Thank you Carsyn Abrams for the BEST photos of this special day!
I thought writing blogs for dear friends proposals was hard…how in the world am I supposed to write one for my OWN!?!? Where do I even begin? Gosh, so many of you experienced the thick of things with me through college and the last few years post-grad (a true testament to Romans 12:15), and I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you for praying for me, with me, and for Jonathan even before we knew who he was. Thank you for the pick-me-ups, for letting me process with you, the hugs, advice, the listening ears, the words of encouragement and truth, the patience and grace extended. Thank you for walking alongside me in the many highs and lows I experienced while dating. Thank you for supporting my passions – like this business and my blog – as I learned how to share life more vulnerably. I’ve done my best to stand firm in God’s truth and in knowing that we are not promised marriage, which makes it all-the-more special that He would so graciously give me Jonathan as my husband.
It would be really easy for me to focus on the past to emphasize how special this truly was, and how much the wait and frustration and hurt of my history was worth it, but those are stories for another day. As with other proposal posts, I’m SO excited to hand the reigns off to my man to share his perspective of our relationship and of how Sunday unfolded!
In Jonathan’s words:
I first met Mel at Tanner and Emily Taber’s house, on October 5th, to watch the OU/KU football game. Tanner had asked the Wednesday before if I’d be interested in coming over for the game and meeting one of Emily’s friends from college. I didn’t have plans until later that afternoon, so I thought it couldn’t hurt. I’m fairly reserved in addition to being less than socially adept, so I wasn’t sure what she thought of me, but I knew I wanted to get to know her better, especially after having conversed long after the game was over and missing my afternoon plans.
From there we conversed on the phone and ultimately came to the conclusion that we should meet again, but with her in Norman and myself in Bartlesville, we couldn’t be too particular with the time and place. Naturally, we decided to meet the following Sunday at the McDonald’s on the turnpike. That’s right: our first official date was at a McDonald’s. After breaking the bank for an ice cream cone and a coffee, we drove around, talked. Parked, talked. Got asked by a cop to move as we were parked on private property, made our way back to McDonald’s, and talked some more. After an evening full of discussion, I decided I wanted to go steady, so I asked “So you wanna give this a go”? (Remember, I’m socially awkward.) After clarifying what I meant, Mel didn’t tell me yes… but she didn’t tell me no either. Despite the blow to my pride, we kept on talking on the phone nightly (which is a big deal because I generally hate talking on the phone). Finally, a couple weeks later, she came back up to Bartlesville to visit, and we made it official, but not until after she had dinner with my family.
Over the course of our countless phone calls and what came to be weekly visits, I gained such an appreciation for Melanie and the woman of God she was. In conversation, she always seemed to be asking questions about Scripture and what I’d been reading. We would exchange sermons or podcasts that we wanted the other to hear. She has a desire to know God and His Word and to know it more completely and accurately. I found her desire in this area served to feed my own and push me to learn and study more. It was this characteristic that proved I should marry her because I knew that would be key in developing the kind of marriage I would want fifty years down the road.
As far as the actual proposal was concerned, it took many twists and turns. Mel found out the weekend I planned to pop the question. She was disappointed, but she insisted I continue with the plan because she didn’t know where, how, or the exact date. On top of that, she didn’t want me to scramble to devise an alternative plan.
With two weeks until the original plan would take place, it didn’t leave me with much time. I called Carsyn to see if she had any flexibility in her schedule to move the proposal up a week. She did. I reached out to Melanie’s mom to update her on the situation. I REALLY wanted to surprise Mel, and even though it wasn’t ideal, I changed the plan last minute. She agreed that it was a great idea and said they would still plan to come up the following weekend to celebrate. With two days to spare, we had successfully implemented a back-up proposal plan that had not existed more than 72 hours prior.
The day of the proposal, Sunday, February 16th, we celebrated my parents’ anniversary. Mel always dresses well, but especially if we go out to eat, and I knew she would want to be well dressed for the photos she didn’t know were going to take place later that afternoon. After brunch, we headed back to Bartlesville, while my mom corresponded with Carsyn, who was driving into town that afternoon to accommodate us. We went to the plaza under the guise that my dad needed to go to his office. We milled around looking at some of the surrounding architecture. My mom had been keeping the ring box in her purse so that it didn’t draw her attention in one of my pockets. We made the hand-off while Mel looked away, but I still couldn’t put it in one of my pockets. I knew I had to act quickly because I could only carry the ring around in plain sight for so long without her noticing. While she was looking away at one of the nearby buildings, I got down on my knee and asked her to marry me when she turned. She said yes.
Mel has a wonderful sense of humor and a great amount of patience and tolerance for mine. She enjoys spending time with my family and my family enjoys time with her; both of these conditions were important to me. She is independent, energetic, and driven, and yet she is thoughtful and caring at the same time. She is an incredible woman who inspires me to be better, and I could not be more honored or humbled to soon be her husband.
Jonathan worked with their family jeweler from McCoy Jewlers in Bartlesville! OKWU in Bartlesville has this GORGEOUS courtyard – I was thrilled Carsyn agreed to follow us there for a handful of photos! The arches and blue shutters are my FAVORITE!