Once I did get past our "rule" and opened my heart to sharing what had been true for so long, I asked him, if we could maybe take some time to write out what it meant to love each other, since we had waited so long to say those words to each other. Nick agreed to it. And of course I had mine done that night - all written on pretty stationary ready to share what it meant to love Nick.
I read it to him the next time I saw him, and he told me he was still working on it.
A few weeks later Nick picked me up during my lunch hour at work. We drove to our "lunch park" with Macdonalds in bags, and found a picnic table. We hadn't had much down time since the retreat, so it was just so nice to catch up.
Nick seemed a little rushed to finish his fries, and for the first time ever, he finished his food before me. I soon found out why. He had completed his letter to me and he wanted to share it with me.
He started to read that letter. As he read it and opened his heart out on what God showed him what it meant to say he loved me,
my heart soared with dreams of the future. And when he got down on one knee I froze, and all I remember was the last words he read. "...to be wholy devoted to you. Kari Anne Kirkpatrick, will you marry me?"
The moment I had dreamed of for the last 6 years, was finally happening. And I meant to tease him when he proposed, saying something sassy like, "hmmm... let me think about it..." But the words "YES!" flew out of my mouth and then he brought out the ring.
Let me just take a moment to share a few details about my ring.
My ring is beautiful and special in so many ways. The stone came from Nick's Nana, and had been passed down the family. It's shape was called the Amsterdam cut, and it was made in 1885. Just under a carat in size, to me, it was a huge rock.
Nick and I had done a little ring browsing. I hadn't ever seen the diamond until that moment,. However, I wanted simple white gold bands, nothing fancy or flashy. Nick did an amazing job picking out a setting for my wishes. And he actually spent a lot of work having it appraised, insured, reset in it's new band, and reappraised, and reinsured.
But not only that, he had purpose and symbolism behind the setting he chose. The big stone sits in the middle, and wedding band holds another tiny diamond on the bottom right. He slid the ring on my left ring finger. As he held my hand and we looked at it, he shared that the engagement band and the tiny diamond on it represented me, and the wedding band that had the other one would represent him, and the big stone represents God. He told me that reason why the stone was so big, was to serve as a reminder to us that we would always keep our focus on Him. And so often throughout these first 10 years, I have glanced down at my hand and been reminded of those words. It was perfectly designed in every way for us.
I looked up at Nick, and felt like I was living in an amazing bubble of a dream come true. He actually pulled it off. He surprised me with a proposal and done it romantic and well, complete with McDonalds on a sunny day at Gabriel Park in February. It was perfect in every way.
My lunch break was coming to a close, and as I started to pick up our lunch trash, Nick stands up, and says, "Okay, now let's go to Seattle."
"What did you just say Nick?"
"Let's go to Seattle! I talked to your boss a few weeks back, and she gave you permission to have the rest of the day off, so let's go!"
In that moment I flashed back to when I was getting ready to leave for lunch, and saw a knowing expression with a big smile on Patti, and her words came back to me: "take your time on your lunch break today, don't worry about coming right back." And I realized she knew and had done an awesome job keeping a secret.
Before we left for Seattle we had a few people to stop and tell along the way. The first was my family. I saw my mom and this time when I showed her the ring she says, "What is that, a cracker jack box ring?" Not this time Mom. No cracker jack box rings on this ring finger. We then stopped by my friend Katherine's work place, and I held my hand up to her with a goofy grin on my face and she screamed and hugged me. It was definitely fun to surprise people.
We headed up to Seattle, a place I had always wanted to go, but never had been before. I felt so out of place in my pink handmade jumper that I had been wearing during the day. So Nick took me to Old Navy, and bought me an outfit that I felt much more confident walking around in . I stared and people watched as we walked through the big hilly city. It was the end of the work week for people, lots of suits, neutral colors, men and women walking around with some place more important to be. Then we walked down to our dinner restaurant - Isabella Ristorante. Nick had a reservation at a cozy little italian restaurant. After dinner we drove to the other side of the bay, and looked out across the Seattle night skyline. The night was turning cold, so we quickly snapped a picture, then back into the car to head home.
The ride back to Oregon was a little bit more quiet. It was getting later, and the closer we got home the more raspy my throat started to feel. Nick stopped at a convenience store to pick me up a soda to help soothe my throat. We stopped in really briefly for quick hugs of congratulations from Nick's parents, and then he drove me home. (it was a 45 minute drive in between our homes). I fell asleep in lala dream land, and the whole weekend I was on cloud nine. I was going to be getting married and soon would be Kari Anne Adams.