A year ago today I had the surprise of my life.

I had all our family and friends, all fifty-plus of them surrounding us as I told my best friend that I would marry him. I will never be able to tell you his shaky sweet words that he pronounced to me in front of everyone. But I will forever remember that moment when he opened up the kitchen drawer and my jaw dropped, and everyone turned and look at me. I’m sure my face was red as I walked into the kitchen past everyone to stand there and watch him drop to his knee. I never expected this is how it would happen, nor could I think of a better way than to have everyone surrounding us.  {It did save us quite a few phone calls} But the best part of the day is that I now can look back and laugh at myself. All those messages sent to friends on Seth’s Surprise Birthday Party, or all the times I thought I was actually pulling this off. The time when we were on our way to his house and I got mad and told him to keep the scarf around his head, because one day I will play along too when he decides to propose…because I would know he was up to no good. I’m sure he’ll remember the moment he heard that and had to hold it all in.  The moment when I had all my friends surrounding me down stairs in his basement, and I said “guys, my ring is in that room in the safe!” and I heard about how they had to hold it all in for me, when the ring was actually up in the kitchen. And over all the moment when Seth hugged me and pulled away and told me I did a great job of planning my own party and spent the next few minutes wondering how in the world all my friends kept this from me…even for months!

So today, as I sit here a year later spending my day off being productive and Seth is two hours away doing his school thing, we are also busy planning the biggest day of our lives. The day when we truly get to have everyone who has loved us, shaped us, and cheered us on along the way surround us, watching as we become one. Never in our lifetime will we ever get to have everyone that we love all in one room at one time, we may have to forbid them from leaving and lock everyone in, just kidding…but really!

Getting married to your best friend is a special moment. It’s a day when you set everything aside and you get to forget about everything, the best that you can. I’ve been told it passes by too fast and you need to make sure to take it all in. I get that having the perfect centerpieces is silly, because years from now people won’t remember. Maybe they will remember the food, maybe the cake. Maybe something that went wrong. But over all I want them to see us years from now, happily married, and remember they were there to witness it.  But of course, my dream has always been to get married. And for the past almost eight years it’s been to marry Seth Douwsma. So no matter what my hair looks like that day, whether we have that perfect picture, my flower girl doesn’t throw the petals, we forget the rings, something spills on my dress…I will be married by the end of the day. That’s my biggest dream at the moment. To get through these next few crazy months of school, graduations, house hunting, and wedding planning. To remain the creative Jillian that isn’t up-tight and will roll with the punches if anything doesn’t turn out the way I pictured it in my head. I’ll be married by the end of the night and going on a honeymoon in the morning. One thing that still phases me, is that after all these years our parents are actually going to let us go on a vacation, together, ALONE. Really? That doesn’t seem possible!

Because, Seth, I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. Just like I promised you 366 days ago…leap year, duh! I will spend the rest of my life striving to be the best wife that I can be. But I am up for the challenge and I am counting down the days until I’m Mrs. Jillian Lane Douwsma!

With Love,   Jillian Lane

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