The Engagement

It was quite an exciting Thanksgiving break. Joe and I are getting MARRIED! Oh man I have been waiting for this for like…years?

The Story:

Thanksgiving morning my family decided to do a breakfast since my dad and I worked that evening. It was a really sweet morning spent with Dad, Pennie, Mami, Grandma, Mimi, Falynn, Evan, and of course Jessica (because Jess comes to all our family events) Joe told me his flight arrived into Austin at 11:40 and he asked me if I would pick him up from the airport.

Around 11:00 I start saying goodbyes to everyone so I can make it to the airport on time. Things get kind of hectic when you have to say bye to two grandmothers and a great grandma. There are pictures that have to be taken and long squeezy hugs…I was just so ready to get to Joe. Somewhere in the business of things Jessica picked up my phone and walked me out to my car.
 

She said “So, You aren’t going to the airport. Here is your phone and here is a map. Think First and Third Anniversary”

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My first reaction was “What? This is happening right now?”

Followed by “How long has he been here?!”

Jessica said “I don’t know he wont tell me anything because he is a JERK!” haha…poor Jess.

I knew exactly where to go. There is a beautiful overlook of Lake Austin, the skyline and the 360 bridge that Joe and I have been to on the anniversaries that he has been able to be home for. It is a beautiful place to stargaze.

Driving there I am freaking out. I knew this was coming but I did NOT think it would be then. I had assumed it was going to be sometime Friday. In all the excitement I missed my exit and had to turn around…I probably looked like a crazy person driving.

I get to the cliffs and start hiking to the top. I am so glad I wore my riding boots because I almost wore heels…and that would have been a disaster. Joe has made me do that once before and I think we both fell. I get about half way up and Joe’s brother Jim pops out from behind a tree.

I said “Hey Jim!”

He said “Hey! This way is closed.”

Me: “Its closed? Which way do I go then?”

Jim pointed to a smaller trail on the outside of the cliff. I follow the little path over to where Joe is waiting for me. I walk up to him telling him he is really sneaky because he should have been at the airport. I give him a hug and then we just look at each for a minute.

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He finally gets down on one knee and says a bunch of stuff that for now…I’m keeping to myself. It is too sweet for me to share for a while I think. I like the secrecy of it. No…surprisingly I didn’t cry. He teared up a bit though 🙂 PS…that smile…come on. *swoon*

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It all felt so magical. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was sunny but cool and a little breezy. Joe was proposing and my hair was being blown behind me like the wind knew was was up. (yep…that sounds totally cheesy but it happened) The cliff was a little bit lower than the main area. Joe said that area was to crowded for him. Our spot was just enough room for the two of us.

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In the excitement of it all I didn’t get the greatest picture of my ring up at the top of the cliff…soo…its a little blurry. I’m hoping maybe we can take some of our engagement photos up there.

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Here is a better photo though:

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He did good. Yeah? I had no idea what to expect but it’s perfect!

We made some phone calls and then went to see my dad at work to show him. He was surprised and excited. Then we went back to my grandmother’s house where all the ladies were still talking.

The second we pulled up to the duplex Alison (Joe’s sister) came running out to see us. They live in the unit next to my grandmother. I am SO impressed with her because she knew about the engagement for a whole week and I saw her every. single. day. since Joe told her and had no clue she knew anything. She had to listen to me freak out about the possibility of not getting engaged and the fact that there were 10 engagements on my Facebook and Twitter feed in that week.

Mom was really excited for us. I had talked to her the night before telling her I was hoping for a ring and that I went and got a manicure and everything JUST so I was prepared.  Chandler Cole and Kennedy were pretty excited too. They all want to know when we are getting married!

We went in to see the grandmas and there was lots of hugging and they all cried I think. I think Pennie took some video. I bet it is some great stuff. The twins were thrilled. Evan wanted to know what time the wedding would be. Joe decided 3:45…Evan thought that would be fine. My Falynn was excited about us getting married but I think the idea of her sister moving to Germany was a little much. That girl has a heart of gold and loves Joe so much I can’t wait to see what their relationship looks like as the kids grow up. We did a toast with some bubbly and then we were off to see Joe’s family.

Joe didn’t tell anyone but Alison and Jim but his mom had one of those mom feelings that it was happening. She was prepared with champagne (thanks to Obama winning the election she had no reason to toast to the President)

The rest of the day was a sweet time of calling and texting friends. We had Thanksgiving dinner with his family, watched some football and then I was off to work where I pretty much just stared at my hand the whole time.

Friday we had a small engagement party with some friends. Nothing too crazy. A fire, smores and champagne. A good good time with really good friends. I can’t wait to celebrate being married with them!

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Lots of people are wondering about the plan..so here it goes

We will be getting married in early March. We are hoping to set a date by the end of the week. Woohoo for playing on the Army’s schedule. The wedding will be between him graduating BOLC and going to Airborne. Once he is done with Airborne we head to Germany April 1. WE yes…we are both going to Germany. Crazyyyyyy. I am really excited. I will be taking next semester off school to work and plan the wedding and then finish school over in Germany while Joe is deployed. Just call me Army Wife. (AHHHHHH)

It is all real now. I could not be more excited. I am sorry if the next time you see me I am just vomiting wedding talk. Tell me to talk about Jesus or something. I’m sure my brain would appreciate that and so would your ears. Three months to plan a wedding is not a long time but we’ve got a great support system and I have no doubt that it will be one of the sweetest days of my life.

I can’t wait to be Joe’s wife and start our adventure in Germany!

My Musical Aside for November

For those of you who don’t know, I drive about 1,000 miles a week (minus 500 miles). Naturally I spend a ton of time in my car listening to what awful radio I can get without an antenna. Recently I have had all the Rianna and FUN I can get so I stumbled upon the classical radio station.

Classical music has been very painful for me to listen to for the past three years.

Three years ago I put my horn down

Three years ago I moved home from a school I absolutely loved.

Three years ago I stopped studying the only thing in life that made sense to me.

I went from playing, listening, reading, learning, eating, breathing music twenty four hours a day to studying pre calculus, Texas government, and spanish on top of working thirty hours a week.

Since I stopped playing horn hearing classical music made me cry. Like full on ugly cry occasionally. Even movie music would get to me. I work at a movie theater and some of the scores would stab me in the stomach.

I was going through my books a couple weeks ago and found notes from my professors at Baylor. They were incredibly complementary on my musicianship. As a musician you don’t take compliments very well and it is easy to beat yourself up when you get criticism. These notes got me thinking about how much I really miss studying music.
Reflecting on why classical music puts a lump in my throat, I started to realize that I don’t play enough music for myself. I miss the satisfaction of practicing something for hours on end to finally nail it ten times out of ten and know it sounds good. I miss the frustration of transposition and the joy in finally getting it right. I miss working finger patterns and the sore feeling of exercising the muscles in my lips until they are numb. It was good and fulfilling.

All this means to me is I need to do something like this again. There are times in learning a new musical instrument that you get discouraged and you hit what feels like a wall but is actually just a plateau. It is hard to continue to move forward and feel like you are getting better. I have finally reached a place where I feel like I can (sometimes) say I play guitar. I love the calluses that have consistently been on the fingertips of my left hand for the past six months and the achey feeling in my hands after trying to push my limits. This is good. I am more motivated than ever before to keep playing guitar. Yes, I sing at church a couple times a week but using your voice is just not the same as working your hands and your mind together to create music that started off rough and playing it until its right.

Now I don’t cry when I turn on the classical radio station or hear amazing scores in movies or watch The Punch Brothers play Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3.

Now I smile, close my eyes, and take it in. Hoping some day I can feel as good about playing a string instrument as I did about playing French Horn.
Don’t get me wrong. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I was still at Baylor studying counterpoint and spending fifteen hours a week in a practice room. However, I know that my place is here now. I just need to make good use of my time and prioritize my heart and dedicate the right about of energy to what makes me feel put back together.