Monday, April 4, 2011
Seven years ago today, Blake asked me to be his wife. Of course, I said, "Yes!!!" Blake and I went on our first date on December 30, 1999, and started dating pretty seriously in September 2000. I knew I was falling for Blake in September...I asked him to go to a Phi Beta Chi (service sorority at UTC) dinner with me at the Choo Choo. We had the best time, and he sent me flowers the following Monday. He didn't tell me his family owned a florist for several weeks after, for fear of thinking I would think he was cheap. He assured me that he did, indeed, pay for the flowers himself. Ha! We pretty much just kept on falling in love...we finished our bachelor's degrees at UTC, and started teaching. I taught 3rd grade at Brown Academy, and Blake taught at Loftis Middle School, and then at Soddy Daisy High. We then began taking classes together through Tennessee Tech, and kept falling more in love (and Blake was saving up money for a ring and a honeymoon, little to my knowledge). In April of 2004, we were still trudging through Master's classes, and Blake was directing the Upward Basketball League at the church he was attending at the time. He had been really busy with work, school, and the basketball league, and decided he wanted to take me hiking in Tellico Plains on Sunday, April 4. So, we loaded up in the '99 Explorer, and headed for a hike in Tellico. Tellico is one Blake's favorite places to go, and has been since childhood. He spent many summer vacations there, and just loves the natural beauty that is everywhere. I had never been, so we drove around...looked at waterfalls, the hatchery, the general store....everything was really pretty. Blake was being super quiet the whole time (not really his normal self :) ). I remember asking him if he felt okay...his palms were all sweaty for much of the ride up the mountain. So, we parked the car at some point, and he walked me back to a really pretty waterfall, and said he had prepared a devotion for us read. He read from The Love Chapter from 1 Corinthians, and then pulled out this typed fairy tale he had wrote himself...and wanted me to read it....I did, and I looked down, and Blake was on one knee, and asked me to be his wife. I cried, and cried, and of course, said yes. Blake then asked if I would like to see the ring. Ha! I had forgot all about the fact I was now the owner of a diamond ring! I was just excited I was going to be Blake's bride! We stopped at Cracker Barrell on the way home....I had no cell service, this was pre-Facebook days...so no one even knew I was engaged for several hours. We came home, and told our families (even though they already knew what my day was going to hold), and the wedding planning began. I love Blake. Always have. Always will. Thanks for asking me to be your wife! Thank you, Jesus, for bringing this man of God, husband, and sweet father to me. I had been praying and waiting for him for a long time.