Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Up, Up, and Away...

In our beautiful, our beautiful balloon!



I was going to share this story during Kelly's Korner show us your life, and then I completely forgot. It's the story of our engagement, and it's one I really want to have documented, so I thought today {our anniversary :)} would be a good day to post it. In all fairness, I should warn you that it is a long post, but I wanted to have as many details documented as possible for posterity's sake. So if you're up to it, grab a cup of coffee {I recommend Vanilla Caramel creamer to go along with it}, and enjoy!

BACKGROUND:

It was the first semester of my first year of pharmacy school {an overwhelming shock to my system, to say the least}. Josh and I had recently discussed marriage and how it just didn't seem feasible at the moment {I know you're thinking that is the oldest trick in the book, but it was a serious conversation... or so I thought}.

Thursday marked the last of a string of four tests in seven days, and I was pooped. Josh asked me what I wanted to do that weekend, and I huffed and puffed because I just wanted him to make the plans. I made it very clear that I thought he never planned anything. I generally don't have a problem communicating my feelings ;).

Friday he said that I should stay the night at his parents house because we were going to go to his nephew's soccer game early Saturday morning. Not exactly the sort of plans I was thinking of, but I didn't have to make any decisions so it was all good ... Until he said the soccer tournament started at 7AM, and we needed to be there by 6:30. I mean the nephew is great and all, but 6:30? And I have to look decent enough to be seen by soccer moms? This game better be good.

THE STORY:

We got up and got ready {I wore makeup... at 6AM...for the soccer moms}, and then we were off to the west side of town right on time. The earliest parts of the story are kind of hazy for me... cars can lull me to sleep in 10 min or less, so I might have dozed a bit during our drive. When I re-woke up, we were in a random parking lot. I remember Josh driving around the parking lot saying he was looking for his sister's van.

He lied. ;) He was looking for the balloon man.



Now at this point, you think I have to know, right? Negative, ghost rider. I had told Josh several times how badly I had always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon. Once we finally found the balloon man, and I knew we weren't going to be watching soccer, Josh gave me a sweet {and partially honest} spiel about how he knew I was stressed and could use a surprise, and he wanted to plan something special.

I was elated.



It was, honestly, one of the coolest things I've ever done! I'm quite sure that it was the closest to being a bird I will ever experience.



We floated side by side, and I loved every second of it. I wanted to talk, talk, talk about every little detail - the houses and the horses, the mountains and their Maker, the roads and the rubble. We saw so much! Josh was so quiet.



When we floated over the Arkansas River {that's the reflection of the balloon in the water if you can't tell}, Balloon Man got us so close to the water that we were eye level with people on the shore. It was sooo crazy! {Josh said later that at this point he was so nervous he thought he might barf...}

HERE'S WHERE IT GETS REAL INTERESTING:

Hot air balloons do not have propellers. Balloon Man could control UP and DOWN with that fiery gas business, but any other direction was truly at the mercy of the wind. Our ride was scheduled for an hour, but after nearly two hours, we still hadn't landed.

I started to get nervous because Balloon Man was acting nervous. {Josh was probably numb by now-ha} Something to do with the amount of fuel and the direction of the wind and the area required for landing...

He saw a spot that was definitely a long shot, but for fear of not having another opportunity, he went for it. The execution was actually very impressive. *Whew* We made it... somewhere.



THE SAGA CONTINUES:

A picturesque little lake in the middle of some Arkansas woods - the scenery was fabulous. That's probably why it was private, gated property complete with guard dogs.

The three of us {Josh, me, Balloon Man} breathed a sigh of relief once we were on solid ground, but I remember thinking that Josh and Balloon Man were acting wierd. I didn't understand why we weren't getting out of the balloon. I looked across the lake and saw a man walking rapidly toward us. I squinted to get a better look.

"Is that my dad?"

The instant those words left my lips, Josh spun me around to face him and dropped to his knees.



He said beautiful words ...



...and I said yes!

Seconds later, I confirmed that the man I saw was my dad {who had been moving so quickly because he was being chased by the guard dogs after he jumped the fence}. Both sets of our parents had been chasing the balloon by car, following Balloon Man's wife.

Thankfully, the private property we used for a landing strip belonged to a very nice, very understanding couple. They were so excited for us, and so sweet to let the rest of our family come to their lake and celebrate with us - sans hounds!

I could not have asked for a more perfectly imperfect proposal {or planned it for that matter}!




Today, we celebrate three years of marriage, and I can honestly say that these have been my favorite three years ever. Ever.

5 comments:

Rebekah said...

I love this story! Happy anniversary!

Julee Turner said...

AWW!! I never knew this story! I loved it!! Gave me chills and all! So sweet!

Jennifer said...

Oh I loved this! I rememberd some of it but some things I didn't remember or maybe I never knew! Happy Anniversary {one day late} to one of the cutest couples I know!

Matt, Stefan, and Halle Kate said...

How wonderful...I can't believe I have never heard that story either! P.S. you are an excellent story teller! Sooo funny :) Happy anniversary

Lindsay said...

This is amazing! Congrats girl!