It is 6:00 am on Monday, February 13, 2012. I wake up to my ever-faithful iPhone alarm and its obnoxious stock ringtone. The excitement caused lack of sleep the night before, but was enough to get me out of bed so the festivities could commence.
I had planned the morning with the help of my best friend, Cayman, and his girlfriend, so the three of us set up while Alaina slept soundly, entirely unaware of what the morning held in store.
I had woodburned a piece that represented both memories and future plans that we have in our relationship, and the entire piece centered around a nail on which the ring hung. This was to be the major player in my proposal, and it served it’s purpose well, but not without presenting a few complications first.
We had set up the woodburning, along with rose pedals strewn across the floor of the chapel in Forest Falls, Ca, which is where I planned to propose, and a basin of warm water that I used to wash her feet post-proposal, in keeping with Christ’s example of servanthood in John 13.
Once all the pieces were in place, I ventured back to the house to wake Alaina while Cayman and Amanda stayed behind, cameras in hand, ready to capture the candid reactions to come. I woke Alaina and told her I had “something to show [her]”, lucky for me my family and friends who were aware of my plans had done well to keep it under wraps. She dressed quickly (one of my favorite attributes about her) and we were in the car and heading to the chapel shortly.
Upon our arrival, we entered the chapel and I turned her toward the woodburning which at the time was covered by a dark colored curtain. My plan was that while she was facing away from me, distracted by the artwork and ring, I would drop to one knee and be prepared for when she turned around, crippled by excitement. Unfortunately, that was not exactly how things played out. The ring was caught in the curtain as she removed it, and came off the nail, fell to the floor, bounced a few feet until it reached a drainage grate, at which moment it fell through the grate and down about eight feet or so. In that moment, I was horrified, but couldn’t help but laugh. Alaina, meanwhile, hadnt even noticed the ring and was still focused on the woodburning. It wasn’t until she turned to see me on one knee, staring downward through the grate that she realized there was something else I wanted her to see.
My look must have given it away because she immediately she asked “did something fall?” and when I told her yes she asked “was it important?”
At that moment I realized she had not even known that I was proposing! As if the rose pedals and cameras could not have given me away.
Luckily Cayman was there to help me remove the grate, and I jumped down to retrieve the lost ring. I was able to find it rather quickly, but getting back out of the ditch I found myself in was another challenge entirely. Instead of trying to climb out, I decided to present the ring to her from my current state, about one to two feet below ground level.
Needless to say, she was overwhelmed with excitement. So much so that she dropped to her stomach on the cold cement floor in order to give me a kiss. I reached up out of my hole in the ground and placed the ring on her finger, and that is when Cayman decided he could set down the video camera to help me climb out and properly embrace my new fiance.
After I was out of the ground, I proceeded to wash her feet, expressing my desire and commitment to serve her in our relationship, and the rest of the morning proceeded without a hitch.
Now in my defense…it was EARLY in the morning people!! I loved every minute of our proposal day and wish I could relive it over and over again!