Today over at Kelly's Korner is Show Us Your Life: Proposal Stories.....I wish I had more pictures of the night. My mom has us walking in the door right after it happened on video and it is PRICELESS. Our wedding slide show that was featured at our Rehearsal Dinner ended with that video clip, and if there had been one dry eye in the crowd at that moment, it would have been all over for them at that point.....
To preface the story, I had a feeling an engagement was eminent. We had been dating for 4 1/2 years and everyone (and by everyone I mean myself) was ready for it!!! Raymond did a superb job of making me think that it was no where in the future. I was 22, so I thought that he was just waiting until I had been out and working a little bit longer. We go to ALL of the Citadel football games in the fall (the hubs is obsessed with sports- I am obsessed with tailgating) so there was nothing out of the ordinary for us to pack up and head to Charleston for the weekend. Raymond had already asked my mom for permission and had already gone to visit his parents and let them in on the news. He went down early to pick up my brother, who was a knob (first year Cadet at The Citadel), so he did not have to wait around for my mom and I to roll into town. Little did I know, that this was all part of the mastermind plan that Raymond had created. I thought he was doing me a favor at the time by picking Davis us, but truly, this was orchestrated between he and my mom so he could ask for Davis'permission as well. My brother is truly one of my best friends and he felt it was important to have the most important man in my life (at that time) give him his blessing.
Upon arrival in Charleston that evening, we convened at his Aunt's house and told me we had to go to the family's beach house on Sullivan's Island to check on some things for his Dad. I was so mad. I was hungry, tired, and wanted to go to bed and did NOT want to traipse out to the beach house to check on fishing nets. NOT my idea of a fun Friday night. We got to the house and poor Raymond...I wouldn't get out of the car. I kept saying, just go hurry and do it and I'll just wait here. The mosquitoes were TERRIBLE that night! No way was I breaking a sweat for that! But alas, he knew his drama queen wife would propose as a problem in the grand scheme of things. He conned me into thinking he could not lift the nets by himself. I met him down on the deck and he was "bending over in the shrubs trying to get the net out of the bin" but really attempting to get on one knee and BAM he pulled out the box. The box that I had been waiting for my entire life. The box I had been counting down the minutes for from the moment I met him. It was so dark that I didn't actually see my ring until we went up on the porch and turned on the light. I cried at how beautiful it was. He created it all on his own (with the help of our amazing jeweler). I felt like the luckiest girl in the world at that moment. He designed something just for me. To wear forever.
He had champagne in the bushes (put there gratis of Mimzy and Big!!!) so the night was complete. We just sat and rocked and drank champagne with the sound of the ocean as our soundtrack. It could not have been more perfect. I was crying, he was crying, and we COULD NOT WAIT to get back to tell our parents (I didn't know that anyone knew at this point). The moment we walked into his grandparent's kitchen, they were all gathered around and Raymond announced there would be a new member of the Hamilton clan.....tears, champagne, and wine were flowing....it was, without a doubt, a memory that is forever ingrained in my mind. Station 9 and Sullivan's Island will always be magical to me. Thank you Raymond for being the perfect companion for me!
Off to paradise this weekend!! See ya'll next week!!