What I thought was going to be a girl's weekend in Georgetown (complete with Grey's Anatomy and homemade spaghetti) with my long-time best friend, Avery, turned out to be the most magical weekend of my entire life. Saturday morning began snuggled up with Avery and Theo (our Golden Retriever pup) on the couch watching Sweet Home Alabama, having our morning coffee. Right about the time the best scene of the movie came on-- you know, the part where Patrick Dempsey takes Reece Witherspoon to pick out her engagement ring??--an excited knock on the door sent Theo barking. Avery was conveniently in the other room and yelled at me to go answer the door. So off I went to see who it was... in my pajamas, no make up, and coffee breath morning glory! When I opened the door, my college best friend and roommate, Alex, was standing there with a letter from Jon clutched in her hand. All at once, a million bells and whistles went off in my head as all of the dots started falling together. After staring at her in disbelief for a solid 3 minutes, Alex said with tears in her eyes:
today is the big day, ken!
With trembling hands, I opened the first letter from Jon that read, "I pray that today is full of smiles and laughter. Live in the moment today, it's all about you. By the way, you look beautiful!" After lots of tears, and hugs, and more tears (and more hugs) the three of us got ready and set out for the next of many many surprises to come. We got to a sweet little breakfast diner in downtown Georgetown, called Monument Cafe, where three more friends (Abby, Maggie and Lainey) where waiting in the corner booth with another letter from Jon that said:
"Brunch! Your favorite meal of the day! Don't touch your wallet, its taken care of. Drink Mimosas, enjoy the company, and relax! -Jon"
The next stop was to get my nails done, of course. I barely got out of my car before being tackled by three more of my best friends, Claire, Courtney, and Alison! This day just kept getting better!!! All of my friends were sure to let everyone in the salon know I was getting engaged-- the encouraging smiles and excited whispers from my fellow customers didn't even come close to matching the giddiness bubbling in my own stomach!!
"BY NOW I HOPE YOU ARE GETTING GIDDY, I KNOW I AM. SINCE YOU PICKED ALL THE NAIL POLISH OFF YOUR NAILS FROM THE STRESS OF TEST WEEK, I FIGURED YOU MAY ENJOY THIS. YOU'RE GORGEOUS! -Jon"
Just when I thought the day couldn't be any more perfect, we went to the square to get coffee (one of my most favorite things). And who was waiting on a bench right outside the shop? My precious littles of course!! Kat and Allison gave me my fourth letter from Jon:
"I hope you are feeling very loved. I have no doubt that these girls will be by your side forever. I'm praying for you. I pray that the Lord lead your conversations and fill your heart.-Jon"
these girls love me so well.
One last lap around the square and 5 million pictures later, it was time for us to part ways. My stomach flipped inside out as Avery and Alex loaded me back up into the car to head back to Avery's to get ready. When we got home, the dress I had picked out for this day months ago was hanging on the dresser with my final note from Jon:
"Finally. I hope today has been the happiest day ever. I hope the smile hasn't left your face and the butterflies are still in your stomach. I have been busy all day getting ready for you. I'm anxiously awaiting and can not wait to see the smile I'm imagining on your face! -Jon"
put on your outfit, smile, and hurry to me, i can't wait much longer! - jon
Sweet Avery and Alex helped me get ready, showered me with lots of love and back scratches, and drove me to downtown Austin. After about thirty minutes of "stalling", making small talk about the cute families walking their dogs, we finally pulled up to Auditorium Shores Park. When I got out of the car, I was greeted by a beautiful stone path shaded by arched trees and the smiling faces of my family. I collected 12 roses and smothering hugs from Chelle, Dani, and Mom before being led up to a sidewalk leading to a white gazebo that Jon had built himself.
Mom instructed me to walk up to table and press "play" on the computer. Shaking uncontrollably and trying (and failing) not to ugly cry, I watched as the people closest to me shared in excitement for the promise that was about to be made!!!
When the video came to an end, my heart skipped a beat when I heard the crunching leaves under Jon's feet as he came up behind me and put a hand on my shoulder.
And then flowed the kindest, most heartfelt words I have ever heard, as Jon expressed his love for me. He shared pieces from the conversation we had on our first date and the growth we have experienced over the past year and 5 months. Then he read from Proverbs 31 and describe the woman I am because of the Lord and the wife I am created to be.
And then came the words I will cherish forever; a promise that changed my world for the better.
"I love your heart and I promise to always protect it; I love your soul and I promise to always lead it towards Christ; And I love you and promise to never let that love fade. Kendall, will you marry me?"
oh, and i said yes! jon, i can not wait to be your bride.
After happy celebration (and more tears), we had dinner at El Monumento with our whole family! Then we headed back to Avery's house where these two gals, along with about 50 of our closest friends, had set up the most wonderful party to kick off Jon and I's engagement!