Engaged!

So, remember the post right below this one? The one with the picture of the fantastic looking island that I was bragging about getting to visit? Well, guess what happened there! Ok, the title gave it away already but… Alex asked me to marry him!! There are not enough exclamation points that can be used to accurately describe how excited/happy/sureofthis I feel.

Pardon the cliche-ness ofthis comment and many more to come, but I really am the happiest girl in the world. And in a few/lot/several (we haven’t set a date yet) months, I get to marry a God-fearing, incredible, handsome man who happens to love me. (For proof of the handsome part, see below).

Above all the excitement and happiness, there is just an overwhelming peace in my heart, a feeling of all of this being just right. I have so much to thank God for.

So now, let’s get to the story. This may turn out to be the longest blog post ever on this site.

My family used to vacation in Sanibel. My dad caught a shark from the shore there once ya know. For my sister and niece’s birthday this year, my mom wanted to go back there (or so shes says) for a family beach weekend. My family, being the most awesome, non-committal, plan changing people you ever did meet, kept flip flopping on whether or not this beach weekend could happen. Excuses of work schedules, babies to schlep and so forth kept coming up and disappearing.

Finally, at feeling my frustration with my family’s lack of a concrete plan, Alex genius-ly offered “Why don’t we just go to the beach and if they want to come, they can join and if they don’t we’ll just hang out, the two of us?”. I agreed.

Alex came up with this story about someone not being able to use their reservation at the South Seas Plantation and so they were going to give it to us to use. My planning responsibilities evaporated. Saturday morning, we drove to Captiva Island. After a quick lunch and resort mini exploration, we returned to our room, changed into swim suits and headed to the beach. Alex kept talking about wanting to find the “point of the island” where there were supposed to be some tarpon. After a couple of failed attempts at accessing the place Alex kept talking about, I grew frustrated and started complaining… About the heat, about the bugs, about walking, about wanting to sit. I just kept seeing the sun lowering in the sky and thought about all the UV rays I could be catching. I wouldn’t come back from Memorial Day weekend with a sunburn, after all.  I shared with him that we were chasing a spot that he saw on a map that may or may not actually exist and that even if it did exist, there was no guarantee that we could access it. I was officially pouting.

Alex gave in on trying to find the elusive spot with me and we settled down (finally!) on some beach chairs. After a few seconds of sitting still, Alex announced that he was going for a walk to find the jetty/tarpon/whatever. With a cocktail and People magazine in hand (reading about Kim K’s engagement) I happily sent him on  his way. After about 20 minutes, Alex came back and again restlessly shifted in his chair. I could feel his anxiousness at having to do nothing (he once told me he feels like a little boy on time out when he has to sit still) so I offered to have him show me what he found on his walk.

We started toward the jetty. I noticed Alex brought his dry bag along and made fun of him for bringing his purse. He informed me he didn’t want someone taking his wallet and phone. There wasn’t really anyone else on the beach but Alex is pretty responsible so it didn’t surprise me. Almost to the rocks, Alex stopped and faced me, hugging me. His heart was beating so hard that it was pounding into my chest. I questioned his level of fitness, in my mind.

Now, the next few minutes are a blur- which I think every girl says about the moment he asks the question, but I am pretty sure the conversation went something like: He says-You know Jovi, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I say- I know, dork (slapping him on the chest), me too. He says- something about being best friends, wanting to do life with me…. gets down on one knee, starts fumbling with the dry bag. I realize ohmygosh this is happening. Right now. He says- I’ve thought that I could marry you ever since that first car ride (maybe I’ll explain this one to you later). Jovanna, will you marry me? I say- Yes! Holy Crap that thing is beautiful! Thank you! Are you sure? Is this for real? He Says- Yes it’s for real. I love you. We hug, hug, kiss, I think I jump a few times. I keep saying thank you. He says- stop saying thank you.

I spent that night lying awake trying to recreate the days events, wishing more than anything that I could remember exactly what he said. He doesn’t really remember it either.

We went back to our room because we had to get ready for dinner. While getting ready we went through the who knew, how long have you had the ring, etc questions.

Alex shared with me that my family did not yet know, that he hadn’t asked my mom for permission. I was pretty disappointed in him for this and it dampened my spirits. He said he wasn’t sure he could trust her to keep the secret. All lies..

We got to the restaurant and Alex asked for “Morgan, party of two”. As the hostess walked us to our table, I saw a table of about 12 people holding menus up to their faces. Then I saw my mom sneak her head out from the side, gasp at the sight of me and return to her hiding place. I think I yelled out MOM! and everyone lowered their menus and yelled congrats. Alex had orchestrated this entire event with my and his (now our!) family there.  It was perfect. We ate dinner and continued the celebration at the villa Alex had rented for all of us to stay in. The next day we kept it going with a day at the pool, giving our families more time to get to know one another.

Turns out, my friends & family are VERY good secret keepers. Teri Hill takes the cake on this one. We hang out every day and talk about Alex all the time. Her poker face is commendable. My mom also did a surprisingly awesome job at throwing me off.

Last night at dinner, Ashley (one of my friends who knew) told me that Alex picked Sanibel because he knew I used to go there with my dad who passed away in 2002, and so the place would mean a lot to me. This was so thoughtful and Alex neglected to share it with me. He was right in his thinking though, that did mean a lot to me.

One of the best surprises came courtesy of Jen Little (the photog who did the shoot of us earlier this year). I’d commented on one of her blog posts that I thought a great idea for a photo shoot would be to capture an engagement, as its happening, without the girl knowing. Jen contacted Alex after I’d posted that to let him know what I’d said. Knowing how much pictures and documenting mean to me, Alex arranged to our engagement photographed. It was supposed to be a wedding day surprise but I caught a glimpse of a paparazzi camera taking pictures of us from afar and questioned Alex about it. His friend Mario Munoz made the stealth operation possible.

I was so happy and thankful to have everyone there. My sister managed to get her two little girls over. Shea and Chris came with Cole even though Shea has been battling (and kicking butt against) cancer. Shea’s friend Crystal was so sweet as to watch their dog in order for them to make it. Everyone gave up their weekend to share in this joyous time with us.

My ring is perfect! I couldn’t have picked anything better out myself. I love it. I can’t wait to get it back from being resized!!

I am SO excited for all that is to come. I start a new job later this month, I move to Sarasota June 24, I got engaged Saturday and bought a car on Monday. Everything has happened with His impeccable timing and I’ve seen God’s hand in all of this. I am so thankful!

 

 

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