Saturday, October 14, 2006

WE'RE ENGAGED!!


If you think a proposal planned and executed by Lowell Taylor can be described briefly, think again. This boy thinks big. Enjoy the short novel ahead.

Here begins the journey of the whirlwind day of Friday the 13th…

The fun began right when I woke up. I went into the dark kitchen to get my run of the mill morning oatmeal when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned the light on and there was a vase of white daisies and red duct tape roses hand-crafted by Lowell. Attached to each duct tape rose (there were 4 of them), was a little message that said something Lowell loved about me. In front of the vase was a note titled “Good Morning Birthday Girl!” It said flattering things including the significance of the duct tape roses. To quote Lowell in the note, “These roses will never die, just like my love for you.” After saying some other flattering things that made me blush, it instructed me to go to class by 8am, to bring my camera, and to not be afraid to take pictures. He also informed me that he had slipped me some extra batteries in my room so I needn’t worry about being liberal with the camera and running out of batteries. Thank you Tara for conspiring with Lowell and having the flowers on the counter ready for me in the morning!

The view I woke up to

Regular morning oatmeal.....although this day was nothing regular...

So off to school I trekked (in the dark as it stays dark ridonkulously late these days). I met Kendra, Nancy, and Ann-Marie there, then we car-pooled to the Glenrose Hospital here in Edmonton because we had a lab there that day. As we entered the I CAN Centre, I did a second take at the office’s front desk because there was a suspicious looking vase of white daisies and red duct tape roses on the desk. There was also another bouquet of pink and white gerber daisies (my favourite) in a coffee mug (also appropriate given my current addiction to DEcaffeinated coffee. I have slipped down the slippery slope). Unfortunately, I didn't know that this second bouquet was for me, so I left it at the Glenrose. But, again, the roses in the other bouquet had little notes on them about things Lowell loved about me. My friends began bouncing with excitement as I approached the bouquet and read the next note. It said some more complimentary things then wished me luck at school and instructed me to go home directly after class- at 12pm. It was at this point that I learned that my good friend Kendra tipped Lowell off about where we’d be and who to contact in order for him and the flowers to beat me to the I CAN Centre. Apparently Kendra had given Lowell the email address of our prof (who, interestlingly, is also the dean of the faculty), so he could request to get into the I CAN Centre early. After telling Lowell his idea to leave me flowers at school “sounded like a nice idea”, Dr. Cook passed Lowell down to Kim Adams as she would be the one instructing our class that day. Lowell got the right info and ended up meeting Bruce at the I CAN Centre by 7:30. Thank you Dr. Cook, Kim and Bruce for being so accommodating!
During class I had a little difficulty concentrating. My class sang me a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday and I think it should be noted that we, as a class, are particularly talented at singing Happy Birthday. Thanks to Sherilyn we have harmony and all. Forget about speech stuff, singing Happy Birthday and clapping….it’s what we do best.



From left to right: Ann-Marie, me, Kendra, and Nancy


Bruce, me, Kim

So, I arrived home to find another bouquet of flowers and a note on my desk. Bouquet number 3. I was beginning to see the pattern with the vases and notes. In fact, I became heavily dependent on them, because otherwise I wouldn’t have known what to do with myself. This particular note instructed me to get showered and cleaned up and wait for Carlynne to get back from Lethbridge. She was expected home before 2pm, and we had a manicure appointment at 2:15. Lowell thought that since it was BOTH of our birthdays, we deserved some together time as well as a little pampering. Well I certainly wasn’t complaining. When Carlynne came home, I packed her up in the car and took her with me to the spa. When we arrived there was another bouquet of flowers and a note. Pretty standard by now. Apparently Lowell had been buzzing around all day just ahead of me making sure the flowers were in their proper place. What a man. The note told us to enjoy ourselves and head home after where I should expect further instructions. The spa was a lot of fun. Initially I felt sort of bad just talking to Carlynne and not the beautician people, but after trying to open up with the manicurist about her tattoos and being faced with a tone of non-amusement, I decided that it was okay to indulge in conversation exclusively with Carlynne. We had a lot of catching up to do. She had been in Inuvik for a month then basically went straight to Lethbridge for the week. She had some interesting stories to share and we all around had a fun and relaxing time.
Time for another side note. So far, almost everyone has asked at what point I thought this might be a proposal in progress. And it was here at the manicure place. A while ago I had told Lowell (ever so casually of course) that when I got engaged, I wanted to get a manicure so my hands looked pretty when I showed off my ring. When we were getting our manicures, I sensed something fishy was going on (I have very keen senses).

Bouquet number three!


Carlynne and I in the waiting room at Spasation. And yes, we shared the chair (even though there was another empty one near)

All ready for a manicure!

Carlynne and I being pampered.

After ripping the ol’ Volvo out of the Spasation parking lot, we headed back home where there were more flowers, kind words, and instructions in front of the door of my room. This time it said to put on my formal clothes, get my hair done, pack some casual and comfy clothes, and be ready for my ride at 4:45pm. My roommates kicked it into high gear and enthusiastically helped me in any way they could. Carlynne was getting herself ready for the surprises she had waiting from Dan (her boyfriend), but she was still part of the fun. Tara became the little run-around girl and photographer and Avery generously offered to fill the position of hair dresser. After my hair was done, and while I was throwing things together for the night, there was a knock on the door. Avery eagerly went to answer the door and then called up the stairs “Julie, your ride is here!” I was more than curious as to who this ride could be. Tara, also curious to see who it was, went downstairs. As she was descending the stairs, I heard a booming unfamiliar voice say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” Hehe, Tara was quick to inform him that she wasn’t who he was looking for. When I finally had my stuff thrown together, I stumbled down the stairs (as to not rudely keep this random man waiting). Tara and Avery were waiting at the bottom of the stairs with huge grins on their faces, and Tara was ready to take a picture. I looked out the front window and there was a LIMO! It was a very cool looking limo (called an Excalibur limo for all you avid motorists out there). Then, the chauffeur popped around the corner, said happy birthday, and handed me another vase of roses and daisies with a note. Bouquet #6. I read the note, which said to live up the Hollywood feeling, and went outside to enter the awaiting carriage. I heard some giggling, and when I looked to the left, I saw that a small group of my friends/classmates (Kendra, Nancy, Ann-Marie, and Ryan) were hiding behind a tree. They came out and gushed over me (*blush*), and passed around the hugs. We took pictures with me, the limo driver, the friends, the roomies, and of course, the limo.

My roommate Avery doing my hair. Thanx Ave!

Tara, me, and Avery. What fun those girls are!

Me with bouquets 1 to 5.

That's the limo driver, Eric, who delivered bouquet #6.

Me and the Excalibur limo.
(Thank you Tara for making sure the Volvo was moved so the limo had room!)



From left to right: Ryan (my wicked clinical partner), Nancy, Kendra, and Ann-Marie.

From left to right: Kendra, Carlynne, Ann-Marie, Ryan, Nancy, me, Avery, and Tara. RAD!

The limo driver then helped me in, and I sat, all alone, in the back of this huge vehicle. It was actually a tad awkward because he kept making conversation with me, but due to the great distance between us and the music blasting out of the speakers on top of me, I had a very hard time understanding him. I did a lot of “Cool”, “Oh ya” and “Neat”, then got out when he parked in front of Fairmont Hotel MacDonald. This is a very classy hotel that was built in 1915, so it had a special elegance and charm about it. He led me to the reception desk where the lady was expecting me, gave me a hug and wished me luck. What a nice man! The receptionist then gave me the key to suite 729 and sent me upstairs. When I opened the door, Lowell was waiting, wearing a suit, and standing amongst about 500 daisies as well as pictures,photo albums , and other memorabilia we’ve collected in the last 3 and a half years of dating. He sat me down on the couch and presented me with a box slightly bigger than your average shoe box. I opened it, and there was another wrapped box inside of it. I opened that box, and there was another box, then another, then another, until finally there was a little ring box and I excitedly opened it to see none other than…….a loonie. That’s right. What a punk. He’s fake proposed before, but this time it was just mean! I laughed despite my ever slumping shoulders, then he said “Actually, I thought the best gift I could give you for your birthday is the rest of my life.” He got down on one knee and pulled the BEAUTIFUL ring out of his pocket. It was exactly what I wanted. .5 karat, princess cut solitaire diamond on a narrow white gold band. I did the typical girl thing, cried, and said YES.

My view from the back of the limo. It was a very cool limo.

This is Hotel MacDonald in 1915.

This is it more recently (from the back).


The receptionists at Hotel MacDonald. All the employees at the hotel were all SSOOOOOoooo nice and totally into it which made the whole adventure even more fun!


What I was met with when I opened the door to suite 729.


A small taste of how the room was decorated. That book on the left is the 'Magic Book' that Lowell used to ask me out, and the book next to it is a scrapbook I made for Lowell. On the far right are some of the other photo albums that were there.


A disappointed me in receiving a ring box with a LOONIE inside it. Only Lowell....


Lowell quickly redeemed himself. Here's the real deal.


Me looking at my latest birthday present with the view from our window.


Oh, but the night’s not over yet. The night was still young! That sneaky little Lowell knows that I loooooove cajun chicken ceasar salad and mocha mud pie, so he had ordered it from the Cheesecake Cafe and picked it up, so he brought it out of its hiding for us to enjoy as a newly engaged couple. After a lovely dinner, we made our special phone calls to spread the news. People told me that Lowell makes other boys look baaaaaad. And I agree. I feel so lucky to get to be the girl whom all his romantic energy is channeled towards.

Mmmmmm...cajun chicken caesar salad...

Me telling my parents on the phone. They are quite thrilled to gain a new son-in-law in Lowell.

After spending three hours on the phone (no joke), we relaxed on the couch in the suite and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a very surreal feeling, so I was just working on trying to believe what was going on. At about 11pm, Dan and Carlynne joined us and we hung out together until 2:30am. Then Lowell and Dan left and Carlynne and I were left in the beautiful suite for an intimate little slumber party! Lowell thought it would be special for Carlynne and I to spend the night together, and he was right. It was lots of fun (even though we weren’t awake for most of it). At 8:45 in the morning, Lowell and Dan showed up with lattes and a couple muffins from the Second Cup. Mmm…..we love lattes. I think maybe my children will come out part latte. Anyhoo, then we just hung out for a couple hours until we went to explore the yard of Hotel MacDonald. It was beautiful with a picturesque view. Carlynne and Dan became the main photographers, and we took a bunch of fun pictures of everyone. We had 2 cameras floating around (thank you Zabu) so this allowed us to maximize photo ops.

Four on a couch: Dan, Carlynne, me, and Lowell.

Carlynne and I slumbering it up.

Our morning lattes!

Dan is taking pictures of my ring.

Behind Hotel MacDonald.




We're dancing for joy!




Here's a series of kisses...

Things got a little out of hand...



Our ever talented photographers Dan and Carlynne.

Speaking of high profile photographers.... Dan is a busy man as he takes phonecalls while being a photoographer.

After taking pictures, we checked out then went out together for a late breakfast (which was actually lunch because by this time it was past noon) at the Sugarbowl. After some hot eats and cool treats, we made our way back home, and here we are telling you all about it.

Us leaving the hotel.







Some of you are probably wondering about those duct tape roses. Well, there were 24 of those creative little beautiful things (because it was my 24th birthday), and it took him about 24 hours even with help on the stems from his sister Julie (yes, there will be 2 Julie Taylors kicking around) and sister-in-law Marti. Thank you ladies!



Another common question: Did Lowell ask my Dad?? OF COURSE! On Thanksgiving weekend, he went home to Carstairs to spend the weekend with his family. I stayed in Edmonton because I had a lot to do, and I wanted to see Carlynne in the brief time she was here before taking off to Lethbridge for the week. It turned out that Lowell was secretly relieved that I couldn’t go as that would’ve obviously spoiled his plans to talk to my Dad and make the roses. On the Sunday, Lowell told his family he was heading into town with his friend Josh for the day. Naturally, they assumed he meant Calgary as that’s what’s closest to Carstairs. But nope! Lowell and Josh drove to Lethbridge. After a visit with Josh's sister in Coaldale, Lowell met my Dad at the Lethbridge Lodge then headed right back to Carstiars and kept the secret. Thank you Josh!

Thank you to everyone who helped pull this off and make this day so special for us, and also to everyone who expressed their excitement to us. We’re very excited too and we’re thrilled with all the support we have.

As for the wedding date..... we're still trying to figure that out. We're pulling for July 2007, but Marc and Kylie (my brother and sister-in-law) are going to Kenya in Februaury, so we're trying to figure out when we can get them back for the celebration.

52 comments :

Anonymous said...

Congratulations

That is fantastic

Aaron

Lee said...

Congratulations Lowell and Julie!!!... Wow, Lowell that's quite an incredible proposal! ...that was a cruel trick with the loonie, but maybe a necessary evil. I love you guys and wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

I love your story!! You have the picture book romance my friends!! I am so excited for you both and cannot wait to start planning Jules:)! I have my wedding mags out and don't care about you know what anymore!! Lowell you are one creative and loving guy, which makes me very happy because you have real treasure to take care of! Congrats again! I will pray for you and your upcoming adventures!
kendra

AJ Wilgus said...

Julie & Lowell

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

We love you both and are very very excited for you guys. Lowell, you are one smooth operator:)

love Jenna and Anna

shareen said...

You guys are jerks...I just got home from yoga, took a shower and re-got ready and now there is mascara all down my face. I wish I could be there to attack you right now. Miss you.

shareen said...

P.S. I'm a big fan or your formal wear!

P.P.S. If only Carlynne got the same ring we would have REAL "sister rings"....

Danielle Ducharme said...

Wow! Thanks for the incredible blog/photo journal- I feel like I got to be a fly on the wall- soaking all that romance in! Congratulations you two! I am sooo excited and happy for you! I'm praying God will bless you as you prepare for the next big day! Cheers to the future Mr. & Mrs. Lowell Taylor! love, dan..xoxoxo

marcandorkylie said...

Congratulations you two again! Great post Julie, it sure does need to be long. Lowell, you have outdone them all!!! I HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE that we can find a time that works for both of us so we can make it back, I wouldn't want to miss it! Love, Kylie

Jaimie said...

Congratulations Julie and Lowell!!! It was wonderful to hear your story. Keep blogging about your wedding plans. :)

Liane said...

Congratulations!!!
I am soooo excited for you both! I hope to see you soon and give you a real congratulations!

Liane

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Its about time! I am SO happy for you... Lowell, you are incredible, but Jules, you deserve it! I wish I would there so I could give you both hugs... but I'll give you them when I see you! Until then, congrats again!
Lis (M)

Susan said...

Darcen and I are both so happy for you guys!! Julie, after our little chat at church the other day briefly discussing engagement rings, I figured he'd be popping the question soon! :)

You two are going to be so happy, there's such a spark between the two of you. :) Good luck with all the planning Julie!!

P.S. You look gorgeous in the pics. :)

Susan said...

Oh, and happy birthday!

~Nanc. said...

So Nancy Shadlock had to re-surface into your life for this exciting story!! Wow... I heard the rumour on Shareen's blog and hightailed it over here! What an incredible story... the phone rang during the course of my read (it's not like it took me an hour and a half to read or anything!) and kind of startled me out of the fairy tale I was enjoying!

Now correct me if I'm wrong... didn't you wear a duct tape dress to your grad or something? My memory fails me!

Where are Mark and Kylie going in Kenya? I just got back from being over there again last year.

I wish you guys all the best... sounds incredible!

Becky said...

Congratulations!!! Your ring is gorgeous, and that sounds like a wonderful proposal! Trav's cousin got married at the Hotel MacDonald 2 weeks before us, and it really is a beautiful place!! Good luck with all the planning, and with the rest of your lives together. Married life really IS great.

mrwolverinebloggin said...

Way to go! Soon you'll be doing hot, sexy things that only married couples do. By that I mean dancing. I predict lots of tango ahead - or maybe Lowell is more of a Waltz guy.

Liesa said...

Woo hooo! Congrats you two!!! Very pretty sparkly ring!
Lowell, if you every need to take up a second career, you should coach other young men in the ways of wooing young ladies, my goodness what a complicated and fantastic proposal! Oh and Julie, if you feel any need for payback for the fake proposals, I've got a few tricks up my sleeve, so just let me know. If you guys come up with a duct tape wedding dress, oh how I shall laugh. Congrats congrats! God bless your future together!!

Anonymous said...

Yay, another sister! I am sooo excited for you, and for me. ;o) Two Julie Taylor's, how much more complicated can this family get? You make me proud bro. I knew when you asked her to marry you it would be a good story.
I love you both!
Julie Taylor the 1st

Nadine said...

Congratulations you two! I just heard the news tonight from Mike and Amy...and then was fortunate enough to stumble upon your blog!

What a beautiful and romantic story...Lowell really is so creative!!!! WOW!

gillian said...

Woohoo!
I'm sitting in an Internet Cafe in France alternating between outloud exclaimations (in English which is really confusing those around me) and tearing up as I read...
Congratulations!

michaelia and jason said...

Congrats! I followed the link from Marc and Kylie's blog to get the whole story on your engagement! What a great guy you have found. Best wishes.
Michaelia

me said...

Wow! This is quite the story! Congratulations to you both!

I can't wait to hear about your future adventures!

Janice Vandyk said...

Hey Congrats Julie!!

Janice Doeve

~kevan~ said...

Good for you! I didn't cry, but I was definitely impressed!

~kevan~

Erin said...

Hi Julie...You may not remember me but I was Christa's roommate in Lethbridge...

I love to click through the links on people's blogs and I came across yours! A big congrats on the engagement...wedding planning is so fun, I'm really happy for you guys!

You'll be a beautiful bride!!

~Erin

Stephen and Amber said...

Congrats! I too followed the link and am really enxited for you guys! What an awesome way to propose!

The Glover Family said...

Congratulations!!

May God truly Bless you both. We are thrilled to hear your super exciting news.
When do we get to start on the wedding dress, we loved the engagement dress!!!

Love the Glover Family

Anonymous said...

!!!!! WOW!!! I am so excited and thrilled and stupified! Ahh! It makes me miss you guys sooo much. I am sooo happy for you. I can't wait to give you a hug. I hope to see you guys soon! Love Melanie

Joanna said...

Congratulations you two!!!! That is so so wonderful - reading the story put a big grin on my face! All good things and wishes and blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

Dad and I read your awesome engagement post together. What a joy to read. It was a little bit like being there. Well planned and executed Lowell! :) Well written Julie! :) We are very happy and thankful for and with you. Congratulations!
Love and Prayers,
Mum and Dad G.

marcandorkylie said...

Wow! That was better than anything I've ever read in a romance novel because it is the REAL DEAL. What a beautiful love story! Congratulations, I'm so happy for the two of you.
Cherri
P.S. Your beautiful story brought tears to my eyes!

Lisa Z said...

Julie my luv! Congratulations!!!! I am so so excited for you. I love the story and WOW did that boy work for it!!!!!!!! You will have to keep me updated on the wedding details :) I am so happy for you both!

Brenda said...

Julie and Lowell, I am so happy for you. That has to be the most thought-out and exciting proposal I have every heard of, it sounds just perfect!! I miss you both, and wish you all the best in the planning....if the wedding is anything like the proposal, watch out!!! Looks like your roomies did a great job of helping, I wish I could have helped too!! You're rings is amazing. Enjoy the engagement, it will go by so fast!!
Brenda :)

The Hoyers said...

Congratulations to you two. May you feel richly blessed in your days ahead. Mike and Colleen

Anonymous said...

congratulations you two! i am so excited for you. i know God has amazing plans for you as a couple. i mean that honestly from my heart! you both are a blessing to others and you will be to eachother for the rest of your lives. COOL!!
(if you need a wedding singer, i'm in!)

-Mary-Ann Leitch-

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys Congratulations!!

I guess you need a lot of white duct tapes now eh.

First Blog that I spent time reading the whole lol

God Bless!
Joseph

Elizabeth said...

Congratulations (found you through Shareen). GReat story!

Anonymous said...

Anony Mouse is what your mom says I need to be, Julie-Bulie, so I am. Congratulations to the two of you - I was so excited to be one of the ones on the phone tree (and to pick up your call at Jackie's) and Uncle Billy was thrilled, too. Wow, Lowell, have you outdone them all or what - what a cool story. I can't believe I already have a July 07 date in my daytimer. Love you both, Auntie Cheryl

i(m)vh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brent and Kirstin said...

Hi Lowell and Julie

Also never met Julie but she sounds like an incredible person.:) I wish you much joy together!

--Kirstin (aka Squirrel from back in the Camp Silversides days)

Marilyn said...

Lowell and Julie,

Congratulations!! All the best, I am so excited for the two of you. You make a very beautiful couple filled with the love and grace of God.

Marilyn

Chryslyn said...

WooHOO!
Congradulations. That was as amazing engagement story, I loved every word of it. Take care both of you and all the best ;)

David said...

Congratulations Lowell and Julie. Lowell, you impress me once again with your asking-techniques. Well thought out. Better than my best idea, placing the ring in the mashed potatoes.

Later!

eLiZaBeTh said...

I found your blog through JB's.. and I had to read your engagement story.. I photograph weddings and I love to hear a good engagment story and yours is wonderful. Sounds like you two are perfect for each other..Many congratuations

Elizabeth

Angella said...

I finally took the time to read this - what an AMAZING story. Make sure you print it for your future kids :)

Robyn said...

CONGRATULATIONS Lowell & Julie! I found your website after checking out Janelle's site! Your story is AMAZING! I KNOW you'll have an amazing life together - good luck!
Robyn Beazley (Mader)

Phill said...

LOL! That has to the BEST proposing story I have EVER heard, that's AMAZING. I envy the guys creativity! You're one lucky gal' to have such a man. ;-)

Melinda said...

this will sound odd, but i always feel really old to not be married yet (call it a weird christian kid thing -- half my friends have kids now), but we're the same age, so it's actually encouraging.

also, i'm sitting @ the U of L, almost blushing myself after reading such an incredible story of romantic outpouring.

congratulations.

Emmalicious said...

Oh my goodness! This was the sweetest proposal story I have ever heard! Seriously, it brought tears to my eyes! You guys are such a sweet couple, and I wish you all the best! Congratulations!! :)

Carlette Burgess said...

I randomly stumbled across your blog, found myself reading this, and I have to say yours is the most romantic proposal I've ever encountered. I'll admit I'm jealous, lol. It does restore my faith in romance though. Best of luck to you and congratulations!

Jorx said...

that's amazing! man I hope that should I ever get the opportunity- that I might be as creative and big-thinking as Lowell! That's one of the most awesome engagement stories I've ever heard!

Renuka said...

awesome!!brought tears to my eye with all the effort...especially even making the flowers frm hand!!!speechless..both of u are so lucky to have each other...all the best...wish u both all the happiness in the world!!