Thursday, December 6, 2007

Not old enough to drink, but old enough to marry

OK, my turn again.

10 years ago today I asked Katie McCoon to be my wife. Wow, 10 years? That means we have a 10th anniversary coming soon? What in the world?

Of course, the next question from all the ladies is, "how did you propose?" so I'll tell:

Brief history: a group of my friends at college all had a pact together to help each other with creative dates. We helped not only with several guys' engagements, but we'd often get involved in helping create elaborate and fun evenings for each other. It was was a lot of fun and helped not spend too much money when you had a group of crazy and creative guys willing to do ridiculous things to put a spark into what would have been a lame, cheap date. I even stopped traffic once in the middle of town dressed as a secret service agent so we could pull a friend's girl from her car. So along with this group of guys and some other friends, I assembled a team of 20 folks to pull off this historic event. It required lots of help and several organizational meetings.

Also, I had already managed to convince Katie I was going to visit a friend at Arkansas State University for a weekend while I drove to Michigan, took her parents to dinner to ask for their blessing and spent the weekend with them.

STAGE 1: Katie was expecting for me to pick her up at her house for a date. Instead, my roommate Scotty showed up in his car. He had with him a gift, which she was required to open. Upon opening the gift, she was also given a clue. Once she determined where she was supposed to go based on the clue, Scotty was to drive her to her next destination and drop her off. Once she arrived to the next place a different friend met her with a different gift, another clue, and so on. Each destination was a significant location in our relationship (like where our first date was, first kiss, etc.), and each gift was also somehow tied to different stories or inside jokes from our time dating. Each card with a clue also included a "password" to get the clue at the next stop. Often she was required to sing a silly song or do a dance or something embarrassing in order to receive the next gift/clue. All in all, she was escorted by 12 different guys with 12 gifts and 12 clues to 12 different locations, leading her from her dorm room at Greenville College to downtown St. Louis. 2 hours on our "date," and still no sign of me.

STAGE 2: The last of her escorts brought her to the front door of the Adam's Mark, a very classy hotel downtown. Inside was one of her favorite places, a little jazz club where she loved to go dancing. I met her outside with a rose and escorted her inside so we could go dancing. A few songs in, I asked her to walk outside with me. Outside the side door of the hotel awaited a white horse and carriage. We hopped inside and took a half hour romantic ride around Keiner Plaza, which was lit up with millions of Christmas lights.

STAGE 3: Upon arriving back at the hotel, we hopped out of the carriage only to find a quintet of street musicians playing jazz. Of course, the band was made up of my friends. Also on the scene were 2 photographers, one taking pics and one doing video.
So, we stopped, dropped a couple of dollars in the guitar player's case, and requested a song (the one she asked me to sing to her if/when I proposed to her). So right there on the busy downtown sidewalk, we danced and I sang "Moonlight Becomes You." Amazing how many people stopped to watch! The music continued and I got on one knee and proposed! She said yes, cried, and we danced some more. Best date ever.

Oh, and we were 20 years old. Yikes.

So here we are, 10 years later and so much has happened. I'm next to our family Christmas tree in our 2nd house, listening to silly music coming from our El's toys as he's playing in his bedroom. This weekend our entire family will be visiting for Eliot's baptism on Sunday morning. There is absolutely so much to celebrate right now I can't even get my mind around it. We are so thankful to God for His great love for us and for all He has done and provided. What an incredible way to celebrate the holiday season!

(Oh, and if any of you are able to come celebrate Eliot's baptism with us this Sunday, Dec. 9, it all goes down at Greentree at the 9:00 service.)

12 comments:

the Hansels said...

How is it that almost every blog makes me cry? Thanks.

K McGill said...

Very well done, Russ! Do me a favor, don't ask Joe how he proposed...

Mamá to the best 2 said...

love that engagement story -- who says 20 yrs old are young and clueless? :) happy engagement anniversary you two!!!

Amanda said...

Russ...I can't believe it...10 YEARS!!! That story never gets old. After people reading this blog you might be doing some coaching in the proposing department.
I love you guys and see you either tomorrow night or Saturday morning. Get Eliot ready for lots of fun!!!!
Aunt Manda

Dan said...

Although I wasn't there for the engagement I remember it being the talk of the campus. Very creative Russ!!! I'd forgotten all the details.

Amanda

Justin and Jody said...

Wow! That has got to be the most romantic proposal ever. I ran across your blog through the Swinigan's Blog and I just had to comment. My husband went to Greenville College also.

Melissa Scott said...

This is the most perfect blog ever and I am crazy about all three of you....10 years later!!!!

Laurie said...

OMG Russ you are amazing! Do you have a single older brother? :) Congrats on 10 wonderful years.

Nicole said...

Found your blog through Kelli McGill AND the Swinigans, both friends of mine...

What a beautiful story! Happy almost-10th anniversary.

Nicole Diehl

TNKerry said...

I love your story!!!!
We (I- DH 1 year older) were also one of those not old enough to drink, but old enough to marry couples, but my DH wasn't anywhere near as creative :) He's been good enough to be married 12+ years so far though...

Rebecca and Shannon said...

Amazing. Nice job, Russell.

Gina said...

It's CRAZY how fast 10 years goes by. Rodney and I celebrate 10 years of being together (when we started dating) this summer. I cannot believe that. The next thing we know we'll be giving Will his 10 year b-day party. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

Congratulations on Eliot's baptism. Sorry we couldn't be there.