This past Sunday, as Travis and I were driving to have dinner with my in-laws, we were chatting and realized that this was the weekend we got engaged three years ago. I know in the grand scheme of things, three isn’t that long, but right now, it seems like forever ago!

You’re going to see a lot of changes on the blog in coming weeks, like helpful wedding tips, marriage reflections and personal stories. I thought it would be fun to start it off with sharing our proposal story (which happened exactly three years ago today).

While I knew a proposal was coming (we had just finished a nine-week premarital seminar at church), I had NO idea it would be that weekend. He caught me completely off guard.
A few days before, I asked Travis what he wanted to do that weekend. He suggested we could, if the weather is nice, go out to White Rock Lake (where we go often) and go biking/roller blading (which we do often). I agreed.

Saturday morning, he texted me to say “good morning” and asked if I still want to go out to the lake. I said sure. He came to pick me up and brought me Starbucks. It was not unusual for him to bring me coffee on a Saturday morning but it was a little unusual this time since I didn’t ask (or gently hint) that I wanted any. When I brought this to his attention, he said he knows I like surprises (and Starbucks!) and that he was trying to love me better in ways I receive it. I buy it.

On the way out, he mentioned he was craving sushi and I said it was too bad we didn’t go to the lake a little later because we could’ve had a picnic. We decided to get sushi that night.

Important side story: The picnic and sushi are important details. For Travis’s birthday (2011), I brought him to White Rock with a picnic with sushi and a soccer ball to kick around, and this is when we became official boyfriend/girlfriend (sound a bit middle school-ish?) So, where we had that first picnic has become “our spot.” We spent a lot of time there – we’ve had numerous picnics out there. We trained for a half marathon at the lake. We roller blade and bike at the lake. On and on and on …

So, we got to the lake, hop on the bike and roller blades and take off. We got to a bridge and Travis stopped and said he wanted to turn back and go to the truck to get sunscreen and a hat because he felt like he was getting a sunburn. I agree. We turn around, I still clueless.

When we got up close to our spot, he stopped me and said, “Remember how we talked about having a picnic? Well, I actually set one up for us …”

And that’s when I knew what was about to happen. I was overwhelmed with excitement (oh, and tears, of course) as we walked to the blanket.

He had a backpack on the blanket and he pulled out a book he made me. On the first page, he made a list of a bunch of reasons why he loves me and at the bottom, he said he wanted to use the rest of the book to reflect on our relationship and to show me why he would make a good husband for me. It is filled with photos of us from the past year and a half, memories, adventures and promises for the future.

I could barely read the book through the tears.

After I finished reading, he proceeded to tell me a lot of sweet and wonderful things … None of which I can remember. The only thing I remember is that he made me two promises. He said, “I promise I will always lead our family and I will strive to be a godly leader and to always grow in my relationship with God. And two, I promise that I will always love you.”

Then he reached into his backpack, pulled out a reddish colored square box and asks me to stand up. He got on one knee and said, “Chelsea Quackenbush, will you make me the happiest man in the world … Will you marry me?”

I’m not even really sure if I said yes right away but I nodded through the tears and threw my arms around him. Some people jogging by clap for us and then I see my roommate hiding behind a tree, taking photos of the whole thing.

It was perfect, sweet and simple. We spent the next hour or so laying on the blanket, eating sushi and talking about the past two months of planning and ring hunting and everything. 

But it doesn’t end there. He told me we were going to dinner with our families and I needed to be ready by 4 p.m. So, we showered, called/texted everyone and headed to his parents’ house. When we pulled up, I noticed a lot of cars parked outside. That’s when I figured out what he had done – he planned a surprise engagement party with family and friends. It was such a sweet time of celebrating with people who have supported us and encouraged us throughout our relationship.

Do you have a memorable proposal story?? Please share it in the comments!

  1. Maria Montalvo says:

    I shed a tear!
    You did a great job describing how the day unfolded!
    On unrelated note, I took a look at your facebook page and I LOVE your current cover photo! This just made me like you a little more!

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