I have been sitting here, staring at my laptop screen for fifteen minutes. How on earth do you put into words the best day of your life?! If “succinctly” is the correct answer, you have come to the wrong blog post. :)
Today, I am beside myself with joy, excitement, thankfulness, and countless other emotions to share with YOU all of the details (and I mean allll) of getting engaged to my favorite person on earth, Andrew Bowman!
*Rereads that sentence again in disbelief.*
I want to take a second before we dive in to, first of all, thank each and every one of you who have sent love and encouragement our way! The comments and emails and DMs have made my heart almost burst. It is so special to share such a huge thing in my life with those of you who have been kind enough to share in it for so long!
Secondly, I want to apologize in advance for the gushy-ness of this post. I’m going to be “that girl” and lay it all out there. So just be warned!
Now that we’ve covered all of that, shall we begin?!
Sunday, September 16, started out with me taking in the gorgeous, cool morning while rocking on the back porch of the ranch house with Andrew and a cup of coffee. We’d just had the best weekend playing board games, swimming, exploring small towns and hanging out with two sets of our closest friends (one of which had just gotten married) and I was genuinely so, so happy and content. Something about time away at a ranch or lakehouse always puts me in that kind of mood.
Over the course of the next hour or so, more friends started to wake up and join us out on the porch. That’s one of my favorite memories of the day… sitting out there, soaking in my favorite people in my favorite place, having no idea how my life was about to change!
A couple times that weekend, Andrew had mentioned wanting to eat at a new brunch spot on the way out. We decided that leaving around 10:30 would give us time to eat and get back to Dallas in time to watch football (Andrew’s objective) so pretty soon we all started picking up and getting ready.
Here’s where it all started happening. I had just put on the exact same outfit I’d worn to dinner the night before (see below for a photo Andrew took that Saturday night, #outfitrepeater) and was starting to quickly do my makeup when I heard Andrew say through the bathroom door “Don’t overdo it, Kate!”
(P.S. For those of you asking, here is the top I wore!)
I’m sorry… EXCUSE ME? Funnily enough, it was such a weird, not-Andrew-at-all comment that it didn’t really bother me. (Little did I know there was a big purpose to it!) But Andrew rushed in to apologize and said to “make it up to me,” he’d take me to Pride Rock after fixing a feeder his dad had just texted him about.
Pride. Rock. Here’s what you should know… it’s a gorgeous spot on Andrew’s family’s ranch that overlooks the property, and it’s one of my favorite places in the world. Andrew took me there last fall, and sitting up there with him talking for forever and taking in the view is one of my favorite memories to this day. (See photo below for some photos we took on Pride Rock last fall!)
I never told Andrew this, but I always hoped that if the Lord ended up leading us to engagement… he’d propose there.
Now, when Andrew told me he’d take me to Pride Rock to make up that sassy comment to me, I was so excited. I had been asking to go all weekend, but there was always some reason Andrew would say no. (Now I know why. ;)
Andrew grabbed a satchel thing along with wire and some other things he said he needed to fix the feeder, and we jumped into the Polaris to head out that way. Driving along, Andrew decided to go to Pride Rock before going to fix the feeder and before I knew it, we were there.
Surprise No. 1
As we got out and started the climb, I noticed Andrew had brought along the backpack/satchel thing he said he’d needed for the feeder, but not any of the other tools. My heart started to beat faster. That was not normal.
It’s so funny looking back on it now, because we had both totally forgotten how steep the short hike up to Pride Rock is and we had both totally underestimated how hot it would be outside! We were huffing and puffing and sweating profusely before we even reached the top. Sooo romantic, right? :)
Once we finally reached the top, Andrew led me out to one of the ledges to look out over the property. He stood behind me, put his arms around me, and I remember leaning back and saying to him “This is our special place.” He said “Do you want to make it our special place?” and then I knew what was happening… and I couldn’t process quickly enough! He talked about wanting to spend forever together, start a family one day, and asked me if I wanted to. I don’t even remember what I did or said… I probably just stared at him like an idiot!
I do remember him saying one thing super clearly… “Let’s do it, then.” And all of the sudden he was kneeling down, opening up the satchel and pulling out a ring box. I swear I got dizzy and I remember repeating over and over again “Is this really happening?! Is this really happening!”
I then watched him open the box, look up at me and say “Kate Padgitt, will you marry me?”
Y’all… I FORGOT TO SAY YES! I was too overwhelmed and ecstatic and in such an out-of-body moment that all I could do was throw my arms around him. I don’t think I even got a good look at the ring until minutes later!
Finally, he pointed behind me and said “Look that way.” I swear, y’all, I thought he was going to point out a deer. I kid you not. But lo-and-behold, it was his precious father who had been camped out waiting for us for over an hour! He had photographed the whole thing! (And apparently had had quite the tumble just 15 minutes before we arrived. His chair gave out and he ended up tumbling down Pride Rock. Talk about dedication!:)
When Andrew and I processed that whole moment later that day, I about died when he said “Kate… you kept… like, squatting.” Y’all, I was too overwhelmed and excited that I kept halfway collapsing. How perfect that that’s one of Andrew’s memories of the moment… ha! ;)
Surprise No. 2
After taking a few minutes to soak in all that had just happened, we headed back down to the bottom of the hill. Andrew’s dad had brought his truck so we could ride back in the AC (praise!) and I’ll never forget driving up and seeing our friends outside the cabin waiting for us! I lost it!
While Andrew and I had been at Pride Rock, they had been decorating the cabin, pouring mimosas and getting ready for our return. I can’t believe they managed to keep their cool all weekend. I didn’t suspect a thing!
We were all inside cooling off and celebrating when I realized… MY FAMILY DIDN’T KNOW! I immediately facetimed my mom, dad and sister all to no avail. My sister called me back and frantically whispered “We’re in church, we’ll call you right after!”
After about thirty minutes at the cabin, Andrew said it was time for us all to head on to brunch. He and I jumped in his truck to start the 20ish minute drive into one of the nearest towns, Glen Rose. I loved that car ride so much. It was the first time he and I were alone after he proposed, and talking it over together and sitting there letting it soak in was the best.
That’s when I really had time to gaxe at the unbelievable ring Andrew had designed for me. I’m still in shock, y’all. I’ve taken so many pictures of it since, but this one is my favorite because it’s the first one I took… right after it happened, in his truck, on the way to brunch.
Surprise No. 3
We pulled into Glen Rose, and Andrew parked his truck in the parking lot of the hotel his parents love staying at, the Inn on the River. I’d been in love with it ever since we had the most magical dinner there a few months back… see the photo below!
“We’re going to meet my parents in the lobby and then walk across the street to brunch” is what Andrew told me as we walked up the front steps. We walked in… and his parents weren’t in the lobby. That’s when I saw my dad through a door towards the back, and next thing I knew I was sprinting into a room where my mom, dad and sister were waiting for me with Andrew’s family!
Andrew had planned the most beautiful surprise brunch at the inn both his parents and I loved so much. It was perfect in every way.
Cue the waterworks… again! At this point, I swear I had sweated and cried all of my makeup off. Haha! For the next two hours, our families enjoyed a gorgeous brunch (chicken and waffles?! yes please!) all together. Andrew had told me we’d be driving back to Dallas after brunch and straight to see my family… I didn’t realize he had brought them to me! (And how quick on her feet was my sister in saying they were at church? Totally bought it.)
By the time we had all laughed and cried, ate and drank, taken photos to our fill and said our goodbyes, Andrew and I got back into his truck exhausted. I hadn’t realized until then that I didn’t have anything to eat all day until that brunch! We were absolutely spent from the most perfect, non-stop morning I could have ever imagined and spent the rest of the drive back to Dallas processing together, talking through everything we’d just experienced and praying for this next season we were about to step into.
Surprise No. 4
On the drive back to Dallas, Andrew revealed to me another surprise… that he had made reservations at The Mansion hotel for dinner for the two of us at 6pm! We both decided we needed to go back to our own houses to shower, nap and decompress before then. Again… emotionally and physically exhausted!
So after he dropped me off at my apartment, I set my ring in it’s box and literally stared at it while I took the longest bath ever. After the craziness of the morning, it felt like a dream!
As I started getting ready for the evening, I couldn’t for the life of me decide what to wear. Y’all… had I known this was happening you bet your bottom dollar I would have had ordered something perfect for the occassion! But Andrew truly managed to take me by surprise, and I was stumped!
This may sound cheesy… but finding the dress I’d wear that evening was one of the favorite little blessings (of the millions) that the Lord gifted me with that day. I was digging through my closet just certain I didn’t have anything perfect for the night when I came across a hot pink, off the shoulder dress that I had bought for a rehearsal dinner but never worn! (You may remember it from the blog this past spring!)
I had had it in my closet for months and had always meant to get it altered (I remember the shoulders feeling a little too loose) but had never gotten around to it. Y’all… I put it on and truly had never felt prettier. (SO cheesy, I know!) It was so me! Pink, fun and perfect for celebrating with my new fiancé! I remember saying “Lord, thank you!!!” over and over. I couldn’t help but think of this verse… how fun that the Lord loves us in every little detail of our lives.
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:28-33
Andrew came to pick me up, and I truly have never seen him look so handsome. My fiancé is HOT, y’all. I remember asking him if the dress was too much (we are talking hot pink and serious RUFFLES, y’all) and he immediately replied “I LOVE it. It’s perfect! I absolutely love that dress.”
As we were about to get in the car to head to dinner, Andrew had an idea. “We have the reservation at the Mansion, and I’m totally great with going… but we’ve had such a crazy day, how would you feel about doing something a little more low-key? Like Oishii, maybe?”
Here’s what you need to know about Oishii. It’s only my favorite. restaurant. on. the. face. of. the. earth. My family and I truly love it and have been going for years! We know all the staff, and consider it a second home, basically. I swear there is no better sushi in the world.
When I introduced Andrew to it early on into dating, he fell in love, too! It quickly became our place, and whenever we could we’d go have a fun dinner at the corner of the sushi bar there. (See photo below for a pic there the night before my birthday.)
Needless to say, it sounded perfect. It was our spot, and there was something about celebrating there that felt so perfect and so us. We decided to cancel our reservation at The Mansion and that after Oishii, we’d head there for drinks, instead!
Let’s just say… best dinner ever. The staff was absolutely wonderful (shoutout to Tom, Tye and Thanh!) and made us feel so celebrated and loved. They even brought out complimentary cocktails at the end of the meal! (For any Oishii-lovers in the house, you have to try the 1888.)
Andrew and I had so much fun ordering my favorite rolls, talking through the day and staring at my ring. I was being an idiot and taking photos of it against everything… including some of our sushi rolls! Let’s just say I had no chill that evening.
Surprise No. 5
After dinner, we got back into Andrew’s truck to head to (what I thought would be) drinks for the two of us at The Mansion. He had mentioned that maybe my parents would like to join us there for a glass of wine. I should have known he had another surprise up his sleeve!
As we drove, I noticed we were not heading in the direction of The Mansion, but rather… over to the neighborhood our parents live in. He would not say a single word as I started badgering him for details. He just had a smile on his face, and I knew something was up!
We got to his parents street and I immediately noticed cars lining both sides. “Ok, ok… it’s just a small gathering” Andrew told me with a smirk. What I walked into next was anything but. Around fifty of our closest friends and family had gathered at Andrew’s parents’ house for the most unbelievable surprise party I’d ever seen… and it was for US?! How!
I’ll never forget seeing my friend Amanda first in the crowd of people… she had driven in with her fiance Tanner from Austin and since it was a Sunday night, was driving back to Austin after the party! And then my precious friend Kelly Brooks, who lives in Chicago! And then Camille, who lives in Denver! I couldn’t believe my eyes… so many friends from near and far. I started doing that half-collapsing thing all over again. Truly couldn’t take it all in!
I don’t know what to say other than I can’t imagine a wedding being more fun than that night was. My mother-in-law (ahh so fun to say!!!) is a party planner extraordinaire, and every detail was unbelievable! Here are some photos from the party…
My in-laws had photos of Andrew and I framed all throughout the house. This was my favorite… a photo of us from pride rock last year, and then a photo of us from earlier that day!
Are Andrew’s parents not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?!
When the party finally dwindled down, Andrew drove me home with an armful of notes and gifts our friends and family had brought along. The day had been one surprise after the next, and I had so much adrenaline from everything that I laid awake for hours before finally falling asleep, engaged, as the future Mrs. Bowman!
Looking back on it, I am overwhelmed with how well Andrew knows me, loves me and all of the effort he put into making the day something out of a fairytale. Like any girl, I’d pictured how I would want to get engaged before. I knew I just wanted something personal, but I could never have dreamed up anything even close to this!
It’s only been two full days since the proposal, and the reality of the fact that I get to marry the man of my dreams is slowly sinking in. I woke up Monday morning and all I could journal was “Thank you, Jesus!” over and over again. When I think of what He has done in bringing Andrew into my life in the perfect way and at the perfect time, I can’t help but think on this verse…
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21
Every word, so fitting. The Lord DID immeasurably more than I could have asked or imagined in answering all of my prayers in bringing Andrew Bowman into my life. I can’t believe I am marrying someone who loves the Lord and loves others in such a real, active way. I can’t believe how much fun we have together, and how well we balance each other out. I can’t believe how good, how hardworking, how compassionate, how brilliant and how loving Andrew is. I can’t believe how much we adore the other’s family. I can’t believe a million other things the Lord did in writing this story… and my prayer is that in this engagement, in our wedding and in our marriage, HE gets all of the glory!
Sunday was a small picture of how much the Lord loves me, and reflecting on that brings tears to my eyes. Jesus, thank you!
And thank YOU for letting me relive this perfect day with all of you! I am already so excited to get to walk through this season with y’all. Wedding content, anyone?
In the words of Randy Travis… Andrew Bowman, I’m gonna love you forever and ever, amen!
Love from Texas,