I woke up that early Tuesday morning feeling different. I just knew something big was about to happen. It was amazingly clear to me! I spent the next two hours or so trying to pick out exactly what to wear. I was not necessarily 'stressed' because I knew Zane couldn't care less about what I wore, but I needed to look good nonetheless. After throwing clothes here and there, I finally resorted to an old red shirt, pink shorts with red stripes, and the super cute pink shoes I had bought in Romania. I was ready to go, and ready to start the day that had been planned out by my boyfriend.
On our way towards Signal Mountain--the base is roughly 10 minutes from where I lived at the time--I started getting hungry. Sometimes hunger is calling and there is nothing you can do about it! Fortunately, there was a Pizza Hut right next to where we were so we pulled in there. I'm not going to lie...there could not have been a better location to stop and grab lunch. I LOVE pizza!
While there, I began my 20+ questions of where we were going to go after lunch. When Zane wouldn't respond to my pesky questions, I began guessing witht he promise that if I guessed right, Zane would let me know. I guessed everything from the aquarium, to the blue hole, to horse-back riding...everything! Zane had convinced me I would never guess so the next words out of my mouth were: "Are you taking me to an orchid farm?"
He lied. Of course. He had to. Besides, how on earth would I guess something like that?! I didn't even know orchid farms existed...especially not in Chattanooga, TN! And Zane didn't want to spoil my surprise, so he responded with, "Is there even an orchid farm around here?"
After lunch I waited with eager anticipation for our next stop. We travel up Signal Mountain and sure enough, Zane pulls into an orchid farm. Now, you must know: I think Orchids are the absolute most beautiful flower in the world. I am so incredibly thankful that God made them! I'm not really sure when or how my fascination with orchids came about, but when it did--it was full fledged love! As I read the sign stating 40 acres+ of orchids, I was breathless. I don't remember if I even looked at Zane, or what words might have been said...I was focused on more orchids than I ever could have imagined.
Zane and I get out of the car and he insists that I can take as long as I want. My only job: to pick out my favorite for him to buy for me. Really? 40+ acres and he wanted me to pick my favorite? Men just do not understand how difficult that can be! I walked up and down rows for the longest time, looking at all the different colors and types. Finally, I start thinking about what orchid would look best in my hair while walking down the aisle? I knew Zane was the one for me, and I wanted the first orchid plant he ever bought me to be one I could replicate on my wedding day. I spent probably another 30 minutes trying to pick out the perfect white orchid with a purple throat. Then, there it was. Perfect. Cascading. Made just for me.
I'm pretty sure Zane was relieved that I had finally chosen a plant. It had taken me long enough! We started driving around Signal Mountain looking for a good place with a view of the city. We stumbled upon a vacant house for sale and decided to park in that driveway, look around, and just spend time together. Little did I know that Zane had brought my journal along. You see--I had started keeping a journal, 2 months and 11 days prior, of our time together. It started with the moments of our first date and had continued on to everyday life. Zane pulled out the journal and asked me to read it to him. He had already heard the story...I mean, he had lived it too! But I started reading anyways. It was a good 10 pages or so, front and back, long so we had a great deal of time sitting and reminiscing of just a couple months before. When I was done Zane said, "That's a great story. I can't wait to start the next chapter." I told him, "You can't read the rest though. Not yet anyways." (You see, I had this idea in my mind that the journal would be a wedding gift to him. I didn't want him to read all my private thoughts before sealing the deal, if you know what I mean?!) Zane firmly said, "Just flip some pages and find something you can read to me." So I did. And there it was. A page that he had written on. Will you marry me? And my ring was taped just below.
It took just a moment, and then I quickly asked, "Are you sure?" I couldn't believe Zane actually wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He had certainly told me before that I was the one for him. But this was serious. He was actually proposing this time. There was a ring there! Zane was on one knee at this point telling me all the reasons why I was the one for him and the life he wanted to share with me. Then he asked me again, "So, will you make me the happiest man in the world and marry me?" I said, "Get the ring on my finger!" When looking at the picture you see just a little smudge where the tape that was holding my ring remains on the journal.)
To this day, we are unsure as to whether or not I ever said yes. He thinks I did. I think I didn't. But who cares. I said 'I do' 10 months later so 'yes' is implied. God had given me not just the man I had been praying for my whole life. He had given me someone even better.
And that was the first day of the rest of our lives. I love you, Zane.