Last Saturday, Drew asked Stephanie to be his wife! We are completely thrilled, excited, happy, thankful... there are just not enough words to adequately describe how we feel. We have loved Stephanie from day one (which was about 9 years ago) and she is already like a daughter to us. The two of them have never had eyes for anyone but each other since they first met, and they have patiently waited for this time in their lives where they can finally get married. They are both 21, Drew is graduating from the Master's College in May with a degree in business/accounting and works at an investment firm, and Stephanie has been working full-time at Grace church for about a year. They have submitted themselves to the Lord and to their parents over these years and have a beautiful story of friendship. They are just perfect for each other and we couldn't be happier!
Rich and I are overwhelmed with God's kindness in giving our son such a godly and beautiful girl to have as his wife. Stephanie's parents are dear friends of ours and we know that their faithfulness in raising Stephanie translates to incredible blessing for Drew and our family. As parents we pray for our children and their future spouses, and when God answered that prayer of ours, He really did so above and beyond what we could have ever imagined or dreamed of. We are so very thankful.
So, I guess I should give a few details of the engagement... well, many years ago, they met at San Clemente State Beach campground. San Clemente is our favorite camping spot, and we were on a trip with our bible study, using the large group campsite. Our friends, the Brooks, had recently met the Tubbs family, and had invited the two oldest girls, Lindsay and Stephanie, to come along on the trip. I still remember the girls coming out of the van and thinking that they were adorable. Well, apparently Drew set his sights on Stephanie. As she describes, he "stalked" her the whole trip. They got acquainted and Drew even engaged her in a card game of "Go Fish" to have her attention. They stayed in touch over the next year or so, and then her family began attending our church and joined our bible study.
There were many more camping trips after that, in which our family took with the Tubbs family. There were trips out to the desert where the kids could go on motorcycle rides, and also trips to Yosemite and our local beaches. They had the wonderful opportunity of spending time together not alone, but in the context of our families being together. When they got their drivers' licenses, sisters Emma and Lindsay were often part of a foursome when they went places together.
Suffice it to say, by the time that they were about 18 (and possibly earlier), they knew they were heading in the direction of marriage. However, that still being years off, there were challenges. I am really proud of Drew for the way he submitted himself to Stephanie's father in pursuing her during that time. Robert was amazing in coming alongside Drew over those years, and really discipling him in a way as their relationship slowly progressed. The Tubbs warmly welcomed him into their home often and really took the time to know Drew. Meanwhile, we did the same with Stephanie and she easily became part of our family as well. There were ongoing conversations between Robert & Luci and us over the years and we are so thrilled that we will now be "family."
OK, well back to the engagement... so on Saturday, Drew planned that he would take Stephanie to San Clemente for the big question. I think he has had this idea for some time, as this is truly their spot. He asked her to come down and spend the day here, and when she arrived, he had a new outfit ready for her. :-) She changed and he said they were going somewhere for the day. They hopped in Rich's cute little car and headed for San Clemente.
He took her to a cute little crepe place for lunch, then they headed over to the campground. San Clemente is situated on a cliff, and there is a spectacular walk down to the beach. You head down a steep path, and when you round a particular corner, the whole Pacific ocean comes broadly into view and it truly is spectacular. A little ways down from this is a bench which is the most perfect spot to sit and admire the beauty. They made their way there and Drew pulled out a deck of cards. He asked her if she wanted to play "Go Fish." They began to play, and at the end there was one card left in Drew's hand. She asked why there was a card leftover, and he handed it to her. It said "marry me" on it. :-) He then got down on one knee, and proposed. He had a beautiful ring made for her and handed it to her in a black box. Somewhere in there she must have said yes! Then, Emma popped out from a hiding place where she had been taking pictures! They took some more photos together and then spent some time calling their families and friends, and of course updating their social media! They eventually headed to our house, where the Tubbs family and us were anxiously awaiting their arrival! We had a big dinner with Stonefire Grill and Porto's desserts waiting for them. It was a great evening celebrating and hearing them tell the story. A truly happy occasion. They are planning to get married in the spring!
The happy couple and their parents.
I love this pic of them with all Stephanie's sisters!