Dear Friend, A Night to Remember

Dear FRIEND!!!!

🙂 How are you!? I have to apologize for my delayed response and say that I did so enjoy your voicemail!

YES James and I got ENGAGED! a month and 22 days ago! such a sweet story! And did it not all start with that weekend you hosted him in your dorm room-our very first date??! So splendiferous to have such sweet memories and friends to share them with! 🙂 but of course you are getting an invite and we shall pray there is a way you can make it!

That Friday was to be our date night – making up for the previous weekend when we had planned to do a lil 9 month anniversary-type-date-night-thing but ended up watching movies at the house with the fam. So James suggested getting sushi somewhere in Cinci and said he’d find something else for us to do in town. I was of course ecstatic to do anything fancy and romantical, so earlier that day I went out to search for a dress – only with half a hope of finding one I’d actually like – as I was not committed enough to this endeavor enough to make a purchase over 20 bucks. I was more so just excited for the night, wanted something to do, and was kind of sick of my old dresses which are all mostly either homecoming type dresses or beach/sundresses. So I glanced and perused the sales racks with Anne (during her lunch hour) at Elder-Beerman …

He picked me up around 5:30. Without further adieu, we drove to downtown Cinci for Mr. Sushi. After sushi, James and I frolicked our way past some store fronts giggling about statues inside made of stacked cans of tuna – back to the car, he told me the remainder of the date was a surprise – he was taking me somewhere and had to blindfold me so that I couldn’t see where we were going. WHAT?! My heart started to race right away. I started to get mad butterflies in my stomach and I kept telling myself this is it!!! NO IT’S NOT – he’s JUST being extra romantical because he’s about to leave for a 2 week work trip out of the country – but could it be? Better not go expecting it – it’s probably not… In my hand I could feel his start to get clammy and I could hear a lil bit of an edge – was it excitement? in his voice. He was serenading me with Sinatra – just as he had on every date night from the very start. I felt my ears pop as we drove what must have been in an upward direction, I couldn’t have known otherwise, being blindfolded. My stomach tossed as the car turned, enveloped in the sound of his voice and Sinatra’s as I clung to his hand, about to burst.

As we pulled to a stop, James started to tell me, sounding slightly alarmed or peeved or both, that there was a small group of hooligans out and about – appear to be high schoolers … after what felt like an eternity, but was, I’m sure, only about ten seconds or so, he must have seen them getting in their car to leave.  He gave me the ok to step out of the car and holding my hand, his arm around me he guided me down a path, taking me down a couple of steps, then again on a path. I could hear the cold night air’s wind sweeping across openness and whipping at my skirt. Finally, he brought me to a stop and the blind fold was removed.

My eyes were still adjusting when he asked quickly – isn’t it beautiful? As my eyes skimmed over and across the Ohio River at the brightly lit skyline of Cincinnati, standing at the top of this grandeur outlook, he hesitated for just a moment. Then he turned and faced me, his back to the cityscape. Then there was no question now, he was definitely proposing to me!!!! Grasping up my hands in his, the words started tumbling out of his mouth in a beautiful, breath taking stream. In a blur of a moment he said that he’d loved me since the first time he saw me, something about his love has bloomed – something about every moment and every kiss being amazing and how now he wants to spend the rest of his life with me! Then there he was, down on one knee, popping open this lil box… “Elizabeth Joy Casci, will you marry me?” I thought for sure I would just explode right then and there! I answered immediately and I think by the time he got up to his feet I might have been shouting…”YES YES YES!!!” He spun me around and I might have screamed a lil… I didn’t have anything poetic to say, but even if I did, I am not convinced I would have had the breath support to get it out. He told me he had his tripod and wanted to take pictures, my mind wasn’t really working to great and all I could think was ok, what do you want to take pictures for, I just want to dance – but I’m now very glad he thought ahead like that – we took some fantastical romancial pictures out there which I now cherish greatly!

Picture1

Then we were heading back home – he was like, “we gotta go back tell your parents!” I guess, I could help but think, but right now I just want to kiss you! In the car ride back, upon reflection, as sensibility began to slowly trickle in something occurred to me. In careful words, I mentioned to him that my dad was going to be a bit upset (and honestly I did feel a twinge disappointed) that he didn’t secure his permission to marry me first – but made lite of it by saying that Daddy likely would have been unable to keep his secret anyway! He just sorta laughed… At some point in the car ride back we also derived a brilliant idea to not say anything when we got back to my house – and just see how long it would take my family to realize I had a rock sitting on my finger! James and I thought it was genius, I could hardly wait!

We pulled up to the house and James got out of the car in an un-customarily immediate manner. What, no extra kisses ‘fore we go in?? I noted this out-of-character behavior, but brushed it aside – until I walked into through the door opened by mom and saw first Pappaw, then Mammaw, then Anne holding the camcorder, Mary holding the camera, and then Johnny boy – all standing in the kitchen and living room together shouting SURPRISE!! I soaked in their beautiful beaming faces and just gasped and screamed! I saw their glorious celebratory array of balloons, cheesecakes, a chocolate covered wine bottle, and champagne! I was so aghast – how did they find out? I demanded to know – how long did they know? I could not believe what was happening! It was all too good to be true. Everyone proceeded to hug and congratulate me – James had been in collaboration with the family apparently the whole week long – and had in fact spoken privately with my dad one week ago to secure his good blessings. Mom, Mary, and Anne not only helped throw the party, but had helped James shop for rings and he had purchased one that Tuesday. It was all much too good to be true.

To be sure it was a night to remember! We ate cheesecake and toasted with champagne and stayed up late into the night kissing and dreaming up our wedding and all the possible arrangements – we were very tempted to have a wedding this spring, or heck just elope! Of course we decided against it in the end, what a night, what a memory, till next time my friend…

Sincerely,

Happy & Betrothed

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