Stephanie + Andrew
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being proposed to on the swing set outside my grandparent’s house. My dad built the swing set, and it overlooked the most beautiful bay in all of Maine. But the dream seemed far-fetched, so I tucked it away in a corner of my heart, hoping it might disappear so I could replace it with something far more practical.
But dreams, as such, don’t disappear so easily. And so, when it was time for Andrew and I to begin thinking about engagement, I did the only natural thing I could do – I told my sister. And I told another dear friend. And I gave them strict orders NOT to tell. But, as expected, neither of them listened to me.
Andrew and I began to talk about rings and although I wanted to be easy to please, I realized I was far more opinionated that I thought. Needless to say, I did not make ring-selection an easy task for Andrew. After a few stressful shopping experiences, Andrew secretly found an amazing jeweler to help him custom design the family ring I wanted re-set. The designers at Brilliant jumped right into the mix and worked hard to help Andrew design a ring that represented both my family heritage and our future family together. Somehow, after all this secrecy and planning, I was still in the dark. I knew a proposal was coming, but I didn’t know when. I had already made plans to go to Maine for Thanksgiving to see my grandmother. And as the plans were coming together, that little girl dream in my heart kept trying to wake up.
I told myself there was no way Andrew could fly to Maine. He didn’t have any vacation days to take. It wasn’t practical. He already had plans with his family for Thanksgiving. There were NO indicators this was the best timing for a proposal. And besides, I wanted my sisters to be there when it happened. How in the WORLD would they get to Maine from Tennessee?
The week of Thanksgiving, I flew to Maine. And by the second day of the trip, I was having an internal tug-of- war. I felt like there were a lot of clues leading me to think Andrew might be coming to Maine – but I couldn’t be certain. And by Thanksgiving Day, I was convinced it was all in my head. I had photo evidence from both Andrew and my sisters that placed them in their homes, with family, eating Thanksgiving dinner. I decided I needed to let my dream go, enjoy time with my family, and stop trying to decipher clues that weren’t real. I needed to snap out of it. So I took a nap.
Much to my shock, I woke up to the faces of my mother, sisters, brother, and niece, all staring down at me with the biggest, goofiest grins covering their faces. I, being in complete, post-nap- barely-awake- shock-and- freak-out mode, stared at them in utter confusion. With a lot of laughter, they told me I needed to go outside. Someone was waiting for me. I walked outside to find my swing-set lit up with beautiful Christmas lights and the man I love waiting there for me. After saying the sweetest things (that a girl can never remember because it’s too much to take in all at once), Andrew got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. And I, of course, said yes.
It was dark outside so I had no idea what the ring looked like. And when we got to the light, I was absolutely amazed to see the most beautiful rose-gold band holding a ruby stone my grandfather gave to my mom for her sixteenth birthday. My grandfather passed away two years earlier, and it was the most precious thing in the world to me to get to be there, in his house, with this ring, with my family, to celebrate our special day. It was the most perfect moment, a celebration of old and new, of heritage and legacy in light of hope for the future.