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The Proposal Story
told by Donelle

It was Christmas morning, December 25, 2004.  I'll start with details of how things normally go:

Tradition in my family is that most of us (my younger sister, Ashley, myself, usually my older sister, Jill and this year Mike joined the group) spend the night at the house that we are having Christmas morning at (the present time and for the past few years it has been my older sister, Jennifer's house since she's the one with all the kids - 3 nieces and a nephew).  We wake up Christmas morning and first watch the little ones (nieces and nephew) open their stocking stuffers while we all sort of crack our eyes open and have a little coffee and snacks.  After the stocking stuffers are opened, the ones that don't spend the night get there (my parents and this past year, my sister Jill) and we all sit around in a big circle so that we can all see what each person got(I have a huge family, my three sisters, brother-in-law, parents, 3 nieces, a nephew and myself, then the new addition this past year, Mike).  Then we take turns opening gifts until all the gifts are gone, throughout the time we are opening presents we are enjoying YUMMY homemade tamales (another tradition) made by my mom and my sister, Jennifer. 

This goes on for quite some time, but within this time frame Mike had a plan unknown to anyone else in the house.  Mid-way through the opening of presents he asked me to open up one of his gifts, so I grab the first gift which was the prelude hint into his master plan.  It was three DVDs, first one was '50 First Dates', second one was 'The Wedding Planner' and the third one was 'So I Married an Axe Murderer'.  After I read the last DVD outloud, he chimed in with a "I couldn't find anything that said Married, so I went with that one."

After a few more presents going around the big bunch, Mike sort of got the group rallyed together and asked my sister to get the camera ready.  My Dad and brother-in-law were in the other room watching the Laker game, so we had to grab them away from the TV, thank goodness for TiVo, we convinced them to walk away for a moment.  I was like, what is the commotion about?  He said, trying to throw me off, "it's funny, I want everyone to see it."The Engagement Ring

So he puts the BIG box on my lap and said this is the present I have been waiting to give to you for so long.  I was like, geez, lemme in this big box, I want to see what it is.  But then he puts a card on my lap and says, "But first, you need to open this card up and read it before getting to this box."

So I look at the front of the card which reads:

In you I've found the love of my life and the closest, truest friend of my heart.

Then I open up the card and "it begins", the card reads:

My Dearest Donelle,
I will start by telling you that words alone could never describe the love I have for you.  All my life I have dreamed, hoped, wised and prayed for someone like you to come into my life and show me what true love is!  I could fill page after page of reasons why I know that you are the ONE I want to be with forever.  I thank God for you every day and night! You make me feel like the luckiest man EVER!  Thank You!
Yours Always,
Now take a minute and think of all the reasons you love me and why I am the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. When you are done, Look me in the eyes and tell me that you LOVE ME!

So of course, I told him I loved him and he got down on one knee and proposed with my family all in awe. Thankfully, my sister, Jennifer had the video camera on her lap and turned that thing on immediately when she realized what was going on and my other sisters, Ashley and Jill got some great snapshots of the experience.  Which I am very thankful to have both those things because to tell you the truth, I was so nervously excited that I kind of forgot bits and pieces of it.  So I have these images to remind me of this most perfect day.  It was a very special moment! Definitely a Christmas I will NEVER forget.

To see an animated time line of the pictures of the proposal click here! Video Coming Soon! t, so I thought that would be the perfect spot to propose

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