Unbeknownst to me, for about a year before he popped the question, Nick had been hatching a major plan – and one that involved pretty much everyone we knew. He had been secretly preparing, filming, scheduling, and coordinating behind the scenes and I literally had no idea.
The day Nick proposed was a Saturday, and it was an unusual one for me. At that time in my life, I was working as a wedding banquet server, and that Saturday had been what my boss at the time called an “all hands on deck” day, when everyone was required to work and no one was allowed to request off. But, surprisingly – he told me to take a day off. I was a little surprised, but didn’t really think much of it and took it as an unexpected blessing (later I found out that Nick had called him and asked for me to have the day off – talk about a great boss!).
Another thing that made this Saturday particularly unusual was the fact that my whole immediate family was gone and out of the house pretty early in the morning and were (supposedly) going to visit my grandparents (not unusual for them on a Saturday). They hadn’t asked if I wanted to come, so I took it as a sign that I needed to take this day to rest – you know, between being a full time student and working multiple part time jobs, there was kind of a lot going on! (Later I found out that my family was NOT at my grandparents – they were at a park practicing a choreography routine – more on that soon! Also, I found out after the fact that my sister had left her journal open on the kitchen table with a prayer written inside, praying that “Nick’s proposal to Jenna would go well.” I cannot believe I didn’t see it, I was literally working FROM the kitchen table that day! Totally God!)
All that was on the agenda for the day was a picnic date with Nick in the afternoon after a relaxing morning. I hadn’t eaten much that day because Nick said that we were going to have a FEAST, so by the time he came to pick me up for our date, I WAS STARVING. Literally all I could think about was eating.
We got in the car, and there was a picnic basket in the back – I asked if I could take a peek to see what he had packed, but he immediately said no and that what was inside was a surprise. Then, for the entire drive to the park, Nick said basically nothing. It almost seemed like something was wrong, so he told me that he was having some trouble at his job with his new job (he wasn’t), so I reassured him and didn’t think much of it.
When we got to the park, my stomach was growling like CRAZY and I hopped out of the car, PUMPED to eat some delicious picnic food! I went to grab the picnic basket and Nick said “why don’t we take a walk first!” Oh my gosh. I wanted to kick him. I put up a bit of a fight, but finally conceded, and we started walking towards a big open field. But then, we saw a naked man sun tanning (no joke), so we turned around and headed back up the road (I learned later that Nick had to stall me because his mom had went to buy ketchup for the post-proposal barbecue! Also – he wasn’t stalling me with the naked man, that just happened to be unexpected and hilarious!).
We started walking up the road, hand in hand (Nick’s were sweating like crazy!), and I saw something move in the bushes – and it looked like something big. I started backing up, mumbling that we should probably turn around. But Nick grabbed my hand and kept pulling me along. What a picture of being in relationship with someone else – one of us falling behind from fear, the other grabbing our hand and walking us forward.
We finally reached the end of the road and turned to find a huge parking lot FULL of people – but all of their backs were turned towards us, and they were just standing there, all spread apart. At this point, I was starting to freak out a little bit “Nick, we should REALLY turn around!” But then, he pulled a boom box out of a bush, pressed play – and really, I should let this video finish the rest: