I had just decided to pay attention to what my boyfriend was saying as we stood suspended a hundred feet in the air on a three foot by three foot platform. (Read how we landed on this platform here).
Right as I turned to face him, he finished pulling out a black box from his pocket and dropped to one knee (he had been loosening his harness earlier in order to have enough slack on it to be able to go to one knee). I realized what was happening at this point (I pick up on things quickly, can you tell?), and started crying.
Through both of our tears, I don't remember exactly what was said (he has the whole thing written down somewhere!), but it was something along the lines of,
"Sarah, just like today is an adventure, life is and will be an adventure too. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather adventure through life together with... Will you marry me?"
I sobbed out a "yes", he slipped a beautiful shiny thing on my finger (he later said that he was terrified of dropping the ring into the canyon), and stood up to hug me. I then remembered something important and quickly pulled away from the hug and asked,
"Wait... did you ask my Dad?"
He replied with a satisfactory "yes" and we cried and hugged some more. After I had calmed down and gathered my thoughts, I told him, "Let's take out your phone and take a picture." He said,
"Well we can do that, but my parents are actually down there on the ground taking pictures and videoing the whole thing."
Commence another round of sobs. Having someone take pictures and video the whole thing was truly just icing on the cake. The truly miraculous part about his family taking pictures and video was that I did not spot them once (I was looking for them once I knew they were around!). They had gotten there a little after us and had managed to slink around enough corners and hide in just the right places, that I didn't see them as they took pictures of us on the ropes course and the zipline.
People, Cave of the Winds is not that big of a place. It has one entrance, one parking lot and not a ton of places to hide. Not to mention that Alex's 6 foot dad, 6'2 brother, and 5'8 mother were all present to take pictures and video.
I may or may not have married into a family of spies.
After about twenty minutes of just standing on the platform trying to regain feeling back into my extremities and thoughts back into my brain (it was textbook shock, people), I realized I still had to get back down to the ground. I must have gotten a rush of adrenaline because all of a sudden I felt energized to swing around the ropes course like a little monkey. I had just gotten engaged... there wasn't a thing I couldn't do now!
Thankfully this incident of invincibility ended well, and Alex and I both safely made it back down to solid ground where the guys manning the ropes course congratulated us and gave Alex major man points for such a cool proposal.
It was now time for the cave tour (the main attraction at this place, mind you), and I will tell you that I remember two things from a two hour underground, lantern-lit, cave tour.
#1 I was engaged
#2 I didn't have cell phone service
You guys, no cell phone service for two hours after you're engaged is excruciating! I was bursting with news and was walking around a dark cave! We finished the tour and Cave of the Winds landed up giving us a souvenir photo for free (they were the best-totally accommodating the entire day, making the experience that much better!)
We get back to the car and I call my Mom. No answer. I call my Dad. No answer. My mom texts me that they were at a youth conference and wouldn't be available for a phone call till later that night (another 3-4 hours).
I figured I probably shouldn't tell my parents that I was engaged via text so I waited. And waited. And waited. I didn't want to tell anyone before my parents (obviously), but when I got home to change into nice clothes for a celebratory dinner, my roommate Lauren was there and I couldn't help yelling "I'm engaged" as I whipped out my sparkling left hand right as I walked in the door.
Finally, after finishing dinner my parents were available for a phone call. I practically shouted the news into the phone, they congratulated me and I hung up and began calling close friends. The next day or two was a whirlwind of calling friends and family, and then, of course, making it facebook official.
(our celebratory dinner)
Alex had indeed asked my Dad the weekend we went camping, and my Dad did a great job of acting normal (I trust no one anymore). Everything perfectly fell into place to make the day special and memorable. This included the fact that I randomly had decided to put makeup on that morning (potentially making no difference at all because of my absurd amount of tears), Alex's family miraculously made it through traffic that was threatening to make them miss photographing the entire event, and the staff at Cave of the Winds who was so helpful (to the point of letting my crazy boy loosen his harness on the ropes course).
My engagement day was perfect, memorable, better than I ever expected, and truly
the day I never saw coming.