[TEN] years ago yesterday

NOTE: This was originally posted 5 years ago, on February 16. Since we’re nearing our 10-year engagement anniversary, I wanted to re-post this–

Here are the basics of the story. In 2001, on Valentine’s Day I met Lisa’s dad at his office in Valencia to request permission to marry his daughter. The reason I had time during the day is because for the first couple of months of that year, I did not have a job. If you were to ask me today, “How did you plan on providing for a wife without a job?” I’d tell you what I think now, which is no clue, I am uncertain what I was thinking at the time, since I had some job leads, but nothing really showed any long-term promise. Keep in mind this was during the IT job drought. Anyway, Lisa’s dad graciously permitted me to ask his daughter for her hand in marriage.

Back then our bible study met on Wednesday nights, and since Valentine’s Day was on a Wednesday, we planned to have an afternoon date on Thursday, February 15th. This was perfect, since I knew that she was expecting Valentine’s Day Observed date, not a ring. The location of our date was undisclosed to her to heighten the fun-factor, though I am not sure if I knew where we were going…

Anyway, to do it right I needed some help. Brian and I discussed how and where we could plan my inquiry. We settled on Solvang, a town north of Santa Barbara, and south of San Luis Obispo. Perfect, he could go up a few minutes early, prepare some fine effects like some pictures of the early days of our dating, wine glasses and apple cider… Yeah, perfect, but where in Solvang? We had no clue, but we were confident we could find a place suitable… The second person involved was Michelle, who graciously agreed to invite Lisa for a breakfast meeting. This would become the first of many surprises. The plan, which was executed quite well, was for Michelle to ask Lisa to breakfast, pick her up, take her to a certain restaurant (for those keeping score at home, it was the Egg Plantation) where I would be waiting for her. I also wanted Michelle to try to get Lisa to bring a journal of some sort, which was based on the assumption that Lisa would agree to my plea. I thought that a journal or something to write on would be helpful to begin compiling guest lists, writing down initial plans for the wedding party, or recording our thoughts. We actually ended up using it.

So, Michelle brought Lisa to the restaurant, gave her a hug and left her to be with me. After breakfast we began the drive to Solvang. I did not tell her our destination, and I decided to take an alternate route just for kicks. It was fun. I was hoping she was thinking that the surprises were the breakfast and the destination for our afternoon. It was an effort to distract her from the bigger surprise of course. During the drive, I talked with Brian a couple of times, who was traveling with his grandmother. I guess I should say that he talked, and I just listened and acted as if it was my brother or something unrelated. I think either I was running early or he was running late, so I decided to stall a bit before getting into Solvang. We ended up walking around an old Spanish Mission around there for a couple of minutes. I was nervous so we left (which should have been a clue–dude, you just parked and walked into a mission and then left two minutes later) and headed for Solvang. When we got into Solvang, while Lisa was powdering her nose or something, I called Brian again to see if everything was ready. He proceeded to tell me where he was and how to get there, so again, after two minutes, we headed back into the car for another quick drive. We drove over to the park, while driving in, I noticed Brian to my left, still configuring the personal effects on the table he set up. I tried to distract Lisa so I blurted something really stupid out… This should have been a clue

We parked the car, went for a stroll and then found a table finely decorated. It was beautiful. We couldn’t have had better service. I think at that point it was certain to her that I was going to ask her to marry me. The rest is kind of history.

By reading this account or inquiring about our dating relationship you may conclude these things.

  • Go on a Missions trip to find a wife
  • Start dating at 16
  • For your 1 year dating anniversary borrow money from your girlfriend so you can take her on a nice ‘anniversary’ date.
  • Dating for three years is the perfect amount of time
  • Get engaged while jobless
  • Get married five days after you turn 20
  • To set the record straight, I am so thankful that God was gracious to us, but wow, this would not be published as part of the ideal dating handbook. This only proves God’s sovereignty, his grace, and that he is faithful! Our dating time was wonderful though, so much fun!

    Long Journey

    I got this message today, February 9, 2011. Apparently my mail takes a long time to arrive.


    You won’t believe what happened. I had forgotten all about this, but just yesterday the cable you shipped almost a year ago finally arrived today. It was postmarked 2/20/10. The envelope was completely crumpled, and I suspect it was dropped or stuck somewhere in the USPS pipeline. In any case, thanks for shipping the cable!