How I Proposed to My Wife


July 19, 2008, five years ago today, lives were changed. Plans were altered. Questions were asked.

It was unlikely that Sarabeth and I would ever meet – me from California, she from Florida. The chances were slim at best. We didn’t meet on either coast as one might think, but in the middle of God’s countryside, Colorado Springs, Colorado. We had both attended the Focus on the Family Leadership Institute, fall of 2006.

It took me maybe two weeks at most to ask her out. But like all good things, our everyday courtship ended and I had to go back home to California and she back to Florida. We dated each other from our prospective hometowns for a year and a half.

It wasn’t easy. I hate talking on the phone to begin with, and at some point I gave up and dumped Sarabeth. Worst mistake ever.

I don’t know how or why she ever accepted me back when I came to visit her on her birthday. But I’m glad she did.

I made many promises that I was going to propose to her, but every time, I found some excuse or another to put it off – again. And again.

I had moved up to Washington State to work at a camp early in 2008 (almost as northwest of the continental country as one can get, while Sarabeth was almost as southeast as one could get). She came to visit me on July 18 and that night I told her that I couldn’t propose to her yet. I needed to wait. Again. Maybe around Christmas.

To her, a snail could crawl from Florida to Washington quicker than I was going to propose.

I picked her up from her hotel the next morning to bring her to the camp I was working at to show her around campus. I was wearing a raggedy shirt that she had expressed disinterest in at some point in our relationship. After all, I had no reason to dress up.

When we got there, the chapel was next on our tour. Before we reached it, one of my colleagues came out and said I had an important call to take. So I passed her off to him and asked him to take her to the chapel and I’ll meet her there in a few minutes.

I ran to the offices not to take a call, but to shed my ugly shirt, and put on a nice button down I had purchased and checked for the trillionth time that the box was still in the breast pocket. I removed it and clamped it tightly in my hand.

While this was happening, my colleague led her to the chapel where she found a video of me projected onto the big screen talking about how much I love her and am glad she’s here. Then video ended with me saying, “Now, I have just one question to ask you…”

And right below the screen I walked in through the door with the ring in my hand while John Mclaughlin’s “So CloseΒ filled the chapel.

I asked the question. She said yes – there was no doubt in my mind about that. We sat on the steps and talked and laughed and made plans for the rest of our lives.

“I have just one more surprise for you,” I said.

I led her down to the camp’s lakeside as the morning sun danced in its reflection, and there on the sand was a table set up with flowers, two chairs, and a couple of servers (the camp cooks) ready to take our breakfast order. Β Our own private breakfast on the lake. And lots of pancakes – she loves pancakes.

But I knew our engagement anniversary would be celebrated for years to come, and I wanted to set a tradition. So later I took her to our favorite restaurant, Cheesecake Factory in downtown Seattle. It was a good choice because so far there has been a Cheesecake Factory in every state we’ve lived in.

And this weekend, because of that smart decision, we get to go. And because of an even smarter decision, I get to go with the woman I love.


About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

14 Responses to How I Proposed to My Wife

  1. I love it. πŸ™‚ Totally gave me the warm fuzzies, haha! We had a favorite restaurant but haven’t been able to find one for years. 😦 Ah well, new traditions are good too.

  2. Very romantic and heartfelt expression of unconditional love… your story is filled with beautiful meaning and heartfelt intention. Thank you sincerely for sharing! πŸ™‚

  3. Aww, love this story Happy ‘finally asked’ anniversary to the both of you!

  4. Too cool. Happy anniversary.

  5. Susan says:

    Who is cutting onions in here and gettin’ me all teary eyed?!

  6. Miss P says:

    Beautiful….happy anniversary

  7. says:

    this is beautiful! never heard the story!! loved it! congrats you two! enjoy Cheesecake Factory!

  8. hereisandrea says:

    Very nice! Congratulations πŸ™‚

  9. This is so beautiful . . . thank you for sharing! πŸ™‚

  10. Heta Gala says:

    Fatte ;-)..well fatte is indian word which Awesome;-)…i loved the way you proposed two look great together. Even i m in love and i can feel how it irritates to talk on phone but due to some reasons we cant meet up. I am waiting for my special hope our parents agree(who are not aware about our relnship) to our marriage(as we both are of diff caste and in india it is huge problem :-/ ) Newaz in short i loved ur way πŸ˜‰

  11. manangbok says:

    Great photo by the beach! And a very nice Proposal Story πŸ™‚ Wishing you the best that fate (and faith) can bring.

    I love your blog and I’m looking forward to exploring more of it! πŸ™‚

  12. Dr Iffi says:

    I got engaged on 18th July which happens to be my birthday too …… πŸ™‚ loved reading this post ……

  13. dfolstad58 says:

    I love your story. You demonstrated your thoughtfulness and planning to make it extra special. My son in law is thoughtful in his planning and from a parents perspective I can tell you that it endears him to me also. He married my one and only daughter and to know he is thoughful and realizes how special she is, allows me to relax knowing she is cherished.

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