Though Jason wasn't traveling nearly as much as last year (Woo hoo!!) I thought it may be fun to plan a trip this year but instead to Wisconsin...my favorite midwestern state. My mom's family used to go camping to Devil's Lake every year which is a gorgeous state park with a beach and bunch of hiking trails. Our weekends had been filling up quickly and since there's only a couple weeks of pretty trees I knew I had to plan it while we still could. I asked Jason if we could take a one night trip (our only free night in a month) to Wisconsin for a hike. We booked the trip a few weeks ago through Orbitz and the plan was to drive up on Friday afternoon, spend the night in the Dells and then spend Saturday hiking with a break to eat a brown-bagged lunch and then head back to the city that same evening for a good nights rest before the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Sunday.
We ended up getting a late start on Friday so we got stuck in typical Friday Chicago traffic and got to the Dells around 7:00 or so. We went to dinner and then headed back to the hotel and watched a movie. I took my time waking up as I generally do and we finally got on the road around 10:30 or 11:00. We fueled up for our big hike at Denny's that morning. I had made a comment to Jason teasing him that it was Sweetest Day but didn't really pay much attention to it since neither one of us really celebrate. So after I had my first peice of pumpkin pie of the year (definetly a blog about my love for this to come!) we headed off to Devils Lake. The drive was only about 20 minutes and was gorgeaous as we traveled down country roads.
When we got to the park I took my sweet time changing into my gym shoes, layering up about 10 layers because I was worried about being cold. We spent about 10 minutes in the car scouting out the best trail on the map. Then we walked around looking for a while in search of a bathroom. I say all this to share in how slowly I was moving...in no hurry for what was about to come next! We finally began walking and veered off to a path to the right and started our long trek up the hills. As we were climbing I was huffing and puffing and pealing all those layers off one by one! I couldn't understand why Jason wasn't as tired as me...I always thought I was the one in better shape! ;-) Anyway, we're hiking up this hill and stepped off to the side a couple times to take a quick breather. When we got close to the top I saw a man taking a picture of 3 people so I asked him if he wanted me to take it of all 4 of them. When we stopped to take the picture I wanted to look over the bluff at the gorgeous tress and lake. While we were standing there taking in the gorgeous site Jason asked, "You know I love you, right?" I replied, "Yes." Jason then asked, "You know I want to spend the rest of my life with you, right?" I responded with "Yes" but admitedly was thinking "when is he ever going to want to marry me?!" Right then Jason gave me a big hug and dropped to his knee and asked me to marry him! He was so nervous and I was just so shocked. I just kept repeating over and over, "Are you serious? Really? You're kidding, are you really serious?" Finally he said, "You haven't even said yes yet!" So I, of course, said yes, but kept asking him if this was for real!
We stood there for a while just taking it all in, big smiles on both of us and captured some pictures. I told the couple who was taking our picture that he had just propsed so the woman was all excited for us and ran over to see my ring and then made us pose with my hand on Jasons chest. Cheesy but I know, but I knew I'd appreciate that later.
Since we'd only been hiking about 10-15 minutes when he proposed, we still had a lot of ground to cover but all I kept thinking and saying was, "We're Engaged!!!!" :) We had terrible cell reception (darn AT&T iphones!!!) but we were able to call my parents and share the good news. Mom was completely shocked and started crying so she handed the phone off to my dad who also was shocked and happy. After our hike we called/texted friends and family. We skipped out on the bagged lunch and went to Olive garden in Rockford to meet my parents to show them the ring. (they were at the lake house so it worked out perfectly!)
I am still on cloud 9, as excited as ever. We've been researching to set a date and location which is proving to be more work than I had thought but am confident it will all come together in the right time. Though the wedding details make it a challenge, we are trying to remember to bring it back to God as our center of planning and know He will provide. I couldn't be more excited to spend the rest of my life with such a wonderful, loving man!
Click the small picture to view all of the pics from the proposal! :)