Thursday, December 29, 2011

Coffee in a Whole New Perspective.

Now that I am a whole 3 days experienced as a barista, I thought I would share some of values that I've learned.

Microfoam cannot be resteamed and microwaving milk to give it an extra warmth boost is a "no no."

If you can't pour milk directly in the center of an espresso - you are obviously not ready for latte art. And to add to that, don't pour the milk to slowly because the milk will "separate before [your] eyes!" - Jiminey. Also, don't make someone laugh as they are pouring delicious yummy milk into a drinky drink, because it is hard for them to not only pour consistently but to actually make it into the cup.

Basket to the gasket. Finger to the ringer. Immediately. Meaning after you tamp the grinds... put that business to the 'spro machine and get that hot water going.

A classic cappuccino is 6 oz.... so don't ask for a tall classic cap, alright?

A macchiato is not a tall, grande, or venti carmalicious mocha-fantasic drink. Its a hardcore drink with a double shot of espresso with a dash of steamed milk that equals 3-4 ounces! ITS TINY!

Oh yea.. that cool leaf on your chai latte is called a rosetta.

More to add later on, but for now just remember "its all part of the process."

Cap one the left: good. cap on the right: bad.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gilmore Girl's Reading List

As newly weds, Josh and I decided to save money by going without cable or internet in our humble shack. After watching all of our movies twice over, I decided to watch Gilmore Girls - all 7 seasons. I've always admired the Gilmore girls' wit and references to so many books and pop culture. I was just thinking of googling a possible list of all the books that they talk about in the show when a friend "pinned" this fantastic list on Pinterest. So eventually in my life I plan on reading through this list!

1984 by George Orwell
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
The Art of Fiction by Henry James
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Babe by Dick King-Smith
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
The Bhagava Gita
The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
Candide by Voltaire
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
Christine by Stephen King
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty
A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père
Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Cujo by Stephen King
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Deenie by Judy Blume
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
The Divine Comedy by Dante
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
Don Quijote by Cervantes
Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
Eloise by Kay Thompson
Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
Emma by Jane Austen – read
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Ethics by Spinoza
Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extravagance by Gary Krist
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
Henry V by William Shakespeare
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III (Lpr)
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
Howl by Allen Gingsburg
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Iliad by Homer
I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Inferno by Dante
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – started and not finished
Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Love Story by Erich Segal
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Manticore by Robertson Davies
Marathon Man by William Goldman
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
The Merry Wives of Windsro by William Shakespeare
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Night by Elie Wiesel
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Old School by Tobias Wolff
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Othello by Shakespeare
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Property by Valerie Martin
Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Quattrocento by James Mckean
A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien
R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
Selected Hotels of Europe
Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
Sexus by Henry Miller
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shane by Jack Shaefer
The Shining by Stephen King
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Small Island by Andrea Levy
Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
Songbook by Nick Hornby
The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
Stuart Little by E. B. White
Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
Time and Again by Jack Finney
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Unless by Carol Shields
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Ring is on the Finger!

Here is the story!

On Sunday, Josh and I went to help out with Wesley's free lunch as usual. Afterward, Josh said he wanted to talk and hang out with Haley (his sister), so I just went back my house. At 2:15 I met up with Macy Waltz (my mentor) for our one-on-one time at J&B. The rhythm of our meeting was normal as we talked through our Christmas break and MLK weekend. At the end of our meeting time, I was about to leave when Macy nonchalantly said, "I have something for you."

In my mind I was thinking about the Christmas present that she told me she needed to give to me around December 1st.

She handed me a card with the J&B coffee Inc. logo with the "B" transformed to an "E" to make it "J&E." I was confused, but I just laughed and said, "Oh! How cool!" I opened up the card and I recognized Josh's hand writing. I started to read the note and I was beyond confused. I read through the note, and realized that today was a very important day.

The notes said, "Elise,
I hope you enjoyed your time at J&B,
but today there are many other things you must see.
Today is a day unlike any other.
Relax and enjoy our love for one another.
This trip will be an adventure of sorts,
but don't worry, you won't have to talk about or play sports.
To accompany you on your journey,
I am giving you a special "I love you" CD
So hurry up! Go to your next destination!
Go back to your house without hesitation!

I went into shock after I finished reading the riddle. I looked up at Macy and started practically hyper ventilating (not literally), but I did have an abnormal breathing pattern! And I was laughing and crying and trying to talk at the same time! I was ecstatic! I KNEW THAT TODAY WAS THE DAY! She handed me the "I love you" CD to go along with the letter. I didn't know what to say or do! I was paralyzed with excitement! Finally, Macy encouraged me to go and enjoy my night after several hugs.

On my way to my house, the first song that played was off of The Wedding Singer, Grow Old with You.

I opened my front door and a blanket of rose petals led me to my bed room. When I stepped in my room I was surprised by Amy and Diana who were under my sheets and blankets. They handed me the next note along with a necklace.

The note read, "Elise,
I hope you have found your friends in bed,
a bed you will share with someone else once you're wed!
While you are here get ready for the day.
Use Amy and Diana to dress you up in whatever way.
No matter what outfit you decide to show,
you are the most amazingly gorgeous woman I know.
Let the necklace I give you remind you of your beauty,
but remember, remember you still have a duty!
Where we first met at Raiderville is the place to be.
Go to the Southwest Conference Circle (E.S.S. Building) and Drive Safely!

I was thankful that two of my roommates and bestfriends could be a part of this journey! We talked about how much self control Diana and Amy must have had to keep a secret as exciting as this to themselves! They were thankful I wasn't home all weekend because I helped out with the Salt Shaker Retreat (Freshman retreat). After almost 2 hours of laughing, screaming, crying, sweating, and singing in a tiny bathroom, I was finally ready with hair curled, makeup and outfit on. Both Amy and Diana gave me their blessing and sent me on my way to campus.

I was singing to My Cococo by Stellastarr, but the second I pulled up in the parking lot I started bawling. Ali Dawn Kemp, my best friend/sister from high school, was standing holding a bouquet of flowers about 50 ft. away. I knew it wasn't easy for her to drive up to Lubbock and give up an entire day. (I found out later that she had been standing out there for over 2 hours waiting on me without a coat- She is a true friend!). I stepped out of my car and ran over to her. She gave me a big hug and we cried together. On the ground, "I love you" was spelled out in coffee beans, and the bouquet of flowers had my favorite flower Renunculas along with roses and tulips.

After we were united and she gave me the flowers she pulled out the note.

She read, "Renunculas, Renunculas
Ali is here, how reDONCulous!
I will always remember the night we first met,
My life was forever changed in a way I don't regreat.
I will always remember your smile and cream headband (:
filling up the night air, I just knew you were a special brand.
These flowers are unique and so are you.
Go beautifully on with your next clue
to the Wesley Foundation's Intern Office for a special surprise
as you gaze upon something with your eyes.

By the way... I was wearing a yellow headband, but Josh vividly remembers it being cream! Then, Ali and I packed up in my car to head to the Wesley as we listened to Firework by Katy Perry.

I walked into the side door of the Wesley Foundation and found hundreds of rose petals leading up the stairs, into the intern office all the way to Josh's desk, and ending on the keyboard. It was dark, but it was lit up with several red candles. Beside the computer a beautiful mosaic of the world was titled "Oh the Places We'll Go..."

At this point, I was confused. There was no note and I wasn't sure what to do next. Ali came over and tapped the mouse and the computer screen came on. A Skype sign in screen was on the desktop. I logged in (on the second try! I forgot my password!) and I just waited silently for a couple of minutes. Then I get a call from my Daddy. We probably set there for a good couple of minutes before we could really talk to each other. We just cried a ton of happy tears. Then he told me how proud he was of me and of the person I had become. He reminded me that we had begun to pray for my future financé and husband together when I was around 6. (both of my parents had prayed for him since the moment I was born) I gave his blessing for Josh and my relationship and he couldn't be happier.

Then he read the note from Josh, "Skype Skype. I miss it but not really
all those nights that we talked until one of us was weary
through all of the video talking and chatting
I continued to fall in love with a girl so dazzling.
Of course you have a great Skype personality
especially the way you alway knew how to me.
Now you will no longer have to travel alone,
I look forward to "the places we will go" like Rome
So off to Spirit Ranch you will go
to a place so special for a reason you already know.

I said my good byes and we blew out the candles. I grabbed the canvas and we headed out to Spirit Ranch. I was fully expecting Josh to be there because after all that is where had decided to get married. We enjoyed several songs included On a Night Like This by Dave Barnes. As soon as I pulled up I looked for Josh, but instead I saw a beautiful couple, Kyle, my roomate, and Bryce. You can image I started crying again. I noticed some candles in the shape of a heart on the ground when Bryce started reading the next note...

It read, "Ah, I'm not here, but did you think I would be?
Oh well, at the next place you will soon see
a handsome man who has been excited to see you.
Smile, the adventure is almost over for you, too.
The question of most interest to me
Are you willing to "plan your life" to someone on bended knee?
Go to my parents' house. You know what's next
Be extra safe, and please don't text!

As Bryce read the line "plan your life," Kyle handed me a daily planner that said, "Elise, I'm excited to plan the rest of my life with you! I love you so much! Josh Hurst." I cried more and hugged them. They both gave me some encouraging words and they sent me off to my next destination.

We drove all the way across down, and we had to make a pit stop at a Valero. I was going to hold it, but Ali said that I'll probably pee my pants if I didn't go.

We pull up to the house, and Ali ran to the back of the house. Luminaries lined the sidewalk leading into the living room. I walked slowly towards. From luminaries, candles started lining the walkway into the house. Rose petals made a path toward the center of the room, and also coffee beans made the path narrow. I looked up at him as I stepped across the threshold and let the tears roll. I walked from the tile to the carpet. Josh was standing in the center of a world map tapestry. It was lined with christmas lights and rose petals were scattered over it. The fire place was in full blaze. Candles, coffee beans, and rose petals lined the counters, window seals, and tables. The essence of two smells I grew up with - my dad's cup of coffee in his flower shop - reminded me of what a great life that I've had that has led up to this.

I stepped into the center with him. We waited just taking in the moment to speak. Finally, I smiled and said, "Hi."

He said hi back, and then he told me how special I was to him. He said he had never told this to me before but that my passion for the Lord and my drive to pursue His will is the reason why he loved me the most. He explained why he was attracted to my character and heart. Then he told me a few other reason why he was excited to spend the rest of his life with me.

Then, he reach down on the small side table that was right beside him covered in candles and rose petals and picked up a white box. He said, "Kimberlyn Elise Peak" and he bent down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

I said "YES YES YES!!!"

Then he opened the box and slid the ring on my finger.

25 minutes later, 30 of our friends and Josh's family gathered there to celebrate! It couldn't have ended better to spend that exciting milestone with close friends!