So it's almost been a weeks since I've gotten engaged and I probably should tell you all how it happened!
Ryan is sneaky. I'll start off by saying that. We have been seriously talking about getting married at the end of the summer since October or so. With the required 6-months engagement period in the Des Moines Diocese, that meant that by February we would have to be engaged. (No pressure, Ryan! I am horrible at being patient.)
It didn't look like it was going to happen by then, so I was trying my best to be patient and supportive of Ryan as he worked on lots of school stuff, band stuff, church stuff, etc. We did go to look at engagement rings in January and decided on two options that I really liked. I had asked that we look at rings when he wasn't ready to propose. That way he would know my preferences and then I wouldn't become neurotic after two weeks when I knew the ring would be done and ready to be picked up.
I went to the March for life the week after we looked at rings. While I was gone, Ryan showed up at my parent's house (Thursday). He was so nervous as he stood in the living room making small talk with my dad about his work. After about 15 minutes, he announced that he had come to ask my father's permission to propose to me. My dad was so pleased and told Ryan how happy he was about him, how good we were together, and how welcomed he would be into our family. Then he called my mom downstairs and informed her that Ryan had asked for my hand. :)
So that Saturday (I was driving back from the MFL), Ryan took his brother Adam and Adam's girlfriend Kimberley to Des Moines to order the ring. The ring came in a week later and he picked it up last weekend.
Then he asked me if I'd want to come up on Monday (2/2) to celebrate Valentine's day early. With it being Groundhog's day and all, I found it hilarious. Even better was that he had blurted out that he had gotten me chocolates (from Stam) even though it was supposed to be a surprise. But that was good because I bought him beer, which is equivalent to him buying me chocolate. I also got really dressed up in a little red dress, did my hair, put on my foo-foo shoes, and even wore lipstick!
I was a little suspicious that he wanted to propose to me, but thought that he wasn't ready to do that yet. So the whole way up to Ames I was praying to God for patience, trying to find my worth in Him, and to surrender my desires to His will.
When I got to Ames, we had to leave immediately to go to St. Thomas where Ryan had a 2 hour meeting. Luckily I got to hang out with Kimberley, which was fun.
After the meeting we went to pray in front of the tabernacle. We put our chairs right next to each other, sitting hand in hand and head to head. He was so fidgety! He kept looking up at me then looking back down. He would look up again seconds later, kiss my forehead, and look back down. This repeated for several minutes until he said "Are you ready?" and then we left.
The whole time I had been praying and the whole way home, I was trying so hard not to think about getting engaged. I kept singing I surrender over and over and over again. I was trying so hard to find my joy in the Lord rather than in anything else. I was trying so hard and was almost on the verge of tears at one point.
Back at his house he brought the chocolates out, which I thanked him for. Then he said "Oh wait, I have something else!" Is it a ring? I wondered... And he pulled out a bottle a wine.
K: "Oh...Thank you so much, that's very nice."
R: "And I have one more thing..."
He pulled out a little grey box... That had better not be a necklace!
K: "Are you serious!!?!?!"
R: Nodding, gets down on one knee. He was shaking so badly and couldn't even open the box at first!
K: "Are you serious!?!?!?!?!"
R: Nods vigorously. "Kathleen Balch, will you marry me?"
K: "Yes! ... Are you serious!!?!"
He put the ring on my finger and jumped up and hugged me. I kept saying "Are you serious?!?!" I was so happy and couldn't believe it. The next 30 minutes we just spent staring at each other.
And then we told EVERYONE. :)
And now I'm telling you! The wedding is going to be August 8th of this year! So I have a lot of work to do in the next 6 months! But it is the good and happy kind of work that I've always wanted to do!
Jesus, thank You for having better plans for me than I could have planned or imagined for myself! I love You and I trust in You!