Sunday, February 15, 2009

My belated Valentine...6 years ago

Six years ago today, I got one of the best surprises of my life.

Matthew and I have known each other for A LONG TIME...15 years to be exact. I was 17, he was 19. We met at church camp. I was an assistant counselor, he was a counselor. Love at first sight? Yes!

After two weeks together that first summer of 1994, two weeks of flirting, two weeks of sideways glances, two weeks of finding excuses to sit near each other, I called my mom to see if I could bring a new friend home with me for the weekend.


"What is her name?" my mom asked. "Um, Matthew..." Well, God must have given her an extra measure of wisdom during that phone call, because miraculously, she said YES.

So, me and this strange boy that I had known for two weeks loaded up my car and made the 7 hour trip to my house in Weatherford, TX. This is a picture that was taken that weekend, outside of my house:
I am sure you can tell it was 1994 by the striped shirt and loafers I am wearing with my denim shorts. Classy. That weekend we went to see Lion King, went to a park AND had our first kiss, and spent loads of time together.

And from that point, our relationship was VERY off and on. For the next nine years. Sigh, drama.

But, nine years later, things picked up...way up.

We had been dating long distance for a while. He lived in Searcy, AR and I lived in Nashville, TN. We saw each other most weekends and spent a tremendous amount of time on the phone (once my cell phone bill was over $300...yikes!).

Valentines Day 2003 was on a Friday. Obviously, I had to work and so did he. I had planned to drive to Searcy on Friday afternoon so that we could spend the weekend together.

Unexpectedly, on that Friday, I was called to the office where I had a dozen red roses waiting for me! Yea Matthew, way to go! I couldn't believe he had done that and had no idea what he had up his sleeves for me the remainder of the weekend.

I had spent a lot of thought on his Valentines Day present that year. I did a past, present, and future theme. Past: a copy of the Lion King/Present: a phone card (Matthew didn't own a cell phone yet)/Future: the book The Marriage Masterpiece.

When I got to Searcy that night, we exchanged gifts. He was pleasantly pleased with mine. Obviously. For my gift, he handed me a card, which was a sweet card. In the card was a coupon for a haircut and highlights (I had recently been complaining about looking like Kid Rock and saying that I needed some serious work done to my hair). There was a catch to the coupon though. The haircut and highlights were happening the next day, the 15th, in TEXAS.

We went to bed late that night, in separate rooms, at his grandparents house. Calm down. Here is our picture as we were heading to bed that night.

We had to leave his grandparents house about 6am the next morning. Needless to say, I did not fix my hair or put on makeup. I mean, I was about to be pampered, why would I go to any extra trouble? We got to Fort Worth and drove straight to the salon. I'm sure you can imagine how surprised I was when we got there and my MOM was waiting for us there. She snapped this pic right before I headed back to have some major damage control done. (Um, do we look tired? Yes! And check out those overalls...a fashionista is what I was.)

While I was getting pretty, Matthew had accompanied my mom to the grocery store for some one-on-one time. During there walk down the aisles, he told her of his real propose to me. I'm pretty sure she was VERY aware of his "real plan" and had been for 9 years. After she told him that he was the greatest thing to ever happen to me, he told her how the proposal would happen.

And here is what he did.

He picked me up at the salon and told me that we were going to Weatherford. I'm pretty sure I said something like, "Are you kidding me? We drove all the way to Fort Worth and now you are dragging me all the way to Weatherford? I want to see my family! I want to show off my cute hair!" He eventually talked me into it and off we went, 30 minutes down the road.

He casually mentioned that he wanted to drive by my old house. What? I was very confused about his wanting to walk down memory lane. I thought he was a tad crazy. I gave him directions and we pulled up in front of my old house. Then, he got even crazier and said, "Hey, let's see if anyone is inside that can take our picture."

Look familiar? I was confident he had gone insane. We got back in the car and he said, "As long as we are here, let's drive around." Okay weirdo. He wanted to drive by the old theater, the one were we had our first date. You know, where we saw Lion King. We drove by but didn't get out and ask a stranger to take our picture.

He then wanted to go to the park. The one were we had our first kiss. When we were at the park the first time, back in '94, it was June. This time, it was FEBRUARY 15. And it was COLD outside. I wasn't too crazy about the idea and honestly just wanted to head back to Fort Worth and see my family. But, he was insistent.

We pull up to the park, and surprise, surprise, no one else is there. We get our coats on and walk over the "THE BENCH" and sit down. My entire body is shaking, I'm so cold. Matthew said that he wanted to say a prayer and then we could head back to the car. We bow our heads, he prays, and when I pull my head back up I look over and there he is...

on his knee,

with a ring,

asking me to be his wife.

I forgot about being so cold at that point. My ring was perfect and so was the proposal.

On our way back to the car, another crazy person was pulling into the parking lot. We asked them to help us document our day.

We did head back to Fort Worth after that. We had dinner with my family that night. They complimented my haircut and highlights a lot. Oh, and the ring. It was a perfect day. Absolutely perfect.
Until Matthew got sick and spent the entire night in the bathroom throwing up.
But, other than that, it was perfect.
I know February 14th is supposed to be the day of LOVE, but for me, February 15th will always be more about love.
I love you Matthew. My belated Valentine.


Marty Rhea Hill said...

I shed a tear everytime I hear that story and still did just now. I love it, Dallas!!!!

Amy said...

What a perfect engagement story! I'm so glad you shared that.

Kristen OQ said...

Loved reading about your sweet proposal! I didn't know the entire how Dallas & Matthew became "Dallas & Matthew" story!

Danna Ramsey said...

Awesome story. Your girls will be telling THAT one to their friends some day!
Jeff's proposal came right after a prayer, too. I've always taken that as a "good sign".

Sara said...

Enjoyed reading your proposal story...I had not heard that before! So, were you totally clueless that he might be proposing on that day?? Just curious!

Dallas said...

Yes, I had no idea what was coming...for the most part. When he wanted to go to the park, IN FEBRUARY, I thought something might be up, but didn't want to get my hopes too high in case it was, in fact, just a walk down memory lane.

~aj~ said...

That is super sweet. I always love hearing stories of how people fell in love. And that was a great proposal!

Brad, Amy & Sadie said...

Wow, such an amazing story! What a good guy. GOD IS GOOD.

Supabloggasuprememama said...

that s so sweet!!! I love those wonderful outfits you guys were donning. mine are fabulous as well, I am sure. ;)

Julie said...

i can't believe it's been that long! i was thinking, wow, surely they haven't been married almost 6 years...that would mean i have been married almost 7! thanks for making me feel old:) i always knew you and matthew were meant to be together!

Kim said...

I really enjoyed reading your story. How romantic! What a great proposal story!

Lane said...

AHHHH how sweet is that! I have never heard you tell that story. Thanks for sharing!

Karie said...

One of the great stories! I was always a fan of you two and I'm so happy to see you two so happy! Thanks for the walk down memory lane! Love is in the air!

Brooke said...

very sweet story, Dallas!

Sharon Hamilton said...

Dallas, I remember some of that drama but I've never heard the whole story. I haven't read your blog in several weeks so I'm gald I chose today. Come back this summer and see your park it is being completely remodeled, you'll need another picture.

mom said...

well, I am crying just remembering that day AND hearing how well you describe it and your incredible love for God's gift not only to you, but to our entire family! He is such a blessing and I am so thankful to God that I had the wisdom to say "yes" when you wanted to bring him home. Do you remember that he sent me flowers afterwards? I think it was Randy's idea. I love you Dallas and I am so proud of you and Matthew and your family. You are an amazing woman!!!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh what a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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