Earlier today I posted a sneak peak of sorts about Bethany and Andrew's engagement... Well she wrote me today with a secondary song choice for their slideshow since I couldn't find the first one and iTunes isn't exactly the most friendly software to use when it comes to making mp3's... Anyway here are more of their photos followed by their engagement story, and a slideshow...
Be sure to read this... I'm giving Bethany the address to this post so she can read all the comments from my readers :)
The Proposal Story
On our last night of Summer Staff at Windy Gap, a Young Life camp in North Carolina, Andrew proposed. I knew it was probably going to happen sometime this summer but knew that it would definitely not happen at camp, which was what I was secretly hoping for. I specifically remember telling a handful of people how amazing it would be if that happened at Windy Gap, but knew that he didn’t have a ring or had no way of getting one while we were there so I wasn’t expecting it. He started planning it during the first of four weeks we spent volunteering together there. He called his parents the end of week two and they shipped the ring to camp, he called my dad for permission the end of week three, and worked out all the details throughout the whole month.
Saturday night, June 21st, after all the campers left we had an all camp meeting. He showed up late for it in the nicest clothes he brought with him. I thought that was strange and when I asked he said it was the only clean outfit he had left, which made sense. During the meeting he said that we should go for a walk up the hill, the one where we would hang out and talk every day, so we could have some quality time together before the night got crazy. I thought that was a little strange as well, because we hadn’t been told the plans for the night yet so I wondered how he knew that it would be okay for us to go off on our own and that we weren’t doing something else. I started to get suspicious when he was so persistent that I find a place to put my backpack down. After the fourth time he asked me to put my bag down I gave in and walked towards the leader’s lounge, which was where all of our bags and blankets and pillows were being stored for the night. Once I got there, I saw Laura and Kelsey, two of my dear friends from this month, and told them I thought something was up and they played it off so well. I walked away feeling so silly, like, “what if it doesn’t happen and I see them again in ten minutes, this was no big deal we really did just go on the hill and talk and I got bent out of shape for nothing. I’m going to feel like such an idiot…”
So after my wonderful friends managed not to blow it, I came back outside and met Andrew at the bottom of the hill. I was expecting it to happen then, so when we got up the hill and really did just walk around and sit and talk for a few minutes I was a little disappointed. I told him that he got my hopes up because he was acting funny and I thought he was going to propose. He was so calm cool and collected and said he could see how I would think that, he was sorry that I was disappointed, but that he really did just want to talk for a few minutes by ourselves before we hung out with the group for the night. After we were on the hill for about ten minutes (looking back I remember he looked at his watch an awful lot) we walked back down to meet everyone. I kept thinking about how silly it was for me to think he would propose then, especially since I knew he didn’t have a ring or any way of getting one (He got me good).
So, In the center of camp there is a small lake with an island in the middle of it that extends from the snack shop porch. The plan for the night was to meet there at the snack shop and get free drinks and food and just enjoy each other and have a little party. So as we are walking through camp I was wondering where everyone was and why it was so quiet, and when we got closer to the island I saw a few of our friends holding tiki torches and candles around the lake close to the stairs we were using. Then I heard Ryan Long, the musical guest for the month, singing and thought he was doing some sort of special concert for us and we were late for it. Our friend Tyler was closest to us while we were walking by and I asked him what was going on and he had the hugest smile on his face and said absolutely nothing. Andrew immediately pulled me away from him so we could keep walking towards the island. A few seconds later I saw all of our summer staff friends with tiki torches and candles spread across the entire lake. It hit me when we actually started to walk on the island and I realized what song Ryan was playing, it’s a beautiful love song called Changing Me that he wrote for his wife. It was all so wonderful and so perfect! It all happened so fast from there. When we got on the island he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and of course I said yes! He slipped the ring on my finger and then all of our great new friends rushed over to congratulate us. The fact that Ryan Long agreed to sing was incredible to me because he has been my favorite musician for six years, since the first time I heard him play at a Young Life camp. I just couldn't believe he agreed to do something so special for us...
We probably hugged 500 times in 10 minutes and after all that hugging we got the go ahead from the crowd that it was okay to “make purple” and kiss (boys are blue, girls are pink, and at Young Life camp it is stressed heavily that there’s no “purple” at camp). Ryan Long continued to play the love songs of his that Andrew requested, Changing Me, Faithful Man, and Mine (and yes, he is on i-tunes so you should download them). During Ryan’s song Mine, we went towards the edge of the island to listen and when the song was over, our good friend Ben hollered to Andrew, “who’s is she?” and he yelled right back, “Mine!” After we were done mingling on the island we actually did go into the snack shop for a party, but it was our engagement party. We were toasted with Welch’s sparkling grape juice by our friends and summer staff coordinators and had an amazing time! Then the empty glass bottle was used to store messages from everyone in (which we read tonight and they were incredibly sweet, so thank you guys!) It was such a fairytale and I couldn’t believe, and still can’t believe, that we are engaged!
It couldn’t have been more perfect and I’m so surprised how everything came together so flawlessly.The effort and thought that went into it was so special and seriously, it couldn’t have been any better. It was the best proposal ever imaginable and I am so incredibly happy to be engaged to such a wonderful man, the love of my life, and the person I couldn’t be happier to spend the rest of my life with. I love you more than yesterday but less than tomorrow forever and always, Andrew James Lee.
Thank you to everyone who played a part in such a special night in our lives. Earlier that day playing frisbee golf at camp, we were all sad to leave and someone said it was the worst day ever. I heard Andrew yell right away that it was the best day of his life, of course I rolled my eyes not knowing what was to come, but it really was the best day of my life up until now. We loved having everyone be such a big part of that for us. And thank you to all of our wonderful, supportive, and encouraging friends and family who have been with us all along. You guys are great! Be prepared for June of 2010. =)
*Isn't that just the sweetest!!!!!!