On December 22, 2014 my life changed forever. This day holds within it a joy that surpasses even some of my most fondly reflected upon moments in life. It was the day DJ asked me to be his wife.
He was in Puerto Rico when the sun rose that day with his college basketball team. They had traveled there for a tournament, and I hadn’t seen him for a couple weeks. I was missing him fiercely. He was coming back that very day, and I was thrilled that we would just be able to talk again.
My family and I were in Traverse City, Michigan at this time for the holidays- the place that formed me and molded me through my life, created some of my most treasured memories, and was a home and safe haven if I could identify any. My beloved and I had also fostered great memories there from climbing the world-renowned Great Bear Dunes to whipping our way through the ice cold waters in various water sports to strolling downtown with ice cream cones in hand to placing our own footprints in the beached sand of generations before.
It was our special place with endlessly treasured memories.
I knew we were going over to my Aunt and Uncle’s for dinner that night. I looked forward to spending time with my family in their beautiful home that overlooked the bay.
On our way there I was texting DJ. He told me he was back in the U.S., and I was nothing short of ecstatic. I longed to see him, but I knew that it would still be a few days. I asked him what he was doing on this first night back and he responded, “Just having dinner with my family.” I didn’t think much of it.
We arrived at my Aunt and Uncle’s. I walked up to the door and stepped inside. Music filled the air that tugged on a string on my heart. Our song. DJ and I’s song. Then I saw the candles and the framed pictures of him and I from five years ago when we started dating that littered the foyer.
I soaked it up, mouth agape. Slowly everything started coming into focus more clearly. My heart raced with a mix of bewilderment and exhilaration.
DJ stepped out from behind a corner. I was elated to see my love. My family was all smiles, all knowing. He took my hand and led me down their stairs that winded into a beautiful open living room.
The pictures of us that lined the walkway showed us growing up together in a pictorial timeline as we walked along, hand in hand. From teenage kids to young adults, the pictures told stories, and those stories told stories, and those stories brought us to the place we stood today.
He led me outside the basement door, down their mesmerizing stone walkway lined by candle votives to a trellis. Next to the trellis was the bay. The bay that held petoskey stones, my feet in their infancy, and my favorite memories from childhood. Next to the water’s edge was the most recent picture of us on the table, the culmination of our current journey, soon to lead into a future that neither of those people in the propped frame could have foresaw the true beauty of.
He told me many sweet things. Oh so many sweet things that I cannot recollect. Then he was on one knee and in a whirlwind, in a moment, my heart cried a definite “yes” so uncharacteristic of my indecisive nature.
He placed the ring on my finger. Physically gorgeous, yes, but the symbolism was more profoundly beautiful than anything I could express. My love grew in that moment. Words truly cannot describe those depths of the heart.
We were engaged.
That night he did have dinner with his family, his soon to be family. We chatted about how he drove seven hours from the airport that day, about his trip, and about our future.
Nine months later we were married and two years after him getting some dust on his knee we are happier than we have ever been.
I love you DJ. Thank you for asking me to be yours and demonstrating unconditional love to me each day.
Here are our engagement pictures from the next April 🙂 All photography to follow is by Julina Marie Photography .
Thank you all for being supportive of our relationship, and thank you to our Lord and Savior for guiding our steps and directing them toward one another.