Shannon here: Andrea Chatelain shares her real life proposal story and a recipe for Pumpkin Bars with Coconut Cream Frosting. All answers to the question and comments will go in Friday’s drawing. Deadline: Nov 30th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Andrea:
It was February 15th and I contemplated breaking up with him. He was my everything, but he knew I wanted to get married young, and yet I’d waited four years for a ring and–nothing. The day before was Valentine’s Day, and he didn’t make the one-hour trek to see me. I couldn’t figure out why. Until I discovered something strange on my windshield after work.
I was student teaching at a low income school in Nebraska. It was a windy, wintry day, and stuck to the window was a CD. I angrily snagged it off my car thinking a student placed it there. Then I recognized the penmanship. It was Dirk. I stood there confused, excited, and nervous wondering why he’d come here secretly to leave a note.
“Play me and drive to your apartment,” it read.
I shoved it in the CD slot of my white Honda Accord and our song started to play. I smiled. Maybe this was it. It could be the day I was waiting for, or it may just be an apology for standing me up on Valentine’s Day.
I expected to find him standing in my living room. But there was a lifesize frame waiting instead. It was the newspaper from the day we met down in the college newsroom where we worked. And a note.
“Your next clue is where we celebrated our first Valentine’s Day. Drive there.” So I did. Exhilarated, I approached the hostess and she handed me a book, “Oh The Places You’ll Go”. But all the pronouns were changed. Oh the places we’ll go. I grinned.
The next stop on the scavenger hunt was one of my favorite stores at an upscale mall. The clerk asked for my name, smiled and handed me a red dress and told me I was supposed to try it on to make sure it fit. It did and she told me it was already paid for and I was supposed to go to a fancy steakhouse nearby.
I arrived with anticipation and there he was, standing there waiting for me with a smile and a hug. “Happy Valentine’s Day! Did you have fun?”
As we ate, he explained he wanted it to be a big surprise and he figured I’d be expecting something on Valentine’s Day so he waited til the day after. We ate whiskey filets, asparagus and potatoes. It was the perfect date, but also left me confused. If he does all of this and doesn’t ask me to marry him, what is he waiting for?
The waiter brought the check, and Dirk asked me if I wanted to go home and watch a movie since the special evening was over. Back to reality, I guessed. So in comfy clothes we snuggled up and he chose one of my favorite childhood movies, “Land Before Time.” We watched, time passed, and as I leaned on his shoulder I could sense his agitation. I couldn’t figure out why he was sweating and his heart seemed to be pounding. Was everything ok?
I soon found out.
As the credits rolled, he took my hand, put a diamond ring on my finger, and asked me to marry him. I cried, and exclaimed, “Yes!” and rushed to my phone to call my parents and his to tell them the good news.
“So now you know why I didn’t come up on Valentine’s Day,” He said. “So we could have two days to celebrate– Valentine’s and our engagement day on the 15th.”
We’ve been married ten years now. We have three kids, a dog, and a love that will last a lifetime.
Get Cooking with this Fall Recipe:
My friend and neighbor, Jodi, gave me this recipe a few years back and I can’t stop making it! I replaced the traditional cream cheese frosting with a lighter coconut whip for fun. This is a hit every fall at family gatherings. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Bars with Coconut Cream Frosting
Mix 4 eggs, 1 cup veg oil or melted coconut oil, 2 cups sugar, 15oz can pumpkin puree.
Combine and add to above mixture: 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp of cloves, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 2 tsp cinnamon
Mix well and pour into greased and floured 12X18X1 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 min or until toothpick comes out clean
Frosting: combine with mixer, then frost your cake with a knife
1 can coconut CREAM (skim the cream off the top and discard water)
3-4 cups powdered sugar (add 4th cup depending on desired sweetness)
1.5 tsp vanilla
1-3 Tbs almond milk (depending on consistency desired. Can use regular milk if you’re not dairy-free)
1/8 tsp cinnamon
About Andrea: Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer at Glory Be, writer/speaker for WhollyLoved Ministries, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes God is still in the business of restoring and redeeming His people, and she loves connecting with women to remind them they can find everything they need in Jesus.
About the book – Intentional Holidays: 30 Reflections of Rest & Rejoicing:
This holiday season, God invites us to slow down our hustle, to trade striving and performing for resting and rejoicing. In our Photoshopped, Instagram, hyper-publicized culture, it feels like the bar is always rising. Not only must we create that memorable Thanksgiving meal, but it also must look Pinterest-worthy when we’re done! But Immanuel—God with us—is indeed with us in the middle of our dinner fails and celebrations.This holiday season, each morning, no matter how busy our day or frazzled our heart, God is drawing us near so that we can live filled. We can experience peace in the middle of our crazy through the Prince of Peace, our Savior, Immanuel.
Get your copy now! Intentional Holidays – Amazon
Question for Readers: What’s the best surprise you’ve ever received?
Come back Nov 22nd for Ada Brownell!