends. We have had favor upon favor and seen God wink upon God wink. Many of you reading this have been a part of that. Thank you. What we know is God loves us and because of that love, we love one another. Christopher planned this proposal a year ago and never faltered from it. He talked to my mom about it, and his parents. He had a plan, and stuck with it. One of the many things I love about him. A few more God winks to note about our anniversary/engagement is that there was a beautiful full moon. Also, our anniversary happened to fall on the Jewish holiday TuB’Av (day of love) In ancient times of Jewish tradition, this was a celebration of the one day of the year when all the young women gathered in white and all the young men came to choose their wives. I thought that was really neat.
And so we would like to write this blog together to share how we came to be together, the journey this far and share what life brings next. It is a great record for us and for our children some day. So to you the reader. We pray our story will be a blessing and an inspiration to you. We are praying for your happiness and we ask that you pray for us, if you are so lead. Please speak life and love into us and our future. Peace to you all.