Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A little family, a little bling. -The night of our engagement.

Ok, so I know I should be telling you the long sappy story about Ray's and my engagement, but there is a different story that needs to be told first in order to truly appreciate the way in which he proposed.

It begins with this guy.

Oh how we have both changed!
Well, it actually begins with Charles and Janet.
Here's the backstory: Uncle Chuck is my grandma's brother. He attended SIU back in the day... Like way back, back when there were buildings that aren't around anymore, and when the strip was still open on Halloween, and they had to use a chisel and stone, I mean pen and paper, to take notes. And upon landing a job in Carbondale, he ended up getting married and started a family. 

But, because of distance and schedules, I only saw his family a handful of times: Mule Day, weddings, funerals, and not much else. However, since I came to SIU, I am around them much, much more. I see them at sporting events,  we go out to eat, and even had Thanksgiving together. Which is part of the reason I love SIU, because come to school here has given me the opportunity to be close to a part of family that I hadn't really been before, and that meaning of opportunity is one that I cannot justifiably describe in a blog post.

But it's worth a shot. Uncle Chuck and Aunt Jan have been my life savers these first four years. They have  helped me to avoid terrible landlords, have told me who to call and where to go for lots of things, and even offered their home to me. This list can continue on forever because the amount that they do for me is honestly indescribable, and I am certain that there is NO way I could be making it through school without them. 

Uncle Chuck and Aunt Janet, thank you for all you do.
Then we have Jenny, who for some reason it took over two years of me being down here for us to actually hang out. But, we now have fairly regular dinner/movie nights though. That whole, you can talk to your friends about everything in your life, but your family just gets you in a way friends can't? Yeah, having Jenny around just to talk to about pretty much everything with is beyond awesome. That and knowing that our hangout nights include comfy sweats and often a chick flick :)

Yes, I creeped her Facebook for this picture.
And last, but not least we have the Davis family. I have to admit that despite my love of Uncle Chuck, Aunt Jan, and Jenny, most of my nights with my family are spent at the Davis home in their basement avoiding tornadoes, I mean, babysitting their children.
The three of us at their wedding.
You already met Avery. But here is a more recent picture:
Avery, AP, Big A, "Tink" 
There is also Aiden Oliver.
Aiden, AO, Little A, "Goose," or as I call him "Monster"
These two boys have an incredibly large place in my heart. I babysit them frequently and look forward to my nights with the A-Team. In fact, I would much, MUCH rather spend a Friday night tucking these two into bed than being around horribly obnoxious drunk college kids. Thankfully, I have a fiancé who feels the same way. Fiancé. ...Sorry just wanted to say it again. Anyway! Because I spend lots of nights at the Davis home, Ray has started to tag along on my babysitting adventures. He even did a solo gig a few weeks ago. (I think I was more terrified of what could happen than Patty was.) But my man pulled through and reminded me again of why I want to marry him. He is going to be a terrific dad someday.

I am straying from the main topic. Family. I love them. I love that on the night Ray asked me out in October, he went with me to babysit the boys. I love that in-between basketball practices and fraternity meetings Ray comes over when I am babysitting to see the boys. And I love that they seem to love him just as much. Especially Monster (Aiden), who absolutely adores Ray.

Which is why I adore that Ray makes an effort to be a part of my family and to include them in our life together. Like on the night he proposed to me.

AP had peed in the kitchen. Aiden had an explosive, nearly vomit-inducing diaper. And the rice we were eating for supper was burnt. But after a huge sigh of exhaustion, Ray handed me a piece of chocolate, and inside the wrapper was a beautiful, perfect ring.
Told you it was perfect.
I was crying so much that mascara was all down my face, and Avery was staring at me trying to figure out why I am acting so nuts-o. Ray looked lovingly at me and said, "I may never be able to take you around the world, and we may not get much farther than burnt rice in the kitchen with Aiden and Avery, but even with all the uncertainty of the future, I know I want you by my side. ...Will you marry me?"

So was the night of our proposal filled with a secret photographer, or a huge engagement party, or the use of the megatron at the SIU Arena (which I had reminded him was available for use during the game on Valentine's Day, and the day he would be center court for Senior Day...)? No. But, it was filled with seeing my cousins, Jenny, Patty, and Titi, Avery saying "Uh-oh" as he peed all over the kitchen floor, and Aiden screaming at the top of his lungs until Ray held him. It was filled with my fiancé sneaking behind my back to get to the Davis house early to let them know he was going to propose, and Avery acting really excited after I showed him my ring even though he had no clue what was really happening.

It was the perfect combination of my future husband including the one thing that means the world to me and one of the most memorable nights of our relationship, my family and our engagement.

And that, my friends, is why I said yes.

P.S. For more pictures from that night, check out Patty's blog here


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  2. You have me crying all over again! I'm so happy for you and can't wait to meet Ray. Love you! Diana

  3. We love you both SO much & are so excited to welcome Ray into the family! I know both Tink & Goose will be happy to keep him around. ;)