Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Our engagement picture from 1991

Seventeen years ago today Shannon proposed to me. We were both at UNI at the time. He asked me to get all dressed up to go out for a surprise dinner, and he picked me up at my apartment. We took off and drove, and drove, and drove. It soon became clear that we were heading down to Des Moines. He took me to the Crystal Tree restaurant and we had the "Sweetheart Dinner" of prime rib, millionaire potatoes, and dessert.

After dinner we drove around a bit. I'm not that familiar with Des Moines, but Shannon knows his way around because he grew up there. We stopped at a park overlooking the lights of downtown Des Moines. He suggested we get out and walk a bit. It was COLD, so I was reluctant. He finally convinced me, and once we were in a nice, picturesque site, he got down on one knee, and recited the following poem that he had written for me.

It is fitting that this day is the one chosen
For me to express my eternal love for you.
Even though this is a cold winter day
My heart is beating with a fire that cannot be extinguished.
That fire is the love I have for you.
And now I ask you the question which will
Intertwine forever our lives.
Though the question is simple and the answer is brief,
The meaning is sacred and pure.
Jodi, as the stars and God are my witness
I give you this diamond,
A creation which is able to withstand any furious storm.
So it is to represent our love for each other.
I ask you now if I could have your life as mine.
Jodi, will you marry me?

As I tearfully said "Yes!", he slipped the ring onto my finger. On our way back to college that evening, we stopped in Gladbrook at my grandparents house to share our news with them, and then stopped in Reinbeck to share with my parents. Shannon had called them earlier in the day to let them know what his plans were. Rather than officially asking for permission to marry me, he left a message on their answering machine while they were at work.

I love Shannon more every year we are together. He is an awesome husband and father, and I am very proud of the man he has become.

"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain." Proverbs 31:10-11