Saying "Yes!"

Of course, I said “Yes!”

Well, if there was one thing I wasn’t expecting on Sunday, October 10, 2010, it was Grant’s proposal. If I had any clue, I would have worn something slightly more exciting that sweaty dance clothes and maybe, just maybe, I’d have worn a little more makeup and less of the dance studio. 🙂

Here’s the play by play regarding the dearest, sweetest, most precious moments of my life thus far.

For a few weeks, I knew Grant had been looking at rings with our friend Brandon, who was looking for an anniversary present for his wife, Ashley… or so the story goes. Friday night (10/8/10), Grant flaked on our date-night because he was needed in the studio to finish a song. I took my open evening to go to our friends house and have a manicure date with Haley instead. Weeks before this, my sister Emily, our dear friend Christiana and I, had all been talking about rings, but not for any real reason… Little did I know that Grant wasn’t in LA at the studio, he was picking up the ring he purchased for me. For us.

Later that evening, Grant called earlier than expected to tell me he had wrapped up pretty quickly and just wanted to spend some time with me. That night, he said he wanted to take me on a “tour” of all our favorite restaurants, since I had already accepted a job in Arkansas and was planning to move only weeks later. Saturday night, he wanted me to get dressed up as he was going to take me to one of our favorite places and the location was to be a surprise.

Dolled up and ready for anything, I had a slight feeling that his odd behaviors were somehow related to something important. We went to Habana Grill in Malibu and he continued to spoil me, complimenting my every move, for the entire evening.

His last surprise of the evening, was a romantic walk on the Malibu Pier, overlooking one of my favorite surf spots and beach locations. We searched and searched for some privacy, for the “perfect spot” before settling in on a comfortable a secluded location. In the back of my head, I thought, “This is it! He’s gonna do this now! How perfect! JUST DON’T DROP THE RING INTO THE OCEAN!!!”

After a very gentle (and very romantic) kiss, it was the perfect moment for him to pop the question. Without delay, Grant smacked me on the tush and said, “Ok, let’s go home!” My heart ached with disappointment.

I figured, that was it. He wasn’t going to propose before I left for Arkansas and I was going to leave a “girlfriend” and not a “fiance” with wedding planning to keep me busy. How could he do this to me? It was such a perfect night, there was nothing he could do to top it, therefore, it just wasn’t going to happening until later… much later.

The next day was one of the hottest of the year. My youngest sister, Amanda, and I had been rehearsing for the play, Alice in Wonderland, where we played Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. We had been dancing and singing for 4 hours in a ventilation-less studio,  and all I wanted to do by the time I got home was sleep.

Grant forced me out of the house, swearing that I neither needed to change out of my dance clothes, nor did I need to shower/do my hair/wear makeup… “We [were] going somewhere CASUAL.” Lies.

We went to our favorite restaurant in Laguna Beach, Cafe 230. Completely unaware of what was to happen, I was horrified by my outfit as I sat in my sweaty dance clothes, in a classy restaurant.

We ate our favorite meals at the table of our first date (coincidence) and mid-way through our meal, Grant apologized but needed to check his phone because his sister needed him for something. A few minutes later, he asked that we wrap up our meal, because the sun was starting to set and he wanted to take a walk by the beach, our favorite beach, before it was too dark.

The night was beautiful. Closely off-shore, the silhouettes of dolphins danced in the setting sun. We walked, we talked, we took our time and enjoyed the weather and view… Grant, however, took 5 or so trips to the bathroom… in 30 minutes. “He must have had a lot more Iced tea than I realized”, I thought to myself.

We continued to walk up the hill to the Gazebo looking over the beach Betsy took Grant and Hillary to, when they first moved to California.

We sat there holding each other and looking at the sunset. I kept thinking “this moment is so perfect, I have to remember this when I’m in Arkansas” unlike the night before, when I’d hoped for a proposal. It was a moment of strength and empowerment in the relationship I had and the future we hoped for. It was what I would hold on to, while my life was in the middle of the country, and my heart was still on the coast.

After a few moments, Grant turned me away from himself and said he had to tell me something. Now, you have to understand something. Grant has “fake proposed” more times than I can count over the last 5 years, but he’s never been serious, and always made jokes about it. Why would this be any different?

As I saw him starting to fidget and reach for his pocket, I realized he wasn’t ending the joke and my heart started to thump.

Then, he dropped to one knee, right there in the Gazebo, looked up at me with the most sincere expression. Just then, the largest tear I’ve ever seen spilled down his cheek, and I realized that he was actually serious.

The moments to follow were coupled with sweet words, sobs, tears, excitement, laughs and more tears, completed by a “Yes”. Just then, Grant’s best friend, Dave, his wife, and Grant’s sister Hillary, jumped out of the now dark perimeter of the Gazebo, cheering in congratulatory celebration.

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