Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Proposal

Well, after nearly 1 year of dating, the day I arrived for my vacation, Rob proposed! We are officially engaged, and here is the story of the perfect proposal.

After I landed in Buffalo, Rob and his parents were waiting for me at the airport. I was a bit surprised as I didn't expect his parents to be there. We went out for lunch, then when we got back in the car Kim (his mom) was like Well, Steph, I know you are tired, but we went to Niagara Falls back in April and there was a ton of ice and snow, and we really want to see what it looks like now. Okay, now I didn't sleep the night before because I was up celebrating my birthday with the girls in my house. But I was actually quite excited to go back to Niagara Falls, so I happily obliged.

When we get there, Kim mentioned that it's pretty chilly at the falls and we should bring was hot, and humid, and sticky, so I was thinking, how cold could it possibly be? But I chalked it up to her being a thoughtful Mom, so no big deal (little did I know Rob was actually using his jacket to hide the ring box because he obviously couldn't fit it in his jeans pocket!)

So we were just walking around the falls on the American side, then they said there was a bridge we should walk to because you could get a really good few of the American falls and the horseshoe falls (on the Canadian side). So we had to get our passports for this bridge, because it actually crosses the border in the middle. So we are on the bridge, and his parents are way behind us, which I thought a bit odd, but I guessed they just wanted alone time. At the same time, Rob is walking way ahead of me, and by now I'm just so exhausted! I was like gosh Rob why are you walking so fast?? Guess he was getting a little anxious :-)

Then, we get to the middle of the bridge, and Rob points to a plaque there on the bridge. It's the exact dividing line between the US and Canada. So I get all excited and I'm taking pictures, perfect view of the falls in the background. And Rob is like yeah, look I'm standing in Canada, and you are in the United States! Which I thought was the neatest thing. And then, I'm looking over the bridge at the falls and Rob goes Well, Stephanie...and my heart just stopped! I KNEW he was about to do it, and I begin to freak out realizing this is really about to happen. So I turn, and there he is down on one knee, in Canada, while I'm standing in the US, and he pulls out the most beautiful ring (c'mon now, this is the moment every girls wonders and dreams of...what is the ring going to look like?! :-)), and asks me to marry him...and of course, I said YES! Well, actually, I think I said "Yes, yes, yes, oh my gosh, yeeeesssss!!!!!" Then commenced much jumping and screaming on my end :-) I was shaking, and didn't really know what to do with myself, and all of these people are walking by on the bridge and congratulating us, and I'm just laughing and smiling and saying Oh my gosh we're engaged, we're engaged!!

It was THE most romantic, perfect moment, and I could not have dreamed of a better way to do it. In all honesty, I did not see it coming at that moment! I kind of felt like he probably would propose while I was here for vacation, but I was seriously so surprised! He definitely did very good, as my dad said, very classy.

I am so thankful for God bringing this man into my life. He is everything and more that I've ever dreamed of, and I can't get over how blessed I am. I can't wait to begin my life with him November 13, 2010!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Through the Seasons with Nancy Delgadillo

My old roommate/housemate/friend, Nancy Delgadillo is in town right now before she head's off to Panama for a mission's trip. What a perfectly timed divine encounter from God! I'm just going to share a bit of encouragement from this wonderful woman.

Nancy, since graduating the Honor Academy in December, has been able to remain fervent and steadfast in her relationship with God. One of the biggest things is this: at the HA, we are constantly going, going, doing, doing, being spiritually developed, praised by leadership, and while in leadership we are looked up to and encouraged - all the time! When you leave the HA, people don't care about your accomplishments and success here - most of them don't even know where in the world Tyler Texas is. So when we leave, all of what we were used to at the HA virtually disappears. But my identity cannot be found in the praise of man, but only in Jesus Christ. Though there is almost guaranteed a lonely season after leaving, God wants to fill us and satisfy us in the deepest possible ways during that season. We are most desperate for him when we are stripped of everything else this world can offer. And this season is just that - a season! What an encouragement to me, to know that despite the initial loneliness of leaving, that I can be satisfied in God!

Another point that Nancy reminded me of, is the complacency of the world, and how many after leaving the HA can easily slip back into that. What a waste to forget The Plan, to forget that this life is more than making money, getting married, having babies, and living comfortably. What a waste to just be satisfied with going to church once or twice a week. Life is so much more! I never, ever, ever want to fall back into the complacent Christianity that I lived before the HA. I have been given SO MUCH, therefore much is required of me. Any abundance in my life is meant to be shared, meant to be given, meant to bring glory to God. May I never grow stale, nor selfish, nor forget that this life is not my own.

So in my current season of questioning the foggy and unknown, this was a timely treasure from the Lord to see Nancy. He truly knows and cares about the longings of our hearts.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mountain LTE? Nope - Bus LTE

Well after every bus but mine suffering a total breakdown, days without showering, and climbing thousands of feet above the earth's surface, I am back, I am showered, I smell good again, and as you can see, I survived the Bus, er, Mountain LTE. Seeing the Rockies for the first time was quite remarkable, and worth the endless bus trip to get there. The climb up the mountain was quite treacherous. Most of the trails were packed with snow, which at this point was actually like solid ice making it a slow and difficult climb. I've got many bruises from multiple falls. But here are a few highlights to show you from the weekend~

This was the view from our campsite just outside of Estes Park

This is Bierstadt Lake...we got lost on the trail and accidentally stumbled upon it. I'm glad we got lost, because this was my favorite part of the entire hike :-)

This is Bear Lake, it's totally frozen! This shows you just how stinkin cold it was on that mountain!!

Standing in front of Alberta Falls - it cascaded down into a rapid river that ran through the mountains. Gorgeous!

This is the view from the top of Alberta Falls. Look how close we are to the clouds! It was hard to breath up there!

It was beautiful, it was hard, it was breathtaking, it was worth it. I look forward to doing adventurous stuff like this with Rob in the future.