We dated for 3 years prior to our engagement and I can honestly say that I knew almost immediately that one day I would marry Dwayne. We mentioned marriage a few times( I probably more so then he), but for
the most part we didn't have a date or year as to when it might work best for us.
Halfway through my second year of college, I started to get the itch to do missions. I ended up leaving to complete my DTS in Makapala, HI. with YWAM in July 2002. I was gone for 5 months. During that time Dwayne and I continued our relationship long distance. Nearing the end of my time in Hawaii(about a week before I came home), I remember having a conversation with Dwayne about our friends Holly and Anthony. Dwayne was telling me how Anthony was proposing to Holly that weekend. He then started asking me what kind of ring I liked. That should have been hint #1, but I'm oblivious to a lot of things and this was one of them. Sure I knew it was going to happen but when I was completely in the dark.
My flight came in on the friday night before Christmas if I remember correctly. Of course having not seen each other for 5 months we spent every waking minute together for the next few days. At church that weekend, during a conversation with Linsday, Dwayne asks me if I like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve better? This should have been hint #2, but again I missed it completely! On Christmas Eve we always go to my parents church for the service. That year Christmas Eve was a tuesday. I remember getting ready then heading to Dwayne's house. He made me dinner, which I think was just spaghetti, but up to that date I'm pretty sure he had never done that before. So that should have been hint #3. I remember his sister Dawn was there and she got mad at Dwayne for something and threatened to tell me something. Hint #4! Of course, luckily for Dwayne, I am oblivious!!! So we ate then Dwayne mentioned that he wanted to take me to see the Christmas lights at the Steinman mansion on Marietta Ave before church. Hint #5, I love Christmas lights, but in our years of dating we had yet to do such a thing. As we are driving there Dwayne remains quiet and a little nervous (although really I didn't see that until after he proposed then i put it together). When we got to the mansion, he wanted me to get of the car and SNEAK onto the grounds(which is no trespassing). Me, not a dare devil, locked my self in the car and was refusing! I can't believe he didn't change his mind then! With some coaxing he finally got me out of the car. We got in and he was acting like we were sneaking so of course I went along with it. In the back there is a tower that overlooks the grounds and he headed up to it. Of course I was following close behind because I wasn't about to be left behind by myself. Then he mentions that he has to go to the bathroom and he'd be right back, ha, that was not flying with me. Oh and by this point it also started to snow flurry! So he skipped his secret mission to turn on the video camera and we went to the tower where we stopped to look at the
lights. He looked down and saw that two plugs were laying there unplugged. After trying to talk me into plugging them in, he gave in and did it himself. I was scared thinking we were going to get caught if they messed something up. As I was standing there, he plugs them in and instantly lights light up on the ground we are overlooking. I stood there and read them, "Will you marry me", and honestly my first thought was how sweet that someone did that! I turned to look at Dwayne and realized he was down on his knee. At that moment, I realized he did this for me!!! He asked and of course I said "YES"!