A New Jones Wedding

No take backs.

Can We Go Ring Shopping?

The story of the proposal really begins with a visit Leslie made to Minnesota back in April.  She was feeling a bit apprehensive.  She had recently committed to quitting her job and moving to Minnesota.  At the end of her trip, before her flight, we found ourselves shopping and getting custard, typical activities.  An atypical activity, however, became planted in Leslie’s mind.  As we drove past multiple jewelry stores, she proclaimed she wanted to go in and look because she had never tried any on and she didn’t know what she’d like or how they would look on her bony fingers.

With some protesting, I agreed.  In the end, it paid off.  After visiting one very unwelcoming store, we left and tried another.  Leslie found herself in front of roughly 1,000 engagement rings.  I just got out of the way.  It’s a good thing we went to look that day, because all of the styles she thought she’d like best didn’t turn out to be what she really liked.  As we moved from case to case, Leslie had manage to select two rings that she really liked out of the bunch.  Coincidentally, upon further review they happened to be the exact same ring.  I think she fell in love with it at that moment.

With that, we headed to get Culverized and I took Leslie to the airport for her last flight home.

At the airport before her flight home.

Now there was only one small problem.  I wouldn’t think of purchasing a ring or diamonds, unless it was from my godmother.  As always she was extremely helpful, and we were able to order the exact ring Leslie had picked.  A quick stop home for a Brewer game, under the guise of quality time with my sister, and it was all finalized.

Now begins the fun part.

Leslie would end up returning to Minnesota again, before she eventually moved here.  This time to get her teaching license and secure a job.  Thankfully, she was able to get her license and apply for open positions.  On the day she started her drive back to Indiana, I gave the go ahead for her ring to be shipped.  Fortunately and unfortunately, Leslie was only on the road for about 45 minutes before she got invited to interview for a position.  So she turned back around and would await her interview for a few more days in Minnesota.

On the day of Leslie’s interview, the ring was scheduled to arrive (a day early).  Thankfully, she was so distracted by the news and acceptance of her position that afternoon, she barely took notice when she signed for this package from UPS.  I concocted a cover story and with a little sleight of hand the deception was complete.

Yep, her ring was actually in here, not the fan that I ran out to purchase from Best Buy on my way home.

I would endure the next several months in silence.  Disregarding the commentaries from family and friends, snickering on the inside even until right before the proposal.

We traveled to the Wisconsin Dell’s area over Labor Day weekend.  This is an annual trip as we hold a family reunion at Devil’s Lake State Park each year.  It is one of my favorite places.  This would be Leslie’s second trip and I think she really loved the place too.  This year we stayed in a cabin just outside the park, instead of our normal stay inside of the Dell’s.  The weather had been quite erratic.  But Saturday, despite the overcast weather and scattered showers, we talked about stopping into the park to check out the North Shore as long as we were so close.Laying around the cabin after a big breakfast, I inserted some false protests and complaints and even tried to back out after everyone had already gotten ready to leave.  I eventually went along with the group and got everyone else to attend as well, adding to the deception.  My sister, who knew about the ring, was kept in the dark about the time and place of the proposal.  She covertly frisked me and discovered the box in my pocket.  Immediately excited, she knew she would finally be able to present the gift and crack the bottle of champagne she had bought LAST YEAR during our Dell’s visit.

When we arrived at the park, we decided to walk an easy trail that runs along the shore of the lake.  We attempted this last year, but we were caught in the middle of a big downpour.

About halfway through the trail, once again it started to rain. We ducked under some trees and snapped a few shots. I commented about how try rocks were getting slippery and how my shoes had no traction. For those of you in the industry, this would be foreshadowing.  Leslie, in seemingly a hurry to get this moment over with was blazing ahead on the trail.

Being quick, I feigned a slip on the trail.  My foot sliding down the incline.  I motioned for her to help me up and when she did I asked her if she was ready to stop being my roommate and become my fiancé.  And as you can imagine, she eventually said yes.

Those two people in the background would be the first group upon us on the trail.  He was actually a photographer and was able to get a few pictures.

Leslie, very shocked and even nervous called her mom, who I believe was equally surprised.  She was even more surprised to know that my family who was waiting for us back at the beginning of the trail didn’t know anything about it either.

We came back and presented our news, which was greeted with much excitement and then celebration.

We ended up coming back the next day and were able to get some pictures and share the news with the rest of the unsuspecting guests at the reunion.