This is the story of how God brought Dan and me together and how we got engaged.
Our story really begins with the fact that Dan and Dustin Bragg were roommates in college during Dan's senior year in 2003-2004. After graduation, Dan moved back to Detroit and they kind of lost touch with each other. In August of 2007, I moved to South Carolina and moved in right next door to Dustin. (Actually, Dan moved to South Carolina three days after I did, but we didn't know each other at the time!) Dustin and I got to be pretty good friends, and he would often have people over to watch movies on his big screen TV with surround sound.
One Saturday night last July, I got a craving to watch a particular action/adventure movie, so I called Dustin and invited myself over to watch it on his TV, since action movies are more fun on a big screen with surround sound! He had something going on that night, but he said I could come over on Sunday night to watch it. He said that his old roommate from college was going to be there, but that they didn't have any particular plans and he didn't think his roommate would mind watching that movie.
Unbeknownst to me, Dan and Dustin had just reconnected with each other on Facebook. Dustin had no idea Dan was back in Greenville, but after he discovered that fact, he had been trying to get together with him.
That Sunday night, we ate pizza and ice cream and watched a movie and talked. We stayed kind of late. I had fun and Dan seemed like a nice guy to me, but I didn't really think anything of it because Dustin always had one or another of his friends over to watch movies, and Dan was just another guy I met at Dustin's.
However, the next morning before I left for work, I randomly checked my Facebook and Dan had friended me. I thought that was a little odd because he would have had to remember my name to do so (and I hadn't remembered his name!) and it had only been a few hours since we had met each other and he would have had to have gone straight home and friended me.
I accepted his friend request and he wrote on my wall several times that day. I checked at lunch and he had written something. I asked a couple of my friends that day if it meant something significant for him to have friended me that fast and they agreed that it was probably somewhat significant.
That night, we started chatting on Facebook, and every night that week we ended up chatting till the wee hours of the morning. On Thursday night he asked for my number and started texting me. I went to Charleston with friends from my community group that weekend, and he texted me the whole time I was there (until he broke his phone, but that's another story). Saturday night we met at Dustin's again, and by Sunday night we were ready for our first date.
So that's the story of how we met. Here is the story of our engagement.
First of all, I had no idea it was coming this Christmas. He told me that he would be asking me sometime before March, but other than that I didn't know when. He also said that Christmas was too obvious a time to propose. Plus, I didn't know he had bought the ring. (I usually know where he is at all times!)
Dan works for UPS answering the phones in customer service; so Christmas is a very busy time for him. Normally, he has to work both the day before and the day after. So, our plan for Christmas was for me to drive up on Christmas Eve to spend four days with my family and for Dan to stay in Greenville and work. Needless to say, I wasn't very excited about the idea.
Tuesday, the day before Christmas Eve, I started thinking about driving my car all the way back to Cleveland and how much traffic there might be and what kind of weather I might encounter. I love driving a stick shift, but in stop-and-go traffic or bad weather, it's not so fun. Several weeks before, Dan had mentioned that I could borrow his car if I wanted to. At the time I had said no, but the more I thought of it, the more I liked the idea. So, I texted him that afternoon and asked if I could drive his car. He had driven mine a little bit and was starting to get used to driving stick, so I figured he's be okay for just driving back and forth to work. He told me he'd think about it and let me know. Without knowing it, I had just thrown off all his plans!
He came over to see me that night after work, and he was acting kind of weird, like he was thinking about something that was bothering him. I kept asking him what was wrong and also kept asking him for a final decision about taking his car. Finally he told me that he just didn't feel like he was ready to drive my stick-shift while I was gone and asked if I could just take my car. I was a little disappointed until I remembered that my brother Jared, who was coming with me to Cleveland, had an automatic that he would be leaving in Greenville. It's an old car and can't be driven far, but I told Dan he'd be fine driving it around town. I called up Jared right away and got it set for Dan to borrow his car while we were gone.
However, Dan was still acting strange, and he wouldn't tell me what was wrong. He finally said he'd tell me later. So I went out to the kitchen to make us a snack. A few minutes later he came out to where I was and told me that the reason he wasn't comfortable driving my car was that he wasn't ready to drive it through the mountains or through bad weather. He had gotten the day after Christmas off! I was so excited that I was going to get to spend Christmas with him and started to give him a hug. Then he said that the reason he wanted to come to my parents' house for Christmas was that he had something important to ask me. That's when I saw him pulling the ring box out of his pocket and realized what was going on. He got down on one knee and proposed right there in the kitchen. I said yes, of course!
So, Dan had all these ideas of how he was going to surprise me at my parents' house and ask me to marry him on Christmas day, but without even knowing it, I foiled his surprise! In all reality, though, I think this worked out better because we got to drive up to Cleveland together and spend all of Christmas weekend.
That's the story, at least my side of it. Maybe I can persuade Dan to tell his side of the story later. The wedding is set for September 5 at Pretty Place chapel just north of Greenville, SC. We're so excited and thankful for how the Lord brought all this together! And we can't wait to start life together.