For several weeks, I thought about ways to propose to Amber. My Aunt Beverlie reinforced my idea to propose on the ship, Elizabeth II. She suggested that I emphasize the settler’s purpose was to create new beginnings for their lives, just as Amber and I would be doing as a married couple. I took her advice and ran with it. In the midst of my proposal planning, my Mom gave me her mother’s 50th wedding anniversary ring to give to Amber, in place of the ring I had planned to give. This was just one of the many blessings that contributed to our life together.

As the days drew near for the proposal, Amber said I acted more OCD and nervous than usual. She thought we were just staying with Dwight and Beverlie for a mini-vacation. The big day arrived and we were on the road and on schedule because I am the master of the schedule! On the way, we had planned to stop at the Morris Farm Market for a snack and groceries. Things were taking longer than usual, forcing me to hurry things along. Amber suggested that we stop along the side of the road for lunch as the snack didn’t satisfy her enough. I responded that we just eat in the car, so that we stay on-time with arriving, but she felt like we had plenty of time to get there. However, I just ignored her, appearing stubborn, and stayed on schedule. We finally arrived at Festival Island in the afternoon, and it was a scorcher. Already experiencing heat strokes from the faltering A/C in my Rodeo, we about melted as we walked from the car to the visitor center. We purchased our tickets and sat in the lobby, waiting for our clothes to stop sticking to our bodies.  As we made our way to the ship we were surprised to find that we were the only visitors. Once aboard, I let Amber walk in front of me while I appeared to make small talk with the crew. I was actually letting them know about the proposal and asking for their help with taking pictures. By that time, Amber was in the lower deck while I anxiously waited for the right moment to give her my “big speech.” I couldn’t wait to tell her what she meant to me and the significance of the ship’s story to our story. When I finally got up the nerve, I mostly stuttered and made absolutely no sense. She was equally confused until I just blurted out, “I’m asking you to marry me!” I’ve since learned that when Amber is in a state of shock, she forgets where she is and turns into a wet noodle. Thankfully, once she got her wits about her, she said yes!

We spent the following days soaking in the engagement; enjoying great restaurants, beach views and just spending time together planning our future. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how blessed I am to have a woman who genuinely loves me. It is a love that exhibits, compassion, respect, adoration, encouragement, and is not judgmental. We continue to set our foundation on Jesus through a daily relationship with Him. We’re learning the importance of communicating our thoughts and needs, and remembering to love and respect each other more every day.

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