Saturday, June 4, 2016

He Put A Ring On It.

A lot has happened since my last post! And now that school's out, I intend to post a lot more. :) I had some other posts I was working on BUT I'm putting those on the back burner for now because I have a much more important story to tell first. (Head's up, it's LONG...but good).

3 weeks ago, on Sunday, May 15, 2016, the most handsome man got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. And I said...well, let me start from the beginning. 

It started out like any normal Sunday. Got up, got ready, went to Tom's with Aaron (our favorite breakfast stop), and then headed to church. As I do every week, I helped in the kids' Sunday school class during the second service, and then we attended the sermon during the third service. Very typical.

After the service ended, Aaron and I were standing at the end of the hall with my best friend Meagan and her boyfriend Stephen, as we so often do, trying to make lunch plans. It was taking awhile and people were starting to clear out of the church. Finally, I said "Um, maybe we should move down closer toward the door since we're now the only people on this side of the church." Meagan and I started to walk away, but the boys didn't seem to be paying attention. Then, I noticed Aaron's best friend Camrann and his wife Libby start moving toward us. Camrann looked like he was on some sort of a mission, and I was wondering what was going on.

They approached us and he said something to the guys about helping someone unload something out of a truck. So the 3 guys all went to go "help" and Meagan, Libby, and I hung back and waited for them.

We were standing around talking for several minutes. My dad also kept walking by us which I thought was weird but kind of ignored it. At one point Meagan pulled out her phone and was looking at text messages, and I happened to glance over (COMPLETELY UNINTENTIONALLY -- I promise I wasn't trying to be nosy!) and see she had a text conversation going with my parents.

"Did you text my parents about something?" I asked. 
"Yes, I did," she said. "Secrets!"

By the way -- I'd been suspicious for weeks that this thing was about to happen, so I just kind of brushed it off.

After a couple more minutes, Meagan finally said something like, "What is taking the guys so long?" (Apparently, that was supposed to be my line, but someone forgot to give me the script.) That was Libby's cue.

"Oh, Kayla, I forgot I was supposed to give you this," she said. She took an envelope out of her purse and at first I thought someone had just given her a thank you card or invitation or something to give to me, which I thought was kind of weird, but I guess it was possible. But then, when I looked closer at the card, it was too perfect to be from just anyone:

Purple AND daisies? This was no ordinary card...

I hadn't even read it yet and I immediately knew what it was. The first words out of my mouth were, "Is this what I think it is?" (No one answered that question).

I opened the envelope and inside was a heart-shaped card with the number 1 on it. I opened it up and read what it said:


One of your favorite places to dine
The servings are huge, the desserts divine
Killer Monte Cristo on my plate
Take your BFF with you, and don't be late
Enjoy a great lunch -- have dessert too!
Then keep your eyes open for clue #2

Well, of course that had to be the Cheesecake Factory. I go there every year for my birthday, every dish on the menu is HUGE, and Aaron loves the Monte Cristo they have for brunch. So, I hopped in Meagan's car and we were off to our first destination.

I wasn't even hungry, but I was under strict orders to enjoy lunch AND dessert. I ordered a sandwich (and ate none -- I saved it for lunch the next day) and Meagan and I split a dessert. The whole time I kept looking over at the door, because I knew someone was supposed to show up with a second clue. Because, the clue told me that, and also because when we were being seated, they brought us to a 2-person booth and Meagan asked the hostess if there was any possibility we could be moved to a 4-person table. And then Meagan ordered an extra dessert that wasn't for her. I knew someone would be joining us.

After what seemed like FOREVER I went to the bathroom, and when I came out my mom was sitting in my seat! Obviously, I knew she must have the next clue, but she refused to give it to me until she had finished her dessert. And then until she paid the bill. And then until my dad was on his way back to pick her up. 

When she finally did give it to me, this is what it said:


Remember the spot I picked out your dress?
Go there now and try on the best
So say "yes" to the dress and take your time
Get what you like -- I know you'll look fine
And don't forget that when you are done
Clue #3 will continue the fun

This one took me a minute, because I own so many dresses and I was having trouble remembering which one Aaron picked out. After a minute or two, I remembered the dress and that it came from Uptown Cheapskate. So, to Uptown Cheapskate we went.

I was a little nervous I wouldn't find anything there that I liked, but fortunately, after trying on about 7 dresses, I found the PERFECT one. Meagan went and checked it out for me and then brought it back for me to wear out of the store. She had even stolen all my shoes out of my room that morning (she is also my roommate) just to make sure that my shoes would match whatever I picked out. So she brought me the shoes I wanted and I got all ready. 

When I walked out of the dressing room, I saw Aaron's mom walking toward me with a beautiful arrangement of flowers and my third clue. The clue said:


Remember your bucket list of things to do?
Let's see if we can knock out one or two...
A trip to Europe? Maybe a camel ride...
The way to find out is to look outside
How did Cinderella get to the ball?
Your carriage awaits at your beck and call

Well, I was really hoping for that trip to Europe...but what I got was almost as good. Outside the store was a very well-dressed Camrann and Stephen in a very expensive looking convertible BMW. 

 Aaron rented the car for the day, so we still got to ride around in it for a few more hours!

Stephen got out of the car and let Meagan and I in, and Camrann gave me my next clue.

Wind in your hair, music that blares
Turn it up loud, watch people stare
But where are the tunes? Where is the sound?
In your fav app, these things may be found
Find the new list, in order you'll play
Rap your head off, let loose and go cray

Sooo if you've ever looked at my bucket list, you know it's somewhat a combination of very serious things I really want to do, and kind of silly things I think would be fun to do but I am way too shy/nervous to actually attempt. Item #5 falls under the latter category:

5. Drive around with my windows down and the radio turned all the way up on some hardcore rap song, just to see the weird looks I'd get.

Well, once I found the new Spotify playlist the clue instructed me to find, the very first song on the list happened to be a rap song that I know all the words to. So, I can now cross that one off my bucket list.

Meagan and I enjoying the ride.

The rest of the songs on the playlist I could tell were chosen very carefully. Listening to the lyrics they were all very meaningful, and they were all songs by some of my favorite artists! It was a nice little touch, especially since we were driving around (read: stalling) for a while before I got my next clue...

Finally, after about 15 minutes, Camrann had Meagan reach into the back of the seat in front of her and pull out my fifth clue:


Where saffron chicken can make you smile
Where sometimes you hang out with me for a while
Something awaits you -- something you'll like
So head on over, but don't stay for a bite!
Open your present -- I made it for you
Then "open" your present to find your last clue!

This one was obvious. It was clearly talking about the restaurant Aaron works at, Terra. When we got there, Meagan and Camrann waited in the car while I went inside. Camrann told me to go to the bar so that's where I went. I was very confused when I walked in because I was totally focused on the bar, that I didn't see THE GIANT MAILBOX WITH MY NAME ON IT right in front of me on the wall behind the bar.

So, I stopped at the bar and the bartender who I know and I assumed knew what I was there for looked at me and said, "Hey! What are you doing?" like he didn't know anything and I didn't know what to do.

"I don't know, I was told to come here," I said while on the inside thinking oh my gosh this is so awkward he doesn't know anything and neither do I what do I do????

But then he just smiled and pointed at the mailbox and I felt really stupid for missing that. Anyway, my heart did a little flutter when I saw the mailbox because it looked just like the mailbox that Carl and Ellie had in the movie Up, and having a mailbox like theirs is also on my bucket list. 

Obviously, my hand print was added later as there was no way to get it on beforehand without me knowing...

So I opened up the mailbox and inside was a very, very sweet note from Aaron and my last clue. (The last clue that I didn't realize was in there because it was stuck to the note, but I eventually looked again when no one else knew where the clue was and found it).


Our favorite spot is where I'll be
Waiting to see you walking toward me
A vision of beauty, my life and my love
A gift to me from our Father above
So hurry and get here -- please don't delay
I have something to give you and something to say

Well, I knew from the very first clue where the last clue would lead me -- our favorite bench at Trinity Park. Almost a year ago, we carved our initials in the bench, but it has been our favorite spot since even before that. 

Because, I mean, LOOK AT IT. Perfect spot.

Camrann drove me to the park and dropped me off about 100 feet away from the bench so I had to walk all the way up. I considered running but I played it cool instead. As I was walking up, I saw Meagan up ahead run behind a tree, where Aaron's brother's girlfriend (a photographer) was also hiding to take pictures. Stephen was standing on the running trail about 30 feet in front of the bench, and Aaron's brother was up ahead on the running trail about 30 feet behind the bench. They were traffic patrol, making sure no runners or cyclists went by as the proposal was happening (a detail I NEVER would have thought of). Apparently, my dad was also there, behind me taking pictures, but I didn't know that until much later. I don't know where Camrann went but I think he joined the girls behind the tree after parking the car.

But all my attention (after noticing all that) was on the very handsome man in the suit standing by our bench that had been decorated with flowers. He looked nervous, but happy. That's how I felt, too.

The next 10 minutes or so seemed so surreal that I don't really remember a lot of the details. I walked up to him, he said some sweet things, then he took me around and sat me down on the bench, got down on one knee, pulled out the most beautiful ring I've ever seen, and asked me to marry him. I said "of course." And then we cried and laughed and smiled and sat down on the bench and talked for what felt like 5 minutes but I think it was actually closer to an hour.

Examining my GORGEOUS ring.

A little bit later we headed over to my parents' house for a party with our families and close friends, then we went and had a nice dinner at Reata to celebrate. The whole day/night was absolutely perfect. I could not have imagined anything even remotely close to that. I feel like I am by far the luckiest girl in the world to be marrying such a sweet, thoughtful man who put in so much time and effort into making this day so special for me. I cannot wait to see what the Lord does through our marriage!

And quick shout out to all the family and friends who took time out of their busy schedules to help make this day so wonderful! Aaron and I are so blessed to have such a supportive group of people in our lives and are so happy to have been able to share this day with them. God is so good!

 The future Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Bernardez.

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