I met David when he was 14, soon to be 15, at our high school boys team soccer practice. I happened to be on the boys team because we didn't have a girls team...and I also happened to be 16, soon to be 17. Since I am two-ish years older we did long distance for two years while I was in college at Whitworth University. We were about a 5-6 hour drive away from each other for those two years and then David found himself going to Whitworth as well.
We dated for 6 years, 3 months and 9 days before David proposed - NOT that I was counting or anxiously waiting or anything. Today marks 3 years since he has proposed and the story goes a little something like this.
We were on our way to Tacoma over the weekend so David could do more networking meetings. He was constantly traveling from Spokane - Seattle during this semester in hopes to make enough connections to eventually find a job by graduation. It had been a while since I had been home so my college best friend Megan and I decided to go with him and have a weekend out of Spokane. We stayed at David's parents house and planned to hang out with Alexis (my high school best friend) the next day while David was busy having meetings with prospective employers. I had been anxiously awaiting any possible sign that David could be proposing for months and this weekend was no different except for the fact that we were going to be in Tacoma where both of our families lived. I really hoped that this was going to be the weekend that he asked me to marry him because it would have been perfect with both families and close friends nearby.
Saturday morning rolled around and David got ready and left for the day. I was left with Megan that morning who was making plans to see Alexis. I was going to hang out with the girls, or so I thought, so I got ready and tried to make plans with them. They were awkward and hesitant which never happens so I was getting suspicious but there was no way I wanted to get my hopes up. Mainly because I had been relentlessly bugging David about getting engaged for like, I don't know, years. But in these last few months it had gotten particularly bad and I am thankful each day that God has given me such a patient man.
After David left I was trying to coordinate my day with Megan so that I could be with the girls in the morning and spend time with David in the afternoon once he finished networking. Megan told me she didn't want to hang out with me because she hadn't seen Alexis in a long time and wanted to just hang out with her. My heart sank and it immediately felt like the ultimate betrayal. But I tried to be understanding and I also tried not to make any assumptions as to why she was being so weird.
But Megan left to go see Alexis and shortly after David came home and we left to do what we always did - walk along the water front on Ruston way - the pretty Puget Sound waterfront along old town Tacoma. I was probably particularly smiley because I may or may not have been suspicious about what might have been going on at this point. I think David sensed this because he immediately put an end to my funny business. Our conversation went something like this -
David: "Ashley that is a nice dress you are wearing"
Me: "Thank you :)"
David: "I just really hope you aren't dressed up because you are expecting anything...."
Me: "Oh...well no. No, I am not."
David: "Ok good, because I know we have talked about this before but this just isn't an awesome time for me. I really want to focus on finding a job and making some money so that I can get you a really nice ring, which I really want to do... I just can't really do it right now."
Me: "I understand *trying not to cry* it just would have been a really good weekend since I really wanted it to happen nearby our families so we could celebrate together."
And then I just start crying and David does his best to comfort me but at this point I am really disappointed.
We get to the water front after picking up some coffee at the Starbucks just up the hill, like usual. Over the years, we have walked miles and miles on this waterfront. It felt like every college visit included at least one long 4 mile walk filled with meaningful conversation, hand holding, and each other's undivided attention. Over the years we have made a lot of plans on this walk, drank a lot of coffee, created a lot of inside jokes, had a lot of arguments, and shed plenty of tears getting ready to say goodbye when I would leave again for school (my tears, not David's). And like any other time we start walking and find a nearby beach. Usually David picks up big rocks for me and we look at the tiny, weird, crabs and he picks them up and tries to convince me to hold them. The tickle on my hand is too creepy so I tell him no and he teases me and we probably look really dumb and childish but we are really happy and having loads of fun so it's all good. And this is exactly what we do. David picked up a rock, grabs a creepy crab, and tells me to close my eyes so that I can hold one. I hesitate but after an emotional morning I cave rather quickly, quicker than normal and hold out my hands with my eyes closed knowing that this poor crab will probably meet its death once I drop it to the ground as soon as its little legs tickle my hands. But once it was dropped into my hand there was no tickle. There was a hand pressed into my hand, sandwiching a small item and a man in front of me on one knee squeezing my hand tight. I could not tell you what David said to me but whatever it was left me light headed with a racey heart and tears streaming down my face. This was actually happening. After 6 years, 3 months and 9 days. He finally, officially said the words - "Ashley will you marry me?" and I said..........
"You're mean!!!" (I mean, he did make me cry that morning) and then we laughed and I said, "YES!" He placed the ring on my finger and I remember another couple hooting and hollering for us and we kissed and everything is a blur once again.
We took some pictures, continued our walk and headed home. To my surprise, David did plan for our families and close friends to be a part of this day and they all were waiting for us at his house.
We still take walks on Ruston Way and I still get excited when April 25th rolls around. I really adore this husband of mine and I am thankful this life of ours. I could not have come up with a better proposal and my heart fills up just thinking about it. Thank you David. You are seriously the best.
P.S. I have forgiven Megan and Alexis for being kinda bitchy that morning and leaving me out of their plans. Apparently they were setting up for this party. Thank you guys!