HE PUT A RING ON IT!!

YALL I'M GONNA BE MRS.TOLAND!!

But duh, by now you probably already knew that. What you probably don't know is the incredibly sweet & thoughtful way Drew asked me to be his wife. I know, I know, I know... two months into being engaged, and I'm JUST NOW finally sharing our story! You'll have to forgive me, but THAT'S how crazy life has been these past couple of months!

In all honesty, our story started with a series of lies. {But, I like to think other good surprise engagements stories do as well!} The day that we got engaged, I was under the impression that we were not only going to a work dinner for Drew, but before dinner we were going to get drinks with some of our mutual friends that also were attending the dinner.  And, on top of that, my sister and her boyfriend were going to babysit for our mutual friends' daughter. When I went to pick up Drew {because his car was "supposedly" at the shop...lie}, he showed me a text from his coworker that said their baby was being fussy so they were going to be late, so Drew and I had time to kill before we met up with them. {SO. MANY. LIES.} 

Drew told me he wanted to show me something & instructed me to start driving. At this point, I didn't think anything was weird because of how well planned all of the lies had been leading up to this point. I only started to become suspicious when he led me to St. Catherine's at Bell Gable and asked me if I had ever seen it -- which I had not. 

We pulled in, and guys just let me tell you, it looked like we were smack dab in the middle of a fairytale. That place is BREATHTAKING. Sun was shining, there were miniature ponies grazing on the grass {no.freaking.joke}, and the chapel was on point: small, old-timey-looking, and covered in ivy. {PS. If you've never been, YOU GOTTA GO. It is incredibly beautiful, and somewhat of a hidden gem of Fayetteville.} 

GUYS MINIATURE PONIES ARE A PART OF MY ENGAGEMENT STORY, HOW FUN IS THAT?!

Okay, back to the story. Once we got parked, Drew and I got out and immmmmediately headed to pet the ponies because 1) how many times do you have the opportunity to pet miniature ponies?! 2) at this point I started to wonder if I was about to get engaged, and honestly I just needed a just a second to catch my breath. Drew graciously let me have it, and after our small detour, he took me on a walk towards the chapel. 

Along the path we were walking on, there were these beautiful posters that had 1 Corinthians 13 printed on them. {Later I found out Drew's family had helped him with this -- so big thanks to yall!} At this point I'll admit I had a good feeling I knew what was about to happen, but still trying to act casual and cool, I even made a comment about how weird it was that the church had those posters just sitting out... {SO cool guys, so cool... #fail.}

As the path curved, we ended up at a BEAUTIFUL little setup down by the river: white rose petals all over the ground, a white table cloth covering a stone table and benches, and even a little present. When I saw the setup, I think I let out a little "OMGAAAH this is happening" before he sat me down and told me everything a girl wants to hear. And to the ladies who are still out there waiting for their day to come, let me just say how it is so amazing how in that moment God provides everything you need to hear to give you confidence that what you're doing is good and right. For so long I prayed that God would just give me such peace and joy that I wouldn't even question if it was right or wrong, and you better believe He not only did that -- but went even beyond my expectations! God is so good, and so cool like that.

When he finished telling me how amazing I am {I kid, I kid}, he walked me to the lawn in front of the chapel, and told me there was one more thing he wanted to do. And literally everything that I had dreamed and prayed about for years and years finally happened: Drew got down on one knee, told me he loved me and asked me to be his WIFE.

Don't worry, I said yes :)

After he made me the happiest girl alive, he walked me back down to our table by the river and gave me the gift. It was a beautiful leather journal bible, and while I couldn't stop staring at my new name engraved on the front, he explained about how he wanted me to have a place where I could record what God was teaching me through our marriage and life together. {Isn't he just so amazingly thoughtful?! *sigh* }

Then we went inside the chapel where we took communion for the first time together, and Drew read one of his favorite passages to me: Colossians 3:12-19

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do,whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them." (NIV)

And oh how I love that so much. Looking back, I'm incredibly thankful that we had a moment to just invite God into our marriage and to thank him for bringing us together. Which brings me back to my ladies -- find a man that will point you towards Christ. Our engagement was so special, but also such a sweet reminder of how much God loves us, and that is shown by how he has orchestrated our stories to become a part of each others in such a deeply, intertwined way.  As much as I wanted to jump around with joy and scream at the top of my lungs that we were engaged, Drew provided a time for us to simply be still, and give thanks and pray about our future moving forward. That was by far one of the sweetest moments we had of the day, simply because it was our first act of seeking God together, as the Future Toland's. 

Once that was done, we simply had fun, and took pictures to remember the day! One of Drew's friends and future groomsman helped document the day. {BIG THANKS BRYANT!**}  Why do we have popsicles you might ask?! Because he finally "pop"ped the question, and I said yes.... {See what we did there?! Props to Drew for that one}

And the celebrations weren't over! After we wrapped up at the church, we went to Bordino's to celebrate with both of our families! It was such a joyous time for everyone to be together to celebrate, and we're so incredibly thankful for all of them and the work they put into making it such a special night for us! The next day, the party didn't stop and we got to celebrate with our friends and family at an engagement party at my parents' house! Let me tell you this... 

NEVER HAVE WE EVER FELT SO LOVED BEFORE! 

Big thanks to everyone who helped celebrate us and loved on us all weekend long! You guys truly mean the world to us. We can't wait to celebrate with each one of you as we become The Tolands in February! Like literally... CANNOT. WAIT. 

And just like that, that's the end of our engagement story! Although... I like to think of it as only the beginning. {cheesy I know, but I can't help it, I've got all the feels for this one!} Woowho, now we gotta just DO THIS THANG!

Love ya Drew Toland.

Can't wait to MARRY ya 2/4/2017.

#ITSTOLANDTIME #BECOMINGATOLAND

 

** Photography cred: Bryant Penzo | @btpenz **