On October 31st, 2015 at approximately 1:08PM, I asked my best friend to be my wife. She said yes.
At 2PM the day before (Friday), I embarked on the 32 minute drive to the Jordan residence that I have made so many times over the past 4 years. With my clammy palms on the steering wheel and a small box in my coat pocket, I was prepared to ask Stephanie to marry me that afternoon. The plan was in motion.
Step 1: Schedule an afternoon of yoga with Steph in Cary to take her picture.
Step 2: Take her to Lake Crabtree Park, and non-suspiciously navigate to an isolated area I had scouted on on google maps over my past few months of planning.
Step 3: Insist that we should take a video of us doing "Acro" together, and set up the tripod to get the big moment on camera.
Step 4: Recommend that we try a pose that I had seen on Instagram that would just so happened to involve me getting down on one knee.
Step 5: Live happily ever after.
This 5 step plan for Saturday seemed perfect as I mulled it over for the last few months, but things didn't exactly turn out the way I wanted it to. The parks were crowded, the weather was muggy, and an unexpected rain storm happened the night before that made the ground almost too mushy to lay down a yoga mat. On the drive to her house that afternoon, I prayed that if that day was the day that God wanted me to become engaged to the love of my life, to let it go smoothly and for my nerves to be calm; Coincidentally, steps 2-4 in my plan were all but failures that afternoon, I was more stressed out then ever, and I didn't dare force the moment that I had been looking forward to since the day we met.
Going with her to the Carolina Hurricanes game that evening was a definitely spirit-lifter, but while laying on her family's futon that night I couldn't help but be a bit disheartened. My plan had failed, and I had no backup-plan to fall back on.
When I awoke the next morning, it was if the idea had been planted in my mind. I'm often terrible at remembering things (especially if I don't write them down), but that Saturday morning I remembered that a few weeks prior Stephanie called me after a meeting she had downtown to tell me about an adorable coffee shop she saw called The Morning Times.
As soon as I brought up the idea of going there for breakfast and coffee, Steph was all in (she's almost always down for anything spontaneous, especially if I'm buying her coffee).
That morning was perfect. The food was excellent, our lattes were superb, and the weather was a crisp 67 degrees and sunny. Everything felt right.
After breakfast and coffee, I asked if we could find a rooftop somewhere that I could take a few pictures of her; she happily agreed. After several flights of stairs and burning off a portion of the calories we had just consumed, we found the perfect rooftop where no one else would be; the 9th floor of a government parking deck on a Saturday afternoon.
There were 4 things that I wanted to ensure happened when proposing to Steph. 1.) Ask her parents permission. 2.) Make it a surprise 3). Make sure her nails were done 4.) Get the moment on camera. After the failure of my plan the previous day, I thought it would be impossible to find another situation with both of us in front of the camera where no one else was around, but God had a plan.
Upon requesting that we take a photo together using my tripod with the skyline behind us, a simple flick to video mode was all it took to capture the best moment of my life.
The truth is, things didn't go how I planned them, but the moment ended up being better than I could have ever planned.
I'm beyond blessed to call such an incredible woman my fiancé. I love you so much Stephanie Elizabeth Jordan. (We'll work on that last name)