I was spending the summer of 2009 in Germany completing an intership, which was a little rough on Jacob’s and my 3 year long relationship.  I decided to come home for the month of September instead of staying in Germany (Jacob was pushing my coming home a little too).

The first weekend I was home was Labor Day weekend, so my sister made plans to come home from college to visit me before I headed back to German. The whole family was around and knowing my family, they’d at least plan a big dinner together.

Saturday morning, the 5th of September, my best friend, Kim, and her fiancee, Greg, arrive at my house and say they’re kidnapping me to help with some wedding planning. I’m all excited that I get to help them, and we head out to Greg’s car. Kim turns around and hands me a note that says, “Anne, Welcome Home! As part of your welcome home celebration, your first stop is a visit to your nieces.”

Well, I just figured it was my family’s way of planning surprises, so I gave Greg directions to my older sister, Rachel’s, house. We pull in the drive, knock on her door, and she lets us in and tells us we’re playing a game of hot and cold for the next clue. I start walking around the house, while Rachel says whether I’m getting hotter or colder, and the path leads us to the backyard and to the grapevines. I dig through the branches and find the next clue that says, “The next stop on our trip is to a place we’ve often been with 18 holes.”

Kim, Greg, Rachel and I all climb into the car, and we drive over to the mini golf course. We walk into the clubhouse, and my parents and sister, Jill, and brother-in-law, Nate, are all there to surprise us. We play a great game of mini golf, and at the end, everyone hands me their clubs and golf balls to take in, which is a little tricky when there are 8 clubs and golf balls, so Kim and Greg help. When we walk back to Greg’s car, there’s a new note under the windshield wipers that says, “The next stop is a place you’ve been to a lot as a kid and will make your brain freeze.”

I figured it was an ice cream shop, but there were several I’d been to as a kid, so I was a little stop as to which one, so with some help from Kim and Greg, we pull into The Freeze, a well-known hometown ice cream shop. Who should be waiting out front for us? Jacob’s family minus Jacob. Now I knew something was really up, so we all had an ice cream cone, and Jacob’s sister, Justine, hands me the last note that says,”Now for a trip to the park where you’ll meet someone special.”

Kim and Greg drive me over to the park, and they walk me up to the pond and tell me that’s where they are leaving, and it’s up to me to find the “someone special”.

I walk out on the bridge towards the picturesque little island with a willow tree, and there’s Jacob waiting there. He asks me if I know what the entire day was for, and all I can say is it was to see him again. He pulls out the gorgeous marquis diamond ring from Denney’s and gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him. Between all the hugging and excitement, I finally get out the “Yes!”

We head out of the park towards the final location: my favorite restaurant, where everyone is waiting to celebrate with us.

Fast forward exactly one year to Jacob and I walking down the aisle in a little outdoor chapel with all our friends and family around. It was a beautiful day made even more special by a gorgeous wrap ring from Denney’s to perfectly fit my engagement ring!

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Last updated February 5, 2017