Happy weekend, readers!
I have some particularly exciting news to share. Last weekend, Evan and I became engaged! It truly was an exhilarating and love-filled weekend. Now that things have settled down, I wanted to share some of the details of our story.
The Setting: La Crosse
Last Friday, Evan and I traveled back to the place where we attended college and met. I didn’t think anything of our homecoming since it is a typical occurrence to visit family and friends in Wisconsin. The weekend started off like any other. I began my Saturday morning by enjoying coffee with an old supervisor. After coffee, I figured I would call Evan to see what his plans were for the day. My expectations were to casually stroll around town, visit family and friends, and maybe enjoy a special dinner. It turns out that Evan had MUCH different expectations for the day. When I called Evan to meet up, he claimed he was “busy” (righttt). He informed me of an envelope under a mat in his car that I should open. Confused, I discovered a manilla envelope discretely tucked under a mat in his trunk. It was labeled “Chelsey Marie” and included the following contents:
- A letter
- A homemade passport with 4 pages, each listing a location on top
The letter informed me to arrive at my first location within the passport. I felt a wave of indescribably intense emotions flood my body as I began to realize exactly what was happening. Evan and I had discussed getting engaged previously, but I hadn’t expected it to be this day at all.
The Cast: Laura, Jess and Us
The first location listed on the passport was a local nail salon. As I arrived, I noticed my friend Laura was waiting nearby. Laura has been friends with both Evan and myself since my sophomore year of college. Confused, I questioned what she was doing in La Crosse (she currently lives in Milwaukee). She laughed and replied, “Well, are you ready to get your nails done?” That totally didn’t answer my question. As we got our nails done, I was able to relax a little bit and enjoy my time with a dear friend. Later, Laura handed me another envelop. This second envelop contained information informing me of what to do next. The hand-written letter inside described that he knew how much I loved grabbing coffee and shopping with friends. Therefore, my next task was to grab coffee and shop. Well, you don’t have to tell me twice. I excitedly headed into the Gap nearby and purchased a new outfit. Laura and I also grabbed lunch at Panera quickly before I headed to my next location.
The Next Step: Campus
My next task was to head to the UW-La Crosse clock tower. The clock tower marks the center of our beloved undergrad campus. As I rounded the corner to to the clock tower, I saw my friend Jess in the distance. Jess has been our friend since my first year of college. She was my RA when I was a freshman living in the residence halls. Our friendship has grown over the years and I have continued to look up to her as a phenomenal mentor and friend. We took a stroll around campus and reminisced on our years on campus together as well as our current lives. Jess has a way of making anyone feel calm and confident. I was thankful to have her be part of the day to calm my nerves, even only for a moment. As our time together grew to a close, she handed me the final envelop which included a final letter from Evan. Nervously, I hugged Jess and began my trek up to my final location: Grandad’s Bluff.
The proposal: Grandad’s Bluff
If you have ever visited La Crosse, you are aware that the city is in the Mississippi River Valley. Meaning, both sides of the city are lined with bluffs and the Mississippi River is interwoven throughout. The design of the city makes for a particularly gorgeous fall destination. However, my vote for the most gorgeous spot in the whole city is on top of Grandad’s bluff. The view from the top allows you to see the city and the river bends for miles. You can even see the beginnings on Minnesota off in the distance.
As I drove to meet Evan on the top of Grandad’s Bluff, I began to notice the weather changing. It had been pouring rain earlier in the morning during my time with Laura. As I began my walk with Jess, the rain has subsided to sprinkles. However, as I turned my last corner to get to the top of the bluff, I saw the sun break through the clouds and beams of light shone down, making the river and city visibly sparkly for miles. I lost by breath for a moment when I realized just what was about to happen. I parked my car and began walking towards Evan. If you’ve ever seen the TV show, The Bachelor, it looked similar to the show’s finale where the woman giddily walks towards the man who may or may not be proposing. Thankfully, I knew the outcome of our day’s finale.
As I approached Evan, he immediately began to say nice things that I have since blacked out (so overwhelmed). Something about feeling like he is on top of the world when he’s with me (makes sense from our view at the time), and, oh, the question “Will you marry me?” I literally don’t even remember saying “yes”. All I remember is sobbing and hugging my now future husband. As the minutes went on, I started to hear a clicking noise. I realized that Evan had hired a professional photographer who was a friend of ours to capture our special moment. (all photo credit goes to: Megan!) It truly was the best day of my life.
We later met with up with family and our friends who had been involved that day. As I reflect, I am still overwhelmingly thankful for all of the love and support that has been shown by everyone for our engagement. I can not thank you all enough for reading and for your well wishes! We are truly blessed–let the wedding planning begin!
Chelsey and Evan
“Now at last they were beginning chapter one of the great story no one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”