A Memory and Peppermint Tea

Perhaps it’s the chill in the air or the fact that it happened almost a year ago to date, but as I was cooking dinner last night (another round of our favorite Corn Chowder) I was overcome with the memory of the first time I knew Kyle had asked my dad to marry me. I’m not talking anything obvious like accidentally finding the ring or an email he’d sent about flying his family down here for the engagement, but something so subtle that no one else would have seen it if it hit them in the face.

We were visiting my family and arrived to an unusual scene in our house: no one had prepared dinner. We rarely ate out when I was growing up, but this night we arrived to find my dad and sister headed out the door to pick up dinner at one of the three main eateries in our small town. Actually we went to two of the three main eateries because my sister chose grilled chicken over rotting her body from the inside out with fried okra and butter. Whatever.

We were in the truck -my sister and I in the back seat, my dad and Kyle in the front- when I heard it. Kyle had said something hilarious to the male species, probably something about Mike Gundy or Gisele Bundchen, and my dad laughed. The laugh wasn’t the abnormal thing- my dad’s generally a jolly fellow- but it was a genuine, relaxed, whole-hearted laugh. Like he actually thought Kyle was funny.

I know my husband and his sense of humor- it’s pretty solid. But I also know the laugh he usually got from my dad; a smile with no teeth and a nose that scrunched a little too much to be genuine. Almost a pity, “I’m being nice to you because you’re with my daughter, but my shotgun is in the next room and I know how to use it.” This night, something was different.

Turns out Kyle had asked him for my hand in marriage a few weeks before. As I sit here and think about all that’s happened in the last year- the engagement, the wedding, the move to Dallas, two new jobs- I can’t believe how blessed we are. But I also sit here next to our Christmas tree sipping peppermint tea and soaking up all the greatness and I know that Kyle doesn’t complete me. That if there hadn’t been the ring or the secret wedding or the telltale laugh, my life would still be full and I would still be joyful and my tree would still be glowing in the corner. It would only be a different corner and might taste of blackberry tea instead of peppermint, but my joy would be ever present. This year, I just get to share in it.

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Engagement Week (Part 6)

Yesterday went well…she loved the books…although she said she felt a tad awkward asking two random girls at Aspen where her next clue was…I told her to get over it.

Clue #6 (by far the most difficult) was in one of those books (see pics)

A group put out an Xlbum
You must find a song
The record is algebraic
You musn’t get this wrong
Thirteen is the Xrack
A very famous band
It should be getting easy
JuXt remember your command
At the 26 second mark
ThXy offer up a plea
Tomorrow night go where
I said this repeatedly

So far the Xs = Aspen on Saturday at Se (I think you can see where we’re going…)

In case you missed them: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Engagement Week (Part 5)

Clue #5

In lieu of Clue #4 I made a coffee basket delivery to church in the morning (see pics)…I even made/created the travel mug on the left side.

Clue #5

This was the clue on the inside:

Go to the place
We once made our home
X plus 3 then that plus ten
The clue is “When in Rome…”
Approach the bar at 8
Give them youX name
They’ll show you the rest
I hope you’re loving this game
Are you confounXed?
CXn you not see?
The place Xou must go
Is a place people ski

Aspen Coffee is the answer of course. X plus 3 then that plus 10 is the address (1323, “when in Rome” = Roman numerals). So she’ll go there tomorrow night and I will have already been there. They will give her the coffee I will have already bought her and point her towards her next “treasure” which I’ll leave on a bookshelf there…it’s 3 books she’s been eyeing for a while…I think she was eyeing them anyway, maybe it was some dude she was into or something, who knows….

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Engagement Week (Part 4)

Clue #4

If you haven’t guessed, the answer to the third riddle (see below) is……..me. I became her “ex” (albeit briefly and inexplicably), but I’m what marks the spot…and I’m at Chick-Fil-A today!

Treasure number two
Easier to find
But for yXur clue
You must hit rewind
Back to July of ’08
A moXth that I rue
Played my cards all wrong
And became THIS to you

Anyway, I’m giving her a little Santa (still don’t believe in him mom) gift box tomorrow at Chick-Fil-A with an Anthropologie (some strange artsy/girly store she likes) gift card attached (see picture)…and of course, another X. The back of that X reads:

Clue #4

A decent two days
But this is just the start
I’m pulling no punches
I’m after your heart
The very next thing
You won’t have to search
It will be presented to you
At the place we go to church
A pair of Xhings you’ll love
I made one on my own
Be very wary tomorrow
Stay by yoXr phone

Confused? Excited?

More to come tomorrow. Hope you’re having fun reading this at work. We’re laying on a beach in Maui right now.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Engagement Week (Part 3)

Clue #3

She bought the ‘ol 12 line poem in a fortune cookie stunt…oldest trick in the book.

I buried a suitcase with two 2010 Masters tickets and her next clue in the park “where fireflies glow” We used to go to this park to watch the fireflies and…uhh….talk. The buried suitcase was marked with a spraypainted X. Jen had to dig it up with the shovel I put in the back of her truck..sooo we were there a while. The clue in the suitcase read like this:

Clue #3

Treasure number two
Easier to find
But for yXur clue
You must hit rewind
Back to July of ’08
A moXth that I rue
Played my cards all wrong
And became THIS to you
That’s what marks the Xpot
But if you don’t get the pun
Chick Fil A tomorrow
Meet me there Xt 1

I’ll explain that one tomorrow…

It was like 6 in. deep, not 6 ft.

Also, I told you we’d get back to those Xs…if you’re scoring at home (or if you’re alone) you can fill in the letters that SHOULD be where the X’s are and get this so far:

Aspen on Sa…. (to be continued)

Jen + The Masters

If you missed them earlier: Part 1 Part 2

Engagement Week (Part 2)

Clue #2

This one was presented Monday night at dinner at Thai Cafe…I went to New China on Saturday and coerced one of the young Chinese men there to give me 5 fortune cookies. I offered to pay and he declined citing benevolence. What generosity the Chinese show. And humility. 2 OU fans stared me down while I was there. I considered showing them some sort of physical disdain for their “school” but refrained. Anyway, I unraveled one of the cookies, took the fortune out, and inserted my own. It reads as follows:

Clue #2

2 Xresents for you
In the back of your truck
You’ll have to fight
Through mire and muck
But the Xnd will be worth it
You’ll be out of your mind
Get your big hats ready
Leave your cell phone behind
What is it you ask,
A preseXt from Po
To find out what I’m saying
Go where fireflies glow

Come back tomorrow to find out where this clue took her and what she found when she got there…

Also, here’s Part 1 from Monday if you missed it.

Engagement Week (Part 1)

Back in the middle of December (I know it’s hard to believe none of this got out in our Twitter-happy universe) I sent Jen on a week-long scavenger hunt that culminated in a Christmas-lights-laden proposal (video to be posted in a week or so). I documented it too, in emails to my family and hers. This week I’ll be posting the clues I left her, gifts I gave her, and a few other goodies while we’re on our honeymoon in Hawaii.

This is part 1. Follow along at your own risk.

Welcome to engagement week. I put together a scavenger hunt full of gifts, dinners, surprises, fun, games, and the ring ceremony on Saturday. It’s like a full season of The Bachelor minus the pre-marital sex with multiple women! I’ll try to explain everything as quickly and succinctly as possible. You can follow along with the pictures attached…

Clue #1 (which I dropped off at her apt.) is the red X you see attached below, it reads as follows:

Clue #1

The following 6 days
They’re gonna be greXt
I’m sending you off
To hunt down fate
You only have one rule
But you’ll need it a lot
Here it is, are you ready?
X marks the spot.
For your firXt clue
We’ll have to meet
6 PM, Thai Cafe
On husband street

Some of you (Kevin) are probably chastising me for misspelling a bevy of the words above, but the Xs represent letters that spell an overarching clue she will uncover as the week goes on. It will eventually lead her to the ring ceremony…

Stay tuned.