I'm a hopeless romantic. I hope some of you are, too. This story is for you!
Joshua and I discussed marriage very early in our relationship. Neither of us really wanted to date if we didn't at least have a good idea that dating would lead to marriage. I mean, why date with the expectation to break up? So we talked about it early on. We started dating in September of 2009. By December, we had pretty much decided that we were going to get married. We originally wanted the wedding to be in December 2010. However, it was my parents who changed that.
The two of us visited my parents over Christmas break of 2009-10. Joshua took a bus back to Nebraska, and I flew back the next day. My parents took me to the airport, and on the way there my dad rather suddenly said, referring to Joshua, "So. Is this the one?"
I was a little startled but I said yes. "Does he think so, too?" Dad asked.
"Yes," I said.
"So," Dad asked, "do you have a date set?"
"Dad!" I protested. "Well, we were thinking this December."
That wouldn't work, Dad said. He's a minister of music, and Joshua's dad is a pastor. Christmas is one of the busiest times for both of them...not to mention the weather usually isn't great for traveling.
So Dad suggested Memorial Day weekend of 2011. I didn't like the sound of that...it was nearly a year and a half away. So long to wait! Joshua wasn't thrilled either. But we agreed that that would be the wedding date.
Even at this point we weren't officially engaged. In February I knew Joshua was looking for a ring and planning on calling my dad to ask his permission to ask me to marry him. We had a delightful Valentine's Day, despite a massive blizzard that day. One week later, on February 21, a Sunday, I knew he was going to call my dad and ask for my hand. I knew, however, that Joshua didn't have the ring yet, so I didn't think he was going to ask me yet. That evening we met for supper and I could tell by his expression that the conversation with my dad had gone well. We were planning on relaxing in the evening by watching a movie. I wanted Joshua to see Pride and Prejudice, although he's not crazy about Jane Austen. We were in the downstairs lounge of my dorm building, the "mirror lounge," because one whole wall is covered with a mirror. Most of the dividers surrounding the lounge area were mostly closed. I was already changed into pajamas and was setting up the movie on my computer on a low table by a couch. I got up and turned around from starting the movie--and Joshua was down on one knee.
"Jaimie Elise Huebschman," he asked, "will you marry me?"
I was so surprised, because I hadn't expected him to ask me yet. For a few seconds I forgot to say anything, just stood there with my hands over my mouth and tears forming in my eyes. "Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!" I finally exclaimed, and pulled Joshua to his feet and gave him a big hug and kiss.
He knew that the only way to really surprise me was to ask me when I least expected it, and he certainly was right about that! The rest of the evening we hardly paid attention to the movie, but just kept looking at each other and giddily exclaiming, "We're engaged! We're going to get married!"
I could hardly believe that he had asked me while I was wearing pajamas, but he didn't mind. I got my camera and we took pictures together to mark the moment. We decided to not tell anyone except our parents until I actually had a ring to wear. The next day we called our parents to tell them, and they told no one else, not even our siblings.
That week was a busy one, and it was so hard to keep our engagement a secret! I was in a play and I wasn't free in the evenings much with rehearsals, and that next weekend were the performances. By Sunday the 28th I was done with the play, however. After church we had lunch together in the school cafeteria, and then Joshua walked me back to my room. My roommate happened to be gone at the time. Almost as soon as we got in my room Joshua got down one one knee a second time, and this time he pulled a small box out of his pocket. Inside was the perfect ring, exactly what I had been wanting: white gold with a diamond solitaire, nothing more. It was beautiful, and I cried again as he slid it on my finger. We took more pictures--this time with our hands, and the ring sparkling on my finger.
After that we started sharing our engagement. Our parents told our siblings, and Monday morning we sat beside friends in chapel and they noticed the ring on my hand. (Those friends are engaged to each other now, and the girl was my roommate last year!)
Most people were excited and happy for us. The people whose opinions we really valued were genuinely happy for and supportive of us. Most people were surprised. Some were doubtful, because of our young age or our short dating period. Even now when we tell people we're married most people who don't already know us are surprised because yes, we are young.
At our wedding the pastor made a point in his sermon of telling us, "No, you're not too young, no matter what anyone says." But that's a story for another time. :)