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The 11th Reason – Our Engagement Story

I heard a knock at the door, I knew it was him.

He greeted me with that huge gorgeous smile I love and a little paper sack from Starbucks. “I brought you breakfast! I wanted to surprise you.” He lives far away from my house and I knew this wasn’t a “I just wanted to stop by moment” This was a strategic plan of epicness…

Earlier that morning he texted me as usual. Every morning for the past 11 months I get a good morning text filled with words of life and love. This morning was no different. It was the morning of our monthly Saturday ministry school him and I are in. I am in first year, and he is in second and the incredible Georgian Banov was teaching that day!

And so I hugged that handsome man at the door and ushered him to the table where he unpacked my favorite breakfast things. Sometimes I feel like my love language is food, but really it’s gifts, so when the two collide I am a happy woman.

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I hurried upstairs to get ready for class and when I can down I was presented with new information.

“We aren’t going to school. We are going to spend the day together.” He handed me a green envelope that carried more of his heart then the paper he placed inside. Decorative cut edges lined the pink paper, and his neat hand writing invited me to read the words I knew took him a long time to plan.

Time. That one thing him and I both share a hunger for and he set aside just enough to plan the most incredible day

You’ll receive 11 things I love about you, one for every month we have been together… it said
Beautiful- I’m captivated by your beauty Jules, you draw me in even when you are not aware…
Encouraging- The encouragement you give leave an impact on everyone you come in contact with…
Giving- You reveal an aspect of the Holy Spirits heart, a heart desiring to give so others can flourish...

Each line written was  filled with intentional details he saw in me. At the end of the note, there were clues to the next destination. I had 3 guesses but didn’t need them. We were headed to one of my favorite places. Oxford Exchange, a local coffee and tea shop filled with glorious books and dark wood details. But first, we snuggled and watched a movie he had never seen, Ever After, and with that our real life fairy tale day began.

On our drive to the coffee shop, we laughed, a lot. It’s one thing him and I are most known for. On our first date, we got stuck in the most unpredictable crazy moment, and for 2 hours, all we could do was laugh. But for that incredible coffee shop, lined with walls made of rich dark wood and marble counters, and the seats where we had history just as rich….I could get swallowed up in the gloriousness of that place and not notice time passing, and with him at my side, I did just that.

We stood in line at the coffee counter, ready to order, flirting and laughing until it was our turn.
“You have something for me?” Andre said to the barista to my surprise.
“Yes” the man behind the counter quickly disappeared and came back with the book Love Does by Bob Goff in his hand. He gave it to Andre  who handed it to me while leading me away from the counter.

“Wait?!?!You didn’t want coffee?”
He shook his head.. and smiled that amazing smile.
On page 111 was another note placed inside.

Love-You’ve always shown love and been love. You’re love is active and powerful, my dear.
Hilarious- I love how you make me laugh and say things I wouldn’t think you’d say. It cracks me up!
Honoring- I marvel at how you see someone and see the gold in them. You see me as God does..

 

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My entire life I’ve longed to be seen. For a man to look in my eyes and really seen me, all of the gifts and dreams God placed in my self, and for him to be captivated by it, and for the first time, I feel that. I feel seen, and what is wild, is I didn’t have to try, I just had to be, and little by little God showed Andre the sparkle parts of my heart, and it awakened something in him I am still exploring. Unconditional love.

We sat had talked about how God is stirring in us desires to be fearless love to the world, while sipping lavender tea, and interlocking fingers. We talked about our dreams and hopes, and how when people really step into bravery they are unlocked to step into everything they were made for.  We pause only to kiss each other on the cheeks,  or when he admired my beauty. The man behind the tea bar shuffled money in his hands but kept looking over at us. It seemed what God was doing was keeping him hung on our every word.

Andre opened the door as we headed out to my favorite lunch spot, but I kept thinking about how the tea man was drawn into how Andre and I talked about Love and laughed like we had known each other our whole lives. When God is birthing new things, the world wants a glimpse, they want a taste, and they are left distracted by His goodness. I hope we live our whole live distracting people with His love.

We ate lunch at one of our favorite date spots, Queen of Sheba. The place was empty except for us, and so with our private room, and laughter galore we enjoyed each other like we always do. During lunch, he handed me a book he had brought in and there on page 111 was another note.

Creative- You have this ability to piece together information at lighting speed, connecting and creating something..
Consistent- You are always the same no matter where you are or who you are with. You’ve been that was since I first met you..
Strong- I absolutely love and admire your strength. You my dear are a force to be reckoned with…

This time the pink paper told me our destination was my house. I was still just breathing in every moment, enjoyed each second of an incredible day filled with love and dates all around town. It didn’t matter if it ended with a ring or a hug goodnight because every moment was worth breathing in and enjoying. BUT, I was nervous by this point.

What in the world was at my house?

We both stood at the doorway, he unlocked my door.
“Open it.” he said as he stepped back. Slowly I did. All along my floor pink rose petals lead the way to my room where, on my bed neatly laid was his favorite dress of mine.
The red one.
With the heals he likes the most.
Someone had come and helped him create an incredible moment for me. He watched proudly from the doorway as I enjoyed the moment he had planned and opened the note..

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I was to meet him in a garden in one hour. He rushed out the door, and I got time to refresh and thank Jesus for this moment. I knew what was on the other side of the drive… but I wanted to breath it in and thank him for the restoration He always had planned.

When I pulled up, Andre was dressed up. He lead me deep into the garden around so many twists and turns. He held my arm, and as we walked I felt like the gals on the bachelor. Is he going to propose at the end of this walk?

And then, there were more rose petals, three white roses that represented me and the children, a bottle of my favorite wine, and 11 candles.
He handed me the last letter:

We can here in February with the kids. You thought I would love this place and I do but you wanted to do something special with the kids. You wanted to do a scavenger hunt. It was the first time I was part of something special you wanted to do with them that would leave them feeling loved. I remember the way you planned for them to find their items on the list and how at the end they found toys waiting for them. you brought me into the special place of loving the kids and it was so humbling. You brought me closer to the two of the most special people in your life. I’m almost at a loss for words. I love your kids, I love them as my own. They fill my heart with gladness and have a place no other can have.Thank you for trusting me with them Jules. They are such precious gifts I love. And you my dear are precious to me. This brings me to the 11t reason why I love you..
I love you because You are my best friend… Let me explain..

I put the card down and he gently took my hands. His face was quivery and his eyes we wet. He told me I am his confidant, the one his heart loves, and he never wants to live a day with out us in it. He told me how he loved the kids, and how precious they are to him, and how he loves me with his entire heart. He reached behind me and took out a pink box of my favorite cupcakes. Inside a single cupcake with the ring placed in it. And as He got down on one knee, He asked the most important question of our lives..

“Will you be my wife?”

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YES and AMEN.. HALLELUJAH!!!

We kissed and talked. The ring glistened in the sun and we sipped wine. The only noise was the waterfall behind us and the faint sound of his nervous heart. I could feel him in every moment, but this one was most profound. He was giddy, and tears pooled from his heart and rested in his eyes. We laughed and sat enjoying the moment soaking it in and as we walked back to the car, one dear friend and photographer Alyssa snuck out from behind the bushes. After this entire day of love HE PLANNED to have this moment to keep forever.

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**** MORE PICTURES of the proposal below, so keep scrolling for more goodness!!!**

We ended that night at my favorite restaurant, sipping champagne and soaking in God’s favor. We felt Him, the whole day, and since He lead us together He knew this day would come. What a gift it was… and little did I know He had more sweetness in store…

We choose to wait to share with anyone besides our family until we shared it with the kids.
The next day we picked them up and headed back to the garden, back to the place where the rose petals still laid from the night before. Andre re-proposed like it was the first time but he asked us all what our answer was. It was a huge yes from the littles.

We came up with a plan together to gift the kids something for them to always have from this moment. Andre choose animal to represent the roles he was going to have in their lives. It’s incredible to be a team and work to not only guard their hearts, but honor them as the gifts they are! The words he choose felt like a poem sung over them and as they receive their gifts they receive his heart in such a profound way… one I will never forget.

For Leilie, “An elephant, because they are always a unite. They stay together, and no matter what, I will be here. I will stay with you. I’m never leaving.”
For Kai, “A lion. Because they are strong and they protect. I will always be here to protect you and to be strong for you.”

2014-10-22_0242014-10-22_0252014-10-22_0262014-10-22_027  Look at her face! GOODNESS what a cutie. She adores him <3  

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He looks serious but don’t let that fool you. After the camera was put away he was skipping around throwing the lion in the air screaming “BEST DAY EVER!!!!” He must know these images will be shown to his future girlfriend…. He is right. 😉

2014-10-22_0292014-10-22_0302014-10-22_0312014-10-22_0322014-10-22_033   “Mommy, your ring it’s so beautiful mommy…” It is so amazing to share these moments with my favorite people in the world. WOW!         2014-10-22_034

It’s a little big for her now …. She has big dreams for our wedding. Big huge tulle skirt dreams.. Here are some of my favorite images that Alyssa took on our engagement day!

2014-10-22_0072014-10-22_0052014-10-22_009 2014-10-22_018It was so worth waiting for the man who holds my face like this… it’s worth waiting for… trust me.2014-10-22_0222014-10-22_0192014-10-22_016Not posed. I know you are surprised…

 

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My heart is full. I feel so honored and blessed to have these moments be apart of our story, the one of restoration, God began writing a long time ago.

We have big Honeymoon dreams of traveling to New Zeland, or Paris, or somewhere that rains glitter. If you would like to contribute to the most amazing trip of our lives Click Here <3

Love Always,
Julie

October 22, 2014 - 3:25 pm

Rachael O'Dell - pretty sure you guys should get married on 1/11….

October 22, 2014 - 4:22 pm

Sabrina Fields - Oh my goodness… tears are streaming down my face. God is SO SO SO very good! And Paris is the perfect honeymoon destination if I say so myself 😉 Love you!

October 22, 2014 - 6:44 pm

Holly Davis Daly - So happy for your Julie!! God has redeemed your story in a beautiful way :) Thankful for the short time our paths crossed in Indy and pray blessings on this union. Interracial marriage is another testament to God’s reconciliation. Welcome to the club 😉

October 22, 2014 - 9:24 pm

Crystal Lin Vara - What a sweet story Julie!! So happy he took the time to plan all the little details and had a photographer capture it for you!

October 22, 2014 - 10:26 pm

Chuck Stewart - Thank you for sharing this remarkable day with us. I recall a recent conversation I had with Andre’ and he shared how much he wanted you to be his wife. Mr Romantic did it right – Congradulations – Love you both

October 25, 2014 - 2:17 am

Carissa Buzza Kennedy - SO SO sweet!! What a great story!! Praying for God’s richest blessings as your two families join together!

November 13, 2014 - 3:39 am

Sherry Gillard - Wow! Wow! Wow! Finally got to read all of the beautiful details!! AWESOME job André Lamothe!! You have full permission to help my husband when the time comes… 😉 Love you both! So happy for you both! XOXO

November 21, 2014 - 10:20 pm

Sarah Perkins - Tears!! So beautiful!!! I am so thankful you found such an amazing man!! Can’t wait to hug you big!! Xoxoxoxoxoxox

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