After our trip to California, we kept dating, kept falling in love, and kept cracking each other up. An award-winning combination, just so you know. Tracie had already met my family that summer, (minus Ammon & Lynette’s branch) and they liked her and she liked them. So, they paid for us to fly to Texas for Christmas. While there, she finally met Ammon & Lynette & their kids (the cutest on the planet, fyi) Carly & Wesley. Everyone loved everyone, so I got the thumbs up to marry her. Not that I was waiting for it, but it’s still a nice gesture. I don’t remember a whole lot of what we did in Texas that time, except for one thing. My parents live near a lake. Actually, across the street from it. It’s a manmade lake and my friends and I used to fish in it. The subdivision is one of several with a lake. I took Tracie to one where in the middle is an island with a gazebo. There in the moonlight I knelt down and “practice proposed” to her. I don’t remember what I said, which I’m kind of sad about, because it was completely spontaneous and sincere. But part of me is glad I don’t remember, because the magic of that moment can’t be duplicated. She said yes. Now all I needed was the ring.
We had prayed about it and both of us received our answer. (Tracie needed some help from both our Bishop and the Stake Patriarch, but once she knew, she knew.) I didn’t want to go into debt for the ring, so I waited for my tax return to return so I could pay for it in full. I cannot express the stress and excitement and agony as I waited for the return to come. Once it came, I realized I didn’t know how I was going to propose. As I’ve said, I’ve always tried to give Tracie my best. She deserved the best proposal. And I didn’t know how to do it.
I asked everybody. A lot of people gave suggestions and ideas, one offered to buy us dinner, but I give my cousin Justin the most credit, because I actually used his idea.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to surprise her. I tried though. I really tried. But Tracie isn’t the easiest person to surprise, and I’m not the best person at surprising. While on my way to work that day, (I proposed on March 4, 1 year and 2 months after we first started officially dating.) she asked me, as she had for about a month, if I had gotten my tax return back yet. I couldn’t think of the answer. I hesitated, then gave her a very weak “…no.” So she already knew something was up. Like I said, I was calling around and asking everyone what to do. I figured my best shot would be to be ambiguous, because that way I wouldn’t be caught in a lie, but Tracie wouldn’t know. Well that plan backfired. We got into an argument because she thought I was just messing with her. Finally I told her, “do you want me to tell you when I’m going to propose?” she said, “yes, I want to make sure I look nice.” So I said, “then look nice.” (real romantic, I know.)
I took her to the park by her parents house where we had a picnic courtesy of Kneaders. I then told her to close her eyes. I then left a trail of rose petals to the playground.
(Warning! Extreme cheesiness follows. Those with weak stomachs or gag reflexes may want to skip this next part. But it was a wedding proposal between two very cheesy people, what do you expect? Ok. I warned you.)
I told her to be my wife, you have to pass several tests. First was a test of balance. I pushed her on the swing for awhile, and told her she passed. Her reward was the movie “Walk the Line” which we saw in the theaters and just loved. Her next test was a kissing test. Well, you know it, I know it, Tracie knows it, she aced it. So I gave her a pack of Hershey’s Kissables, one of her favorite candies. I don’t remember what the other tests were, but they involved things on the playground, and each one involved a gift. The gifts were an expansion of the Sims, one of her favorite games, the board game mousetrap, one of her favorite games as a kid, and finally, I told her the last test was to go down the slide, the Corkscrew one. So she did, and as she came to the bottom, there I was with the ring, on one knee. I don’t remember what exactly I said, but I remember she cried, and of course she said yes.