On my 22nd birthday, my heart raced with excitement as I anticipated my handsome date picking me up for an evening of birthday surprises. Nathan hadn’t given me any hints about what we would be doing for my birthday, but I told him that he at least needed to let me know how I should dress. He told me to wear the “nicest dress I owned”, so clearly, I needed to go shopping.I took my time browsing the colorful threads in Charlotte Russe. My eyes were seeking the perfect birthday dress. Much to my enchantment, all of the dresses were on sale that day, and I wound up selecting a light yellow strapless dress that I just felt wonderful in. (Feeling comfortable and beautiful is always crucial for the birthday girl).
Before Nathan picked me up, I did my makeup, put on that birthday dress with my favorite wedges, and threw my brown hair into a sock bun. When I stepped into his tan Ford Focus, Nathan told me that at every stop, he was going to give me a birthday present that symbolized what he loves about me. First, Nathan gave me a nice moisturizer. He explained that while it may be shallow, he loves my pretty face and my beauty. My heart was already filled with joy and love, and that was only the beginning!
As we began our mystery trip, I had no idea where we were going (I was just so thrilled to be anywhere with him.) We pulled up to a gorgeous Italian restaurant,Cafe De Sol, which immediately made me smile from ear to ear. Nathan tried to take me there on our first date, but I panicked and wouldn’t allow him to take me because I thought it was too nice & too expensive. Little did I know that two and a half years later we would finally have that date.
My second birthday gift from Nathan was a gorgeous iPhone clutch that can hold your phone and function as a wallet as well. (I had been eye balling these for a while). Nathan explained that the gift was for my smart phone, representing how he loves my mind & loves my intelligence. (I know-he’s a keeper.) We had an amazing, delicious, romantic dinner, and then we were off to continue the journey.
Next, Nathan gave me a super cute black infinity dress (it can turn into a few different dresses, which is perfect for me since I have a hard time deciding what to wear). He told me that this gift represented how I bring style into every aspect of my life.
At this point, I was already having the most perfect night. Then, Nathan drove us up to Mulholland Drive. We got out of the car to look out over the city of Los Angeles.
The city where we met. The city where we struggled together. The city where we overcame together. The city where we both felt God calling us to impact. The city where we fell in love.
My dress blew in the warm, evening breeze. Nathan ran back to the car quickly to grab his phone. When he returned, he was playing one of my favorite love songs from my favorite musical (“The Next Ten Minutes” from “The Last Five Years”). At this point, I should have had it all figured out. The song is about a guyproposing. Still, my mind was just thinking about what a romantic birthday he was creating for me.
As my eyes gazed out into the city lights, I turned my head to the right and saw the man of my dreams down on one knee with a small jewelry box in his hand. First, I was in complete shock. I didn’t know if he was serious. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that it was really happening. When it finally set in, I couldn’t stop the tears from pouring out (and I’m not really a pretty cryer). Nathan expressed his love to me and asked me to do life with him forever…to marry him. After immediately embracing him, and still being quite shocked, I finally got the word “yes” to explode out of me with pure joy.
I couldn’t believe how perfect the diamond was. It was truly my dream ring…everything I had ever hoped for since I was a little girl. A beautiful, classic white gold band with the most incredible, gorgeous, princess cut diamond I had ever laid my eyes on. I couldn’t stop staring at it and realizing all that it represented. Nathan also handed me a bridal magazine and white roses (yes-he is the best).
I’ve honestly never felt that kind of happiness in my life. I’ve also never felt so at peace. Even though I was surprised and insanely excited, it just felt so right…so natural…and exactly where we were supposed to be. I spent my entire life being the girl who dreamed of her prince charming, but never really believed it would happen. I spent so much time feeling unworthy…unvalued…ordinary. Since the day I met Nathan, I never felt deserving of his attention or love. He is such an incredible, godly, amazing, handsome, talented man. Realizing that he was making a choice to spend his life with me, through the good & the bad, even with all of my flaws, with everything I’m not…I realized that I was getting a fairytale ending.
I said yes…and this is only the beginning of my very favorite love story.
So very very happy to have sweet Rachael enter our family. Finding such a kindred spirit is a real gift to all of us. We love our Nathan and Rachael and pray God's blessings of love, wisdom, grace and joy.