Shortly after Christmas, I went up to Dr. Wile E. Coyote’s house to spend until New Year’s there. I had not met his family before arriving there. His family was great. I’m a hugger, and I gave them all hugs when I saw them (I’m pretty sure—I’ve given and received hugs every other time I see them!). I was surprised that his mom, Karen, and his sister, Beth, were shorter than me. I’m the shortest one in my family. My grandma is shorter than me, but I think she’s shrinking, so it shouldn’t count. Oh, and an aunt of mine who is an in-law to the family is shorter than me. Barely. And my nine-year-old cousin. I’m getting off-topic. Can I just say that my sisters are taller than Dr. Coyote? They almost wear the same shoe size, even.
Anyway, Dr. Coyote was making all of these secret phone calls and kept holding his tongue when we would talk (the whole previous month), because he’s not that great of a secret keeper (although for this, I applaude him!). December 30th, we were driving home from visiting our friend in the hospital and her new baby and Dr. Wile E. said, “So, we’re going on a drive tomorrow.” It was determined that we leave around 7am, and mentioned that I should bring an overnight bag. “And just so you know,” he added, “in my overnight bag, I am packing a tie.” And I just smiled and thought about which of the two dresses that I packed I should actually bring (he had told me to bring nice clothes, so I overpacked, as usual, and brought nice clothes. When you’re driving places, you’re allowed to overpack).
The next morning, Dr. Wile E. Coyote gave me a sheet of paper with directions to places (except all the destinations were cut out of the paper, so there were little squares missing and stuff) and told me I was the navigator. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going, and I didn’t pry, because I love surprises. As we were driving, Dr. Coyote said he had a thought: “You don’t mind staying in a house if you’re by yourself there? It’s a familiar house.” Not at all. I asked, “Is that because UW La-Crosse doesn’t start school again for another few weeks? And he just shrugged. I peeked at the sheet with the directions, and even though it was just a street address, I kind of recognized the first address (because I had just mailed a bunch of Christmas cards out), but I wasn’t for positive or anything.
MILWAUKEE was the city we went to! First stop? My friends’ Bridget, Kara, Rachel, and Tang’s house, where Dr. Wile E. Coyote picked up some keys from Tang, who was there. Then we left again. (We didn’t even say more than “hi.”) And we went to…Liberty and Truth Ministries! A church that was my favorite place we volunteered at on Project (Doug didn’t work all the same places I did when we were on Project, but we’ve talked about it, and he was taking notes). Apparently, Pastor Seay wasn’t going to come in on New Year’s Eve, but Doug explained that “It’s for Anna…” and Pastor Seay was like, “Oh, well if it’s for Anna, then of course I’ll come in on New Year’s Eve.” Smiley face. It was so good to talk with Pastor Seay and catch up while we were packing clothes, so their clothing ministry could be moved into another building. Gah! Then Dr. Coyote said we should change into our nice clothes there, so we did. Pastor Seay took a picture of us and then prayed with us before we continued our day. It was great! Then, we went to Culver’s, which kind of threw me off. We stood out a lot because 1) we were white in a predominately black part of town and 2) we were dressed up all fancy and it was like 1pm. Dr, Wile E. Coyote emphasized that we were getting a “light lunch.” 🙂 The next place we went to was CITY ON A HILL. Aka, the building where Project was AND the place were we met and all that jazz. I tried not to get suspicious, but really. He brought a duffel bag in and had me wait while someone who worked there showed him to the chapel that he had reserved. I just sat and waited. I chatted with the receptionist. I read all the posters. A few times. I entertained myself. (I’m good at that.) After 5-10 minutes (it probably wasn’t actually that long), he came back and got me and led me to the chapel.
On our way to the chapel, I told Dr. Coyote that “I’m excited!” Because I was– I didn’t know exactly what would happen and I was excited to see what he had planned. He’s like, “I don’t really know what I’m feeling.” Ha. When I opened the door, I saw this beautiful bouquet of purple and white flowers on the pulpit of this little chapel. “Those are for you,” he said. The card read: “Always bringing you smiles. I love you! Doug.” THEN he had plugged in his iPhone to some speakers and started playing some music so we could dance (he made a point to put music on his iPhone THE NIGHT BEFORE, ‘cuz he didn’t have any on his phone before). So we danced to songs like “Your Love Never Fails” by Brandon Heath and other Jesus music that were all about the same tempo. Then he went to go turn the music down. I was thinking that I felt like I needed to sit down, but I also thought that might be a bad idea, and I should continue to stand, because….then he was looking at these papers in his hand and put them back in his pocket. He started telling me all the things he loved about me, sometimes taking out the papers again to make sure he wasn’t forgetting anything. And then he dropped the top page (which felt more dramatic to me than it did to him). The next page, he read a paragraph of the story I’d most recently written, about putting on the armor of God. He quoted me at the end, like one would quote from a book by a specific person and told me that he wanted to fight next to me. I was like, shaking with excitement. And then he let THAT page drop (dramatically) to the floor. The last page in his hands….ahh. HE WROTE ME A SHAKESPEAREAN SONNET. It was all about how he saw God in me and loved it and how God had given him permission to date me, and then God gave him the go-ahead to ask for my hand in marriage. (This is where the “giggle mess” got worse and more exciting, I think.) Then he gets down on one knee and I’m like, “Yes!” except he completely ignores me because he’s not done talking yet. He’s describing the ring and tells me to take a closer look, and I notice that it’s perfect, but that’s about it and I keep squealing “yes” and then he quotes Ecclesiastes 4:12 and asks me to marry him. THEN I said yes (again). 🙂
Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Though one may be overpowered, two can withstand. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
That was at like 2, and Dr. Coyote had the whole rest of the day planned. Gah! Then we went to Alterra by the lake (which has a new name that I don’t remember but is my favorite coffee shop in Milwaukee STILL). We had to bring the flowers in because it was winter and they would have frozen in the car. Picture op. Then we went to a real fancy restaurant. We had steak (that was super good), and our waitress brought us champagne ‘cuz we told her we had just gotten engaged. And Dr. Coyote was like, “Save room for dessert. I called ahead and made sure there’s cheesecake.” Btw, cheesecake is like, my favorite dessert. I didn’t even know he knew my favorite dessert! So we ordered cheesecake and our waitress comes back with two desserts. “This is the dessert I was going to bring you before you ordered dessert, and here is your cheesecake. Would you like me to take a picture of you with your dessert?” (We had asked her to take a picture for us earlier, because we were documenting our day. Check out our take one adventure album on Facebook! It’s in Doug’s albums.) So, the desert she brought out had two little cheesecakes and in between it said “Congradulations” in chocolate. Ahh. So we split the big cheesecake the next day when we got back to the Meyers’ house. Then we went to the Urban’s house (this staff family we met at project), who had left their house for the weekend but left post-its how things worked. So we watched Fireproof and cuddled and talked. Then, Dr. Wile E. Coyote brought me back to the four awesome ladies’ house for the night, and he returned to the Urban’s. It was a great day. 🙂
A lot of people were actually not at all surprised, including Ashley and Meg, two of our Project friends who were all like, “I totally called it! Like, two years ago!” So I sent the news to friends and family with a picture. Why not?
Part V, the next segment of this series, will be posted Wednesday! I really hope you are all enjoying this. It is enjoyable to me to be writing this whole story out. Dr. Wile E. Coyote, who has been reading my blog on his study breaks, says that there have been things he didn’t even know that I tell on my side of the story. Not that I wanted to tell it all to him right away. Now is a good time for him to know. “I’ve liked you since Project.” “I knew that you’d marry me.” “I think I’ve loved you since seeing you in person after we started dating—maybe even earlier.” And just so you all know, I did a lot of praying before the engagement, when we were still dating, that he wouldn’t break my heart. Then I got to a point where it would have been okay, even though it would have hurt like heck, because we had taught each other so much. But I am so glad that we did get married and are on this adventure of life. I’ll get off my soapbox (that’s coated with love, because I suffer from a disease called “love brain” that prevents me from thinking clearly) and save it. Like I said, Wednesday is the next post. 🙂
Anna E. Meyer