Engagement Story

(Post by Emily Harlan)

To start the story out I have to share some background information. Mike Dewalt had come home to Ashland Ohio for over a month for seminary break. I had decided to come up for a week and see him and then head back to Michigan, while he finished up his stay in Ohio.  Flash forward to….

Friday morning, January 9, 2009, I felt a nudge on my shoulder as I lay asleep in bed and awoke to Dewalt (Mike), who came in to my room holding a breakfast tray, and a dozen roses. He softly asked if I could wake up enough to enjoy some breakfast with him and as I lay there enjoying the croissant sandwich (thanks Jimmy Dean J) and the scrambled eggs and sausage with orange juice we chatted about nothing and just enjoyed the special treat he had prepared. The Roses were of course beautiful and along with that I later received a box of chocolates in the shape of Belle, from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (it’s a sentimental thing between us, he’s always called me Belle because he said I was a beauty and he was the beast..haha) so he was being sweet and memorable.

After breakfast he said to go on ahead and get ready  for we had decided to go out to lunch together that day so he just randomly said to look nice and dress warm…odd but still I didn’t think ANYTHING!! So, we get ready (he looked quite handsome himself!! He didn’t even wear cowboy boots!) and start driving to the restaurant, so 30 minutes has gone by and I say to him, “where are we going?!”.  He’s replies, “ohhh I thought we would head up to Sandusky and see the place and eat.” I was like wow! Cool (keep in mind Sandusky is 45 minutes north of his house, and right on Lake Eerie, PLUS it’s snowing like crazy). So we get to Damens Grill- but it wasn’t anything like the Damens sports grill and bar that are normally seen, it was a snazzy grill in a old marina so it out looked the frozen Lake Eerie, it was beautiful!!! We both ordered some reeeaaally good food and then enjoyed talking. Dewalt all of a sudden asked our waitress for directions to the nearest park. I AM THINKING “Park?! Its blizzarding outside! Oh well!”  So we get them….and kind of get mixed up and stop for some directions from a toothless gas station attendant and finally make it to Osborn Park.

This place, we come to find out is more like a wildlife preserve with a park for dogs, and a ranger station. Nothing to do…just land! So he’s like “yeah let’s get out and see what’s here”- now I am a spontaneous and adventuresome person always loving a good random memory so I get out bundle up and walk into the ranger station to ask the lady at the desk what there isin this “park” of course this poor lady hasn’t seen any visitors or excitement for months as it’s the dead of winter and blizzarding so she enlightened me with all their summer options as a park…I listened but then excused myself outside to walk around with D. We walked around the parking lot and by this time I am numb with cold so I say “hey let’s take some pictures in the snow”, D obliges and then I ask to walk back to the car. D says “naaaww lets keep walking around”…(he says he was scouting the area for a good place to propose as there wasn’t any privacy or anything romantic around..just frozen tundra and a picnic pavilion.) So we start walking towards the picnic pavilion and we take some more pics, and then I sit down and he starts to chat about how he has talked to my mom the past week…”I was like OOOOHHHHHH how did THAT go?! “(My parents haven’t had a lot of opportunities to get to know mike so they are still new in talking to each other) He’s like, “interesting but it ended very well!” I was like ohhhh so tell me what you guys talked about, and he was said, “well actually I also talked to your dad”, I am like WOW, HOW DID THAT go? He-he and as he knelt down on his one knee he said “ well I actually asked him for your hand in marriage” I was speechless as he pulled out the black velvet box out of his pocket and opened it up as he said, “Emily I know I’m not very good at this stuff but I love you very much and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?” I just started to cry and said yes and gave him a huge hug. He was shaking a little bit of course and finally got the ring on my finger and just smiled as I was crying (he teared up too folks!) I declared about 10 times…”we are getting MARRIED!”


This was a COMPLETE surprise, as most girls know that they will be proposed to within the year or even months that they have discussed with their boyfriend. THAT was not the case in this instance as many as you know! Dewalt was very adamant about waiting till the end of his schooling in 2 years to get married and I had decided that the best way to handle was to trust in his judgment and know that the Lord would sustain us through the long time. SO I was completely shocked for this to happen!!

Back to the story…..

So we take a picture of me in the spot I sat as he proposed and I dry off my frozen wet- icicle face! Hehe and declare we MUST go to the ranger station before we leave for me to tell the lady behind the counter! First off I felt this overwhelming desire to tell someone right away since I didn’t have my cell on me and we were out in the middle of no where. So we hiked back to the station and as we walked in 3 rangers were lounging by the receptionist’s empty desk. I asked for the lady behind the desk and they pointed to the corner as I walked over she came over and I announced that I had just been proposed to and she yelped for joy and gave me a hug saying congratulations! She smiled and said, “ and you just had to tell someone didn’t you!?” I laughed and said yes. The rangers made some funny snide remarks to Dewalt about are you sure you wanna do that? Or good luck with that.. So he was slightly embarrassed but he got over it as the lady, MJ I later found out was her name, took a picture of us in front of the ranger station and bid us congrats as we left for Ashland.


Our day consisted of us stopping by a jewelry store to get a ring sizer as the ring was too big and calling everyone we could think of at the time to tell them. So that is our story, unique and wonderful at the same time. WE ARE GETTING MARRIED!!!!!



3 Comments on “Engagement Story”

  1. korie says:

    Congrats!!!! Good stuff you guys i love it. I am super impressed Dewalt!

  2. pastoralmusings says:

    Nor sure how I came upon this post, but it surely did my heart good.
    May God give you MANY happy years, and may all of your joys be LITTLE ONES!

  3. Shawn says:

    That’s an awesome story! I can’t wipe the smile from my face. Congrats!

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