Wednesday, May 06, 2009

All the Details!


Apparently yesterday's announcement took many people by surprise, judging by the response from the Sensibility forums and my blog! Since I haven't given away any clues, that's perfectly natural -- but since I've been "in" on the whole thing, "surprising" is not a word I've been using to describe it!

So I suppose I should introduce you to Pablo, my wonderful fiance!

Right after our engagement on April 24th



We first met at church about eight years ago, but we didn't really know each other at that point. Every year the church hosted a conference, which concluded with an old-fashioned Southern Ball. Pablo was always very gentlemanly, dancing every dance and rescuing awkward teenage girls from the ignominy of being wallflowers! I danced with him occasionally, but other than that didn't have much contact with him.




Thanksgiving 2008



Apparently Pablo first "noticed" me when we were both 15. I was extremely clueless, and remained so for the next four years. We transferred our membership to another church when I was about 16 or 17, so Pablo kept an old church directory so that he would still have our contact information. We continued to attend the Southern balls, and Pablo continued to ask me for dances while biding his time as he finished college. In November of 2007, he asked my dad if he could correspond with me, with the intention of moving toward a courtship and eventual marriage if all went well.




A hydrangea in the beautiful gardens where Pablo proposed


My dad spent some time corresponding with Pablo and made several visits, making sure that the major theological and practical issues were all in order. We started corresponding on January 1st, and began the process of getting to know one another. It quickly became apparent that we agreed on just about everything! We have so much in common, it's almost scary -- but at the same time, his strengths lie in the sciences (though he's a wonderful pianist and an avid reader) and mine lie in the arts, so we complement each other well.



During the following months, we began to visit -- we would visit his family, then they would visit with us, and so on. Pablo started visiting on his own, and his visits became more frequent. We've actually had numerous people (even people in my current church) who have asked if we're siblings! Which is very interesting, considering that we have entirely different ethnic backgrounds...

We started officially courting in October of 2008.

Imagine my astonishment when I found this word verification while leaving a comment on a blog:

A sign, perhaps? *smile*

Pablo proposed at a beautiful state park in our area -- my parents and I went out there supposedly because my mom's birthday was in a few days! It was such a wonderful, memorable day -- although neither of us can remember much about the actual proposal! By the time he proposed, all of our letters (which he has been saving in a Word document) amounted to 1,500 pages. We like to write. A lot.




The hands, heart, and crown of the Irish Claddagh ring

symbolize friendship, love, and loyalty


As for my ring -- well, originally I did not want an engagement ring at all! Jewelry is not my thing, and I had heard that the facets/prongs of diamond rings could cut or scratch babies' heads. But it was something that was important to Pablo. Since I have always loved Claddagh rings, I looked for -- and found -- a ring that was absolutely perfect. By the next morning, it had sold out, and there was nothing else like it to be found among the millions of Claddagh rings on the internet! Lo and behold, when Pablo proposed, he had a ring identical to the one I had found -- using a picture of the ring, he had gone to a jeweler and had one custom designed! So I went from not wanting an engagement ring to not being able to imagine anything different!




A lovely striped rose in the gardens



We don't have a date yet, though we're looking at January of 2010. I am enjoying the early stages of wedding preparations! And yes, I will be making my dress -- though not out of my old standby, the infamous Simplicity 4499, as Keri suggested! *smile* I'll probably be posting some details as the preparations progress.


I am so blessed, and so happy! I can see the Lord's hand throughout our relationship, and I look forward to what He has in store for the two of us. And I can't even begin to express my gratitude to my dear parents, who have been so wonderful -- they have protected me throughout my life, and been supportive and encouraging (not to mention highly involved!) during the correspondance and courtship. I am so grateful for their care and the Lord's guidance!

43 comments:

  1. Congratulations to you both! What a wonderful blessing! Thanks for sharing it also. It's nice to have a reminder that even if it doesn't seem possible sometimes, there are young men out there striving to live for the Lord every day of their lives and who are dedicated to courtship. Thank you for posting this. It has really challenged me to live my life for the lord and continue to do things that will prepare me for the man God has picked out for my future.

    God Bless you both!
    Jessica

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  2. Pablo sounds like a wonderful young man. Congratulations again!

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  3. Oh, I'm so excited for you!! And the ring is just beautiful :) Praise the Lord! I can't wait to see your progress planning the wedding!

    blessings,
    Lauren Christine

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  4. I am so happy for you Shannon! WOW! The Lord has blessed you and Pablo in a big way! I hope you are still going on the England tour even though you are now engaged. Congratulations and May the Lord bless you both now and when you are married!

    In Christ,
    Rebecca

    on the S&S forum I am LadyAnn

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  5. I have a silly grin on my face. Your story is wonderful, and you're such a beautiful couple! Your engagement ring is beautiful, and so special! (As an aside, I've never had a problem with my ring scratching babies. I'm also not much of a jewelry girl, but, now, I cannot imagine not having my engagement and wedding rings on!) I am eagerly looking forward to seeing your wedding planning and all the details that go with that.

    God bless you all in this season!

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  6. What a sweet story. You two make such a handsome couple! Your ring is lovely and does not look at all dangerous to the tender heads of any future infants. :-) I am so excited for you and look forward to hearing more of your wedding plans as they unfold!

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  7. Oh my word, Shannon! I had no idea!!! Oh my goodness!! How absolutely thrilling!!! I am so, so, happy for you! And breathless with the joy of it.

    Emma

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  8. Awe...that's such a sweet story! And I love your ring...You guys look very happy together! i know I already said this once, but CONGRATS!

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  9. Dearest Shannon, I'm so wonderfully happy for you, and I don't know whether to cry or dance! :D Thank you for sharing your story... you two are such a dear and sweet couple! God bless you two!

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  10. Lovely...the Lord has truly blessed you!

    Psalm 103

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  11. What a lovely story! Thanks for sharing. :) God bless you both as you move forward into marriage. I can't wait to read all the details.

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  12. Wow Shannon!!
    That sounds so nice and sweet!
    I love to hear courtship stories, and since I am still waitin' for my dearie :) I can't wait to someday write my own!
    God Bless you and Pablo as you embark on the new journey of engagement!

    ~Kayla

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  13. Aaaah, beautiful Shannon! God has surely blessed you and your patience on His time! I pray that we will have such a story to share some day for each of my children!

    Congratulations again! And may the Lord bless you both as you continue to prepare for your life together as one!

    Lots of love,
    Sommer

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  14. Thanks so much for giving us the story! I love the picture from Thanksgiving - you both look so happy! God bless you both!

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  15. congrats!

    Enjoy the processes of being engaged and planning a wedding! It goes by all too quickly and all of the sudden you're married! Cherish your time with your parents and cram all the knowledge that you can...I felt like engagement was, in a way, studying for a very lovely exam. I went around asking everyone "what do you wish you knew before you got married?" and got an amazing variety of responses and learned a lot!

    Blessings to you and Pablo!

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  16. What a beautiful testimony your story is! Thank you so much for sharing! I will be checking back often for wedding updates... particularly as your dress comes together q:)

    Blessings in Christ!
    Tiffany (from S&S)

    PS~ I loved your ring when I first saw it, but knowing the story and meaning behind it makes me love it even more! So special!

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  17. What a blessing, Shannon. I'm very excited for you!

    God bless,
    Hannah

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  18. That is so sweet! The three of us ladies huddled around the computer reading this post. We are so very happy for you and Pablo!

    You two are in our prayers! May God richly bless you both!

    Joyfully in Christ,
    Emily Rose

    P.S. You two look so cute together!

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  19. Oh, Shannon, you truly are blessed--but not as much as Pablo, I'm certain! You will make a phenomenal wife. I don't know if you remember me, but I have commented on here a few times and have really enjoyed getting to know you over your blog, and I am positively thrilled for you! Keep us posted, and please do post more pictures! :-)

    In Christ,
    Tiffany Hope

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  20. Wow! Congrats Shannon!! Wow, I was totally oblivious of the announcement you made on your blog yesturday! I didn't exactly read it, and thought "Oh, that's a pretty ring. It must be Shannon's purity ring or something."

    ~Nona

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  21. Congratulations to you both!!

    I don't think I have commented before on your blog although I am a frequent reader but i just wanted to say the "details" are enchanting. :) It seems it could not have happened to a nicer girl!

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  22. Congratulations! Thank you so much for sharing your lovely story.

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  23. Oh, I'm so happy for you - and surprised, too! :) Congratulations and lots of happiness to both of you.

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  24. Congratulations Shannon!! What a happy surprise!

    Blessings,
    Alyssa

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  25. TheLord'sDaughter5/06/2009 10:07 PM

    Thank you for sharing! :D

    Congratulations!

    To the KING be all the glory!
    Rebekah

    *From S&S*

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  26. What a beautiful, lovely, God honoring story!!! :) Much to be grateful for indeed. May God bless you both richly as you enter this new stage of life!!!!!

    With Much
    Love in Christ,
    Miss Jen

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  27. What a sweet story. :) The fact that Pablo had a jeweller create that particular ring for you is simply precious. How you must treasure it all the more.

    You both seem so happy! May you grow in love and appreciation of each other as you plan for married life together! Enjoy this special season. ♥

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  28. Reading through the comments, it just clicked: You, your sister, and your mom are the ones that Mrs. Chancey mentioned that aren't able to go on the England tour, now, right? Ah, well, there are more fun things to be done now! ;)

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  29. Congratulations!

    May God bless you both in the months (and years) to come, both as you prepare for the wedding and in the months after.

    God bless,
    Anna

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  30. Many happy congratulations! :-)
    The ring is so beautiful. What a special treasure.

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  31. Shannon,

    I have been a frequent reader (but not a commenter) and was so thrilled to see your news!

    How exciting for you! May God richly bless this sweet time in your life!

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  32. what a wonderfully and sweet courtship story♥

    i only hope and pray that my own daughters will be so blessed as they find their "one and only's"

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  33. Oh! What a great story - thanks for sharing! :)

    I absolutely LOVE claddagh rings! I have a silver one my aunt gave me years ago and I wear it on my ring finger, since I am marries to Jesus. ;)

    God bless you guys - can't wait to see how everything plays out! xoxo

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  34. Congratulations. What a lovely story.

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  35. I just wanted to offer my congratulations. I have been following your blog for some time now and you are an inspiration to a mom of 7, with 4 daughters. You will make a wonderful wife and mother. Blessings on your marriage and I look forward to reading more of your blog posts.

    Shari from Green Bay

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  36. Oh, how simply, simply wonderful!!! I'm so happy for you!!! Your ring is GORGEOUS!!!!!!! I absolutely love it!!!
    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!
    ~Elissa
    (hobbit_maiden on the S&S board)

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  37. Beautiful!! The Lord has rewarded your patience! Congratulations!

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  38. EEEEEEKKK!!! You're getting married!!!! YES!! YES!!! YES!!!! *calms down* Sorry. I'm just to happy for you. *big grin* I hope you will have a beautiful and long life together. Can we have some more info on Pablo? I want to know more about this man that has captured the heart of one of my favorite blog authors. ;)

    God bless,
    Vicki

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  39. Ooooh!!! Congratulations Shannon!! This is such exciting news! :-) I'm so thrilled and happy for you! (although a tad bit sorry that this means we won't be able to meet you all in England... :-( )

    Lily R.

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  40. Dearest Sweet Shannon,
    This is what we have been praying for ever since we knew that we had conceived you. Many of your readers may not know how long we waited for you(14 years of infertility), so this is a "bittersweet" story. We actually sent out "pregnancy" announcements! It just goes to show how much we adore Pablo because we would only let someone as special as he is to take you away from us! We are so happy for the two of you and are so thankful for how you have been such an obedient, kind, loving daughter. We really see God's hand all over your relationship, and are ever so thankful to Him. May God bless you and Pablo as you will become a new covenant family.
    I LOVE YOU!!!!!

    Mum

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  41. I'm so happy for you Shannon, you will make a brilliant wife, Pablo is very blessed :-)

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  42. Hello, Shannon!
    I'm finally able to write and tell you how happy I am for you and your fiance. How lucky he is...I'm sure he knows! Oh... Allow me to heave a blissful--*Siiiiigh!* :)
    All my very best wishes,
    Janna

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