I have had to tell this story a million times in the past week so I thought I would share it here as well.
I know that she didn't want some big over the top event (so I stopped pursuing the Orlando Magic game big screen idea) and preferred something smaller and around family. So I decided that I was ready just after a great Christmas with both of our families and was going to pull the trigger just after midnight while we celebrated new years eve at her families house. It is a great date to propose since it was 1/1/11 which had significance to me for obvious reasons. I had already had the talk with her father and gotten his blessings and he was the only one that knew that I was going to pop the question that night. I get along great with her family and I knew that her mother would be as excited as she would be. Unfortunately, as the night drug on, her and her mother both fell asleep on the couches. Her father was cool and kept trying to keep them awake, but we were fighting a losing battle so I told him that I would figure something else out and we started driving home.
If you know me, you know that I always have a backup plan.
It was about 11:30 or so while we were driving home and one of my other ideas popped into mind so I decided to go with that plan. I drove very slowly, and kept her thinking that we were going home. I took a different route that took us by our church and when we got near it I just suggested that we stop by for a little bit since we were in the area. She thought it was sort of strange since the church was most certainly closed, but she knows that I can be weird like that sometimes and went with it. Unfortunately, even though I drove slowly to try to get the timing right, we still got there about 5 minutes until 12 and I wanted to do it right after midnight, so I had to stall. I decided to drive around the church (it is a big church) and just pretend like I was looking at the other building and areas just because "I have never looked around here before". I stalled until about 1 minute before midnight and then pulled the car around to the front of the church and parked. I figured that would work out perfectly that right when got in front of the church (which was closed) I could do my thing. That's when the next hurdle appeared...the security guard.
So here we are, at almost midnight, driving around a closed church, parking, and getting out and walking up to the front doors so of COURSE a security guard would find that suspicious and drive up! Being the social engineer that I am, i scrambled towards him quickly to intercept him still trying not to ruin my surprise as much as possible. I have this ring in my pocket, but the girlfriend right behind me, and I had to get past this security guard without giving away my secret. I just told him that we were had been out of town for the holidays and hadn't gone to church and were only staying for a minute (all true). He thought it strange but said "Ok, I guess".
Now it got tough. I should also mention that this church, and this bench, is where we first met and had our very first date which is why it was my original plan anyway. I only had a few seconds left before midnight and I had my whole speech in mind and was trying to start but she said that it was cold outside and she kept grabbing me telling me to keep her warm. I pushed her away and told her to wait a minute, but she kept wrapping herself in my arms for warmth until finally i grabbed her by the shoulders and said "I'm trying to tell you something.". I told her that I brought her here because it was where we had our first date and where it all started and that I loved her very much and that as the new year started, I didn't want to spend another year without her in my life. I got down on one knee, looked into her teared up eyes and asked her to marry me. Right at that exact moment not only did we have the figurative fireworks going off between us, but we literally had fireworks going off in the air because it was new years eve.
Oh yeah...she said "Yes!"
Sometime you just know when things are right. When the fireworks went off, and I slid that ring on her finger, my whole world felt right for the first time in my whole life.