Monday, April 16, 2012

Our Engagement Story

Today at school one of my students asked all about how Terry proposed. In the midst of a long day, tons of traffic, and a not-so-great workout (my fault), talking about our engagement was definitely the highlight. So instead of sharing the mundane details, I thought I'd share the story here.

This version is Terry's - I think it's so sweet hearing the guy's side of the story. Enjoy!

Photo by Rhee Bevere

The proposal goes back to the weekend before the 4th of July, 2009. I definitely wanted to go the traditional route in asking Julie's parents for permission (in person) before planning anything. The only difficult part was that with Julie's parents in Nor Cal, I couldn't just stop by to ask on my way home from work. Thankfully, Julie's parents own a place up at the Delta near Stockton, where I was able to set everything in motion.

Obviously, the whole situation was a little nerve-wracking. First, I had to find the opportunity to talk to her parents without Jules catching on to what I was doing. Second, I had to hope that no one would spill the beans there on the spot. Luckily, I managed to corner her dad while she was out by the water. Stammering through most of it, I asked for Julie's hand and received a teary (and happy) nod. But I also had to talk to her mom. Dave called her into the room, and I formally asked for permission to ask Julie to marry me. Now, I'm not intimidated by Julie's parents (not anymore, at least), but during that whole scene I was rooted to the spot a good 10 feet away from her father and didn't move until I had gotten a "yes" from both of them.

Later that evening, I told her brother that I was planning to propose to his sister. His response? "That's awesome!" And even though they were sworn to secrecy, Julie's parents were so excited that they had to tell family friends, the Johnsons, everything as soon as we had left.

The ring was next. Luckily, Julie's aunt Dawn Lynn was willing to give me a diamond that once belonged to Julie's great-grandmother. Julie had shown me a few ideas of what she wanted, and the heirloom center stone allowed me to design Julie's dream ring. With a little help from Julie's mom's jeweler, I had myself a ring... in San Jose. In early August, I flew to San Jose, picked up the ring, had lunch with Dave, and flew back to LA. Excited and anxious, I called our friends to inform them of the upcoming event. That evening, Julie assumed I had been at work all day and didn't suspect a thing.

On Friday, August 21st, 2009, I was ready to go. I called in a favor from Heidi and Edward (whose engagement we documented in photos) and had them set up to take pictures of the whole event. I wanted to take Jules on a walk around our neighborhood, as it was going to be one of the last ones in the area (we were getting ready to move). There's a quiet little corner that doesn't get much traffic that I knew would be perfect. Of course, Julie had other ideas for the day; she wanted to go to the beach. I did have to be a little stubborn about it, but I was able to convince Jules that we should really walk around the block. She agreed and off we went, me keeping a surprisingly cool head about me. We talked about restaurants we hadn't been to that we still wanted to try, Julie's new job, and the things we'd miss about our first place together.

When we got to the corner I had chosen, Julie mentioned that she felt me starting to slow my pace, but didn't think much of it. As we neared the corner, I told her how much I loved her, and that even though this would be our last walk in the neighborhood, I was looking forward to many more walks together in our lives. I got down on one knee, pulled out the ring, and asked Jules to marry me.

(Photos below by our friends Edward and Heidi)
On our walk

Surprising me


Calling Mom and Dad

So happy!

She said yes.

Photo by Rhee Bevere


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