Sunday, March 16, 2008

Proposals and Weddings - Miracle Monday

This week, I continue the stories of the miracles in the lives of Brian and Angie. Two weeks ago, I spoke of how we would first meet. Last week, I outlined how our relationship developed. This week, I will detail Brian’s proposal and our wedding.

We left off with me in Denver, working for Lockheed Martin and Brian in Chicago working for Caterpillar. My time in Denver was crucial for my growth, my confidence and my soul-searching. It was here that I truly realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Brian in a healthy way, not the co-dependant-save-me-from-this-town way, rather the I-am-better-because-of-you way. I didn’t care where his job would take him. I wanted to be with him, have a family with him and grow old with him. We continued our long distance relationship for almost a year. Well, 8-1/2 months actually, but I don’t keep track of unimportant details like that. There were many occasions in which I thought a proposal was appropriate, but every time we would have our monthly rendezvous, I would do the walk of shame into the office that Monday with MANY inquisitive glances at my left hand. I wanted to be with Brian, but quite frankly, this non-committal weekend jet-setting was getting old….and ….expensive. Brian still does not understand this concept – I want to be with you for the rest of my life, but I am not willing to wait around much longer. He is SO MALE!

July 4, 1996, Brian and I went to a concert at Red Rocks amphitheatre –one of the best outdoor venues in the country. It was Blues Traveler and it was awesome. We sat up high enough to see the fireworks in the distance over the geologically natural rock stage as the band kept the tempo lively American and John Popper jammed on his harmonica. Brian’s plan was to propose to me that night – under the stars, watching live music (one of our favorite pastimes) with fireworks in the distance. One big problem – I had WAAAAYYYY too much to drink. Not my finest hour. He kept the ring in his pocket all night; paranoid of being pick pocketed by the concert crowd and watched his intended fiancĂ©e foil his plans. He had the discernment to wait. The next day, we donned our roller blades and journeyed down the Platte River trail to the Cherry Creek trail for a full day outing. The weather was amazing – hot crisp July sun, joggers, walkers, bikers and roller-bladers sharing the trail smiling knowingly at each other delighting in the splendor of the day. Then in rolled the afternoon thunderstorms. We sought shelter under a local Chevy’s outdoor veranda for a margarita and some chips and salsa enjoying the electric display dancing across the sky. Eventually, we made our way back to my apartment. I was busily doing laundry and prepping my apartment for my parents’ visit the next day. Brian was on the 3X6 concrete balcony veranda asking me to join him watch the sunset. “Just a sec,” I brushed off his request. “Hey, bring your wine, too,” he told me. Finally, I stopped cleaning up, grabbed my champagne glass (full of uber-sweet Asti Spumante – we were 24 year old beer drinkers normally, so nothing but the finest for us), and walked straight into the closed screen door spilling half my beverage down my shirt. Holding back his laughter, Brian asked me to marry him at my apartment on July 5, 1996 at 8:30 pm. I said yes at 8:30:07pm.

the only picture I have from the day we were engaged - my lily white Irish fiancee-to-be who was probaby a shade of crimson by the end of the day in that mile high sun

I joke that while in Denver I became completely irresistible so Brian proposed with a huge rock to snatch me up before anyone else could. But that sounds so caddy and inappropriate, so I won’t say that here. In reality, Brian had ensured he paid the ring in full before proposing.

After informing our families and deciding on a St. Louis location, we set a date for April 19, 1997. There were so many blessings associated with our wedding. I am fortunate enough to have amazing parents who paid for nearly the entire wedding. Brian and I were both Catholic with very large families and we had a HUGE wedding. We had 5 bridesmaids and groomsmen, 2 candle-lighters, 1 jr. bridesmaid and jr. groomsman, 1 flower girl and ring bearer, and 3 ushers, making it just short of ridiculous. Since it was MY wedding, it was not ridiculous. During our engagement, Brian was transferred back to Peoria for a 6-month assignment before his first field assignment. This was a Godsend because he was able to live with his parents for a few months, saving enough money to pay cash for our honeymoon and for a sizable down payment for a house – wherever that may be.

Five months prior to our wedding day, Brian’s dad, Ed, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. He had surgery followed by a series of interferon treatments. The interferon made Ed very ill and fatigued. He was able to take a small break from treatments during our wedding time and had plenty of energy and Ed-good-cheer for the event. A week before our wedding, Brian’s mom, Jan, suffered from a spider bite causing a strange rash and swelling infecting half her face. She had to sleep upright up for the infection to work its way out of her bloodstream. It was gone by the wedding day. 10 days before our April wedding, there was an unusual cold spell in the Midwest dumping over a foot of snow in Illinois and Missouri. The night of our rehearsal dinner (the best ever at Mike Shannon’s across from Busch Stadium – Go Cards!) there was a major thunderstorm dumping hail and inches of rain on the city. The day of our wedding, the air was crisp with all the signs of Spring – tulips, green grass, abundant sunshine, and a fantastic 70 degrees. It was a day kissed by angels. Here are some pictures. Notice my enormous veil & puffy-sleeved princess-dress that I loved, still love and would pick out again today (maybe)

our quaint little wedding party

All during our engagement while Brian was in Peoria, IL and I in Denver, we knew Brian would be transferred to his first field assignment shortly after our wedding. We did not know where this would be. There were MANY options all over the country. Brian, naturally, lobbied for any Denver location, but there could be no guarantees – it would be dependant on availability and Brian’s skill set compatibility. Once again, God shined upon us providing an opportunity in Denver opening in May 1997. In early March, Brian was told he was assigned to the location. It was such a blessing. He traveled to Denver on company-paid trips for house-hunting and training. I could keep my well-paid job at the company I loved doing what I enjoyed for the time being – 3 years or so was our guess. 3 years seemed like a nice time to stay career-oriented until we started a family. Brian would move into my apartment the week after our honeymoon and we would close on our house the end of May. It was the perfect beginning to our fairy tale.

So we thought.

Next week:
Brian is diagnosed


If you want to read other miracles this Monday, visit Beth at A Mom's Life.


  1. I LOVE weddings!! And how awesome is it that everything fell into place for your special day!

  2. I loved your post again...I am a sucker for weddings! The picture of the wedding party is a little too small to tell since there are so many people in it, but it seems to me that EVERYONE is looking at the camera and smiling. That must have been another miracle to add to your beautiful day! BTW - did your face hurt too from smiling while having all the photos taken? Mine sure did! Angie, you looked beautiful in your wedding photos and you are still beautiful. Brian is one lucky guy!

  3. It's hysterical that you were too drunk for him to propose to you--that probably doesn't happen to people getting engaged in the 30's!

    Thanks for sharing your photos.

  4. Thanks for continuing the saga! I am having such a wonderful time reading about your life!

    Your wedding looks gorgeous and I love how everything worked out that everyone was able to be at your wedding and how Brian was transferred to Denver!

    Can't wait for next week's installment!

  5. I am so enjoying this, thanks for sharing. You were such a beautiful bride.

  6. what a perfect day for a wedding...the same exact day of the birth of my first son!! april 19th, 1996!!
    that was a beautiful post!!

  7. I'll always be thankful to be a part of that wonderful day. And I never knew that Brian intended to propose on July 4 - which ended up being the day John and I got married. You and Brian were there to help John pick out my ring and were there the night John proposed to me. We had too much to drink that night, but John didn't show the restraint that Brian did. He also carried the ring in his pocket all night, through the Cardinal game and across the Landing.

  8. "I became completely irresistible so Brian proposed with a huge rock to snatch me up before anyone else could" That's not inappropriate when it's the truth, hun!


  9. Angie, this is a GREAT idea, to tell your story. This wedding post was special. All the ups and downs and really, the proposal was incredibly romantic for all the silliness of you crashing into the screen! LOL

  10. What a beautiful story, Angie. And, WOW - what a simply fantistic and beautiful wedding - just georgeous and you two are THE cutest couple ever!!! I love this story - this Fairy Tale.

    Have a good day - see you soon. Kellan

  11. OH I have been liking these Mirical Mondays that she has been hosting. I keep meaing to do one.

  12. Nice blog and lovely wedding photos.

  13. I'm enjoying this story too - thanks for sharing it!

    I loved the microwave-transformer story! :-)

    Have a great week!

  14. I think you look breathtaking!

  15. Angie,

    I stopped in to thank you for your sweet words at my blog today. I also want to encourage you as you "walk through the fire." I know life can be so discouraging at times. It is then that we have to remember that GOD says......

    Isaiah 55:7-9 (New International Version)

    7 Let the wicked forsake his way
    and the evil man his thoughts.
    Let him turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him,
    and to our God, for He will freely pardon.
    8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways My ways,"
    declares the LORD.

    9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are My ways higher than your ways
    and My thoughts than your thoughts.

    One of my VERY BEST friends is a lady that I met through our son's caringbridge sites. Susan's son is surviving with a brain tumor. (He's in his early 20s) She is an AMAZING Christian lady and I PROMISE you will be SO BLESSED by her. I KNOW she'd be happy to share all that she's learned. (She's got a doctor friend that's on a brain tumor list/message board) Her blog is and her son's caringbridge site is

    Now, more on our story....
    We'd been told that if we "believed enough" that Brent would be healed. Well, we set our minds to believe it - Brent himself during his last days on earth was praising GOD for his healing. (Yes, he got the Ephesians 3:20 HEALING - IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN ALL WE COULD ASK OR IMAGINE) The key wasn't in us it was what we BELIEVED our JESUS COULD DO!

    I told you that to say that there was a moment after we'd accepted that Brent was not going to make it... that I almost started to doubt everything I'd been taught. That thought only lasted a minute or so... and the HOLY SPIRIT quickened my heart and reminded me of all the times I've seen HIM at work and FELT HIM inside me. That very day was the first day that Brent started having those talks with the LORD. I KNOW that GOD ALLOWED us to witness those to STRENGTHEN our faith. It may sound discouraging to think of reading about his last days... but I PROMISE YOU, it was an AMAZING, AMAZING thing. We saw GOD more in those last few days and felt his PEACE more STRONGLY than we ever had before.

    The devil will come against us trying to cause us to doubt our LORD. Our job is to understand that even when life doesn't make sense to us, it's all playing out EXACTLY as the LORD intended. Our prayer was that maybe even ONE person might find JESUS through our son's battle with cancer. I noticed that one of your prayer requests was for a renewed emphasis in your spiritual/prayer life. I commend you for turning TO JESUS instead of AWAY from HIM. I've seen people turn their backs on GOD because they just can't handle it. As for me.. I can't make it through one day without my JESUS living inside me - carrying this burden for me.

    I'm here for you if you need me. I will DEFINITELY keep you, your husband, and your beautiful boys in my prayers!

    Love You,

  16. What an amazing story...again! The wedding photos are coffee-table book perfect. How beautiful.

  17. I am really enjoying this timeline of your life. So fun to read from one week to the next. Your wedding looks beautiful and I look forward to the next chapter.

  18. I love these stories--I eat them up! The photos are lovely.

    I had to go back and read some posts--I am now fully engrossed in the tale . . . thanks so much for sharing.

  19. Wonderfully told. It is very apparent that God's had His hands all over your life. Thank you for sharing your blessings with us.