Now that you know today is the anniversary of our engagement, let me tell you a little more about that night. Pat and I had talked about marriage. We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We also knew he would be in the Army upon graduation. I had told Pat that I wanted a little over a year to plan our wedding (after all I'd be planning a wedding during my senior year of college), and he knew I was not going to move around the country with him if we were not married. So when April had come and we weren't engaged and I didn't see it coming in the near future, I started to think about a different future and possible career paths.
April 12, 2003 was Pat's military ball for ROTC. We were juniors in college. When the ball began, Pat kept running off to visit with his friends. All that kept running through my head was that he was being a terrible date. Finally Pat was back to stay and we were sitting at the table. In his absence I had time to think about it. In my crazy and emotional female head I was thinking we're all dressed up, if he wanted to get married he should ask before the end of the school year, he hasn't made any attempt to move forward with future plans, and this would have been a pretty good opportunity for him to give me a ring. I let my thoughts get the best of me, and as we were sitting down to dinner I reached over and patted Pat's leg in an attempt to feel his pockets just to make sure he didn't have a ring in there. I felt nothing. I may or may not have said something snide under my breath. (I'm sure Pat would love to insert his view of the night right here, but thank goodness it's my blog! And I do admit I was being immature.)
I got over my little fit and we went on to enjoy the dinner and the events of the night. The informal dancing part of the night began and we all headed to the dance floor. Before the next song the DJ said there was a special request and then I heard "All I Ask Of You" from The Phantom of the Opera. This was a special song for me and Pat, but it didn't click in my head that he had requested it. Before I knew it Pat was down on one knee with a ring asking me to marry him.
Despite my pat down of his pockets earlier that night, I was shocked. I really didn't think it was going to happen. I barely remember the word "Yes!" coming out of my mouth, but I most certainly meant it. We danced to the rest of the song. After it ended we were bombarded with congratulations from all our friends. I remember the tears were flowing that evening but in a very happy way.
The most romantic part of the whole proposal was that Pat had planned for my family and his family to meet us the next day for a special lunch. He reserved the back room at a local restaurant and had coordinated having all the special people in our lives there. Being able to share our engagement with our families by far meant the most to me.
I am so thankful that 8 years ago he asked because it led me to absolute happiness.
Here are a few photos--the quality is terrible and they are actually photos of photos because I was too lazy to use a scanner last night.