E-Day = Engagement Day!

Everyone's first question is "How did it happen?" Well, here's the story:

It was the morning of Saturday, October 18th, the day after Cheryl's birthday, and purely out of coincidence, Sweetest Day. Actually, every day is Sweetest Day when I'm with Cheryl because she is the sweetest person I've ever met. The day was was on its way to be a beautiful, fall day -- a high of 68, not a cloud in the sky, and the smell of fallen leaves on a mild breeze. Perfect. And we were on our way up to the North Georgia mountains to go hiking. Unbeknownst to Cheryl, it was E-Day!

My friend Beth had told me about a large waterfall that she visited several months ago and that was off the beaten path (not in any state park, way off the main road, down a little dirt road, etc.) which sounded like the perfect place to propose because there wouldn't be hardly anyone around (there wasn't when she had been there).  The falls are called Helton Creak Falls, and we were on our way there. After stopping along the way for a quick lunch, we wound our way through the beautiful mountain scenery and found our way to the little road that leads to the falls. Out of the car we hopped, excited to be there. (She was excited to be going hiking; I had a little more to be excited about!)

We hiked down a relatively short path to the falls, and when when we got there...well there had to be at least 20 people there -- even a couple of people with fishing poles that weren't going anywhere anytime soon....and it was a small area!  AHHH!  What was I going to do!  I'd pass out if I had to propose in front of all those people. Dare I try?!?!

Well...I think Cheryl thought I was a little nuts when I wanted to climb to the top of the falls.  There was no clear trail, but we made one...and made it all the way to the the top, where it was nice and private and after a couple kisses and a little picture-taking of the scenery (hey, I needed time to catch my breath first!), I got down on one knee as I pulled out the ring and I proposed...and then...."OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! I think I'm going to cry. OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!"  After about the twentieth "OH MY GOD!", I started to panic a little inside and started thinking to myself, "Please answer. Please answer. Please answer. Please answer."  Eventually she caught her breath and said "Okay! YES. I'll marry you!".  Those were the most wonderful words I've ever heard in my life.  (I just realized I didn't tell her that!) 

After I proposed, we hiked back down and drove back to Atlanta, where I had made 8pm reservations at Nikolai's Rooftop -- a excellent Russian restaurant with a great view from the top of the downtown Hilton. Five courses and a bottle of wine later, we called it an evening. The next day we went and got the ring sized and started to plan the 11,827 wedding preparation tasks...and...well, that's the whole story of how it "happened".

It was all awesome. I'm still totally on cloud nine -- the happiest man in the world.  :-)

Cheryl is the kindest, sweetest, most thoughtful, funnest, most wonderful woman in the world, and I am very honored that she wants to spend the rest of her life with me....and she's the most beautiful woman I've ever laid my eyes upon. If you've met her, you already know she's terrific. If you haven't met her yet, when you do, you'll immediately see all of her awesome traits.

Thank you Cheryl. I promise I'll be a terrific husband, companion and best friend for life. I love you with all my heart, sweetheart.

Everyone's second question is "What's the wedding date?". Well...

That's a little harder to answer. We both would get married tomorrow if it were feasible, but there's a lot to plan and coordinate, pre-marital counseling to do...lots of stuff. The only answer we have at the moment is that we're going to shoot for April, but a lot will depend on the availability of locations. We'll let everyone know once plans gel. In the mean time, thanks for visiting this page.

And now for some pictures we took on E-Day:

[Click on any of the thumbnail images to view blow-up]

The very bottom of the falls:

Cheryl and I at the bottom of the main section of the falls (technically the middle of the falls, I suppose):

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At the top of the falls:
Before and After
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(Yes, we were alone.  I had a little pocket tripod with me.)


That evening, after we finished dinner at Nikolai's Rooftop:

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