The profound words that spoke straight to Greg...straight from Beyonce herself :)
Below you'll read the story of our engagement....
The only thing that gets me through class on Wednesday evenings is knowing that I get to leave class and head straight to Greg's to hang out for a bit. The first part of the week we don't see each other due to Bible Studies, work travel, etc. so I am always anxiously awaiting Wednesday evening.
Last Wednesday was like any other (with the exception that it was St. Patrick's Day....but not being very "Irish", it didn't make a huge difference to me). I woke up at 5:30 am....got to work, and worked a full day....attended a meeting (where, ironically, a few people asked how Greg was doing)...and then went straight to class. Class started, and I kept looking at the clock. This Wednesday was particularly painful in length as it just felt like the time was crawling. I texted Greg several times during class to give him an update of when I'd be out. My classmates and I finally convince my Prof to let us out early for St. Patty's Day. Around 7:00 I text Greg and told him I'd be out of class around 8:00...to his place by 8:10 on the dot :) Around 7:45 Greg texted me saying "Is it 8 yet!!?" I think he was just as anxious about my class being over as I was....but he had a much better reason than me :)
I exited class at 8:00 on the dot and called Greg (which is not a regular occurrence...I usually just text "On my way"). I was super hungry that night, for some reason, so I called to find out if he had food around or if I should stop and get something. I was really craving Taco Bell (ewwww....I never crave Taco Bell, or any fast food for that matter) so I nearly disregarded all his food offers for my own food, but I decided it wasn't worth going out of my way. To his house I continued.
When I walked in, I was finishing a call with a friend and I saw Greg sitting on the couch reading his Bible along with giving a grin of excitement mixed with a little of something else which I can now identify as nerves. The entire time I was finishing my phone call, Greg kept standing next to me, giving me a hug, and not letting me get too far from him. Finally I finished my call, said hello, and then he suggested that I eat.
He had some pizza leftover in the kitchen so I went in to get some, put it on a plate, and headed for the family room where we always eat. Greg stopped me and suggested we eat in the kitchen. I figured, well why not....it was different than any other time, but I was fine with it. We sat at the kitchen table and I felt like I chatted Greg's ear off....I thought of a million and one things to say and Greg just sat there patiently and listened :)
After I finished up Greg asked what I wanted to do...I suggested I could grab the Dominoes from my car, and he suggested the puzzle we had been working on in the basement...we settled on the puzzle. As we were walking down the stairs Greg stopped me and said "Oh....this is for you..." He leaned over the stairway and grabbed a single rose in a vase. "Ohhhh...thanks.....is it for me!!?" I inquired. After I figured it was for someone else, Greg assured me it was for me. I wasn't sure the occasion and was hoping I wasn't missing something really important, but I took it and set it down on the wall leading downstairs. We walked a few more steps and he's like "Oh...and remember those cards I've been sending you in the mail!? I have copies of them right here...did you notice any sort of pattern with the cards?"
PAUSE...REWIND: For the last month Greg has been sending me cards...about 1 a week...each with a little "something" in it. I thought nothing of these cards as he travels a lot, so there is reason for sending mail...and I have sent him random cards in the mail. I just figured we were creating a tradition of sending mail to each other. Fun :) Wrong.
FAST FORWARD...PLAY: I was quickly searching my brain for a pattern I should have noticed but nothing was surfacing...I also felt a little bad because the cards I had been sending had no meaning...no rhyme or reason...they were just cards I liked, but no "patterns" or anything. After a few seconds of being completely clueless, Greg proceeded to explain what he was talking about.
Greg reminded me that the first card he sent me in the mail had circle theme...he included circle stickers and decorated the card with circles and signed his name with a block letter G...the letter G is similar to the shape of a circle. He put the copy of the card, in the envelope and placed the envelope down and this is what I saw.
The second card I got in the mail had a square theme. Greg decorated the cards with squares all over, and gave me a Polaroid picture of himself when he was little, and attached a square post-it note. He wrote inside the card a block letter R..the letter R and the shape of a square are similar. He put the card in the envelope, and placed the envelope down like this.
I'm still have no clue what the pattern is, but I keep listening.
Greg went on to tell me that the third card had a theme of rectangles...rectangle stickers, a rectangular gift card, and he wrote in the card a block letter I which is similar to a rectangle. He put the envelope down and showed me this.
The last card was given to me last Saturday (the day that Greg picked up the ring) and inside the card it was decorated with triangles, and with the card was a pair of socks that had triangles. Greg told me that the socks were to keep at his house since I never wear socks and my feet are always cold there. Greg wrote in that card with a block letter N which is the closest letter he could come up with that matched the shape of a triangle. Greg put the card away and placed the envelope down. This is what I saw.
After he told me this I was shocked that he had spent so much time thinking about the cards he was sending me...and horrified that I hadn't picked up on any of the patterns. Geez. Greg said, "Isn't that cool...it spells the word GRIN..." I smiled and was like "Wow....you're so clever....that is pretty cool...sorry that mine weren't that thought out!" A few moments later I was headed down the stairs with Greg following behind, to work on the puzzle.
When I reached the bottom, the lights were off, so I fumbled around to find the switch. Finally I found it and when I turned on the lights I saw a whole bunch of this...
I was utterly confused. I looked behind me and looked at Greg and I was like "Greg...what is this for!!? This is really nice of you....I don't get it...." Most people have asked me "Didn't you start figuring it out...didn't you realize what was happening!?" The answer is honestly NO. I was completely clueless and oblivious to what was going on. I think the main reason I was so clueless was because just the weekend before we had discussed potentially good times to get engaged, and this summer was one of those times...we both agreed that would be a good time, and I was satisfied with that, so fully expected it to happen then.
Greg was right by me and had the cards in his hand. As I was looking at the word GRIN with all of the shapes below it he said, "Well....what is another basic geometric shape that is missing...there is a circle, square, rectangle, triangle...what is missing!?" I replied "HEART!!??" I figured I had to be right since he had this whole "romantic theme" going on. Greg looked at me and said, "No....Diamond...Dimanond is the shape missing..." and he showed me this...
Then he said, "And what if I move the G and the R around...what else do these letters spell..." and he moved the letters around, and it spelled RING....DIAMOND RING....
It finally all came together. Greg was proposing to me. Wait. WHAT?!!? Greg was proposing to me!?!?!?! HOLY CRAP. I started laughing, and saying "What??" and "Are you serious?!??" And I kept surveying the room...waiting for the joke to end....I was laughing hysterically....I couldn't stop talking, and laughing, and screaming....It was chaos in my head for what seemed like a long time, but was probably only seconds.
By the time I stopped spinning around to look at my surroundings I turned to where Greg was and he was on one knee. The hysteria continued..."What....are you joking...what are you doing....oh my gosh..." On and on....finally Greg was like "TINA...STOP....Let me do this...." That shut me up, and the next thing I knew, Greg was asking me if I would marry him!
After some more freaking out Greg told me I had to say something...give him an answer....I said loud YES and then began to shake and go crazy some more. Within a moment of giving my answer to Greg I found him on the couch sitting back and taking a sigh of relief. I actually wish I could have captured that on photo...it was priceless :)
We put the ring on....admired it...and then just sat there.
We had to soak it all in. After a few more minutes I asked Greg if he had talked to me dad (which he assured me he did...he actually was able to ask my dad for permission in person when my parents were visiting a month or so ago)...and then Greg proceded to tell me that he told everyone...my siblings, his siblings, my friends, his friends...everyone was in on it and aware of it all. How the HECK did he pull this off!?
We grabbed our phones...made a few out of town calls, and then Greg told me that we had to be on our way to meet our friends who were waiting at a restaurant to celebrate with us! Wow. I could not have asked for a better way to celebrate! Off we went to see everyone and enjoy the rest of the night together.
By the time we said all our goodbyes and got back to Greg's place we plopped down on the couch and realized, "We are ENGAGED!!!" It was a fun moment to sit in for a while.
I eventually made my way home and rolled into my bed around 1:00 am. I laid in bed...with a ring on my ringer...and two very wide eyes. I couldn't sleep. I was still trying to process everything and take it all in. You always think about getting engaged but there is no moment like it, and you never totally know what it will feel like until you're in that moment. It was wonderful.
It has now been about 5 days since we've been engaged and we're full speed ahead on wedding planning. August 28th will be here before we know it. I cannot express how much I love Greg...what a blessing God gave me in Greg...and how cool it is to know that our lives will be more than just "Tina" or just "Greg" but about how we will be able to serve the Lord as "Tina and Greg".
I'm glad Greg took Beyonce's advice...and "put a ring on it..." :)