And so it happened, perhaps the biggest moment in my life thus far. Jordan got down on his knee. I knew our relationship was headed toward this big question, but I thought he was going to ask me two weeks later when I would be paying him a first visit in Northern Virginia. I had no idea that he had even picked out a ring. Yes, it was Valentine’s Day, but he didn’t have time to get a ring, I kept telling my sister.
So, the story, because that’s what everyone asks. “How did he ask you?” They want to hear a story like in the movies, but my story is simple. It was orchestrated by God.
The story actually begins a few weeks prior, when Jordan visited me only one week after starting his new job in Northern Virginia. He didn’t call me to set up his plans, he called my dad. I instantly knew why. What I didn’t know instantly — or at all — was that after Jordan got permission from my dad that weekend in January, he left my house and drove straight to a diamond store. After a few hours of shopping, he picked the perfect ring. A three row pavé braided band shimmering with diamonds all over, because I didn’t want anything ordinary — no solitaire for me. Jordan had vision: “I want this ring, but I don’t want black diamonds in it,” he told the salesman. But that would take at least six weeks, he was told. There was no rush, so Jordan sealed the deal.
Three weeks later, Jordan gets a call that the ring is ready. The salesman couldn’t believe it came so soon. The timing couldn’t have been better because later that week, Jordan was going to drive straight through Richmond to come visit me for Valentine’s weekend. He’d just swing by the store on his way and pop the question when the timing was right. Timing is what he prayed for on that five-hour drive.
On my side of the picture, the timing couldn’t have been worse. WHERE IS JORDAN?!! I was asking myself at 2pm Friday, February 15th. He was supposed to be in Southern Pines by 11am — I was going to take a half day at work and we would have lunch together. I thought I knew the situation. Jordan text me at 8am telling me he got a “late start” when in fact he had arrived in Richmond at 7am to get the ring not realizing the diamond store opened at 10am. On my end, I was picturing Jordan sleeping in, forgetting to set an alarm or snoozing the alarm for an hour, when in fact he left his house at 5am and was killing time in Whole Foods.
Jordan FINALLY gets to Southern Pines at 3pm after “taking some wrong turns.” I believed every word of the tall tale lie. I had worked 7 hours straight… so much for my half day, I thought. I was famished and I met Jordan at home to scarf down some leftovers. I remember the day and I’ll remember it forever. The day after Valentine’s Day it was sunny and the sky clear. It was warm in the sun with a cool breeze. It felt more like spring than the middle of February. We sat on the porch and I ate leftover Bang Bang Shrimp tacos leftover from real Valentine’s Day dinner at Bonefish with my aunts, uncles and parents the night before. Once we finished eating, I suggested we sit on the bench we dedicated to my grandma after her passing. The bench is under a tree and overlooks the lake. It was the perfect day to enjoy the bench.
“Why don’t you get your jacket so you won’t be cold?” I suggested.
“No, I’ll be fine,” Jordan said.
“You’ll be cold, go get your jacket,” I persisted.
“It’s okay, it’s in my car with all my stuff,” Jordan said kindly.
“Go get your jacket,” I demanded. I’m not sure why I was demanding, I just was. Had I known the ring was in the pocket of his jacket, I would have gone to get it myself.
As Jordan went to his car to get his jacket, I ran into the house and grabbed his huge Valentine’s Day present wrapped in newspaper. It was a spur of the moment decision, I just thought it would be a fun surprise. Plus, I couldn’t wait for him to open it. Little did I know, Jordan was talking to Jesus in his car. “Lord, I know I was praying for you to show me when the right time to ask her was, and it looks like you’re telling me the time is now… but I’m not convinced. Please guide our conversation and just give me a sign that if this is the right time to do it. If so, I’ll do it now.”
I ran to meet Jordan at the beginning of the flagstone walkway under the arbor my sister got married under. I grabbed his hand, grinning ear to ear only thinking about MY surprise. I led the way down to my grandma’s bench having no idea that HE was the one with the really, REALLY big surprise. <<<Just like the story of how we met and fell in love nearly five years ago, I thought I was the one with all the tricks up my sleeve. I thought I picked out Jordan at that photojournalism beach workshop when the fact of the matter was that he had his eye on me ALL SEMESTER and only went on that beach workshop to finally catch me. Oh, and catch me ever — forever and ever — he did indeed!>>>
When Jordan opened his present, he instantly knew that he HAD to propose to me on that bench. Talk about divine orchestration, my present to Jordan was documentation of our relationship from beginning to present. I made a photo album for Valentine’s Day.
I don’t even know how long it took for us to go through all 225 photos, talking about each picture’s memories and how far our relationship has come. Most importantly, we talked about what has yet to come and I showed Jordan the three packages of extra photo sleeves I bought to continue our story.
By this point, Jordan knew. We hugged on the bench and he told me it was “the perfect time.” I was silent. I knew what was coming and for some reason, I couldn’t believe it. It’s like I was in the tree behind us, watching the whole thing from above. Seeing my motionless body down there, unable to say or do anything. My sweet love of my life knelt down on his knee and asked me to marry him.
Yes, I was teary eyed, but I was just plain happy. I said yes without hesitation. I think we kissed and held each other, but I had to eventually ask Jordan — still on his knee — if he was going to open the box. I hadn’t even seen the ring! Jordan told me he was nervous I wasn’t going to like it. I told him it didn’t matter. “I know it doesn’t, because I have 30 days to return it,” he said. I got a kick out of that. But I did like it, and I do like it. He did such a great job. I love it, but more importantly, I love Jordan and I love that soon I will be his Mrs. Timpy. Forever.
This is us, celebrating our two-week-old relationship status in Northern Virginia last weekend and using the word “fiancé” as often as possible. Prime example for this photo: “Lovely fiancé, please hold me tight and don’t let me fall off this ledge behind us. It would be such a Great Fall.”
“How did my fiancé enjoy Great Falls today?”
“Oh, fiancé, how is this the best shot we got where my ring is (barely) visible?”