Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Story of My Big News

So you may have heard: I'm engaged! Since I can't retell the story to everyone (I've already told it about 10 times), here's the story of how it happened!

When I left for work on that Wednesday morning (June 12), I noticed my roommate Amy was already gone. This is very unusual -- she almost always gets up later than me. My first thought was, she went to pick up Pat from the airport! I wasn't expecting Pat until that Saturday, but my suspicions about when he might propose made me guess that he could possibly show up early. However, there were no other clues indicating he was going to do that, I had just talked to him the night before.

So I checked Amy's desk when I got to work, and she wasn't there. I asked one of the interns passing by if he had seen her yet, and he replied, "I think she's picking someone up from the airport?"

I was right! Agghhh!!!!

But half an hour later I saw Amy and asked where she was. "Oh, I was having breakfast with my friend from church. It was a donor meeting and breakfast was the only time that would work."

Oh, makes sense. It seemed legit, and surely Amy would know better than some intern where she was! I believed her and went on with my day as usual, including my normal texting with Pat.

Little did I know, Amy had gone to pick him up, but his flight was delayed and so she had to go back to get him later in the afternoon. All the time I was texting Pat that day, he was just a few miles away!

Just before 5pm, my friend & office roommate Grete casually announced she was leaving early to get some reading done for her class. I thought nothing of it. Little did I know, she was leaving to go pick up Pat and bring him to my apartment. Amy was watching me from the room across my office to make sure I didn't leave too early, to give Pat enough time to get to our apartment and set up. They even instructed our intern to stall me in case it looked like I might leave early.

I went home around 5:45 as usual. I was not aware of anything that was going on with Grete or Amy or our intern.

When I opened the door, immediately I noticed the patio door was open, and I saw this standing on an easel out there.
I vaguely processed that it was an infographic, but I was more focused on how odd it was that there was something outside on the porch. Then I looked down by my feet and I saw Plopper, my little stuffed animal dog that I had given Pat. That's when it really hit me, Pat is here!!! But where?!?!

I walked out to the porch thinking he might be hiding around the corner. I didn't see him, but I did see that my camera was sitting on the ledge, recording a video. The following few images are captures from that video.
I glanced at the poster but I needed to find Pat! So I went back inside and looked in my bedroom. I saw his shoes and backpack, but no Pat. He wasn't in my closet either, I checked.

As I came back out of my room, Pat emerged from the kitchen pantry! In the video, there is an audible yell from me.

Stupidly, the first thing that came out of my mouth was, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!" Um, duh, Laura.

I gave Pat a hug, still totally in shock that he was standing in front of me. I had just talked to him 10 minutes ago and he had suggested we do a video chat that night. I had been picturing him far away in California. I couldn't process that he was right there in my kitchen!

Pat was eager for me to go back out to the porch, so we went back out and he made me look at the poster more carefully.
I still wasn't totally taking in what the infographic said. I kept holding Pat's hand and trying to hug him, but after a few moments he pulled away from me.

He got down on one knee (and then we were at about eye level, hahaha), pulled out the ring box, and said, "So...will you marry me Laura Li?" I think he said something else before that but I really don't remember. There was no long speech, which I think was good for both of us because it was pretty overwhelming. The rain was coming down really hard too so it was hard to hear anyway (you can't hear much on the video.)
Well, of course you know the ending: I said YES!

Later on, I finally got a better look at the infographic and saw the bottom line said, "Laura's answer to Pat's next question?" with a blank spot for me to write in. I enthusiasticlly wrote in my answer:

It was pouring so we had dinner near by at Saigon Noodles (I think it is becoming our favorite place) and spent the rest of the night recounting the day and talking to family and friends via phone/text. I think Pat did most of the talking because I was still in shock. Overall it was a great day. I was so happy to have that moment all to ourselves. :)

Oh yeah, here's the ring! (It's a dark blue sapphire, even though it looks black in the picture.)

I wanted to say thanks to my friends and Pat's accomplices - Amy, Grete (who designed the infographic) and Courtney (who printed and mounted it). It's only once in your life when you feel so loved because your friends lied to your face. :)

I can't wait to be married to Pat. He is a great man who loves Jesus passionately. He challenges me and empowers me to be who God made me to be. I'm thankful for how God has worked in both of our lives to bring us together.

Please pray for us as we prepare for marriage, and also as we transition to now living in the same city - something we are both excited about but are aware will need some time to adjust to. God has blessed us so much throughout our relationship already, I'm excited for what he has next for us!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Visualizing Scripture

While cleaning up I was organizing all my manuscript study papers from months of team meetings. One thing I've begun doing is doodling little infographics on my pages that help me process ideas we are learning in that passage. It has been a fun, different way to engage in Scripture. Here are a few I redesigned for sharing with you all.