It has taken a few days for me to write this post. It's not because I'm not excited, but because it's finals week, which means tests and checking out 35 girls from my floor. I was thinking about it and Russ and I got engaged during finals week and we're talking about getting married during finals. I guess we like stress. :)
Okay. Now that I have told this story about a million times, I think I have all of the details. The actual engagement happened on Sunday, April 20th. I woke up that morning just feeling terrible, and I called Russ and asked him to come over. I was worrying about every single thing that could go wrong in a marriage, and I knew he could help me feel better. We were supposed to meet at 9:30 anyway to practice the duet we sang in Sacrament Meeting, but I asked him to come a little early. At that point, as Russ was getting ready, he said he received a prompting to bring the ring with him (he had had it for about a month, which I didn't know). He was going to ignore it at first because he had a plan of how to propose and we had talked about not getting engaged until after I got back from the Jerusalem Center, but he got the prompting again, and put the ring in his pocket.
When he got to Chipman Hall, we were just talking about how I had been feeling and Russ told me that "perfect love casteth out all fear" and asked who I felt had perfect love for us, and I said Christ did. Then he started to talk about what a beautiful day it was and how we had started dating in that very lobby. Yep. That lobby is where we had our DTR where we went in frustrated and with me saying, "I don't think we should date because you are ready to get married, and I am just looking for a relationship to teach me things...I don't want to end up wasting your time because I am NOT going to get married..." to "okay. Let's take a chance on each other." So we went back and sat in the very same chairs that we sat in when we had that talk. I was nervous at this point because he was being STRANGE! I thought he was going to break up with me! He talked about how much this lobby meant to us and I was just totally lost. At this point he had put his hand in his pocket and slid out the ring, but I didn't see any of that.
Finally, he just said, "This was a good place to start a relationship, I guess this is a good place to end it." And I was shocked. I thought he had broken up with me, but he knew he had to act fast and he dropped to one knee. I thought he was joking except that he had the ring in his hand, and it went a little something like this:
Russ: Adri, will you marry me for eternity?
Adri:..........why!? I am so dumb and make so many mistakes.
Russ: (while slipping the ring on) We will work through all of them together.
Throughout our relationship, I have felt moments of perfect love.
Adri: (crying now and hugging him)
Russ: ...well, you didn't answer me!
Russ: you only get one chance to say this, and you say "yeah"?
By this time we are both crying and Russ is still on one knee, and our pianist walks in, ready to practice our song. She caught on really quickly as to what was going on and Russ said, "Can we just have FIVE more minutes?" :D
So then we kind of sat there, crying, and said a prayer together and looked at the ring and now that I think about it, ever since I was a beehive, I have had my set reply to when I got proposed to. I was supposed to say, "I'll marry you on three conditions. One: we have to go on a mission together. Two: you have to tell me you love me every day. Three: I want to laugh every day." But you know, none of that even mattered when it came down to it. It was something that was not as elaborate and romantic as Russ had planned, but it was something that was very spiritual. We both had promptings, and saying a prayer together and having the spirit driving the proposal more than romance is just fine with me. I think that sets a good tone for our life together.
You might be thinking it is not very romantic to get engaged in the lobby of Chipman Hall. It's not a very romantic place, and on the weekends, it is filled with trash and needs to be cleaned. But you know, it's kind of a cute RA story. We dated as RAs and then got engaged in the dorms. Hey, maybe we'll have our reception there!!! (no. that is a joke.) It's just the perfect ending to our little RA romance. Besides, it is our story and so it doesn't matter when or where or how it happened - it's ours and I love it.
Oh. Here is another part of that story. He hadn't talked to my parents yet! So when they called for their weekly Sunday afternoon phone call, Russ talked to them for a while, talked to my dad, and then we told them our engagement story. The conversation from that point went something like this:
Dad: Hey wait a second. I thought this wasn't supposed to happen until after you got my approval.
Russ: (uncomfortable silence)
Adri: (jumping in to save him) Jason (my brother-in-law) didn't ask before he asked Lissa to marry him. He also called after.
Mom: yeah. That's right. Did you even ask my dad to marry me before you asked me.
Mom: well then Russ, I guess you're okay. You're just upholding our family tradition.
But Russ hadn't talked to HIS parents either, so we tried to call them and they didn't answer. So we told his sister and then headed off to church. When we got there, we decided to go say hi to the bishop. I shook his hand (with my left hand) and he didn't notice anything. So Russ told him to shake my hand again and then the Bishop just said, "well Geez! It's about time!" and gave me a hug. That got the attention of all of the congregation, so while we sat down, lots of eyes and hushed voices followed us (I'm glad we got there early or we would have caused a scene).
Then we sang our duet as the musical number, and the bishop got up afterwards and said, "Ya know, I was trying to look up at Adri and Russ, but I kept getting blinded by something on Adri's finger. Something about a diamond sparkling. You know, I remember, early on in the year that I had Russ in my office and he was telling me how life was miserable and then we opened the door, and there was Adri. I told him to take her out and she said 'no no! I have a boyfriend! he is on a mission' so I told her that Russ just wanted to take her out - not marry her!" Man. I am going to miss Bishop Gillan. He is a good man.
We got mobbed after sacrament meeting and had to tell our story in Sunday School and Relief Society and Priesthood. I wonder how many times we told our story that day. Then came the phone calls. I don't know how many of you know this, but the Lee family is about 500 strong and the Carson family is about 8 strong (including grandparents). So we tried to do something where we would call someone on HIS phone and then someone on MY phone, but I ran out of people a lot faster than he did. It was a lot of fun (although, I must admit that Russ probably made about 10 calls on his own while I did other things).
Sorry this is so long. If you have made it to this point, you are a true friend indeed. To be honest, being engaged doesn't feel that much different, except our interactions have changed a little. We make more plans together and talk about our goals and things like that with a little better perspective. We have chosen to grow and live and learn together, and that is going to be pretty exciting. Scary? Kind of, but I know that Russ loves me and that he loves life and he loves the Lord. I know that he works hard and puts his family first. I know he and I have differences (ex. he sleeps in and I wake up early....he eats A LOT and I eat a little.....I don't like a lot of foods he likes - which is kind of sad for him because I'm sure I'll be doing most of the cooking) but those things are not important compared to the way we communicate and the fun we have together and in all of the ways that we are similar. I look up to Russ, and that's not just because he is so tall. :)
It's an interesting thing to have this ring. It's so sparkly and pretty and I catch myself looking at it all the time. <3