Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dave's side of the story

I don’t think anyone knows this but just maybe a few people. I have had this whole thing planned out for a LONG time. I just had to convince Loren that it was the right day to say yes. We have had this ongoing thing about "is today the day". I would jokingly ask "Today?" And Loren would respond with either "yes "or "no, not today". About a year ago now I started planting the seed in Loren’s head about going to NYC with mom. She just kind of blew it off. As time went on I kept saying that you should go to NYC with mom and the idea kind of grew on her. Mom helped a lot along the way by saying how exciting that it would be (little did mom know why I wanted Loren to go at the time).

When the right time came and Loren was for sure going to be able to go to NYC I had lots of things to do in a short period of time. Just before UA’s spring break I told my mom and dad what I was planning to do. I think that thought it was a great idea and were very proud of me. The day after Loren left to go to the beach for 10 days I put my plan in action. Mom was coming to Birmingham to meet her sisters for lunch so I decided that I would just be so bored that I would drive up and join them (at least that's what I told her). Loren had no idea why I was going. I had to go to pick up the “little” diamond that my great aunt had given me to give to the right girl. A week later I made the trip to Jasper to pick out the band and have the ring set. So I had most of my duties done and she had no clue. I bought plane tickets and I booked a hotel room just a few blocks down the road from where she was going to stay. I only had one thing left to do on my list and that was what I thought was going to be the hardest. I had to ask her mom and dad!

A-day was coming up and her mom and dad were coming into town. One week left until the big day. I thought that this would be a great time to ask because Sam loves football and his daughter. Maybe I could just slip it in right after a touchdown. But the rainy weather kept them from joining the other 85000 crazy people that came to watch practice so I was out of luck. I had to make the drive to Pell City. And let me assure you that it was the longest 1 ½ hour drive I have ever taken. Once I got there instead of making a left into their neighborhood I took a right into the bank parking lot to gather my thoughts. I called them to be sure they were home and off I went. Once in the house I made small talk for a minute or so and then I said “Well now I am going to tell you the real reason I am here.” You would have thought that somebody propped both of their mouths open. I asked Sam for his permission and his first statement was “That’s shocking.” What are you supposed to say to that? After what I thought was the LONGEST talk of my life both her mom and dad gave me the go ahead. The rest of the story is history. Or at least Loren told it in her post last night.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What a WONDERFUL Weekend

So, as many of you know, Dave's mom and I recently took a little weekend trip with her seventh and eighth graders to New York on their semiannual field trip. This is a field trip I have been hearing about for the last TWO years. A field trip Dave has been pushing me to go on since he came back two springs ago. Yes, I must admit, I was slightly apprehensive about traipsing off with 40 middle school kids, but to tell you the truth, I had more fun than I remember having on my own field trips... And I'll tell you why!

After getting over the 3 A.M. wake up in order to get to the airport in enough time to get bodies accounted for and baggage claimed, I found myself utterly excited. I was about to embark on an adventure I had NEVER been on before. From skyscrapers and underwater tunnels to thousands of different languages being spoken at every turn, this was NOTHING like "sweet home Alabama". We did the normal tourist things, shopping on 5th Avenue, a Broadway show - Shrek, but unlike most young people my age, I was yearning for those monumental landmarks, those things that have made such an impact on our nation's history (little did I know, the price I would pay for that would be 15 miles worth of walking - ha!). But, as Friday and Saturday quickly disappeared the one place I had been looking forward to was approaching quickly.

On the agenda for Sunday morning was time in Central Park. This, my friends, was what I had been waiting for all weekend (besides getting to go into Tiffany's on Friday of course, but that's another story). With beautiful landscapes and historical landmarks just beyond each bend of the path, I was so excited to see all of these things one grows up hearing about. Much to my surprise, others on this trip had their reasons for looking forward to Central Park as well. As we entered the park at Strawberry Fields, Doug, our tour guide, explained its history and purpose while I, per usual, was trying to get the other non-English speaking tourist out of the way in order to get a good picture. In the process, Sandye starts waving for me to come to the front so she can take my picture and get Doug to tell me a little about Central Park. Now normally she would have taken the picture and given me my camera back, but on this occassion, she did not, but I didn't think much of it. While walking Jana calls and I can hear Sandye tell her that we are about to come around the corner at Bethesda Terrace and they quickly say their "good bye's". I make a small comment that it's unlike Jana to be up at such an hour, but once again, think nothing of it. We get to the top of the terrace and I stand in awe of the view. Sandye quickly insists that I take the long walk of stairs to the fountain in order for her to take a picture. She says, "Loren, you see that wizard down there? Go stand by him so I can get your picture." Reluctantly, I begin thinking to myself, "Um hum... This guy is a homeless man dressed up like a wizard, begging for food and she wants me to do what"? But (as my mom taught me) I followed directions and started walking. I didn't get far before turning around to glance back, hoping she would tell me I had gone far enough. But I hadn't. So I continued down a few more stairs, until again, I turned, hopping she would say, "ok". Oh, but no. She made me go ALL THE WAY to the fountain. And yes, I am still thinking that I am going to be kidnapped by the homeless wizard.

While standing in the front of the fountain, waiting for Sandye to take my picture (God knows it felt like an eternity), this voice from behind my left shoulder said, "Hey, I think I know you". And before I could lose my breakfast, run or start crying because I felt my fear had come true, Dave Ashley appeared.

{Side Note: Dave and his dad were supposed to be in Talladega all weekend at the race - NOT in New York}.

Long story short (and because I honestly don't remember half of what he said), all I could get out was, "What are you doing here". After saying that about 25 times, Dave finally looked at me, told me to shut up and pulled a little black crushed velvet looking ring box out of his pants pocket. At this moment, I felt like I was living the very fairy tale every little girl hopes to have. While on his knee, a man playing the saxophone stepped out of the alcove, making every moment of this once in a lifetime event absolutely SPECTACULAR!

Kevin, the guy that had taken our group photo in Times Square on Friday night, had been capturing this whole thing with his camera. So, as I sit here, I am anxiously awaiting a nice little package from this wonderful man with (hopefully) the most beautiful pictures ever! Until then, though, here are some pics that Sandye took from the top of the terrace. I wish you ALL could have been there, but hopefully these picture will make you feel as if you were!

We took this picture in the lobby of the Met in front of this wonderful arrangement. It truly is one of my favorite photos of us!