Tuesday, August 27, 2013


long lost blog that I hardly write in anymore.. 
I needed to share a life-altering story...
I've been dreaming of getting married since I can remember, always dreaming & wondering who the groom would be, how we would meet, how long we would date, what falling in love would look like, all that jazz.. and then I prayed about him for a long time, still wondering who he would be & how he would come into my life.. so in 2009 when I actually stopped in my tracks and looked at this handsome bass player in a whole new way, I don't think it ever crossed my mind that one day he would ask me to MARRY him!! I definitely had a huge crush on him for a while and was just very intrigued & curious about this guy, for a year and a half I would do anything I could (trying to not be TOO obvious) just to talk or be in his presence for more than five minutes.  And long story short, we started dating in November 2010, just that was crazy enough for me & now here I am writing about how he asked me to marry him!!

{nineteen year old Lindsay on the far left.. at WSM winter camp where it all began!!}
We would occasionally mention marriage or "someday when we're married.." or "our kids" yada yada yada.. but this past spring is when we *seriously* started talking about getting married & it made me so excited & happy just thinking about it, I would always tell my mom that I would want it to be a surprise, I wouldn't mind being dressed up, & I would want it to be private!! And then one night he asked me what kind of ring I was interested in.. and I didn't even know what to say!! It took me a few days to even cope with that because I didn't know if he really asked me that or not!! So we've been talking about getting married & engaged!! (A LOT this past year) we looked at rings, I found the exact style that I loved, and then at one point I decided I didn't want to talk about getting engaged anymore because I felt like the whole idea of it and when it would happen was consuming me and I needed to not think about it!! (And I wanted it to be a surprise!!) 
Even though I kept telling my mom I thought I would catch him, or suspect a proposal, I was VERY surprised!! I kind of had a rough week last week & complained A LOT & was just feeling discouraged.. of course the wonderful man in my life did all he could to be encouraging & uplifting & remind me of all the true things I needed to hear, instead of sulking in the low moments.  (if only I knew what he had REALLY been up to all week!!) We casually got coffee last Friday night, it was just nice to sit & chat with him for a while, hear about his week (or some of his week anyway -- he somehow forgot to tell me he met with my parents to ask for their blessing & that he had this elaborate plan all coming together...) & just enjoy time with him!! 
I had been thinking of going to this conservatory/garden in Ann Arbor (where we had our first KISS two years ago -- cute idea/place to get engaged?!!) all summer & saw it was going to be a pretty day on Saturday so I suggested we head out there for a day-date!!  And VERY smoothly he reminded me of some pictures he took at the same place, and how he thought I should wear a dress & we could take more pictures... in the back of my mind, I did think MAYBE he would ask me in Ann Arbor at these pretty gardens.. BUT it was my idea, so I quickly pushed that idea out of my mind!! 
{at the gardens from two years ago!!}
So I woke up on Saturday, it was a gorgeous day, not too hot or humid, blue skies, sunshine.. my main goal for the day was to find a dress to wear for this trip to these gardens!! I found a sundress to wear, fortunately had a good hair day!! And then he picked me up & we went to spend a pretty afternoon together at this conservatory, garden, & take pictures!! It was just an all around really good afternoon spending time with him and being outside at such a pretty location, I just love every minute I get to be with him!! Then we wrapped it up & headed home.. (kind of!!)
I wasn't feeling that great on the drive home (THANKFULLY.. I decided not to tell him because I didn't want to ruin our great day-date!!), so I was kind of quiet, but then he suggested we stop for ice cream -- we get ice cream a lot, so that wasn't too out of the loop for him to suggest, so I still had no inkling of anything coming!!! We went to an adorable ice cream/coffee shop in downtown Franklin, (which now looking back on it, I love how everything played out because I spent a lot of time in that area growing up & always feel nostalgic when I'm over there & it just reminds me of so many good childhood memories!!) so we ate ice cream out on their cute porch -- and we're porch snobs so we talked about what we liked about it, but also about what we would do differently!! *I still had NO idea what was coming, but now looking back, I did think it was strange for him to bring his messenger bag he had his camera in -- into the ice cream place? And then take it to the bathroom with him...?  And now I know why he was guarding that bag with his life!!* 
I think it was maybe 9ish(?) and I knew he had to play at church in the morning so I figured we'd be wrapping up this day-date soon, and maybe I should trust his driving directions more, but as we were leaving I told him to turn right.. but he turned left...? But I didn't say anything because I decided he probably knew what he was doing!! Then he proceeded to turn down a side street....!?!? I was a little confused, but again not expecting anything just thought he wanted to see some of the houses down there.. maybe? BUT it was so dark you couldn't see anything anyway!! THEN he got kind of quiet and was taking weird turns.. I still tried not to think anything of it though.. but then he stopped his car & took the keys out...!? And started to get out.. (I think this is where I began to get really confused but still tried not to expect anything proposal related!!) and still VERY smooth he took my hand & said he had a late birthday present for me......!! (I guess I really should have known at this point where this candle lit path, leading to this gorgeous gazebo meant...  but he said BIRTHDAY PRESENT!!!)
I think I was a bit disoriented and nervous trying to watch my step down to this gazebo, it was dark and quiet, I had no idea where I was, I don't even know what I thought was happening!! So we sat down and I was admiring the pretty lights, candles, & sunflowers!! (especially because the sunflowers at the garden earlier in the day were very pathetic..) and he pulled out this big book he had made for me!! (Birthday present... right?

*my favorite movie is Elizabethtown -- and in the movie Claire makes this awesome cross-country-road-trip-map for Drew while he travels from Kentucky back home to Oregon.. the entire map she makes leads Drew to lots of interesting & crazy places along his journey, and has mix CD's she made to go along with it*
The book he pulled out I started thumbing through was a road-trip-map of OUR journey together.. it was the best "late birthday present" I could have ever imagined!!!! Still somewhat disoriented I didn't really put it all together at first how it correlated EXACTLY to the one from Elizabethtown & I skimmed over a lot of precious notes & detail he put into it!! (But I've gone through it MANY times since Saturday & cherish each and every little detail of it from cover to cover!!!!!!!) And looking through it with him was sweet, and just made me think of all the great times him and I have had over the last 2 1/2 years of dating, and just how much in love with him I am... and then I think things started to get blurry and left me in serious shock when I read a note he wrote on one of the last pages.. and then turned the page.. to see this.. 
And I think I started to have a heart attack at this point because I knew what was probably coming.. and I found this on the last page..
And then somehow he ended up in front of me down on his knee asking me to marry him..............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had to ask him about exactly what happened because I honestly don't even recall the actual moment because I was for real in shock and didn't know what to do or say!!!!! And looking back at it, I really feel like I was up in the clouds somewhere, I definitely was NOT fully present in the actual moment because I was so overwhelmed (in the best, most exciting, and happiest way I could ever think or dream of..)!!! 
So according to my now FIANCE, while I was reading the note, he had reached over to get the ring box, and by the time I was to the last page, he slipped down in front of me & said "Lindsay Fillmore, will you marry me?" *I later found out I said "Yeah" -- come on Lindsay!!!!!!!! Lame response!!* AHHHHH just writing this out brings me SO much joy & happiness.. and at the same time still leaves me speechless that I could be SO in love with another human being & that he would do SO much just for me!!!!!??!!!?? Its the craziest & most exciting feeling to feel!! We got engaged!? It was such a surreal event that I wish I could relive over and over again!! It was the most perfect proposal I could have ever dreamed of!! So there I sat in complete shock, repeatedly trying to decide in my mind if this was real life or not... it was real.  
We sat & chatted for a while & I asked lots of questions, like where was I!? And how the whole event came to be!! I was overwhelmed just hearing how it all unfolded & how all the details worked out -- that people would help orchestrate such a beautiful proposal for ME!? Saying I'm thankful isn't strong enough.. I still can't believe it all is real!! I called my mom first.. who didn't know this was all unfolding either!! I texted some friends & still couldn't really grip all that was going on & I couldn't stop smiling my face started hurting!! Then it was sweet to see his sister & brother-in-law (who decorated everything!!!) shortly after to be excited with them & so they could take some pictures.. ahh it was so good.
So now I'm getting married to the most wonderful, creative, wise, & Godly man I could ever imagine!! I get to spend the rest of my life with HIM!! I always thought times before made my heart feel like it was going to explode with love I have for him -- and now I REALLY think my heart is going to explode!! I'm still trying to fully wrap my mind around the whole experience, but I think I've kind of been in this giddy-crazy-happy-smiley-daze since it all happened.  
We have no details or set plans for anything *yet* but I am so excited to experience this new season in our relationship as it continues to unfold and even more excited that this season will lead to a life together loving & serving God as husband & wife!! I can't wait.  I don't know how I got so lucky or why God has blessed me with such an amazing future husband!! 
So far this week Ephesians 3:20 hasn't left my mind.. being flooded with a lot of love, congratulations, & well wishes from so many people & thinking of how long I've prayed & prayed that God would bless my relationship with Jeff & that it would be preparing me to be a great wife someday.. I just continue to pray that God would be praised for all the great things in our lives, and now more than ever as we enter into a life of marriage together!! 
*side note: listen to your mom when she says you should paint your nails JUST IN CASE.. because I didn't, which is fine, but this beautiful ring deserves painted nails I think!!*

xox, future mrs. jeff van

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