I was cleaning out our closet today when I came across some photos of the day I proposed to Katie. Wow, did the memories start flowing back! I remember every detail of that day. A week or so before this day I had nervously called her dad up on the phone and asked if we could go to lunch. I had dated his daughter for a year and a half and I'm sure he knew something big was up because I had never asked him out to lunch before.
I had already spent considerable time picking out the perfect ring and the only thing left was to ask her dad for her hand in marriage. Call me old fashioned. I will expect my daughter Grace's suitor to do the same. At this point I was just out of college by almost a year and didn't have a suit to my name. This was a big day and I wasn't gonna stand before my future father-in-law and look like a schmuck. So I borrowed a suit from my older yet shorter brother Marc. It was a little small but I made it work. (Thanks Marc!)
So I ask Paul where he wants to go to eat and I stress we can go "anywhere you want" thinking he will get the point and suggest someplace nice. Nope. He chooses Quizno's. Now I don't have anything against Quizno's. I actually like the toasted subs quite a bit but I just didn't picture it this way. Me sitting there in my three piece suit and my father-in-law sitting there in his jeans and a golf shirt.
We made some idle chit chat and the whole time he was just smiling and letting me talk. Well finally I got around to it and I was so relieved when I finally spit it out. But Paul didn't say yes immediately and kept me on guessing. I don't remember everything he said but I do remember some of the conversation.
He said, "Matt, I want you to know that I have been praying for you all of Katie's life. That the person Katie married would be a Godly man and provide for her selflessly. Some people might have thought I was too strict on her and didn't let her do a lot of things that other kids her age were doing but it was for a purpose, to protect her innocence and save her for the man she was to marry. I did that for you. I was your best buddy!"
I rented rollerblades for us. It was the first time either of us had ever tried them.
Katie had never been flying in her whole life so I arranged a glider flight weeks ahead of the big day. We drove down near Cañon City, Colorado and as we pulled into the airport and she saw the gliders she just about flipped. She didn't want to fly but I convinced her it would be ok and she calmed down—a bit. The ring was in my right pocket and we were crammed into the back seat of this little glider with the pilot sitting 12 inches in front of us. I had planned on proposing while we were in the air yet somehow the moment and the closeness of the pilot's head just didn't feel right.
After we landed we snapped a few pics and headed back to town. I was so nervous knowing that I wanted to propose in the plane and now thinking of plan B that the miles started flying by and I knew I it was now or never. I pulled off the side of the road on a little turn off called Camp Red Devil (romantic I know) and turned to Katie and proposed. She of course got all teary-eyed and excited and said YES but then told me I should get out of the car and get down on a knee and ask again for good measure—so I did. And she said YES again!
It's been almost ten years now and I really do love her more today then that day so long ago on the side of the road off Hwy 115.
Love you Kates! You've got the most unbelievable blue eyes I have ever seen. XOXOXOXO