A bit over two years ago I marched into Mel’s room at the Forge apartments and demanded,
“What do you know about Jesse Garner? Tell me everything because I could marry that man.”
Guys. I’m GOING to marry that man.
That’s right! We are getting MARRIED!
disclaimer: I apologize now for the amount of all CAPS and exclamation points that will decorate this post. I’ve been informed that on a scale of 1-10 I’m functioning at about at 15 right now. If you’re feeling kind of grumpy cat, then this blog is not for you.
Okay. Everyone ready? Let’s do this.
Friday afternoon we drove to Waco to see Sing at Baylor. I was a part of Sing all four years when I was a student and going back for a performance is always a highlight of my Spring. If you want a taste of Sing, check out a few of my favorite Sing acts on YouTube. Last year Jesse came with me and we had a great time, so we made plans early to go again this year. It happened to fall nicely right after Valentine’s day, so we decided to make it our Valentine’s date. The perfect cover for us to get all dressed up. We got to Waco in time to grab dinner at BJ’s (one of our favs) and get to Waco Hall with enough time to find our great seats and settle in for the long haul. I was already loving life.
Sing is SO long you guys. I mean, I love it… but we didn’t leave Waco Hall until 10:50. I can’t imagine what the drive to the bridge was like for Jesse. I’m clueless, remember, so I’m just prattling on and on and ON about the acts that I liked and asking Jesse who he thinks will make Pigskin and getting his opinion on all of the acts. I’m sure he was trying to get his thoughts together and really wanting some quiet. No such luck, Garner, you’re marrying a talker.
We’d already planned on going to the suspension bridge in Downtown Waco after Sing, so even that… I’m totally rolling with it, no suspicions. A year ago-ish when we went to Waco and did this same date we went to the bridge after Sing because I was trying to teach him how it’s Saturday night, it’s WACO, there’s not much to do… so, Baylor students toss tortillas from the suspension bridge aiming to land them on old bridge foundations. IT’S SUPER FUN YOU GUYS, I PROMISE. Instead of tortilla tossing, he KISSED ME for the first time. His first kiss EVER. Yes, you read that right, folks. Needless to say, that night is one of our favorite memories and I was excited to go back.
So, we headed out to the bridge and I noticed that, again, there is no one there. It was chilly, though, so I wasn’t suspicious. I still don’t know if Jesse had the guys shoo-ing away people or if it was just coincidence that the bridge was deserted. I wish you could’ve seen it, you guys. The bridge is really pretty at night, all lit up with big spotlights and lights strung along the suspension. We walked out to the side, stood there for a moment to take in the moment and then things changed. Jesse turned me to face him and started to talk about the last year and our relationship. My head started spinning thinking, “Oh my gosh. He’s acting so strange and he’s not really making sense. Is THIS HAPPENING? No way. No. Don’t go there.”
Then Jesse says,
“but I don’t think we should date anymore…”
I’m sorry. What?
“I think we should get married.”
Before I knew it, he was down on one knee, smiling his big handsome smile.
“Lacey Melinder, will you marry me?”
I was speechless. I remember thinking, “This is it. This is happening right now. I’m going to tell this story for the rest of my life. This is happening.” And then I lost my mind. All that came out of my mouth was, “Are you KIDDING? Are you SURE?” Jesse looked at me like I was crazy and assured me that he was NOT kidding and was sure. Then normal Lacey finally arrived on the scene and I screamed “Yes!” a zillion times.
Jesse then showed me my ring which was in a box, all lit up. He put it on my left ring finger (after asking where it goes. precious) and explained a little bit about the ring he picked out for me. I love it for so many reasons.
- The diamond is from Israel. We’ve both traveled to Israel with the Pine Cove Forge (separately) and it has significance to both of us individually. At dinner that night (before I knew a proposal was coming) we talked about Israel and how we wanted to go back. Inside I was thinking, “Yeah. I want to go back… with you.” But I sure wasn’t going to say that.
- The wheat design on the band signifies what will be my new last name (WHOA). Garner means “to gather together,” and usually refers to crops, like wheat. Jesse and I have talked often that we both want to invite others into our lives and love gathering people together, so the wheat is a great reminder of that.
- When Jesse began looking at rings he got some help from my dear friends Rebecca and Hunter. I’ve always loved Hunter’s ring and its really special to me that Jesse used her ring as a jumping off point for mine, and that Rebecca knew me well enough to be able to give Jesse the deets. My Forge sisters continue to be a treasure, long after the Forge is over.
Back to the tale…
After the ring was on my hand, Jesse prayed for us. This was so significant to me. I don’t remember many details about our first date, but I do remember that when he prayed before our meal I was stunned by how personally and intentionally he prayed. Over the last year, I’ve heard Jesse pray a number of times and have looked forward to the day when he would pray for us. It was only fitting that within the first few minutes of being engaged, Jesse would acknowledge that power of the Gospel and thank God for the gift of this relationship. I can’t wait to follow Jesse as he seeks after the Lord and follows him as a man of steadfast character.
After a few moments to ourselves, Jesse called for our friend Austin to come out of hiding. But Austin wasn’t the only one in the shadows… I began to scream when I saw my brother (dressed in a handsome grey suit) come running towards me. He had been filming the whole thing and was so excited with us. Austin Wright snapped a few more pictures for us on the bridge to capture the moment and I tried to stay standing up straight. Poor Austin tried to get an artistic serious picture from us and I just couldn’t do it. I could barely stand still, much less, not smile.
We wrapped up and Jesse said that we should head to Common Grounds. At this point, I was happy to follow and not ask questions. Because my brother was there, I assumed that our parents would likely be at Common Grounds to celebrate with Jesse and I.
My parents weren’t the only ones there. As we rounded the corner to walk into the patio at Common Grounds, I was stunned to see the patio filled with our closest friends and family. From my Pine Cove Towers friends, Forge family, Baylor besties (both in person and via skype) and the men of the Log Cabin, I was surrounded by the people who have been a part of my life for years. We’ve all celebrated every kind of life event together, and they were there to joyfully rejoice with us.
I’m not usually lost for words, but I was right then. Its a miracle that I didn’t shatter my phone, because I threw down my clutch as hard as I possibly could. Why? I have no idea. I didn’t know what to do with my hands. We spent the next hour or so sharing our story with friends, taking pictures, thanking people for coming and occasionally beaming at each other from across the room. I kept thinking, “I’m going to marry Jesse Garner. I will be his wife. This is really happening.”
The setting could not have been more perfect. Common Grounds is more than just a coffee shop to me, so many pivotal life conversations happened over a Cowboy Coffee in that backyard while I was in college. Our friend, Blake, now owns Common Grounds and allowed our wonderful set-up crew to take over the patio to decorate the ceiling with paper airplanes and pictures of Jesse and I. It was a dream come true.
Things died down eventually and it was just me, Jesse, Micah and Chris. We were about to head out but then Jesse pulled out a computer and noted that there was one thing we really needed to do.
Change our Facebook status. Of course.
Facebook official: we’re getting married.
That’s just Friday night. WAIT until you hear about Saturday…