Joel and I are engaged for an October 2009 wedding. He totally surprised me on the day of my graduation from Western Washington University with a ring and a proposal. I thought I was getting a puzzle not a ring!
Here's the story... So the Wednesday before graduation, after a long night in the computer lab on campus, I was driving home and decided to see what Joel was doing. I gave him a call, and he told me he was wrapping a present. My ears perked up, at the word, "present". For those who know me, I have always been a gift shaker, poker, and man-handler... I just have to know what is in there. I started to ask him questions about my present to see if I could guess what it was. This always gets Joel all flustered because he hates my ability to accurately guess what the gift is after only five questions. I asked him if I would be able to shake the gift when he arrived on Friday night. He told me "No!". So then I started thinking, "What could be identified by shaking alone? A puzzle!!" (I should probably note, I have an embarrassing addiction to puzzles. I love them!! I will sit and work on a puzzle for hours, happy lost in my puzzle.) So I blurt out, "Is it a puzzle?" Joel paused for a moment before replying in a frustrated tone, "No..". I thought to myself, ah-ha it is a puzzle! He just doesn't want me to know I have guessed it! I keep guessing other items, to make Joel think I don't know what it is, all the while trying to imagine what the puzzle might look like. So Friday comes, and Joel arrives at my house. I just can't wait any longer, I have to see the box just to confirm my suspicions. I go through his overnight bag until I come across a box about 6"x4" wrapped in gold paper. I just knew it, it was a puzzle!
Saturday was the big day, and my family was going to meet me at my house before heading to campus all together. Mom, dad, Jackie, and her boyfriend Chris arrive right on time. Dad went outside to wave down Cathy, who would be arriving shortly. It was long before Cathy called me to let me know she fell back asleep and wouldn't be able to make my graduation. So Joel went outside to let Dad know Cathy wasn't coming (and also to ask my dad's blessing on our engagement). So as we all walked out of the house, I noticed Joel was bringing the present with him. I thought that was weird, but maybe he wanted me to open it in the car. But when we got out of the car in WWU's parking lot, he brought the gift with him. He just acting like it was no big deal. So we head off toward the gym for the ceremony. After the ceremony we decided to avoid the big crowd and head toward Haskell Plaza in front of Artzen for family pictures. As we approached a good place for pictures, Joel said, "Well, I guess you can open your present now." I excitedly tore through the wrapping as my family looked on. Inside the box, was another box. Inside of that box, was a small wooden box. As I looked at that small wood box, my stomached dropped. Was this a ring?!? Was this the moment every girl waits for? Is this really happening? Am I about to be engaged? No... It is probably just earrings or something. I took the box out of the wrapping and slowly opened it. Inside was a beautiful diamond ring. Joel took me by the shoulders and said, "Jessie, will you marry me?" I just started crying, I was so happy! I couldn't believe this was happening to me. Of all the people out there, me, the most awkward, goofiest, oddball of them all, I was being asked to marry the man of my dreams. I just started crying and hugging Joel, who was also teary. As he slid the ring on my finger, my family came forward with congratulations and hugs. It was an amazing moment!
And thanks to Dad, who was the only person aside from Joel to know what was coming, we have pictures of the moment.