On Thursday, just a couple days after arriving in Arkansas, Mike had an idea to hike up Yellow Rock and revisit the place we got engaged for the first time since that day...August 6, 2005. Allow me to explain the ridiculousness that is hiking up a mountain nearly 7 months pregnant in a dress and flip flops...its the stretchiest, lightest and least confining garment I own, it was too hot to wear actual shoes and I was determined to get to the top because I was suddenly confused as to why we never came back to such a significant place! Later we realized that we've had one significant even after the other in our first 10 years so we just kept moving forward with celebrations! But the 10 year anniversary of our engagement and just entering the 10th year of our marriage, it seemed like a good idea...even with the heat, humidity and baby bump.
As we walked up, we retraced our steps and reminisced about our memories of that day. It all came flooding back! First with thought we found the spot where
we I ate a picnic lunch. Mike was too nervous to eat that day because he knew he was going to propose! He was rushing me through lunch and I finally asked him what his hurry was! So we had to take a picture and mark the spot...but it wasn't until later that we realized that was the wrong spot, but we got a kick out of this picture that should be titled "creepy guy sitting in the middle of the woods".
This was actually our picnic spot :)
We sat on the edge of the cliff, just where we did 10 years ago, and took it all in. Mike pulled out the verse on his phone that he spoke over us that day. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. In 2005 those were his hopes for our marriage and his proposal to me. In 2010 we revisited that verse in all the ways we have experienced it and have been tested. We had no idea what was to come back then! As he read it, the part that stood out to us the most after 10 years was verses 7-8..."Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." We had no concept of what this would truly mean for us on our day of engagement, but it was our hope. As it turns out, love never fails. It was a sweet moment to look back on the deeper meaning of that verse after 10 years of ups, downs, celebrations, loss, joy, heartache, blessings and trials...aka...life.
Much to my surprise, today would also be one of the most significant of days in our story. Instead of getting up to propose, he let his largely pregnant wife stay sitting and he pulled out a band to match my wedding ring and asked if I would spend the next 10 years with him. What a guy. I was speechless. Blown away! I had no idea. I expected a proposal at some point. And I knew there would be a wedding. Then you have kids...some of those a surprise too. But this very moment was and unexpected, but dreamy, way of continuing our journey. One that was the least expected and so very special! A very defining moment in our love story :) That day, all of life and hubbub that we get caught up in was somewhere else and it was just the two of us...it took us both back to that day in August 2005 when our journey officially began.
On the day we were engaged, it was bright and sunny...much like this day! But after he proposed, a big clap of thunder came out of no where! We chalked it up to God's blessing on our marriage and the journey ahead. Today is was a little hotter (or maybe we are a little older!), but still bright and sunny. After our moment, there was nothing but birds chirping and the silent breeze...so I'm assuming a smooth sailing flawless decade ahead...HA!
Itty Olli Mae was there to celebrate with us :)
Mike had both of our families gathered together waiting at our house to celebrate with us, just like the day of our proposal! And just like that day, with all the adrenaline and excitement, we raced back down the mountain in no time. I had to stop for a celebratory photo-op, because, well, I'm pregnant and survived a 3 mile hike in a dress and flip flops in the high heat with a route 44 sonic water (city girl hiking). Mike had some mad respect after that and vowed to never make fun of my pain/discomfort intolerance ever again!
I had no idea what was coming...but it was so worth it! I told Mike on the way down that I was so happy that I had a good attitude that day! I would have been mortified if I had complained and moaned and groaned all the way to find out what a special day he had ahead!
I did it!
Who has 2 thumbs and just hiked up Yellow Rock nearly 7 months pregnant?...These girls!
We had some time before we got back so he did what any decent man would do after dragging his pregnant wife up a mountain...we went to the salon for pedicures and I got a manicure to show off my new ring!
My mom had the infamous ugly cake recreated from our engagement party. My mom was so mad that day but now it's a laughing joke! I was so surprised because that is one of the things I talked about on the way back down the mountain today..."remember the cake? ugh!" My mom ordered a cake from THE bakery...Ricks. Usually awesome...but not that day! Mom wanted a big ring coming out on the cake and for it to say, "congratulations Mike & Amber". Instead, they drew a rinkydink yellow ring and some goober didn't think to actually write out the word "congratulations" and used the short hand on the ticket which read "congrat". Not congrats, congrat. She was annoyed that day, but 10 years later laughed and willingly paid for it all over again ;)
Just another chapter of our love story!