man slipping diamond engagement ring onto a woman's ring finger

In August I decided to write a letter To My 17 Year Old Self. Basically meaning, it was to my 17 year old daughter.  

I poured out my heart and shared knowledge I have picked up in my 39 years.

One of the things I want most for my daughter, for each of my kids, is love.

Love deeply. If your dad and I ever wanted to show you all anything, it was how to love. I pray we have taught you that. Love with all you have. There is no greater feeling than to love and be loved passionately. I desperately want this for you. I absolutely love… love.

Colby and I have been blessed by love. It did not come easy. It requires more work than most people realize. My prayer for my children is that Colby and I have grossed them out enough every day to teach them what love really is. It is so very important to me.

Love is an amazing thing when everything works as it should.

Growing Up

Okay, let me set the scenario for what I am about to share with you. I was leaving for New York on a Tuesday. We had just dropped our son off at his college for class, so Colby and I were at the store with the girls shopping for a few things for my trip.

I got a text from Chey’s boyfriend asking if we were home. I told him we weren’t but would be in about 30 minutes. He said he would meet us at the house.

me and chey

Now, knowing Chey’s 18th birthday was that weekend, Colby and I simply knew. We knew what was coming. Neither one of us said anything. I gave him a look, he grinned, I grinned back. It was time to brace ourselves.

Things were about to get real.

When we got home, I ran upstairs to put some things away. Colby followed just to leave Nic waiting. The girls sat on the couch and listened as Nic told them his plans with ease. They giggled.

Colby went down and I followed. Nic sat on the love seat and Colby sat in the chair beside him. The girls and I were across the room on the couch. Colby started with small talk. Silly questions. I told him to behave and let the boy do what he came to do.

Nic, hugging a pillow, finally got out the words he came to ask:

“I want to ask for Cheyenne’s hand in marriage.”

Although I knew it was coming, I still got a lump in my throat. My 1st baby, my oldest daughter, my sweet child… was growing up. Right in front of my eyes. It was getting real and I would have to start handling it whether I wanted to or not.

We said, “Yes.” Nic has been part of our lives for over 3 years. Cheyenne loves him. He loves her. They are good for each other. We had no problem giving them our blessings.

Colby made some stipulations and Nic agreed. Keep Christ as the focus of the marriage. No hitting our daughter. Easy, right?

The plans for how to ask her started. Chey is a romantic. She needed more than a quick pop of the question in the middle of the living room.

Nic and I went back and forth via email (to hide from Chey) for a couple of weeks and then finally decided on an idea that worked. It all went as planned and at the end, there were tears and a definite, “Yes.”

They were engaged. My baby girl was growing up and spreading her wings.

It hurt in some painful parental way… but was beautiful and enduring at the same time.

The plan:

  • Get milestone dates from Nic and make signs.
  • Scout out the park and lay out exactly where everyone should stand with their respective sign
  • Call Chey and tell her I need pics of her in a dress for a review. She hated having to do it but obliged.
  • Pick her up and stall.
  • Text Colby and Nic repeatedly to check if everyone is in place.
  • Get “lost” and miss 3 exits putting us into the next city just to make sure everyone was in place. Have Chey think I am crazy.
  • Pull into the convenience store just before the park to go to the bathroom—and call to ensure all is set. Again, Chey thinking I am nuts.
  • Begin our walk in the park by taking the really long way around. Take one picture before looking for a better location and running into the 1st sign.
  • Whew!

The pics:

My 9 year old even taped the whole thing from her perspective. She was the 1st sign holder. 

Now it’s on to wedding planning, right? Lord, help me!

One more thing… Before anyone asks:

  1. Yes, Chey just turned 18. Reminder: Colby was 17 when he proposed to me on my 19th birthday… 20 years ago.
  2. I keep reminding the girls, just because they are engaged does NOT mean the wedding is tomorrow. Whew!
  3. Yes, Colby and I adore Nic. He has been part of our family for over 3 years and we love him and count him as one of our own.

Congrats, Cheyenne & Nic! Love you both!

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