story, as told by Scott ... because Jillian was so excited (or so
I tell myself) that, minutes after I proposed, she couldn't even
remember if she'd said yes.]
The story of our proposal ends on October 27, 2011, but begins about
five months earlier when I left to spend the summer working in Seattle.
It was here, just a couple weeks into my trip, that I realized I
wanted to spend the rest of my life with Jillian. Before I left,
three months in a new city was exciting and something I had eagerly
looked forward to experiencing. But homesickness set in fairly quickly,
and I found that I missed Jillian more than anything. While the
initial loneliness of being across the country eventually faded
and I had an awesome summer, I definitely remember the experience
as being what completely convinced me that we should get married.
While I was living in Seattle, I was working
in Bremerton - so those familiar with the area will know that meant
I took an hour ferry to and from work every day. I decided early
on that it would be a fun idea to hand write letters to Jillian,
a nice sort of throwback contrast to the occasional video chats
and frequent phone calls we had. I wrote her letters about two or
three times per week on my ferry rides home from work. The catch
was that, early on, I planned to have these letters eventually become
part of the proposal, so I made sure to capitalize the first letter
of each one I sent home. I figured it might be to obvious if they
spelled out "WILL YOU MARRY ME?" in chronological order,
so I created a second "hidden message" in case she caught
on. In chronological order, the capitalized letters spelled out
"HEY GIRL, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. NO MORE WAITING." If your
good with decoding, you'll notice that taking out some of these
letters and rearranging them can give you "WILL YOU MARRY ME?"
The picture above is the final product of this.
Once I had sent the letters, I trusted that
she'd keep them and not throw them away - obviously a calculated
risk on my part, but it worked out. When it came down to the day
I was going to propose, I found the stack of letters she'd kept,
pulled out the ones I needed, taped them together in the order I
needed and put them in a long envelope. We went out to dinner and
I was cool and calm the whole time. But after we'd finished eating
and I realized there was only one thing left I started getting pretty
nervous. However, the truly clutch part of my whole plan was that
if I totally choked, I could just hand her the note and run away
until she read it and made a decision. Fortunately I was able to
muster my overly rehearsed line that I had "one more letter
that I wrote in Seattle," hand her the envelope and wait for
her response. When she opened it and realized what was happening,
her eyes got wide, she looked at me and said ... "Are you serious?
Is this real?" That's when I pulled out the ring, got down
on one knee, told her I was serious and this was for real, and asked
her to marry me. The rest is history.
... and in case the very beginning made
you wonder, she did in fact say, "Yes."