Josh had his 25th birthday yesterday, March 29th. Happy Birthday babyyy! As I was trying to think of a ton of sweet things to do for Josh for his birthday, only a few great idea's came to mind. 1. Ipad and 2. Guitar. Both of these things were so expensive, I was discouraged. Time went on, his birthday got closer and I realized I had no sweet idea for the celebration of his 25th year of life. My next best idea was buy him a slew of clothes from Target, a Starbucks giftcard and a day away from Austin. Josh liked the first 2, but neglected my 3rd idea to take a day trip somewhere on Sunday March 27th, so we could celebrate his birthday, just the two of us. We had a wedding the night before we attended, and he wanted to go to church the next day. Josh also suggested that we go canoeing, because that is what he wanted to do for his birthday. Little did I know that this day would not only be a great celebration of his birthday, but the start of something really stinkin' sweet.
"Josh I really don't feel good, I don't know if I can make it on a canoe in the middle of the lake with out barfing today..." "Emily, it will be great, I promise, you'll be fine." ..."But Josh it's kind of cold and it's raining, don't you want to do something else for your birthday instead? We can go canoeing when it's hot out." " Emily, come on let's just do it, it's going to be sweet."
Josh and I bantered back and forth like this for a few minutes before I finally stopped my sassing and enjoyed a nice little float down the river. I really, truly, honestly love canoeing with Josh. My favorite part is trying to touch the turtles with my paddle, and that is exactly what I was doing as we sailed along, admiring the wildlife, the tree's, the brisk 70 degree weather. As we turned the bend, the skyline of Austin pops into our view and we both take a deep breath, stop and thank Jesus for the life he's placed in our hands.
As Josh and I continue to make our way down the river, closer to the city, we notice the Lamar Pedestrian bridge ahead. We had just dodged some stand-up-surf-board-riders when I noticed a large gathering of people on the Lamar bridge. I thought it was a bit unusual, but it was Austin, so I didn't really think anything of it. I actually though it would make a sweet photo, so I snapped a shot of all the people and said, " Josh look at all of those people, they are all going to be looking at us when we float underneath of the bridge, that's kind of weird." "Yes Em, they are all going to be looking at us..."
I looked back down at my camera, only to look up and find this...
"E M I L Y." It took my eyes a moment to focus... but all too quickly I said, " that says Emily... that says, MY NAME." I turned around to look at the man who gives me warm fuzzies inside and he says, "Yep Em, that says your name." As he points back at the bridge he says, as only Josh can say, " What does that say though???"
And there there they were.... the 4 most insanely crazy scary fun awesome sweet romantic and absoultely breathtaking words one girl could ever read from a canoe... "WILL YOU MARRY ME?" All of our dearest, sweetest friends, from Austin were holding these wonderful signs that had the most beautiful question addressed right to my heart and soul. Immediately... i start giggling. I cannot believe that he did this! Is this really happening? I surely do not deserve such things, and was so blown away by this act of love Josh had shown me I really was speechless. There have been a few times in my life when I didn't know what to say, but this time tops them all. I instantly dropped my head into my hands, I think even into my lap and had to focus on breathing.
Pulling myself together, smiling ear to ear between my jaw dropping, I looked back at Josh. His smile so sweet and innocent, he looked me in the eyes and asked me to be his wife. Still speechless and staring at him, in this canoe, in the middle of a river in downtown Austin, I hear from the bridge, " what'd she say??." I said YES! Of course I said yes. The next few photos will give you a little closer look into our special day. I have had a hard time putting these pictures online because these memories are so personal, and these moments are ones that I will forever cherish and be eternally grateful for. They are so special to me, considering it was absolutely the best day of my life.
As I sit and think about this journey we are about to go on... there is so much joy in my heart I feel as though it could take me away. The last year of living in Austin has been so HARD! I firmly believe that going through a period of life.. of deep sorrow, and true hardship makes you GROW. God has pushed me, and twisted me, and confused me and allowed me to see life for what it really is. I've been scared, sick, mad, confused and panicked. I've missed home, I've cried... I've cried a lot. Through it all, God showed me what it means to push through it, to Trust in Him, to persevere and to not give in to whatever temptation Satan is throwing into my head. The joy that I feel now, is true. It's real. It's joy that surpasses all understanding, peace. Oh sweet peace. If it was something we all had, it wouldn't be worth fighting for.
When I close my eyes, and think of where I am... I can only feel as though I am flat on my face, in complete awe of Jesus, and so so grateful for the storms and struggles that make the sunshine and peace so good.
Thank you to everyone who was a part of this special day, Erik Pacheco- thank you for capturing this moment in our life. It will forever be remembered, and the photos will always help to do that. Thank you thank you thank you.
Our friends on the bridge, and at mary's house! WOW- I'm so blessed to know you and to have you there adding to excitment. Thank you a million times!!!
To our families... we've missed you :) We can't wait to see you. We love you and we pray for you every day!
I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have. Let the planning begin.
Joshua Thomas Rickard- I really can't wait to be your wife. **