I like to think I'm a bit of an independent woman...or a woman in conflict...independent but truly brought to life by the presence of people in my life. I love to be with people and I loved studying people in college [psychology is the study of people :) the degree that you become a youth minister and part time photographer with] and I love meeting new people, and I love going on journeys with people, but I have never been one to need people...well maybe...but more specifically to need a significant other [see, i don't even like the word boyfriend]. I was really content with becoming Ms. Frizzle...just taking adventures to learn new things and having pet iguanas and hanging out with teenagers all the time. If you don't know Ms. Frizzle you ought to. She is the world's greatest teacher on Magic School Bus. Anyway, I need to make a public confession that I thought marriage was kind of for weak people who needed another person in their lives permanently in order to be whole...FORGIVE ME...for I didn't know the wonder of an eternal best friend. Even when I first started dating Kevin...I knew he was great but I also knew i was fine without him :) [sorry for my honesty kev]. And truly, it took a while for me to lay myself bare before God and let Him decide what He wanted with my life. The peace that I bask in now, came from a realization about marriage that Søren Kierkegaard sums up so simply: "to love another person means to help that person to love God, and to be loved by another person is to be helped by that person to love God." Kevin does just that and so many other wonderful things...like propose to me like this:
i came home from a retreat with the teenie boppers almost two months ago [this post has been in the making for a bit] and found tons [80? 100?] of papers scattered throughout my house that said "marry me." I didn't know this was coming but obvoiusly I knew right away what was going on and i started looking for where Kevin was hiding...but he wasn't. He left a note that said to pick up all the papers [hard work..i know] and on the back of some of them will be puzzle pieces...put them together and go where it tells me. Above are the backs of the papers containing puzzle pieces...they have encouragement on them, "good job...almost done." It told me to go here:
I had no idea where i was going and i had to wait for the GPS to locate satelites of course...
when i arrived and walked all around the building I finally found this. The last line says "yes Jenna this is the right place" but for some reason i was still unsure! Oh man I'm having to make so many confessions...sometimes Kevin is called KEVIN MARIA...ya know how that is just everyone's middle name? And sometimes it gets shortened to just Maria...so there, that's why the sign.
Inside was beautiful...and i thought it was an art gallery in Charlotte that I never knew about. It was a temporary art gallery made by Kevin, complete with audio tour. A note told me to put on those head phones and walk over to the first piece of art. Kevin's voice boomed over the headphones as I started on the journey through the history of Kevin and Jenna.
I think there were 60 or 80 matted photos with name cards! It was crazy! After each description a chime would jingle on the playlist and I would move onto the next story/photo. I walked around the room for about 30 or 45 minutes and when i completed the tour I had danced, laughed, waved to all the cameras, and MAYBE shed one or two small tears...
When i got to the end Kev emerged from behind some curtains...where i suspected he was the whole time but i was afraid if i exposed him neither of us would know what to do so i followed the instructions. After a minute Kev proposed to me. He opened a little white box and revealed:
which is nice right? The only thing I told Kevin about us getting engaged was that I didn't want a diamond ring. I know call me crazy. I'm just not into diamonds, so I left it up to him to pick whatever he wanted. In the audio tour he had told me about how he had a lady make the ring...so i figured I better just love it...I played along for a little while and after I laughed awkwardly enough he told me he was joking and asked me to pick from three wooden boxes. I chose number three and then he proposed to me with the real ring that Connie made. I asked what was in the other two boxes [i was just making sure that this wasn't another joke ring] and Kevin replied, "I had her make three because I knew you would lose it." I hate it and I love it.
those are the three little bears carrying the three little rings. the rings have some significant little friends carved into them. Maybe I will give the dissertation on that in another post another day :)
we reinacted that...we're dorks. Kevin had my camera handy...one more wonderful detail.
here we are partying because we're rich with love...hmmm. After a couple hours we took down the art gallery. It was temporarily set up at Hart Witzen Gallery in a little studio space and it couldn't have been better! I didn't give Kevin ANY hints about what I thought would be a wonderful way to be proposed to and of course he nailed it. Thoughtful and attentive are among his greatest qualities.
Here we are above...a bunch of happy hoodlums. God has blessed me so much with the world's greatest permanent best friend. I can't imagine a better soul to live with for eternity. Thanks Kev for being one in a million...and being so patient with me. We are getting married on April 17th...and if Kevin lets me I am going to plan a surprise honeymoon so email me some suggestions!