Wal-Mart Dowry


The day I found out I got the new job at PCMH was also the day the Tar Heel had planned to ask my dad for my hand in marriage.  He called my mom and told her he had some fish his family caught the weekend before to give to them.  This was a really good idea on his part because he has brought them fish in the past, so they didn’t suspect anything at all.  The only problem was that he was having difficulty reaching his Aunt Brenda (hey Mrs. Brenda!)  who had the fish and so he had to change his plans a bit.

And so he headed to Wal-Mart to pick up some meat.  I don’t know if he was just super nervous, or what exactly convinced him he needed to actually bring something to my parent’s at all.  Regardless, he started filling his cart with various cuts of steak, shrimp and whatever else he thought fitting. 

When he arrived to my parent’s home, he walked right in with bags and bags of Wal-Mart meat.  We have laughed so much at the thought that he was bringing my parents a dowry of Wal-Mart meat in exchange for my hand in marriage!  Ironically, it actually worked out because I have a lot of family coming into town this weekend and my parents have already started marinating my wal-mart meat dowry. :)

Once he handed over the meat, I guess my parents probably knew something was really up.  The Tar Heel told me he started talking to my parents about how much he loves me, and how he would do anything for me.  Before he could even ask, my mom, who L-O-V-E-SSSS my Tar Heel, jumped up and said YES!!!! Yes!! My dad proceeded to tell her to sit down and “let the boy finish” and reiterated the fact that he wasn’t actually proposing to her.  This whole scenario is so funny to me on so many levels, and I am sure anyone who knows my crazy parents can imagine how hilarious this must have been as well.

Fortunately, they said yes AND my dad managed to not spill the beans about the “talk.”   My dad is the worst at keeping secrets.  Anytime he gets one of us something really good for Christmas, we neveractually  get it on Christmas. We get it the minute he walks through the door because he can’t wait to see how excited we get over it!  And that’s why I knew it would be hard for him to keep it a secret from me when the Tar Heel talked to him.  I just KNEW I wouldn’t be surprised by our proposal because my dad would slip up and tell me.  The fact that my dad didn’t call and say something like “Maybe you should go get your nails done…” was one of the main reasons I had no suspicions that he would propose that weekend.  Well I found out later that my dad had a plan to avoid telling me.  He powerwashed our entire house and every deck/wooden anything because he knew he couldn’t hear the phone ring in case I called!  When we came home to show them my ring for the first time, I thought he had built completely new decks at every door to our house! 

I love every part of our engagement, and especially these silly stories.  They are so representative of my crazy family. I hope the Tar Heel really knows what he is getting himself into, though the fact that he brought a Wal-Mart meat dowry makes him fit in pretty well with us… :) 



Tonight on my way home I passed a church sign that read “God’s love is never found accidentally.”  I started to think about how applicable that is to not only God’s love, but His love for His children.  He created each and every one of us with a purpose.  We don’t really know that purpose until we discover God’s never ending love for us, and so often I have come to see how purposefully God has placed people in our lives for us to extend His kind of love toward, and for them to love us in the same way.  This has never been more evident to me than in my relationship with my sweet Tar Heel.  Our lives were so perfectly, and at times imperfectly, entwined for many years to lead us to the decision to spend our lives together.  It was only by divine intervention that we came together, and thrived, despite ourselves.

I truly believe that God placed Dustin in my life and me into his for a very real purpose and without any accident, just like when we find the love of Christ.  We have known this for several months and Dustin fondly tells me the story of his moment of clarity when he knew without a shadow of a doubt that we would spend our lives together.

And while the actual engagement itself was a surprise, I was not surprised in the least that it would be one where Dustin contemplated and planned the entire proposal with my wishes and dreams at the forefront.  He knew he would propose in Charleston, specifically the Gazebo at the Battery, after hearing how many happy memories I have of the city with my family when growing up.  He chose to do that for me.  He also picked out a photographer, because he knows how much I love having documentation of our love for one another through pictures.  He chose to do that for me.  He had a rickshaw pick us up from Magnolias, my favorite restaurant, because I told him I thought it was the neatest thing ever when my best friend Amy and her husband left their wedding in a rickshaw.   He chose to do that for me, too. 

After the photographer left and before we called to let everyone know, during our first moments together as an engaged couple, Dustin prayed and we gave our relationship to the Lord and thanked Him for His many blessings, including the gift of each other. He chose to do that for us.

I have been in a complete fog for the past few days.  The morning after our engagement, I woke up at 7:00 AM and recalled what happened the night before.  I immediately looked at my left hand and at the beautiful ring on my finger just to confirm that it wasn’t really a dream.   Luckily, it wasn’t just a dream and it all happened entirely on purpose. 

Next up: The days leading to the proposal– how the Tar Heel asked for my hand and other funny stories. :)

All photography by Kristen Williams Photography of Charleston, SC.  She was AWESOME!


One of my favorite cities quickly became my most favorite place in the world after my sweet Tar Heel asked me to marry him there in the most perfect and loving way.  It was so reflective of his love for me and our love for each other, and I could not have asked for anything better.  

I am still in the process of working on a post (most likely several) describing the proposal and the weekend, but it is so hard to find words to describe how it all felt.  Everything seems to fall short!  But I want to document this event for us and our future children (yay!) so it is in the works.

But first, a little preview.  In true Tar Heel fashion, a photographer was hired to take pictures of the entire proposal.  The proposal was a complete surprise to me.  Even though we have talked about knowing we were “the one” for each other since the beginning, I had no idea our engagement would happen this weekend, and knew nothing about the photographer and other details.  Here are a few shots to hold you over until I can finish my posts. :)