AHHHHH. GUYS GUYS GUYS, Sully proposed to me! And I said yes! I’M ENGAGED. We’re both thrilled and life is crazy and wedding planning is slightly overwhelming, but WOOHOO! I don’t usually use multiple exclamation points BUT I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD RIGHT NOW!!
Ahem. I’ve been waiting for such a time as this to tell you guys the story of how Sully and I met. It’s a hilariously memorable tale (especially the first part), and now I can supplement it with how he proposed! I HAVE A FIANCÉ. HELP. Okay, I need to settle down…
Oh, and since I want you guys to have a chance to “meet” Sully, we’ll be doing a Q&A post! After you read this, drop as many questions as you want in the comments and he and I will answer some of them in another post. 🙂
Now, here’s our story.
Way back at the beginning of this year, a tall guy very much in need of a haircut started coming to our church planting group. I knew who he was because I’d heard a LOT about him and his brothers (mostly stories of them being crazy) from my friend Chessie who used to work on their family’s dairy farm. I’d crossed paths with Sullivan a few times at barn dances and game nights and such but had never interacted with him much and certainly wouldn’t have said I knew him. So I was a bit taken aback by the following exchange the second week he came to Bible study:
Sully: “So, Allison, I have a modest proposal for you.”
Me: “Okay! What is it?”
Sully: “Will you marry me?”
Me: *split second thoughts* Okay, he’s clearly joking, but maybe he really likes me…? How? We don’t even know each other! Anyway, he probably said that to get a reaction, so I’m going to play it cool to catch him off guard, ha! Ooh, but this would make an amazing story if we somehow did end up getting married, so I’m not going to actually refuse him. I gotta think of a good comeback; let’s see…
Me: *laughs* “Well that sounds like a rather immodest proposal to me.”
And that was how my future husband first asked me out: after that obvious “no” question, he asked if I’d like to go out with him sometime or exchange numbers. I thought, if you really wanted me to go out with you, proposing to me was probably not the best tactic, weirdo. I politely declined that part but agreed to exchange numbers. From everything I’d heard about him, he seemed like a really interesting guy to talk to, and I’d thought before that we could be good friends. As for Sully… well, he wasn’t even entirely sure which of the sisters was Allison and which was Megan. :’D So no, he didn’t have a crush on me or anything. I’m so glad God knew what He was doing even if Sully didn’t, heh.
Anyway. Sully texted me the next day, and the day after that, and every day since! The second day he instituted the “question of the day” format we’ve continued for the past eleven months. We got to know each other through countless long messages during the few hours Sully didn’t spend sleeping or working night shift at an Amazon warehouse. His questions ranged from “Money?” to “What’s your favorite Disney princess?” Topics included music, books, food, history, family, theology, favorite things, and everything else. (You can see a sampling of what we discussed in this post.) Those conversations were the highlight of the day for both of us.
Sullivan is an incredible writer, and I fell almost immediately for his brilliant mind and thoughtful, sometimes hilarious answers. Still, although I admired his depth, there were a lot of questions in my mind about us going further. Sully brought up the dating question again in March, but I thought we should be friends a while longer before deciding. We’d had several conversations wherein Sully scorned the very idea of love, romance, and all things mushy, and one where he debated whether he ever wanted to get married, so… I thought perhaps he needed some time to sort that all out. :’D And I needed time too. Poor Chessie and Aria patiently stuck it out through many “ah help I can’t decide whether to date Sully or not!” conversations.
Meantime, we kept texting. Literally 35,000 words in one month. O.o Our weekdays developed small traditions like trading a Bible verse on Sunday or song suggestions on Thursday. Tuesdays were the best but hardest days – exchanging long stories about formative parts of our lives. Once he sent me a Long Story in 113 TEXTS and my phone nearly died trying to process them all. :’D And once he sent a really sad story to which I replied by wishing I could go over to his house and give him a hug, which he secretly thought sounded rather nice. 🙂
Slowly, it appeared that Sully actually did like me. If we were at the same event, he somehow always managed to be where I was – playing four-square with the kids, letting us all take a turn playing his accordion, sitting on the steps outside and talking with me after Bible study… He told me I became his best friend about two weeks in, but it took a while for him to actually “like” me. It took me a while too. Sully can be ridiculously weird and goofy when he wants to. And he wanted to, just to see if I could handle him.
But I also noticed how sweet he was. Again and again, I watched him show up for friends who were hurting in a genuine and empathetic way. He looked out for the outsiders and outcasts. His role model was his grandma (I can confirm – she’s amazing). He quickly made friends with kids wherever he went. Sully just has a really adorable heart, guys. And that’s what I eventually fell in love with. 🙂
Sully and I had agreed earlier that I’d bring up the relationship question again in “summer or so” when I was ready, but I surprised him by asking him on May 7, earlier than he expected. Which was good because unbeknownst to me, he’d just texted Chessie the night before, almost panicking, like HELP I THINK I’M IN LOVE WITH ALLISON HOW DID THIS HAPPEN AND HOW AM I GOING TO WAIT UNTIL SUMMER?! But he didn’t have to! We started dating just after my birthday. And a happy side note: Chessie started dating my brother Logan a month after Sully and I started dating! It’s great – Chessie sort of brought us together, she and Sully are practically siblings, and Logan and I are siblings. This is the first picture Sully and I took together, at the end of May for my siblings’ graduation dance. A half dozen people were trying to get a picture of us at once. XD
When we first started dating, we agreed that we’d focus on being girlfriend and boyfriend for a while before discussing any further plans. But, uh, Sully kinda threw that out the window on our second date when he told me he wanted to propose to me one day. 😛 (I guess he should have added “a second time,” since of course he’d already proposed back in February.) So yeah, we’ve talked about getting married a LOT. It didn’t take us long to realize we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other.
And speaking of proposing, Sully started planning the proposal in July. (“Okay Allison, close your eyes…” *slides my finger into a ring sizer* “Hey, how did you know what I was doing?!”) In August, he started a group chat with Chessie, Aria, Megan, and two of my cousins to discuss proposal plans. Megan picked the proposal date (December 17) way back in August; I can’t believe that they’ve all been talking about it for four months and I was still surprised!
This is how it happened. Sully and I decided to spend Christmas Day this year with our own families since we knew this would be our last Christmas not being married. But we still had gifts for each other, so he asked if he could come over on Friday the 17th to give them to me. He was supposed to come over for supper but he almost didn’t make it! Right now he works for a window-cleaning company and work went really late that day. A huge thanks to his coworker for saving the day and working SUPER hard so Sully could get here in time to propose to me that evening. 😀
After supper, Sully and I walked down to Dad’s office in the shop so we’d have a space to ourselves to talk and exchange gifts. We accidentally got deep into an excellent, serious conversation we’d started a few nights earlier that I was going to save for later because it would probably make me cry. (It did.) But we both find those types of conversations really meaningful, so it was all good. Marry someone you can cry in front of. *nods* Anyway, we finished up our conversation and then I gave him his gifts, one of which was a “Sully & Allison, Illustrated” painting of some of the memories and things that are special to us. 🙂
We had fun remembering all the things in the picture, and then Sully suggested we go down to the hay barn and he’d give me my gift. But the only thing he’d brought along was his Bible. That was suspicious – did he have a very small gift tucked in it? Was it an intangible gift? What was he going to do with the Bible? However, from past experience with Sully, I knew he probably had a good reason for it and would tell me about it eventually if I was patient. So I didn’t say anything about the Bible, we walked down to the barn, and we found a nice haybale to sit on. At Sully’s request, we read our texts from May 7th out loud, laughing at how we first said “I love you” and at Sully’s very eloquent writing. :’D (In this picture it looks like I only have four fingers but I promise I have five.)
Then he picked up his Bible, saying that one of his friends has a tradition of reading the Christmas Story in a barn, in line with its stable and manger setting. I thought that was a neat idea, so I leaned back, closed my eyes, and listened to him read the story. Not before noticing that he first placed the bookmark somewhere else in the Bible, hm… Anyway, he read the story from Luke 2 and then flipped to 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter about love. Oh boy. He’d been especially subdued and calm the whole night, but now he seemed… well, a little less calm. Then he said, “Allison, I asked you this question eleven months ago, but I never got a very satisfactory answer…”
And that’s how he proposed to me the second time. And although I still said “That sounds like a rather immodest proposal to me” when he asked me to marry him, this time, I followed it with… “YES!” 😀
That was an amazing night. And a very late one. Megan nearly exploded when we came back to the house because of course she’d known about it and was waiting this whole time. All the rest of my family strongly suspected it or basically knew, including Logan who was with Chessie at the time. Oh, I forgot to say – I did figure out when Sully went out to talk with my Dad: the day before Thanksgiving. (Their waitress was named Allison, HAHA.) But I thought he was going to propose the next day, and when he didn’t, I figured it would be sometime next year.
Anyway, the next morning, I got a further surprise of my best friend Aria, her husband Andrew, and our friend Fleet all showing up from 14 hours away to spend the day with us in celebration, wedding planning, and dancing at a fancy Christmas Ball! Chessie came over too and all of us girls had fun getting ready together. I was so tired and dazed that day but it was SO FUN, AH. I have somewhat recovered my senses since a week ago but it still feels a little surreal, and probably will until months after I’m married. And if you’re wondering when that will be, our wedding date is May 22, 2022!
So yep, that’s our story! I know I’m biased, but I think it’s rather a good one. 🙂 I’m so excited to spend my life with Sully; I think he’s an excellent human and I just really like being with him, plus I kinda get the idea that he feels the same way about me, hehe. I love you, dear! Thanks for loving me so well in return. You’ve made this the best year yet, and I have a hunch the next year will be even better~
Have any questions for Sully and I? Drop them in the comments and we’ll answer a selection of them in an upcoming Q&A post!
Thanks ever so much for reading, my friends, and have a lovely day!
P. S. Aria took all the nice pictures of Sully and I at the pond back in October. The other ones are phone pictures from various people – the only photo I took in this post was the one of the ring!