Am I one of those crazy, in-love girls who is totally smitten and sees rainbows and butterflies everyday? Yes. And shamelessly so. In fact, the emoji with the heart eyes frequents my "recently used" every day, if that says anything. Emotions provide the raw material for love, at least that's what Saint JPII says, and you know what? I agree with him. Lee and I are reading a book he wrote before he became pope called Love and Responsibility and boy am I learning a lot about what it really means to love another and selflessly desire their good. And wow do I have a long way to go.
Anyway, I digress. I seriously just want to proclaim to you all of the events, growing moments, and ways that I've learned as much as I have from our relationship thus far that has shaped me into the woman I am today. It's amazing to me how quickly life can change, and in such big ways!
Why am I writing this post again? Oh yeah, to tell you about the proposal!
Lee and I were in St. Cloud just after Christmas to spend time with his family. We had just gotten back from spending the weekend in Fargo (going to a wedding, no less!) and were feeling pretty cooped up so Lee suggested a walk at Quarry Park. This enchanting park filled with old granite quarries and miles of trails happens to be the site of a certain couple's first handhold. Talk about precious moments. And that "certain couple" happens to be us, go figure.
We were walking along, enjoying one another's company on a frigid -1 degree day. It was SO cold! If it weren't for the wool socks I was wearing and the scarf wrapped around my entire face I think I would've become the less-loving popsicle version of myself--and she's never too fun to be around. But as we walked hand in hand I just felt very happy to be with him, and be outside, despite the cold.
We eventually made our way up to a little embankment overlooking this spot:
and just stopped to admire nature's beauty for a few moments (which, admittedly, we do often while walking in the woods and at other beautiful places). As we were standing there Lee turned to me and said, "Kelsey, I wrote you something that I'd like to read to you." He proceeded to pull a hand-written letter out of his coat pocket, look me in the eyes, and start telling me exactly how he feels and what he knows God is calling him to. It truly was one of the most beautiful letters I have ever read (well, heard, and then read afterwards many, many times), and was written with me in mind, which was the biggest "swoon factor" in the whole deal, if you ask me.
As the letter wrapped up, with Lee consistently looking over to me while he was reading making sure I was still looking back at him, he reached into his coat pocket, holding my gaze all the while (with, yes, the Lee Kersting stare), pulled out a box, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him right there!
I tried to come back down to planet earth and say something, really any form of "yes" would do. I think I mumbled an, "uh-huh" and proceeded to stare at him, in awe that this man really wants to spend the rest of his life with me. In my opinion, I'm definitely getting the better end of the deal here!
Shortly after it all happened, we shared our first kiss. (Awwwww) It really was a perfect moment. After hugging for a few minutes Lee finally looked at me, still holding the ring and said, "So, you wanna put it on?" I hadn't even thought about it as I literally couldn't believe that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together!
He handed me the ring, and I put it on. Other than being a size too big, it was perfect. I felt extremely loved in that moment, but that is an understatement. After I put it on he told me that "the reason there is a single diamond is because I want you to know that you are the sole object of my affection."
....tissue break.... (For you, not me. I've told this story already!)
He also told me that he thought that this ring could also be my new purity ring, and I could take the old one off (which I was planning to give to him anyway). It's funny how strangely difficult it was to part with the old ring that my aunt Colleen gave me as a young teen! I've been wearing it for about a decade and rarely, if ever, took it off. I think I'm adjusting to the new ring just fine though.
We had talked about engagement one time a couple months earlier, and Lee asked if I'd like to help pick out the ring or if I wanted him to do it. I opted to have him be the one to pick it out and am so glad that I did. Every time I look at it I love it a little more, and I think mostly because of what it stands for. Here are some pictures of the ring, the first one being after it was re-sized:
|Do we look cold or what??|
After that we continued walking for a brief while and then decided that it was just really cold, so we started making our way back to the car. We then went over to St. Mary's Cathedral, the Cathedral of the St. Cloud diocese. We prayed there for a while, and spent some time visiting our patron saint's shrine, St. Cloud himself (yes, he's a real person). We then ventured downstairs to a beautiful statue of our lady and lit a candle there, especially since Our Lady is such a big part of our relationship (Lee captured the moment):
The entire time at the Cathedral was filled with much consolation and peace for the both of us, which we afterwards discussed and decided was a very good sign. As we were walking out Lee looked at me and said, "well, what do you want to do now?"
We proceeded to continue spending time together through activities such as going to the mall, buying flannel sheets and looking at picture Porsche books. We finished off a perfect day of newly-engaged bliss (all before telling a soul!) by having supper at Panera and I practiced flashing the bling (Lee thought it was funny):
After dinner we finally decided it was time to head back and tell our families, so we surprised both his parents and my own (even though he had asked mine a couple weeks earlier for permission). Both families are so excited and can't wait to have a new daughter and a new son (relatively speaking, of course).
Last but certainly not least, we have selected the date on which we will wed! October 10th, 2015 we will exchange marriage vows and enter into the "sacrament of sacraments." This time of preparation has already helped us grow and challenged us in a variety of ways, and gosh I just cannot wait to become the Mrs. to this Mr.