At the Gingerman one Tuesday night after the PCPC Bible Study, I told Emily all about a train trip I was planning to take across the country. She was actually listening to my hypothetical, ridiculous vacation idea. I thought, "Wow, this girl thinks I'm interesting. She must be pretty cool." So when she told me she worked at the J.Crew Northpark store, I decided I would leave work early that Friday to shop for some pants. Little did she know, I was actually shopping for a date...hey oh! I did buy some pants, but on my way out I smoothly asked "Hey, do you want to grab coffee some time?" In typical Emily fashion, she replied, "No, let's do lunch." So I/she set up a casual lunch date at Potbelly. I never ended going on my train trip, but over the next few months I did take Emily on some pretty adventurous dates: riding the trolley to West Village for frozen yogurt, exploring the public art and architecture of Downtown Dallas, and going ice skating in the Plaza of the Americas building. Emily and I have also really enjoyed trying out new restaurants in Dallas. One barbeque place in particular, Smoke, was on our list of restaurants-to-try. After Christmas this year, I told her to keep Thursday, December 30th open for a date night at Smoke. "Nothing special about the 30th," I told Emily. Nothing special...except a diamond ring, fireworks, and our friends and family coming to town for our engagement. I had been planning (and lying) for several weeks prior. "Going to Houston for the weekend, babe..." while I was headed to Rogers, Arkansas to ask for her parents' (and grandparents', and brother's) blessing for her hand in marriage. "Can't go to lunch today, I have a meeting..." with the jeweler to get her diamond set. It was a tough few weeks coordinating the engagement plan without Emily finding out, but it all ended well after dinner at Smoke. We walked next door to the Belmont Hotel's pool garden (one of the best views of the Dallas skyline). I got down on one knee, completely forgot the speech I'd rehearsed, and clumsily said, "I love you so much Emily, will you marry me?" I remember her shouting, "Of course!" and then asking, "Are you gonna put the ring on my finger?" Oh yeah, the important part. After the fireworks (total coincidence), we met up with friends and family at the Belmont. Now the big day is in sight, and we are so excited to celebrate our wedding and marriage with all of you.