February 13, 2015 was a good day.
My morning started with a breakfast date in San Luis Obispo with my friend Joy.
I had known about my date with Joy for a couple of weeks, and had also known I was going on a date with my amazing boyfriend later in the day, and had asked Joy if she would be willing to go shopping with me to find a pair of shoes to wear on my date. Joy didn’t act suspicious at all, and rolled with the plan in the smoothest of ways.
We enjoyed a lovely breakfast and had a great time shopping, and I headed home to get ready for my date with Daniel.
Around 2pm, Daniel showed up at my house ready to take me on an adventure. He had mentioned to me earlier in the week that he wanted to take me to see one of his favorite spots on the Central Coast, and then take me out to a nice dinner afterwards.
As we headed to the secret spot, we passed a train, still on the tracks, and decided to adventure down the tracks and take some photos.
We continued to the spot- Oso Flaco Lake. Daniel told me it would be about a mile before we reached our destination, but that it would be beautiful.
We crossed over the lake and sand dunes and reached the ocean. We chased each other and played for a bit before Daniel told me that he had a picnic spread for us. Our feast included turkey, honeycrisp apples (my favorite), sharp cheddar, raspberries, and a Bolthouse Farms juice that claimed to have 128 berries inside (I still think they are lying).
While we ate, we played a game of questions- something Daniel and I had done on our very first date. The questions were anywhere from totally serious, to silly romantic, to just plain ridiculous. We loved hearing each others answers, and just getting to know each other even more, even in the silliest ways.
After our game, Daniel told me he wanted to take me back to the landing on the boardwalk to watch the sunset. As we headed back, we stopped at a bathroom. Little did I know that Daniel did not actually have to use the bathroom, but simply needed to transfer something special from his bag to his pocket.
As we headed across the boardwalk, I stopped to make a ridiculous (not surprising) comment about finding a make believe bird in the water. While normally Daniel would have stopped with me and played along, this time he said, “that’s great, but let’s keep going.”
We reached the landing on the boardwalk over the lake, and Daniel sat his bag down and asked me if I would like to dance with him. He pulled out his phone and played our favorite song, “Free” by Zac Brown Band. He took my hand and two-stepped with me for the entire song.
At the end of the song, Daniel said to me, “Hey, let’s play a game of ‘I Spy’ and see what we find.” I agreed, of course, as this was something we had done on previous dates. We went back and forth and found some great things, and then Daniel said, ‘I spy with my little eye something that is brown.”
I would just like to say that when you are out in nature, everything is brown. The grass is brown. The weeds are brown. The ducks are brown. The boardwalk and the trees and the water- they are all brown. I scanned my surroundings and noticed a box on the landing next to the table and said, “Oh, someone left a box there,” but I kept going and mentioning other things. Daniel then said, “Well, let’s take a look at this box.” As I walked over, he said, “Oh look, it has your name on it.”
It is likely that most girls would have figured out what was happening at this point. I, however, had no clue, as I honestly thought there was no way he would propose on this day. There were so many reasons I thought this, and so many ways that Dano led me to believe that it just was not happening anytime soon. Because of that, I simply thought he was doing something extravagant, as it was our ‘Monthiversary’ as I call it.
He pulled the box out, and told me to open it. Upon opening it, some balloons floated out, but were tied to the bottom of the box so that they floated just above the box, resembling the balloons on the house in the movie Up!
Also inside the box was a basket of honeycrisp apples, a flower pot with beautiful pink roses, and a journal. The journal was one that I had seen on a date, early in our relationship, and mentioned that I loved. Daniel remembered that and went back to the bookstore on his own and purchased the journal. I was filled with joy as I saw it, but still did not recognize that Daniel was proposing to me. I even said, “Babe! All this for our Monthiversary? This is incredible.”
At that point, he said to me, “Why don’t you read the first page?”
It went something like this:
Again, most girls would have figured this out. I, however, was incredibly confused, as I misread the first line and thought the date was current. My internal dialogue went something like this:
“What? Why is he telling me that he is going to propose in 31 days? Not only is that another month away, but he also just ruined the surprise which is one of the most important things to me in a proposal. This is dumb. Okay, Laura, don’t react. Wait. It’s February. It’s February 13th, not January 13th. February 13th is 31 days from January 13th.”
At this moment, I looked up at Daniel and said, “Babe, that’s today!”
Daniel took the journal from me and set it aside, and held both of my hands. He began to tell me all the reasons that he loves me. I began to cry as I it sank in that he was proposing. He then said to me, “I have something I want to ask you.”
He got on one knee and said, “Laura Michelle Reed, will you marry me?”
In my own special way, I said yes.
At this point I asked Dano if we could take a picture together, to which he replied, “Want me to bring out the photographer?”
I was so humbled and honored to have Ryan Lee, an amazing friend and photographer, witness our entire proposal and take such amazing photos. He also had his son and father on a cliff nearby taking the pictures from another angle. We were able to spend some time taking photos with Ryan afterwards. Here are a few of my favorites:
Afterwards, we headed home for I what I thought was a quick stop to pick something up before heading to dinner. Upon arriving, I was greeted by so many amazing friends and family, all there to celebrate our engagement. I was blown away by the love and joy that surrounded me.
God is so so so very good, and He truly does receive all the glory and honor and praise for our journey. This moment was far greater than I imagined, and truly revealed the redemption and goodness of God in the most tangible way possible. I am undone by His mysterious ways, and cannot wait for all that He in store in this next season.
I cannot wait to marry my best friend. My forever valentine. My #crawfordcrush.
Our adventure awaits.
Oh, and in case you wanted to see, Daniel put this bling on my finger.