As I'm sure most of you know, I'M ENGAGED!
(This one was from the day he asked me out for the first time:)
Bryce and I have been dating for over three years with a brief...umm...intermission:). We have always known we would be married, it just took us time to get to that step.
Finally, after advice from loved ones, we sat down, made a budget that included everything from insurance quotes to grocery money and decided that we were ready. Money is important, but money is not everything. We realized we wouldn't have as much money to throw around, but we knew it was worth it and have been saving and budgeting ever since.
After my sister's wedding in September, I knew the time for a proposal was nearing, I just didn't know when, and quite frankly, it was killing me! I would read statuses from my friends planning their own weddings and wished I could do the same...officially. I know that weddings aren't the center of marriages, but as girls, we all dream about them, and my mind was getting carried away!
There were a few different things we had locked down, though. For starters, we knew the month we would have it in: June. We loved the idea of an outdoor wedding and realized this would work best for us. Also, we had the place decided. We chose his grandparents' house out in Waterloo. The property is gorgeous. His grandpa built the house, and his grandma (a volunteer at the Missouri Botanical Gardens) has planted the most beautiful flowers. Also, Bryce's parents were married out there in a gazebo his grandpa built for their wedding. We decided to get married beneath the same one. And lastly, we decided on the ring.
We already had the style decided; we just had to decide where to buy from. One day, an ad popped up on Facebook for a place called Brilliant Earth. It was an advertisement for engagement rings, and I clicked on it, just for fun. The site advertised "conflict-free diamonds." I didn't really know what this meant, so I looked it up. It was then when I learned what "blood diamonds" really were. They are basically mined in war zones and used to finance slaughter and wars. The workers can end up seriously injured or dead. When I read this, I was sickened. I understand that not all diamonds are mined this way, but it still scared me to think I might end up with one that someone gave up everything for. So then I researched Brilliant Earth.
The diamonds are mined in Canada in a more environmentally-friendly atmosphere. The gold is recycled and 5% of the profits are donated to Africa. Plus, their selection is gorgeous and the rings are fairly priced. I saw that they had my style and instantly fell in love.
I told Bryce about it, and we looked into reviews to make sure this place was a wise idea. After reading many positive reviews, we were convinced. From that point on, I watched our savings account to see that expected drop.
But when we finally had enough, everything went wrong. I was paid later than expected as was he. We took his car to get an oil change only to find out that the people who did it last time screwed it up (don't get oil changes done at Walmart!), and it would cost a few hundred dollars to fix. Though Bryce was compensated, it still postponed things. We knew we would have to push it back later, which really stunk considering Brilliant Earth took two weeks to get the ring to you. I think God was definitely trying to teach me patience, and I wasn't being the best scholar.
This past week, we finally had enough! He said he would order it over the weekend just to make sure everything went through. And our savings plummeted.
So whenever we were planning our Saturday the other night, I didn't think much of it when he asked if I wanted to go for a walk though his grandparents' woods to see where to set up his deer stand (go rednecks!). On Saturday morning, I met him at his house, ate real quick, and we headed out.
We only walked through the woods for a few minutes. I actually wondered for a few minutes whether or not he had something set up by the creek in the middle of the woods, so when he said "Let's head back up," I was disappointed and knew I shouldn't expect anything for a few more weeks. "We can at least go sit down in the gazebo and just see how many people we could fit out here," were the next words out of his mouth. Maybe he set something up here?
No. We just sat down for a few minutes, talking about how we would set everything up. And we rocked on a bench with my head on his shoulder, admiring the beautiful day. I listened to the windchimes realizing that it was okay if things didn't happen that day. I was still there with an amazing man. What else did I need?
Finally, he looked at me and said, "So I have a question."
"What's that?" I asked.
He got down on one knee, pulled the little wooden box out of his pocket, and asked "Will you marry me?"
Of course I said yes!
He was so clever! His dad forwarded him the money so he could order it a few weeks ago. Both our families knew when it would happen, but nobody let on at all! I think it should scare me that I'm marrying such a good liar, but as long as he uses it for good, I will be fine!
Anyway, there's my story! I'm so excited to be marrying the love of my life! I honestly can't wait!
Sorry for this length!
-The Future Mrs. Fickas!