John and I were in Magazine, Arkansas for Thanksgiving with his family. This had been my first time away from my family for any holiday, so it was kind of a big deal for us. We had a great time, and we even had Thanksgiving dinner outside, something never heard of in Indiana! There were three pies, two kinds of green beans, turkey, ham and whipped potatoes; it was just a great spread of food! On Saturday, I slept in a little bit, but John slept in forever! He came into the house after he had woken up and had gotten all dressed up. I asked, "What are we doing today that you're looking so nice?" He said, "Well, we're having dinner tonight at the winery, so I thought I'd just go ahead and get cleaned up now." I responded, "Whatever, that's dumb. I'm comfortable in my jeans."
He asked me over and over again to get dressed up for dinner that night, even though it was only 1 pm. I eventually just caved in and got dressed up with some pouting along the way. I was in the bathroom, doing my hair and makeup, when he kept coming in and asking me to hurry up because he was hungry. I had a bit of a breakdown in his mom's room when I was changing clothes because I only had brought clothes for Thanksgiving, and I didn't have a nice dress and shoes. I was getting snappy with him and pretty annoyed with the situation, but I went with it. I agreed to go to lunch with him if we could find a Payless Shoe Store, so I could wear something to dinner besides my black Crocs. We left and went to Paris, Arkansas for lunch at the Grapevine. We had just eaten lunch there the day before, so I wasn't sure why we were going back, but I went with it.
During lunch, he picked through his food, and I asked him if he was okay. He said he was just nauseous and maybe was coming down with something. After lunch, he asked me if I wanted to go to Subiaco, a beautiful church on a hill, because there was a gorgeous Catholic monastery there, and we hadn't been inside. The last time we had been there, there was a mass going on, so we had just driven around the outside of the building. We went in, got a self-guided tour brochure and went on our way. We walked around the grounds while John read the tour aloud from the brochure. I got annoyed with him again, asking him to politely shut up so we could enjoy it a couple of times. He kept right on reading aloud, and it was driving me nuts!
We got inside the church when they were polishing the marble floors, so I thought we wouldn't be able to get in. The man motioned us around the side of the church to get in and look at the beautiful building. We went along (John still reading) and made our way to the altar. I knelt down in from of the crucifix and said to John, "Go ahead and kneel or bow or something." He said, "Hold this," and he handed me the papers he had been reading from. I snatched them out of his hands and used my phone to take another picture. When I had turned around, he was down on one knee. He said, "I've got something I want to ask you in front of God and everyone…" I of course was shocked, surprised, thrilled and excited. I said yes and proceeded to call my mother. She repeated over and over again, "I'm just speechless, I don't know what to say." When I told my dad, he acted like he had known it was coming but was still surprised.
We had the janitor who was cleaning the floors take a picture of us with my cell phone before we went outside. John said that there was another surprise there. He had been bugging me so badly all the while I was getting ready because he had been getting things together in the kitchen. He had a big bottle of champagne on ice and two glasses. He said, "Now, I've never popped a cork before, so you'll have to help me." I still have the cork saved in my pocket. We went inside, and I announced to the gift shop lady that we had just gotten engaged. She was very excited and even took a picture for us, since I didn't have my camera! That night, the dinner was not just a dinner; it was an engagement party with John's family. There was a small private room reserved for us and we received an Irish blessing from his uncle Bill. I was still shocked.