And lots of picture-taking:
I also had a very nice little New Year's Eve surprise- I got engaged! Johnny got up at 4 am, was driven to the Salt Lake City airport by our very dear friend, Jason Dale Lane, flew to Chicago, then to Springfield, then caught a ride into Mountain Home courtesy of Joseph and Julieta. I, on the other hand, woke up at like ten and just made pies and played with my nephews all day. Joseph and Julieta left the house early that afternoon to "clean the office, shop, and go out to eat," so they were gone most of the day. In reality, though, they were in Springfield ready to pick up my soon-to-be fiance. They got back to the house around 8 that night and we all went straight into the living room to open Christmas presents with Emily, Chris, and Tanner. During that, my dad whispered to me that he had a present for Mom hiding in the food storage room of the basement. He asked me to go grab it for him. So, off to the basement to retrieve a gift I went.
I got to the door to the food storage room, and taped to it was one of the coupons I gave to Johnny for Christmas. I immediately knew that my biggest dream had come true, and that my best friend and love of my life was on the other side of that door. I'm still convinced that I wished him there. I got so nervous and started shaking, my heart was pounding. I gained enough composure to open the door and turn on the light. Johnny was standing right before my eyes, in between the filing cabinets and water heaters, among dozens of number 10 cans and a year-supply of toilet paper, with an occasional mouse trap on the shelves around him. It was the most romantic thing I'd ever seen.
By some strange combination of excitedly running and nervously walking, I finally got to him and asked, "How did you do this?!" No time for answers, though. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I answered with an affirmative "uh-huh" and the next thing I knew, we were engaged to be married. We hugged and let that realization start to sink in, but not for long because we were both shaking so bad we had to go to the nearest couch in the basement before our legs gave out. After a few minutes, we gathered the strength to walk up the stairs and join my anxiously awaiting family in the living room to share the good news. They were all in on it! I was so happy Johnny proposed in Arkansas so I didn't have to tell the story to my family via skype and without real life hugs for everyone. It's okay if that's the most romantic proposal story you've ever heard- after all, we did have the food storage room and the element of surprise on our side.
I'm sure there are details I'm leaving out and that there are a million better ways to describe the best night of my entire life than what I just did, but this will have to do.
Also - one of my absolute favorite parts to this story is that Johnny picked out the ring all by himself! He knew I liked princess cut, but that's the only clue I gave him. I never had to go ring shopping at all, an event that would have, without a doubt, stressed me out so much and only highlighted the fact that I am the world's worst at making decisions. Here's my beautiful ring on my claw-like hand (real cute, I know):
Moral of the story: I'm in love. I had the perfect surprise proposal by the perfect guy for me. We will be sealed for time and all eternity in the LDS Bountiful, Utah Temple on April 23, 2011 at 11:30, and I can't wait.
Now it's time for some serious wedding planning. Wish me luck!