Last year my family started a new tradition of going up north for Labor day weekend. This year was no different, I started looking for a home to rent that would accommodate all eight of us around spring time. I found the perfect home, it was cute and had plenty of space to entertain! I booked it and we were set to have a wonderful 3 day weekend with the family in September!
As we got closer to the date, we decided we'd invite our good friends and some family to join us for a BBQ at the rental. We figured Flagstaff wasn't too far of a drive and they'd appreciate some cool weather. Unfortunately not everyone was available but there were still a few that made plans to join us!
We drove up to Flagstaff on a Friday evening...it was a stormy drive but we had arrived safely. Everyone helped unload the cars and we all got settled in for the weekend. Saturday morning right before breakfast, I noticed Marla and Chris weren't home...I asked my Mom where they were and she casually said "Oh they went for a hike, they'll be back soon" It didn't make sense why they would be on a hike alone since we've always practice to have a chaperone while dating. That day my sister, Lawrence and I had gone downtown and antique shopping so we had been gone for a few hours and once we got home it was time to rest before the BBQ.
We had told our guest coming to the BBQ to come around 5pm and once it got close to the hour I noticed that Chris and Marla still weren't back. Now I was just worried...did something happen? Are they okay? How far did they hike? I think I tried calling and no one answered, so then I text Marla and she said they were on their way back and would be home soon. I felt a little relieved although I noticed my Mom wasn't worried one bit.
Luckily they got home before the guest arrived giving them time to get dressed for the BBQ. There wasn't a chance to ask questions since the guest arrived and we were all ready to eat. I started telling everyone to form a line and where the plates were to serve themselves...but then my Mom said we needed to say a prayer for the food first. Good idea Mom! I figured we'd all stay in the kitchen area were the food was and one of the men would say the prayer. To my surprise my Mom wanted us all to go outside to say a prayer. I thought she was kidding so I didn't move LOL. Then she insisted and that's when Valerie and I reluctantly went to take our warm socks off and put some shoes on and go outside.
Everyone had made it outside and we automatically formed a circle around the patio area. That's when we noticed Chris had come outside with his ukulele in hand. We started joking around with him asking "Are you going to sing us a prayer?" and he replied "Actually I am." Which wouldn't surprise us. Chris started warming up a little and play a short tune on the ukulele....when all the sudden I see Marla turn around and say "Mom?" and sure enough her Mom was walking onto the patio. Her Mom wasn't a guest we were expecting that day since she lives almost a thousand miles from Phoenix. The fact that she was there meant Chris was up to something. It felts like I was day dreaming...was he about to propose? was this really happening? LOL. It was a very strange feeling to be surprised in that way.
Sure enough, Chris gets down on one knee and sang Marla a song he wrote for her that ended with "Will you marry me?" Awe, it was so sweet. We all got to witness that very special moment and after we couldn't stop talking about how that day had started and my concerns. It soon became a tease that I was "so" worried but I'm the big sister, what else do they expect?
The BBQ soon turned into an engagement party. My Mom had brought along party decor, apple cider, Bride to be ribbon for Marla that she hid from us in her luggage and her mom brought wedding gifts and a cake. Very sneaky Mom's! We all gave our well wishes, hugged and celebrated together on that rainy Saturday evening.