I moved into an apartment in New Castle, Indiana, and my job hunt began. I was eventually hired as the lead teacher for three and four year olds at a brand new Preschool/Daycare center, and loved my job very much! My time line in these blog posts is a bit off ... I believe I was a teacher for about two months before Richard proposed. It's hard remembering time lines from 14 years ago! :)
I was doing well on my own, the weather was changing crisp and cool, and I was still answering Richard's lists of questions. :)
Richard flew me down to Missouri one weekend in November, and I was "almost sure" he would propose to me during this trip because of the questions he had been asking. I had a nice visit with his family (his parents were visiting their children in Missouri at the time, too), and I remember it being a fun, full weekend. :) Sunday morning church service (and lunch) came and went, and I began to doubt myself. "Maybe Richard isn't going to propose this time," I thought. The timing had seemed perfect with his parents visiting Missouri too, but maybe Richard had something else in mind. I was to return home early the next morning, and thought to myself how he was running out of time.
Later in the afternoon, Richard mentioned that he needed to stop by his house to drop something off. He had just purchased a little house in Rogersville, and the whole family (including me) had already taken a walk through it. I agreed to accompany him, thinking he was going to take me out to dinner afterwards. :)
At the house, Richard scrounged around in his trunk while I wandered around the garage a bit, finally growing impatient and walking inside the house. I was taking my time wandering around since Richard had seemed to misplace something (he told me later he didn't really have anything to drop off, so was trying to act like he was busy looking for something).
I ended up in the kitchen, gazing at the old kitchen cabinets. Richard finally closed his car's trunk to walk into the kitchen and ask more questions. "Do you like the cabinets? We could always paint them." I nodded and talked a little about how I had painted the cabinets in my apartment. We continued on and on about the cabinets in the kitchen. It wasn't until he asked, "Would you like to live here?", did I realize where he was headed. I answered, "Sure- I think I'd like to live here someday..."
He then proceeded to ask if I'd marry him, and my answer was "yes". :) :) :)
Afterwards, Richard took me to a jewelry store to pick out an engagement watch; the church we attended taught against jewelry, including wedding rings.
We were both very excited over the upcoming wedding, settling on a wedding date 3 months away. I still can't believe the whirlwind it was! After returning to Indiana, my days were filled with wedding plans, phone calls, and shopping (besides working as a teacher in the Day care, of course). Since Richard, my mom, and sister all lived far away from me, most of the planning was over the phone. My sister helped coordinate music, sending cassette tapes through the mail. It would have been nice if we had the Internet back then!! Richard & I decided we would memorize special, non-traditional vows, and sing a song to each other ("Cherish the Treasure"). Looking back, I think I would have been less stressed on my wedding day if I didn't sing or have vows to memorize! lol!! :)
Shopping for a wedding dress, I realized very quickly that I would not be able to afford a used dress (or at least one I liked). I was scraping bottom financially with paying for the wedding. My dad was not good in health and no longer worked a job. Mom was working, but it was simply a difficult time. I momentarily thought Richard & I could elope ... hee hee ... then decided against the idea.
I took a chance, and asked Richard's mom if she would mind making my wedding dress. I knew she had sewn her daughter's wedding dress, and figured she would not be thrilled with the daunting task. She agreed to the project and I felt so relieved! We went shopping together for the wedding dress material and other items; I also found material to make my own veil. :) My pastor's wife made all the bouquets, flower girl basket & corsages. She also lent floral pieces she had used at her own wedding (oh- I think I borrowed her hoop/slip, too! ].
Somehow, everything came together, and on February 21, 1998, Richard & I walked down the aisle of the church we had met. Yes, we successfully sang "Cherish the Treasure" to each other, and did not forget the words to our vows. :)
Remember a blog post ago when I talked about not putting God in boxes because He's too great and Sovereign? What's funny is that after we were married and living in Rogersville, Missouri .... we thought we'd live there for the rest of our lives. Isn't God amazing, and life such an adventure?!! :)