Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL {#23} + A Love Story {Part 5}—THE Ring

EDIT: I totally forgot to mention that I’m over at Primitive and Proper today sharing a brand new project I just finished for the twins’ room! Be sure to stop by and tell the uber-talented Cassie that I said hi! : )

So, are you sick of hearing about our love story yet?

(If you missed out on any of the first 4 installments, you can click to go to Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4).

If you are tired of it, I promise you only have to suffer through one more day.

If you want more…well, just keep reading the blog because you’re sure to catch glimpses of the ongoing saga as it continues to unravel unfold.

I promised the story of THE ring today, but while that sounds oh-so-Tolkienesque, there is {happily} no Mount Doom in our version of the story—just a whole lot of romance, thoughtfulness, and old wooden swings (because, after all, who doesn’t love a good wooden swing?).

First off, let’s take a gander at the The Ring in question, shall we?

022_22

You’ve seen it many times before in a multitude of Try-it Tuesday hand-shots and Wardrobe Wednesday hand-on-hip poses, but I just wanted to give you a more official shot before I said anything else. 

And that’s all I will say about the ring for the moment.

Because what ring story would be complete without the proposal story behind it?

I will try to hit the highlights and let your imagination fill in the rest, but I’m not promising I won’t get a bit caught up in nostalgia.

Shaun proposed on October 6, 2005, which just so happened to be my 22nd birthday.

But in typical Shaun fashion, he kept me guessing all day long until finally, when the day was almost through, he put me out of my misery actually popped that oh-so-important question.

We headed to Shreveport, LA for the day sometime around midmorning and he started out the day by giving me a beautiful necklace (that I ended up wearing with my wedding dress) in a pretty little box that contained a scrap of paper with a line of poetry—an ode to beauty (remember my “pet name” from yesterday?).

On our way, we stopped at a gorgeous rose garden to eat lunch, and while we were lounging on one of the benches enjoying the view, he slipped another box into my hand—more jewelry and another line of the poem.

Once we got to Shreveport, we wandered through the Red River Arts Festival, and yet again, I found myself with a box in my hand (as I was reaching back for his) with yet another piece of pretty and another line of poetry.

We watched an IMAX movie when it was just too unbearably hot to stay outside any longer (Oct. 6, and 102 degrees…welcome to the South).

And at some point, yet another box appeared.

Now, during all of this, I couldn’t help but hope that this was it.

But he was giving me enough jewelry to last me a lifetime, and it was my birthday after all, so I spent half the day enjoying a fabulously relaxing time with my love and the other half mentally repeating: “Just be happy with this, Abbie. Enjoy the moment. You don’t want to be disappointed at the end of it all after such a lovely day.”

We found a Goodwill and shopped around for some vintage clothes to wear to my upcoming swing dance-themed birthday party (we both found the perfect outfits, by the way), which you can see here:

P1000099

And the pretty things + poetry just kept coming.

Lest you get the wrong idea, these were not particularly pricey pieces but instead thoughtfully chosen tokens that he had found and thought looked like me (he was right; I genuinely loved every one).

And the poetry?

Well, that was free since it came straight from his creative mind.

Finally, he took me to dinner at a fantastic little locally owned Italian restaurant with just the right amount of ambience.

 

Here we are, 4 years later when we went back for our anniversary.

I do believe there was one more box at dinner, and by that point, I had completely talked myself out of a proposal.

“It’s too much. He’s being too wonderful. You can’t expect anything else on top of this, Abbie. He’s just making your birthday extra-special since it’s the first one since you started dating.”

Isn’t it funny how we can practically get clobbered over the head with something, but if we’re scared to believe it, we can still talk ourselves out of it?

By the (hour-long) ride home, I had changed my mental tune completely, though.

About 10 minutes into the trip, we could see lightning in the distance, and Shaun began to rub my thumbnail (he was holding my hand) with his own thumb—back and forth and back and forth.

He wasn’t saying much either.

One of the things that had completely thrown me for a loop was how calm he was all day.

After all, if he were going to propose, wouldn’t he have been jittery…jumped the gun…just blurted it all out right then and there?

Who manages to stay relaxed and keep his cool (in 102 degrees, no less) when he’s planning on spending 12 straight hours with the girl he loves not asking her to marry him only to do it at the very end?

My husband, that’s who.

But when he saw that lightning, he totally showed his “tell.”

And I’m so glad he did.

Because for 50 minutes, I just let him practically rub a hole in my thumbnail while I grinned into the darkness of the car and tried to keep my feet from doing a (completely obvious) happy dance on the floorboard.

Fortunately for both of us, the rain held off, and as we were pulling into the driveway, all I could think was: “I hope he takes me to the swing.”

“The swing” is an old, chippy wooden bench swing in my parents’ side yard, and you would think because of my hope of being proposed to there that it was a place we frequented.

But it really wasn’t.

We had only sat there a handful of times, but every one held a particular significance—like the time I sobbed my heart out over something-or-other, and he just held me and stroked my hair while he rocked us back and forth.

He had no particular reason to know that I would prefer that swing.

And yet, as soon as we got out of the car, he asked me if I’d like to go for a walk (what do you think I said?) and proceeded to lead me straight to it.

Much talking followed, and while I remember some of it, it’s all wrapped up in such a haze of euphoria that I couldn’t repeat most of it if you paid me (feel free to offer, though).

I do remember that he started listing things he loved about me, both physical and otherwise, until he got to my ring finger, which he said was much too bare for his taste (I have never, I am sure, had such an enormous, goofy grin on my face).

And then he dropped to his knee and said the words I’d been hoping against hope for all day, and I launched myself at his neck (and said yes, of course).

And then he showed me the ring, which was the most breathtakingly beautiful and perfect for me piece of jewelry ever created.

Wait, scratch that.

What really happened was this: once I finally finished squeezing the life out of him, he said, “I’m so glad you didn’t ask about the ring.”

And I said, “Okay.” (What can I say? I’m not the best orator when I’m overwhelmingly ecstatic).

“Because there kind of isn’t one,” he said.

And I said, “Okay.” (My eloquence knows no bounds).

And then he told me the rest of the story.

He had custom-designed my ring—been working on it for ages, but there had been a snag in the mounting process, and the jeweler creating it was in California, so it couldn’t be here for a few more days.

Instead, the jeweler had sent him a very pretty white gold + CZ to keep my ring-finger warm while I waited.

Mind you, I couldn’t have possibly cared less, but you better believe I was looking forward to seeing the real ring just the same.

When it came in, I met Shaun at his house (right before we headed to that swing dance party I mentioned), and he proposed all over again (me: same answer).

So, not only did I get not one but TWO proposals, but I also got the coolest, most unique, and gorgeous ring I’ve ever seen.

So, what makes it so special (besides the fact that the man I love made it just for me)?

It doesn’t just look pretty.

It tells the gospel.

Shaun specifically chose two tiny pear-shaped diamonds to flank the center stone so that he could incorporate ichthus (or “Jesus fish”) into the design.

P1000095

Can you see it?

And then, to tie it all together, he designed the actual stone’s setting to be a Star of David.

P1000097

He told me that it was the story of salvation all rolled into one—the Star of David representing the Old Testament and the Bible’s promised Messiah who would take the sin of the world on his shoulders… and the ichthus, which are generally recognized as symbols that represent Jesus, to show the New Testament fulfillment of that promise in the Son of God who died (and rose again!) so that you and I could be reconciled to our God.

(And I was worried about dating a new Christian).

To say that I was astounded by the insight and thought that my future husband had put into the ring I will wear until the day I die is more than an understatement.

It’s a declaration of the respect and admiration that I have for everything about this man whom God entrusted to me to love.

As I said at the beginning, Shaun’s not perfect, but God is, and he knew that my husband was perfect for me.

The End.

(though, not really).

Whew!

I was hoping to get that all in in fewer words, but they just kept coming.

Thank you so much for reading along and allowing me to share and revisit some of the sweetest moments in my love story.

It’s been a wonderful way to pass a week without my husband (who gets back tomorrow! Yippeee!).

And now, if you showed up for the party and hung around this long, I thought I’d show you a few of my favorite links from last week’s shindig…

Like this charming DIY Potting Table from Northern Cottage

And this adorable owl-themed nursery from Delectable Home.

And this entire ensemble from Maker of Shoes featuring that great bright floral dress.

And these scrumptious-looking Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cupcakes from Feeding My Temple.

And this clever Mod Podge shoe makeover from Design, Dining + Diapers.

.

And this easy-peasey, cutie-patootie Corkboard Tic Tac Toe by Hating Martha.

And these cheerful spray-painted mason jars from Alderberry Hill

You guys have blown me away yet again with your creativity!

Feel free to grab a button from the sidebar if you’ve been featured!

And now it’s your turn again!

Same “rules” as always:

It’s a FREE-FOR-ALL!

If you’ve blogged about it, I want to see it!

So…

1. Link to your specific post URL instead of your blog URL (no limit on the number of linkies, so add as many as you like!)

2. Grab a party button so that others can join in the fun! (Text link-backs are great too! : ))

five days five ways  feature friday free for all

3. Consider visiting/commenting on at least 2 of the other links. You never know what kind of inspiration you might miss out on if you don’t. Plus we all love to read words of encouragement! (I know I do!)

4. PLEASE, no shops or giveaways!

5. If we aren’t already friends, would you do me the honor of getting regular post updates here?:

or you can:

subcribe for email updates,

and/or join our Facebook page!

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):

29 thoughts on “Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL {#23} + A Love Story {Part 5}—THE Ring

  1. I have never read this before. Beautiful story and love your rings ;) Thanks for all you do. I enjoy your blog.

  2. Oh my goodness. THANK YOU for sharing your beautiful, precious love story with us. This is the type of love story I pray my 3 girls and 1 boy will wait for! It has been a privledge to read about the way God brought you together and to see that God was the designer and writer of the whole story…and to read you gush about Shaun inspires me to do the same for my God given lovey :) So happy to “know” you through this world of blogging…God bless your love, your marriage, your family and those new little babies :)

  3. What a beautiful story and the rings are amazing and so beautiful. You are one lucky and blessed lady!

    Love all the features and can’t wait to see all the great link ups! Have a fabulous weekend!

  4. Didn’t get to comment much this week, but I totally LOVED reading your love story. And this part didn’t disappoint! What a sweet and thoughtful guy. And the ring he designed….so amazing! Love the symbolism of the Gospel.
    My hubby proposed at a near-by park in our college town that I had taken him to previously to see fireflies. See, we both grew up in West Texas and there are typically no fireflies……anywhere. So, I was amazed to see them and I wanted to show him too. So, not too long after that, he took me there to “see the fireflies” again……and he popped the big question! I was mostly in shock…in a good way! Surprises like that don’t come too often in this life :) Love ‘em!
    We’ve been married 12 yrs (next month) and 3 kiddos later and I love him more today than I did then. Even though I didn’t think that was possible! haha! He is my best-friend and hero ;)
    Happy Anniversary to you two love birds!!

  5. Ok Abbie part 5 did not disappoint …. Shaun is a true romantic and you are one lucky girl. My husband hasn’t got a romantic bone in his body but that’s what makes him who he is and we all get different cards (so to speak). When I buried my mother last month, he held my hand tight and was beside me throughout the whole day. He came to the Rosary and told me I planned a good catholic funeral with all the works. He loves our kids and works hard to provide for us. The tough times make the good times all the sweeter. Thank you for sharing your love story with us….

  6. Yep. Your story is a wonderful one. I love the ending (or should that be beginning???)
    I just popped over to Primitive and Proper to have a look see. I love Bronwyn. I think she looks fabulous. And no, I don’t think the cushion will be too much. You have the colour to tie it all together (eg.http://homes.ninemsn.com.au/realliving/roombyroom/228981/quick-changes-cool-new-looks-for-your-bedroom.slideshow). And I’m looking forward to seeing the finished result of Della’s big girl room (or did I miss it already?)

  7. So now that I have stopped sobbing from our beautiful proposal story, I can write to say thank you so much for hosting and for sharing your sweet love story with us this week!

    xoxo,
    mk & Gwynnie

  8. thank you so much for an awesome guest post, abbie! happy weekend! i don’t have much to share this week, so i am not partying anywhere. :( lame.

  9. Don’t you just love saying “the twins’ room”? Thanks for featuring my owl nursery – I can’t wait to pop over to P&P and see yours!

  10. Hi there – just read your guest post over at Primitive & Proper! You are so creative!!

    And your love story warmed my heart this morning, thank you for that. :) You are lucky to have found such an amazing catch!

  11. Mercy me! I know you say you’re not much of a cry-er….well, I am. And your wrap up of your week long, love story posts has me with tears rolling down my cheeks. So sweet, so good. Such a precious love. Thanks be to God….. :)

  12. I love the story about your ring, what a creative idea! And its beautiful. Thanks for hosting and thank you for featuring my shoes!

  13. Thanks for hosting Abbie! Enjoyed the read :) I love symbolism and all the intricate pieces to your ring. Have a blessed weekend. Hugs!

    p.s. I can’t believe I’m the very first link up. Wha??

I love comments so much I'd actually consider making them my sixth kid if I could. Seriously. Love. And I read every single one and will do my darndest to respond, especially if you have a question. So, yeah. Comment away! I'm listening!