I know, I can’t believe I’m saying that either. It was a total surprise (sorta), and I’m giving you all the details! Our story is an interesting one of friendship, joy, and ultimately love. Maybe you’re dating someone, or find yourself in this new season of engagement with me. Maybe you’re married, or maybe you’re still waiting on “the one.” Wherever you find yourself on that spectrum, my hope is that you read this and understand that it’s okay to not have it all figured out. I hope you read our story and see that the pursuit of loving another human is the messiest, hardest, yet sweetest thing in the world. Grab a drink, have a seat and enjoy!
It all started when I was 17. I had just moved to Texas, and I was NOT happy about it one bit. I started attending youth group at a local church, and had a total of zero friends. There was a boy I saw there, and we had the same lunch period at school. I used to watch him leave the cafeteria early, so he could make it to class before anyone else. Eventually I got to know him, and his name was Teddy. Theodore is what my dad likes to call him.
Teddy and I hung out after church sometimes, and I was sure to establish we were JUST FRIENDS. You see, I was going off to college the next year, and I wanted nothing to do with a relationship. I was determined to meet my guy in college, get married, travel the world, and raise one big happy family just like in the movies. There was one problem though, I started to like Teddy. He was the friend I talked to the most at my school. He was interested in my story, as I was in his. I kept my crush silent, but we kept hanging out more.
Eventually, one Sunday after church, Teddy and I kissed. You bet I was thinking “EMILY WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” the whole time. I dropped him off at his house, and by the time I made it back to the apartment my family was living in I had a polite text stating “We shouldn’t have done that. We should just be friends.” Fine, I thought. I totally agree! That was stupid on my part. Fast forward a month, and Teddy had not talked to me one time!
On my 18th birthday he texted me. He knew it was my birthday. He didn’t say anything about it. I missed having him in my life, so I dropped all grudges and asked him “Why didn’t you talk to me for forever?” He replied with something to the effect of “I realized once I wasn’t around you what a good friend you are and how much you care about me. Wanna hang out Friday?”
Who wouldn’t take him back? As a friend of course. Or so I thought. Friday came, and we hung out. We kissed again. The rest is history! It hasn’t always been easy. I was a grade level older, so we were apart when I started college a few hours away. Then, Teddy chose to go to a different school than me once he graduated. That was SO hard. After one semester, I was going to break up with him until he told me he was transferring schools to MY COLLEGE!
After that we were in the same organization, worked at the same summer camp, had amazing friends, and were even neighbors for a year! Last year I graduated, and moved back home with my family to save money. That meant Teddy and I were apart AGAIN! The whole year of 2018 has been weird and difficult to navigate, but our hearts have only continued to grow together.
Okay, you have all the background knowledge. Let’s get to the engagement story!
We were at my Grandparent’s house, where we start every Thanksgiving. It felt a little weird as I kept getting hushed out of rooms. My mom was telling everyone some news that I wasn’t allowed to hear. After we left, we went to visit Teddy’s grandpa a few minutes away. As soon as we got there, he accidentally let the words “let me see that ring!” slip from his mouth.
I played it cool, and acted like he was talking about my college ring (good one, right?). On the way to my aunt’s house Thanksgiving evening we were reminiscing on what his grandpa said and Teddy apologized for the potential hint that comment was to me. I remember the moment so clearly when he said “I think Papa thought that because I called him last week to tell him I was going to do it on Satur-DANGIT. I’m so sorry. I haven’t even received the ring yet.”
Saturday was his family’s Thanksgiving at his family’s ranch, and just a day past our four and a half year dating anniversary. He had tears in his eyes as if he had just spoiled the best surprise in the world. He had the same nervous look on his face as he did when he told me he loved me when he was 17. I played it cool, secretly gushing over the fact that I might be engaged so soon. We parted ways that evening and I wouldn’t see Teddy again until Saturday.
The following 24 hours was ROUGH. I was mad at myself for being so nosy about getting engaged. I was sad that Teddy accidentally told me the news. There was disbelief that I could be engaged to my best friend in just one day. I was hopeful that it would happen, even though Teddy told me he had not received the ring yet. I didn’t tell a soul that I knew it was coming. While everyone around me thought they were keeping the biggest secret, I was the one keeping the secret from them! I wished so badly it would be over so we could all just know! I cried myself to sleep Friday night, zero percent looking forward to the next day.
It’s Saturday. I woke up late, eyes puffy from my feelings flowing out from my eyes the night before. I curled my hair, and prayed that it was the day. A piece of hope still lived inside of me, and it felt like I was in high school waiting for Teddy to talk to me again. I put on my sweater, grabbed my famous cookie brownies, and headed out the door.
Once I got to the ranch, I tried to assess every piece of what was happening around me. Were people talking about me? Was anyone acting different? We all ate together and nothing seemed different. Disappointment set in again. I sulked over to my car and put on a sweatshirt, accepting that it was not my day. About five minutes later, his brother’s fiancee told me I had to put my nice clothes back on because Teddy’s mom wanted to take family pictures. I sighed and did what I was told. Teddy walked to his car and told me to wait a second. He walked back with something in his hands, a photo book.
I make Teddy a photo book every year full of all our adventures and give it to him for Christmas. He caught up to me walking away and said “Hey, I know things didn’t go the way you planned today and I’m sorry I got your hopes up. The least I could do is make you a memory book of all of the cool things we’ve done the last four and a half years.” I immediately started crying. I was upset that day over absolutely nothing! We made our way down by the front pond, and I closed the book. Then, sweet Teddy got down on one knee and I immediately said “NO. WHAT IN THE WORLD?!” After I picked my jaw up off the floor, of course I said yes!
Here’s the best part, Teddy’s brother and his fiancee hid in the trees capturing the WHOLE thing on their camera! His whole family was watching from the porch and cheering us on. I will hold those moments dear to my heart for the rest of eternity, that’s for sure. Those memory books mean so much to Teddy every Christmas morning, and I can’t wait to put my special engagement day book next to his on a shelf in our future house. Teddy is my rock, my best friend in the whole world, and I know our life together will be nothing short of an adventure. If you would have told me as an 18 year old I would be engaged to a boy I met in high school, I would have laughed it off.
When I look back at Ted and I’s relationship I see so evidently the love that The Lord has for us. I am learning that I am my best when I’m pursuing my passions, and invite Teddy to share those big scary dreams with me. I am by best when I’m chasing after slow weekends filling in the gaps of the weeks we have missed together. Society tells us that fast is good, dating is nothing but casual, and marriage is often temporary. Teddy and I are pushing back on that narrative. We believe in the joy of simplicity, that purposeful dating is essential, and a successful marriage has intentionally putting God and each other first at the foundation of it all.
I cannot believe that such a special day has passed, but I am so thrilled to plan our future together. I plan on blogging the whole thing for our memories, and of course your enjoyment! The wedding date is set for June 1st. It is all going down right back in the very spot that we got engaged and has had a piece of our hearts for years, his family’s ranch.
Do you have wedding advice? Are you engaged too? Drop a comment giving me all the details! We can’t wait!
Everything I was wearing that day is totally a favorite! Here are links to absolutely everything (Including the ring!)
Ring- my ring is from a U.S. based company that grows sustainable diamonds and employs women! How cool is that?! I love the simplicity of it as well. Teddy had a great experience ordering from them and with the customer service team (shoutout to Hannah from Vrai and Oro)! https://vraiandoro.com/