One fine Saturday in May, Peter Webb called me up and asked if I'd like to go get coffee after church the next day. I readily agreed, and he responded that he was going to plan it all and that the plan was to NOT talk about the possibility of getting married or any of those details the whole day. I thought it was a great idea because I had been trying to figure out if it was possible or not--a.k.a. worrying and talking about it pretty much all the time. Excellent, I thought--some time to just be friends who happened to love each other, too.
So the Sunday comes and I didn't dress up too much--a nice shirt and jeans with my new sandals. I'd had a long weekend, so I get home from church and while I am waiting for him to call saying he's on his way, I decided to take a nap. He wakes me up to let me know he'll be there in 20 minutes, and adds that he's dressed up from church still so if I want to dress up too so we're the same that'd be fine, which was unusual, but I didn't notice. Groggily, I let him know that what I was wearing was fine and I'll just sleep an extra 15 minutes.
So Peter arrives and whisks me off to "That Coffee Place" in Paw Paw, because we had never been there. The nap had put me in a good mood, and I was excited about finally getting to see this little shop. I ordered a chai tea latte and he and I sat in there for a while making small talk, when abruptly he said, "Let's go!" It was a bit sudden, but I was up for it. In the car, he said since we had done something new, we would now do something old and visit Maple Island, a beautiful little island in Maple Lake that has a park and a pavilion as well as lots of trees that we had been to a few times before.
When we got out of the car, he mentioned something about maybe having the wedding on the island, but I told him we weren't allowed to talk about it, and he laughed and said he forgot. As we were walking over the bridge to the island the wind caught his shirt and made it REALLY poofy--something that could bug me if I wasn't in a good mood, but because I was feeling so happy it just made me laugh more. We walked over the island and I remember this feeling of it being very peaceful, and being so appreciative of being best friends with Peter. We didn't talk too much, and eventually he led us over to a bench where we sat and looked out over the water. I leaned my head on his shoulder, and thought how perfect this was and how it could totally represent how I wanted my life with Peter to feel--not needing extravagance, peaceful, and an intimacy that grew from and held its foundation in friendship and trust.
The minute I took my last sip of my latte, Peter asked if he could throw the cup away for me. He hadn't really ever done that before, but I let him take it from my left hand, and he bolted to the nearest trash can and right back to me. I leaned my head back on his shoulder, and after a minute I noticed his heart was beating VERY fast, so I asked "Peter, are you ok? Your heart is racing!" He replied that he was fine, and I said, "Hm, must have been that quick sprint." But that didn't make much sense because that would normally not overdo it for him at all.
I went back to gazing at the water, as Peter repositioned himself. He moved towards me to hold my hand and I felt something hard touch my ring finger and stop at the tip, then the words I had been longing to hear came from his lips--"Tori, will you marry me?" I was totally shocked. For a good 30 seconds I didn't say or do anything other than stare gaping at him--and then I exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, YES!!!!" and hugged him and kissed him on the cheek for the first time.
We laughed and I cried and stared at the ring and spent a few moments together as newly engaged couple. I laughed that he had tried to get me to dress up--something he knew I wanted to be when he proposed. Then we realized we had a whole city of people to tell the exciting news to! So the rest of the evening was spent doing what we love--being together and spreading excitement with many of the people who mean so much to us.
May 17th, 2009 was a beautiful beginning to a wonderful new chapter in our lives together--let the adventures continue!