On Wednesday, Andrew got back from Raleigh. He swung by my house in Greenville on the way home and ate dinner with my family. I was planning to come to Clemson on Thursday for my last Dgroup (Bible study) before I head to NYC, so we decided to get lunch on Thursday and hang out in Clemson before Dgroup.
I got to Clemson around lunch and Andrew wouldn't tell me where we were going to eat. I didn't think anything of this because he likes to surprise me on dates sometimes. He took me to 1826, which is a cute little plantation style restaurant in Pendleton that I've wanted to try for the past four years but never had.
After lunch, we decided to walk around the Botanical Gardens in Clemson. I still didn't think anything of this because we had just kind of decided to walk around after lunch. After that, we went and got a drink at a new coffeehouse in Clemson that I've been wanting to try.
I headed off to Dgroup around 5:15. Originally, I was supposed to get dinner after Dgroup with my friend Carla, but Andrew called her and told her to cancel. After those plans got canceled, Andrew's mom told me she was making pork chops and invited me to eat dinner with them. I told her yes and not to wait on me if they got hungry; they could just save me a plate. After Dgroup, I called Andrew and headed back to his house. He said he was at the store (he wasn't- he was actually giving the roses and journal to Emily and Caroline) and would be there in a second. When he got there, he told me that his parents only had two pork chops and had already eaten. He asked me if I just wanted to pick up Subway and go eat at the dikes. For those of you who aren't familiar with Clemson, the dikes are natural dams by the lake. We go to the dikes often and walk and have taken picnics there multiple times, so I still didn't suspect anything. The dikes are also special to us because we went there on one of our very first dates and it's also where Andrew kissed me for the first time a few months later.
We went down to the water and ate our subs. I was writing in the sand down there and wrote A+L=heart (with a heart drawing of course). Until yesterday, Andrew had never told me he loved me. After I drew the heart, he asked if the heart meant love and then asked me if I loved him. Of course I wasn't going to be the first to admit that I loved him, so I replied and just said "Andrew!" He then told me that he loved me, and of course I told him I loved him back. He keeps saying that I had a huge smile on my face after he told me that. I asked him why he waited such a LONG time to tell me that, and he told me he wanted to make sure he never was going to love anyone else like he loves me. We hadn't really talked about it, but I always suspected that he was going to tell me when he proposed. Him telling me that should have a been a huge hint, but in the back of my mind I was thinking "oh, I guess he isn't waiting until then and wanted to tell me before I left for NY."
After all this happened, he said he wanted to go walk along the dikes. Of course, I put up a fight because I told him I liked sitting down by the water and had just walked through a bunch of brush to get down there. I was wearing little flip flops and didn't want to plunder through all the brush again. Obviously, he eventually convinced me to go walk.
While we were walking, he mentioned that Emily (my best friend) had called him earlier. She was trying to fill out an application for Boosterthon (Andrew's employer) and needed help finding it online. I told him it was fine to call her back real quick. Little did I know, they were actually talking in code the whole time. Emily and Caroline (my sister) had set up roses and a journal along the path, and Andrew couldn't find it. I didn't think anything of him talking to her. He was actually calling her because he couldn't find the roses and journal.
Andrew kept wanting to walk farther and farther. Normally, I'm the one who wants to walk a lot, but he was pushing for it last night. I put up a fight again. I told him I didn't know we were going to be walking 5 miles (slight exaggeration) and I didn't have the right shoes on. Once again, he convinced me to keep going.
Here we are walking 5 miles.
We finally came across the roses and journal. I have no idea how we missed it the first time we passed them because they were extremely obvious. When I saw them, I was completely surprised and said "Oh, are those for me?"
Andrew then started saying all this sweet stuff (that neither of us can remember), and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was shocked. We had talked about getting married, but I thought he would wait until after I got back from NYC to propose. Of course I said yes!
Getting a good look at the ring for the first time
We sat down and he told me he had been keeping a journal for me throughout this whole engagement process so I could read about how it happened. I read part of the journal and I asked him a hundred questions about how he pulled everything off. Here we are talking about it...
Around this time, I heard a "click" behind me and looked to see someone duck behind the hill. I didn't know who it was, but I told them they could come out. Emily and Caroline came out and they had been hiding in the bushes taking pictures of the whole thing.
First real picture as an engaged couple!
My beautiful ring! He did SO good - exactly what I wanted!