Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a terrible tendency to sometimes skip right over Thanksgiving in thinking about Christmas. I've been listening to Christmas music since November 1st and contemplating all the fun to soon be had at the Junior League Preview Party and other Christmas events, fun during a whole week with Richard at home and fun in Ohio with the Davis and Davies families.

But I do realize how much I have to be thankful for and wanted to reflect on that today (apologies in advance for another list of bullet points!)

The really important ones:
  • a gracious God and the gift of Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith
  • a small, immediate family who I can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with in a t-shirt and work out pants. We are a laid back group!
  • a new, larger family who welcomes me whole-heartedly, even with Suzanne and Richard not around. I do have to look slightly more presentable, but time with Richard's extended family is always so much fun.
  • a fiance who is spending Thanksgiving night at the hospital taking care of members of the armed forces wounded fighting for our freedom abroad
  • amazing friends, the best anyone could ask for, from all chapters in life
And not-so-important, but still relevant
  • Coppola's Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy- if you have curly hair, run, don't walk, to your nearest salon to have this done. I have tried everything from straighteners to relaxers to even perms back in the days, and so far, this has worked the best of anything I've tried. I just had it done at the Ulta in NE Columbia, and will soon post before and after pictures. Amazing.
  • Diet Mountain Dew- my caffeinated beverage of choice. Every morning.
  • Dabo Sweeney and Oliver Purnell- I love the leadership they provide to my Clemson Tiger football and basketball teams.
  • a sweet baby brother who lends me his Mac computer to look at wedding dresses and compose this blog entry
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Who knew...

  • that Richard's third cousin would get engaged two days before us, making date selection slightly more complicated. We are all set now though for July 24th, 2010! Richard's parents' anniversary is July 27th, so it will be fun to share a similar anniversary date!
  • that traditional rules of etiquette dictate that you offer "best wishes" to the bride-to-be and "congratulations" to the groom? I have always mixed this one up!
  • how easy it would be to pick a reception site, largely in part to the expertise of a fabulous catering director and the proximity to the church
  • that being engaged would make the distance from Richard even harder
  • how overwhelming (but fun!) trying on wedding dresses can be- so many to choose from!
  • how much all the sweet engagement cards, emails, Facebook posts, flowers and gifts would mean to me! We have such amazing family and friends!

celebrating with Rebecca over coffee at IMMAC- she brought an adorable ring dish for my newest favorite possession...

and with Candy over lunch at Garden Bistro...

and with my tennis team at our match last Monday night...

not much better than cookie cake, champagne punch and Mexican dinner!

beautiful flowers from Kim, Jen and Richard

Sunday, November 8, 2009

and the celebration continues!

The timing of Richard's proposal was perfect because Clemson was taking on the FSU Seminoles on Saturday. We had our annual Reunion Tailgate scheduled, and lots of fun friends were planning on being at the game. It was so much fun to tell people in person, and the Tiger win just capped off a perfect couple of days!

With sweet Theta girls Sara, also newly engaged,
and Hannah, my roommate of 3+ years in Columbia!

having fun posing with Bec, also a former Columbia roommate and
Wofford and MUSC buddy of Richard's

favorite picture of the weekend, taken with the Tiger statue at Richard's suggestion- I was too busy trying to get to my girls that I didn't think about stopping, but I'm so glad he did!

LOVED telling these girls and seeing their babies! Wish I could have made it to the Reunion Tailgate sooner! Thanks for being such a good hostess, Lisa!

Kayce made bride and groom cupcakes! Nic's brother Dave also got engaged recently,
and it was fun to celebrate with them!

Really close-up with Ryan and Amanda in the stadium


Sunday lunch with Meghanne and Caleb

We're Engaged!

I'm not going to lie- when Palmettos and Pearls was created a few months ago, I hoped that I would eventually be able to use the blog as a venue to share my and Richard's engagement story. I have known for sometime (i.e. since he was my date to my freshman year college sorority formal...jk...kind of) that he was the boy I wanted to marry, but we had to make it through the hurdles of med school and law school and residency and long-distance dating first. I had hoped that we could get married sometime during Richard's research year, but Richard had been intentionally vague on when he thought he might propose. Little did I know he had been contemplating his proposal for quite a while!

Richard had planned to come into town this weekend for the Clemson-Florida State football game, and I went to Charlotte Friday afternoon to pick him up from the airport. It took me over 2 hours to get there because of traffic, and I grew increasingly frustrated when I realized it was the fifth time in six weeks that I had made that drive. When poor Richard finally got into the car, I dissolved into tears over the long drive and long distance and perceived unending back and forth. Richard was just sweet as could be while I was upset and encouraged me to just trust him. We had made plans earlier to go to dinner in Greenville, but once I dropped him off at his parents' house, I texted him to ask that we just stay in Spartanburg and run to Target to pick up gloves for the game Clemson game Saturday. He agreed to this and asked that I just come back by his house when I was ready. When I arrived however, he walked out in nice pants and a dress shirt and insisted that we go out in his mom's car. I started to wonder at that point, and when I got in the car, I noticed that there was a candle and a lighter at the base of his seat and knew that he had something up his sleeves!

I reminded him of needing to go to Target, but he gave me a look and told me that was not happening tonight! Oh to have been able to photograph that look- the look that said, see I told you so! You had no reason to be upset! He started to drive further back in his parent's neighborhood and turned on the CD player, where a CD that he had made just for us began playing. There is a little lake (a.k.a big pond :)) in the neighborhood, and we pulled into the access area and parked. It was fairly dark (and cold!), but as we walked to the dock, I saw that there was a table set up with candles, flowers, champagne flutes and an ice bucket with champagne. I had butterflies in my stomach as he led me to the table and pulled out my chair.

He told me he loved me and pulled out some thoughts that he had written on love, ending with 1 John 4:7-8, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." He then said that if he were not on night float at the hospital and had an unlimited budget, he would take me back to all the places that our relationship had grown and developed. Since he could not physically do that, he wrote a poem about our journey and read the title- simply "A Proposal, November 6, 2009." I think I was in tears from that moment on, once I knew for certain that my hopes had been confirmed! It was absolutely the most perfect collection of words that I have ever heard, and once he finished, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes, of course, and we went to dinner at the Piedmont Club. After dinner, Richard had arranged to have my whole family and his family over to his parents' house for dessert. It was the perfect night and the start to an amazing weekend and new life together! I am so thankful for such a wonderful fiance who was able to plan everything, get my parents' blessing and pick out a perfect ring, all the while spending 5 out of 7 nights a week at the hospital. We cannot wait to get married!

table down by the water that Richard had set-up

self-portrait right after it happened

dinner at the Piedmont Club

Suzanne definitely told me I was a hot mess when I walked in the door!
She was right!

all the family and friends present- wouldn't have been the same without them!

the beautiful ring!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween from Rainbow Brite and a very tall Smurf!

Getting ready to go out as my favorite 80's cartoon character!

Richard putting on the finishing pieces of his smurf costume

Side angle of the Smurf hat

Party hosts Max and Ashley

Happy Halloween!