Happy Birthday, Luke! We're getting married!
The secret is out and all my sweet, sweet clients have been informed - Luke and I are getting married! But today I don't care to talk about wedding with you, though I'm preparing a plethora of posts about my planning experiences. I want to share with you the morning I found out I would become Mrs. Sharrett.
It was a snowy Saturday morning, and Luke had gotten into town later than he planned the evening before. Our weekend previous had been a great time, the Lord had worked a good bit in our relationship through our days together and though I got my nails done and guessed a proposal was in the cards, I still wasn't completely believing that it was going to actually happen.
Luke rolled into town Friday night and was bopping around the house, trying to serve me in whatever way possible, almost annoyingly so. "Babe, can I do anything for you, because right now I just want to serve you and care for you and move a mountain for you if I can." If we've met, you know I like to do for myself and care for others and on top of that, I'm not the most wild and excitable person. Well, Luke is and bopping, bouncing and wildness doesn't begin to define the joy this guy has overflowing at times. After cooking dinner and listening to Luke go on and on about all sorts of things, I curled up in my bed and Luke hit the couch. I had no idea it was going to snow as I don't have a TV and rarely keep tabs on the weather. I just know I was sleepy and my wild, jumping best friend had come to town for the weekend and I needed some rest.
6am rolls around Saturday morning and I wake to a pat on my back and Luke saying, "Hey babe, I'm going to go for a run, OK? I'll be back in a little while." Pretty sure I replied with a growl and something about him being a nut. Off he went and Leila curled back up next to my side. Weird, that kid is weird is all I could think as I drifted back to sleep. It got weirder.
I get a text that it's too cold to run and he's coming back. Then around 7am, the back door opens and in he comes. In typical Luke fashion, he hung his head over the bed and kissed me hello. And I got rained on in my bed. He was dripping with snow and had the coldest, wet face. I told him to take a shower and let me be - "take your drippy, sweaty self to the shower." Pretty sure that's how it went down.
Shortest shower ever commenced.
Once out, Luke starts talking about a project he must do for folk studies in which he'll need to photograph a person and items that are meaningful to that people group. Oh kayy. "And I need you to be in the pictures, so get up, take a shower, be pretty and do your hair long and straight like I like it so my classmates can see my hot girlfriend." Uhm. Oh kay. It is 7am on a Saturday after I've worked a long week. No thanks. Luke was gracious and let me sleep about 10 more minutes before all but pulling me out of the bed. While I was taking a shower and not allowed to even start my coffee, this photo was made.
While I was drying my hair (sooooo slowly, texting with friends, making breakfast plans with my sister, too) this photo was made.
And when I went to put my makeup on, Luke had to 'go outside and make some pictures in the snow. Oh, and take the trash out.' If you haven't met Luke yet, let me just tell you he is the most gracious, serving, helping, encouraging and patient person I know. Taking the trash out when there wasn't really any trash and making photos in the snow and trying to help by walking Leila twelve times was pretty normal. Rushing me to get ready and be cute and do my hair like this and like that, so his classmates would think I'm cute, was NOT.
I had even text my friend, Brie, that I had to go because Luke was rushing me and being all odd. Normally he doesn't care if it takes me 12 hours to get ready and I look like a bus hit me. He's glad to wait and he still thinks I look like a babe. Really. I have no idea how the Lord thought I should be lined up with this kid. Amazing.
Nothing was adding up, but I was sleepy and starting to get flustered as I noticed all my jeans were wet and the balance of them dirty. I don't do well when rushed and certainly do worse when Leila won't stop barking at nothing, none of my clothes are clean and I'm not allowed my standard wakeup cup of coffee. But sweet Luke had other plans.
After asking 20 times if I was ready and if I was coming down soon, I walked downstairs; clean dresses were my only options and my hair had been straightened. I still had NO IDEA that Luke was going to ask me to be his wife. I really thought I was just to have grace and patience while I helped him with his weird, oddly-deadlined class project. And so it began. From here forward, I'll caption these images with the words Luke was generally saying to me as he passed over items for me to hold.
"Things that remind me of us: Postage stamps. So many postcards and letters back and forth between Shelbyville, Ky. and Arlington, Va. over the course of the last year."
"Things that remind me of us: Peppermints. Fun memories of feeding peppermints to racehorses on her parent's farm in Finchville, Ky."
"Things that remind me of us: Our favorite hymn. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson, 1757.""Things that remind me of us: The White House. Wonderful memories of watching the President arrive at the White House aboard Marine One.""Things that remind me of us: The Kentucky Derby. The day she caught my eye.""Things that remind me of us: Train tickets. Traveling from Washington to Baltimore on Amtrak to fly out and see her.""Things that remind me of us: Dogs. Playing with our pups, Leila (Westie) and Amy (Yellow Lab)""Things that remind me of us: Memory Cards. Being professional photographers together."This is my patient face. Not so bad, eh? I still had no idea what was going on. I did, however, start thinking and maybe even mentioned that this school project was strangely all about me. Clearly suspicious. "Things that remind me of us: Crackers. Our first date at Cracker Barrel in 2011." This is when I knew something was up. I also had noticed an odd man standing at the end of the street in a giant coat for a long period of time.
Luke put down his bag of things and made the same face he had one night before he felt like he was going to be sick. I asked if he was ok, and he just kept rustling around in the snow on the sidewalk. I looked once more down the street at the odd man, and noticed he had turned my way and had the same jawline as our friend, Aaron Borton. And then I saw the camera. And then I looked back at Luke and Aaron made the following images. And then I made this awful face. However, I'm so, so thankful for this image that Luke made. So blown away by the planning and the secrecy that led to this perfectly documented proposal. He gave me the teeniest ring that his great-grandmother had worn. He told me the tale of the ring. That his great-grandfather had supposedly won the diamond in a craps game in Europe during WWII. Be still my heart. An heirloom and a story and trusting me with such a special family gem made me cry, round two. Oh my gracious! I will forever be so thankful for all of these images. For the fantastic snow that fell that morning. For the quiet and personal way in which Luke decided to ask me to be his wife. I couldn't be more pumped to become Mrs. Luke Sharrett this spring. So. Freaking. Honored. To get to do life with Luke, to learn from him and serve folks beside him. Happy Birthday babe! Thank you for loving me well!
Oh, and remember how Luke was late Friday night? He had stopped to ask my parents and was waiting on my Dad to return to town, who didn't until much later that night. So the Saturday morning run? Yep. Luke left in his running clothes, changed into proper attire in his car and drove to Finchville in pouring snow to ask my Dad if he could marry me. He drove back, changed again in the car and realized he was neither snowy or wet, so he rubbed snow all over his face and body, thus the very drippy runner greeting me upon his return. And Leila barking so much on a quiet morning? Well, she was barking at our friend Aaron who was waiting outside during my slow shower, blow dry and outfit choosing. What a champ. We can't than you enough, Aaron!