well, the beginning of the good stuff:  ENGAGEMENT.

the story is this:  it was the beginning of february.  i was planning on going to a dance at school with a bunch of girlfriends.  ross was planning to spend a weekend at my parents looking at a potential job.  now i knew good and well this was all a cover for ross to have the good old “i ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage” talk with my dad, but i was pretending to be unaware.

well the dance that was supposed to be girls-only, turned into everyone having a date, so i told ross i was going with him.  and for extra fun, we’d take one of my best friends, amanda, along too so she could see her fiance for the weekend.  fun would be had by all.  so i knew i’d probably be making that little “talk” with my dad more difficult, but i just thought that ross would have to get a little more creative.

so home we went.

what i didn’t know until the end of the weekend is just how creative ross had gotten.

here is an actual picture of ross having “the talk” with my dad (side note:  by this point, Tim and Amanda were in on the engagement plan, so Tim was spying on Ross to nab these pictures) (2nd side note:  it took Ross an hour and a half of “helping my dad trim forsythia bushes” to muster up enough courage to even ask.  poor thing.  and poor bushes.)

when ross heard that i was going to be tagging along, he decided to throw his eggs in one basket, pick up the ring, get my parents’ permission, and then pop the question – all in the same weekend.  that little detail was definitely not something I was expecting.

that weekend was also a birthday celebration night for my dad and sister.  on saturday night we were all bustling around, making a fun dinner, talking, laughing, etc. when ross casually approached me and asked if he could show me something.  i said sure, so we went back to my room and he pulled out his Bible, saying he wanted to share a cool verse he’d read during one of his quiet times. the verse was Song of Solomon 2:10-13

My lover spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, and come with me.

See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.

The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”

As in, babe, this season of dating is o-v-e-r – let’s take this thing to the next level.  And then all of a sudden, there was a very large sparkly ring being held out to me.

For the record, my first response was “NO!”  but only out of shock, not as an answer.

So we laughed, we cried, we hugged, (we definitely put the ring on my finger) and then we went out to share the news.

[how absolutely shocked do i look?]

So on 2/4/06 I became Mrs. Ross Wilsie-to-be.

And then we did what all couples do to pick the right wedding date:  We got out the Tech football schedule and found a week when the Hokies weren’t playing.  October 7th it was.

The next eight months would be awesomely wonderful and frenzied.