On this day six years ago, I went on a date with a guy named Drew. We'd been dating for six months (minus the 4 weeks "we were on a break") and I had a feeling he was going to propose soon. From the beginning I'd kind of known Drew was The One. I didn't know how to explain it, I just knew. So cliche, I know. But true!
Anyways, given a mysterious phone call made to my dad a few days earlier that week I had a feeling it was coming soon. And with my older sister, Ashley, coming into town that Friday with her 3 week old baby girl I thought for sure it was happening that night. I even went shopping and got a new shirt and matching accessories for the occasion. Drew had called saying he made reservations at this adorable house-turned-italian restaurant in Old Towne Greenwood. Our typical Friday nights were more laid back than that. My suspicions were high.
Drew picked me up that night and we ate dinner outside La Trattoria on their patio complete with white lights strung around the top. Drew seemed totally chill and not nervous at all so I was completely thrown off by that. Assuming it wasn't happening at dinner I ate my ravioli and enjoyed the late summer's night breeze. After dinner Drew asked what I wanted to do. I was thinking, "Don't you know what we're going to do? You're going to propose! Shouldn't you have some kind of plan???" Obviously I didn't say that, I said something like, "Oh I don't care. What do you want to do?" He suggested going to Mrs. Curl's to get some ice cream. Now, for those of you who have been to Mrs. Curl you know its no place for a marriage proposal. Its good ice cream and lots of fun for kids but...not exactly what I had in mind. Perplexed, I went along with it trying to remind myself it didn't have to happen that night. As long as he proposed eventually. As we got out of the car he reminded me to bring the camera. "Aha!! Its totally happening tonight!" I thought to myself. After he got some ice cream, we walked down to a gazebo at a nearby park. I started getting really nervous. This was starting to look more like a proposal locale. We sat on a bench inside the gazebo while Drew ate his ice cream. He kept suggesting we take pictures. I was trying not to get impatient but I was thinking, "what the heck? enough with the pictures! If he doesn't propose tonight, this is really mean!" Moment after moment seemed like a great time to propose but each one passed without any ring or question. Sigh. I finally started walking around the gazebo reading the inscriptions on the benches. The benches were dedicated to random people in the community and after a few of them we were reading them aloud in the most obnoxious voices (we're weird). I was reading one, in an english accent I believe, when I turned around to find Drew down on one knee! My heart soared! Its HAPPENING!!!
He told me that I had made him the happiest man, that he loved me and never thought he could love someone as much as he loves me. He said he wanted to serve the Lord with me, raise babies with me... and then a giant Mac truck drove over the railroad tracks right next to us and I completely missed the end of his awesome speech! So I did what any girl would do. I said, "Can you repeat that?" :) He did. He finished it with, "Bethany Corrinne Dunaway... will you marry me?" My heart squeals just thinking about it. Of course I said yes with the cheesiest grin on my face. Here is a picture of us right after we got home and told my parents. The cheesy grin was plastered on my face for awhile:
Here we are a week later at a friend's wedding
At the engagement party his parents had for us in California that November. Cheesy grin still intact.
A few weeks before the wedding
When I said yes to Drew that night, I couldn't have known what I was agreeing to. I knew I was saying yes to marrying a man who had stolen my heart (even though I had tried to deny he had done so - stupid girl), a man that loved the Lord and me, a man that could make me laugh like no other, a man who had protected my heart and respected my feelings, a man I was crazy in love with. But what I couldn't have known was the depth of love I would feel for him each and every day from that day forward. We have been through some incredible high points, and some earth-shakingly low points. He makes me heart beat faster - sometimes with passion and sometimes with fury, he still makes me laugh harder than anyone else, he knows me better than anyone else, he's given me three beautiful babies. He provides for our family. He prays for me. He makes me a better person. I can't imagine a day without this man. And I can't imagine a more perfect love story than ours.
Andrew Morgan Hollingsworth, I'm so glad I said yes.