It was a night seemingly like any other, but it turned into a night I would never forget. It was December 15, 2015. Christmas was quickly approaching, and Nick & I were about to leave town to go visit family in St. Louis. I worked and got off at 6:30. Our plans were to meet up with Peter & Kate to go to the Dallas Arboretum to see the 12 Nights of Christmas.
Nick first picked me up for dinner. He said, “We have two options. We can either go to a fancy steakhouse or we can go to Potbelly’s.” I didn’t even have to think twice about my answer.
“Let’s go to Potbelly’s!” I shouted. I didn’t know if he was going to propose tonight. I wanted him to, but I had secretly thought that he was going to propose several times during the months leading up to it, and I didn’t want to be disappointed. I had resolved to have zero expectations and just to be surprised when it happened.
However, when he brought up Potbelly’s, it brought a tear to my eye because we went there on our very first date in 2014, and we hadn’t been back there together since. We walked in and ordered food, but of course, we ordered an ice cream cookie sandwich because it’s not only delicious, but it is what we ordered the first time.
We ate and reflected on the last year together. I thought, “Could this be the night? No, Alyse, don’t get your hopes up. But this was so perfect, it HAD to be. Nooo, you’ve thought that before, too. It’s not tonight, but it is going to be a fun date and you need to enjoy every moment.”
(The second picture was our first date in 2014.)
We then left to meet up with Peter & Kate to go to the arboretum. We got there and the night was perfect. It wasn’t the summer heat, but it wasn’t cold. I only had a light jacket on, and it felt perfect. We walked around admiring all the different sets of Christmas. Kate had her nice camera. She was about to have a baby and wanted us to take pictures of her and Peter for Christmas. We walked back to the most picturesque place in the whole arboretum, and we took some photos of them.
They were still playing around with the camera when Nick swept me away with him for a moment. We walked around just the two of us, talking about the night and enjoyed just having our arms around each other. Nick is seriously the sweetest guy I’ve ever met. He’s so easy to be around. We then walked back to the perfect photo location, where Peter and Kate were. There was a group of people who were dispersing, so we waited.
I am not sure if it was the stalling for the people or my heart telling me that this was it, but at that moment my heart started beating. In fact, I had to lean away from Nick for a minute because I was SURE he was going to feel my heart beating because it was beating so strong. The crowds left and he led me to a little tree where something was dangling from a small branch. He said, “What is this?” I laughed and looked closer, as he reached to pull it off the tree. He handed it to me and my mind decided to just not process it. So I stood there looking at it when I FINALLY realized that it was an ornament. The ornament was an open light blue box with a gold ring inside inscribed with the words, “Will you marry me?”
By the time I had processed what it was, Nick was getting down on one knee. It’s like the whole world was rushing around me and time stood still for a moment. Then he asked the question aloud. The question every girl dreams about her whole life, “Alyse, will you marry me?”
I said, “Yes!” I seriously could not stop smiling. He got up and we hugged and laughed and it was physically impossible to smile big enough for how I was feeling.
After hugging for a few minutes he finally said, “Are you gonna put the ring on?”
I was like, “No! You have to put it on for me!” He did, and it was like Cinderella trying on the glass slipper. It fit perfectly, and it was just for me! And holy cow, it was everything I ever dreamed of. A thin gold band, a big diamond, custom prongs. It was so sparkly, I absolutely loved it!
And I was engaged! To the love of my life. My handsome prince.
We walked around taking pictures. I really don’t even remember what we said- we were just floating on air. He had white & red roses for me waiting at home. He had also arranged for me to get a manacure that morning with my roommate. Every detail was so sweet. It’s been a year now, and I only love my sweetheart more.
What a perfect start to eternity.