The Story of ED, Part 2

At last! Back to my magnum opus.  Part one here. {And ED = Ellen & Dave, in case you were scratching your head.  Our friends Sara and Pat used to call us that, but that’s a story for another day}

I left off when we started dating in Steubenville where we met up for homecoming weekend. We had our “define the relationship” talk on Friday night after I got in (really Saturday morning) and we had all of Saturday to spend time together before Dave flew back to Minnesota at 6 am on Sunday.

{Again, it’s amazing to think of the sleep we very willingly didn’t get back then.  Makes me sick to my stomach!}

The point of me blathering on about this weekend is that I had to wait a whole day for Dave to seal the the deal with a kiss!  I know, I know… poor me.   But it was excruciating!  Finally on Saturday night, we were hanging out with friends off campus and we decided to go outside for some air (well, I decided and Dave followed).  Our friend’s apartment was this really dingy, crappy little place right on Sunset called “The Virginia Apartments”.  My fellow Stuebie alums are well aware of what a seedy strip Sunset Boulevard is; not very romantic at all.  And recall that during twilight and dawn, the air in Steubenville is heavy with pollution.  It’s alarming as a freshman but as an alum coming back it’s very nostalgic and comforting.  Not.

Crappy apartment building+sketch Sunset Boulevard+pollution stench=sweetest first kiss ever. Love always elevates the mundane and shabby. 🙂

Ok, just so I don’t lose you, here’s the bullet point version of our dating story:

-We started dating at Steubenville in October.

-He visited me after Christmas and we went to Time Square for New Years Eve.

-I visited him in Minnesota in February.

-He got into SUNY Albany’s PhD Physics program and moved to Albany in May.

-We got engaged in August.

Pretty fast, I know, but we just knew.  So cliche. We spent most of our time dating long distance and that forced us to just talk about important things.  Very rarely I would have periods of self-doubt. I have always cared way too much about what people think of me, and more accurately, what I think other people think of me.  Most of the good couples I knew (especially my older and wiser McSisters) had been together for several years before they got married, or at least, they knew each other and were friends for a long while.  Our relationship moved so fast!  But I had dated before and had experienced what didn’t work.  Dave and I never fought and we were on the same page about everything.  What were we waiting for?

Dave started planning our engagement in April, before he even moved to New York from Minnesota. First he started looking into rings. You have to understand, Dave is a researcher.  It’s how he got his masters and PhD in 5 years flat, you know? Anyway, he decided that in order to get a high quality ring, he would have to buy the diamond separately.  He found the perfect diamond and then he found a jeweler who would make a unique ring with it.  The ring was ready sometime in July, but he had to sit on it for a while.

In the meantime, he hatched an elaborate proposal plan. Dave put soooooo much effort into this proposal!  If I hadn’t already decided way back in September that I needed to marry this guy, the proposal clinched it! In the beginning of August, I went on a two week trip to the Outer Banks with my friend Angela and her family.  I knew Dave was going to talk to my parents while I was gone, so as much as I was enjoying the relaxing vacay, I was anxious to get back home.  Not as anxious as Dave was, though!

As we were driving back home, I got a call from Claire.  She needed me to babysit Jude the next morning at 9 am.  I said ok, of course.  I missed my wudgie baby nephew!  I showed up the next morning with wet shower hair and needing coffee.  No one was downstairs so I called out to Claire and her muffled voice called back “We’re up here!”  When I went up, this is what I found in Jude’s room:



Claire was hiding in the closet video taping my reaction.  It finally dawned on me what was going on!  But I thought he probably was hiding somewhere else in the house and would pop out with a ring.  I opened the envelope and realized that it wasn’t going to be that simple!

Dave planned a scavenger hunt for me!  The first destination was St. Mary’s in Albany.  He printed out google maps and manipulated the program so that he could put specific, minute directions for me to a certain statue in the church. He even put quarters in the envelope for parking meters! And down on the bottom of the map where Google usually provides a disclaimer, Dave changed it to read:

These directions are for proposal purposes only.  You may find that construction projects, traffic, weather, poor planning by your future husband, or other events may cause conditions to differ from the map results, and you should plan your route accordingly.  You must obey all signs or notices regarding your route.

Shaky and excited, I went on my way.  When I got to St. Mary’s I sought out the specific statue of Mary, and at her feet was another envelop and red roses.  Inside was a sweet letter and more directions!  This time I had to cross the Hudson to Troy and go to St. Joseph’s church.  I hit a snag with this destination because the church was locked!  No problem though, my future husband left his note and bouquet of lilies on the steps of the church.  Of course, there was a another set of directions, this time to Immaculate Conception Cathedral, back in Albany.  The directions led me to a statue of the Sacred Heart, underneath a huge stained glass window of the Holy Family.  There was another note & directions and more flowers. Dave wrote in his note that the stained glass window was a gift of St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s to the Cathedral.  Fitting, huh?  I looked at the directions.  It said simply, look behind you.

There he was, all dressed up in a suit and tie. :)Well, you know the rest.  We went back to Claire’s house where she snapped some pictures.


Woops, I forgot, he changed before we went to Claire’s.


We got married on the following July 4th.  Man, it was a long 11 months!  wedding photobooth

One little bit more… So, we ended up going to the Outer Banks for our honeymoon.  The year before when I was there with my friend, we camped on Hatteras Island but one day we took a trip down to it’s neighbor, Ocracoke.  I was immediately enchanted by it.  The island is only accessible by ferry, and it’s home to a herd of wild horses! The town is so sweet and quiet.  There are no big retail or restaurant chains, no huge beachfront mansions.  We passed this beautiful B&B that was right on the harbor called the Castle.  I knew when I looked at it that I had to go back and I had to bring Dave!  So that’s where we went for our honeymoon, and we stayed at the Castle.  And in two weeks, we’re going back to Ocracoke as a family!

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Well, that’s it folks.  Thanks for hanging in there. 🙂 And thank you to Grace for hosting the link-up.  I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s stories and marveling at God’s Providence.  Simon’s parents are Grace’s Godparents?!? Kate almost switched colleges?!? Tim was Lisa’s friend’s brother and he was a monk?!?  Wow, it really reminds me of God’s goodness and how His plans are always better than our plans!

10 thoughts on “The Story of ED, Part 2

  1. I very much enjoyed following along with your story – thanks for sharing, Ellen! And I love the photo of your nephew holding the 1st envelope – so adorable.

  2. Oh my goodness, Ellen. That is THE sweetest engagement story! I couldn't read it fast enough to see where he was leading you next! And Ocracoke sounds awesome.:)

  3. Pingback: 7 Quick Vacation-takes | McSisters

  4. So never mind how I ended up on a year+ old post today, but I'm laughing at the Sunset Boulevard descriptions, and at how PhDs handle ring buying, apparently. Justin did the same thing with mine and ordered the diamond separately (after Excel sheets of optimization, no joke) and had a jeweler set it.

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