I screamed pretty loud when my brother called to tell me he was engaged! He had to tell me over the phone since he and the soon-to-be Mrs. reside in Chicago. I asked if they’d be willing to share their engagement story and this is what Lance had to say about it… (photos by Gina Zeidler during our family session):
I guess it would have to start that weekend in August when the ‘rents were in town. Sarah was at a volunteer function so Mom, Dad, and I were finding things to pass the time. We decided to stroll up the street to check out the vintage shop. On our way to the shop the subject of my future plans came up and I said something along the lines of “Well I’ve been meaning to talk about that.” Mom told me about her grandmother’s ring, what it meant to her, and who has worn it. When their visit was coming to an end, Mom gave me the ring and told me that we had hers and Dad’s blessing.
The next thing I felt I had to do was to get the Ok from the hopefully soon to be father-in-law. Sarah and I were wrapping up what seemed like a marathon of friends weddings and getting asked when it would be our turn. The final wedding we attended that year was in Minnesota, and we had planned to meet Sarah’s folks for breakfast that Sunday before we began our drive back to Chicago. It turned out that the breakfast crew was Sarah, her father, myself, and her youngest sister, who would be late due to her keys locking themselves in her car. Sarah didn’t leave the table until we were leaving the café, then leaving her father, her sister, and I standing outside. I decided to capitalize on the opportunity.
“Real quick before Sarah gets back. Are you going to let me marry your daughter, Jack?” was the question I posed. Having blindsided Jack I had to repeat the question, a particularly hard task whilst attempting to comprehend the gravity of such an inquiry. Jack tried to ask a question or two, but Sarah had rejoined the group. We said our goodbyes and headed for home. The next day I got a call from Jack. He stated that someday he knew some fellow would ask for his daughter’s hand, but the exchange that took place the previous day was not how he pictured it. He then shared some kind words and gave me the go ahead.
So with ring and blessing in tow I was a little closer, but still no exact plan. I had given Sarah tickets to the Lion King for her birthday, and decided to her ask her that night. Figuring that dinner and a show would provide a good foundation for what could be a life changing evening. The day finally came and we decided to go on an adventure before heading to dinner. We had heard of an apple pie festival happening in the area and decided to go check it out. Upon arrival we found that we were a day early. We settled for a beer at the Map Room, a nearby tavern, instead then decided to head towards the restaurant for dinner. Rose Angelies had been the setting for a previous romantic dinner, so we decide to return. We even had the same waiter as our prior visit. Enjoying our food and wine took longer than expected, thus foiling my idea to ask on our way to the show. We arrived at our seats just at the end of the first scene and enjoyed the rest of the show.
I didn’t want to ask amongst a sea of fleeing theater goers so decided to hold off on our way to the next stop, but was determined to end the night engaged. With the night still young we decided to grab a drink. While sipping our cocktails we struck up a conversation with the couple next to us. I remember them asking us if we were married, and my response being “not yet”. That being my standard response Sarah didn’t think anything of it. We soon paid our tab, and Sarah was ready to head home.
With little time and a few missed opportunities, I said now or never. Walking back to the car, I noticed we had the entire block to ourselves and began to tell Sarah that I love her. I stopped her under the “L” and presented Sarah with the ring and asked her if she would be my wife. Her initial response was “Wait, What?” Not having fathomed a response other than yes, I pulled the ring out of the box and placed it on her finger and asked “Will you marry me?” This time I got an affirmative answer, an embrace, and a few kisses.
Hand in hand we continued working our way towards the car as the reality began to catch up with us. Outside the parking garage a street peddler, in fact the only other person around, commented on how good we looked together. We then did what anyone else would do. We hurried to the grocery store to get some champagne before off-sale ended.
With that… I get a new sister! Lance and Sarah have yet to pick their wedding date, but will soon be making lots of decisions. This pretty lady is incredibly smart too! She was matched with her #1 pick for her residency and they’ll be moving to Michigan in July. Our whole family is excited for what is in store for them and I truly, sincerely, and whole-heartedly believe there couldn’t be a better match for Lance. Love you both!