I wanted to get/do something completely different and out of the ordinary for Tamara to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary this year. She is almost impossible to get anything for because she claims she has everything she needs. She doesn't wear jewelry much and doesn't like to shop for herself. She doesn't like gadgets or technology. She isn't a big fan of roses (although she does like being surprised with a spring flower mix on occasion). After debating in my head for a month or so, I got a crazy idea - to take her back to where it all began.
On Friday I had arranged for everything - Tamara to leave school early, airplane tickets, hotel package, restaurant reservations, flowers & chocolate, kids schedules typed and printed out on the table - check! I worked from home on Friday morning and in-between conference calls I packed both mine and Tam's luggage. It was a bit tricky because we had reservations where we needed to dress up a bit, but luckily I have a sweet red-headed girl that gave me some options - I took mental note. By 1:00 p.m. I had everything ready to go and placed our bags just inside the garage door.
I had called Tamara just beforehand and we chit-chatted about her day with her students at the local neighborhood park - field days are upon us here in Colorado. They were just in the middle of their lunch so it was a good time to call. I casually asked about what time she would be home and she responded, "What time do you want me home?" I advised her that 2:30 p.m. would be great. She of course said that was impossible because school doesn't even get out until 3:35 p.m. and that just wouldn't work. I explained that I had arranged everything with Matt (the school principal) and she was all clear to be home by 2:30 p.m. She agreed to the time, but her voice wasn't completely convinced or perhaps she was just taken off guard altogether since she wasn't in on any of my plans - at least directly. ; )
At 2:25 p.m. she pulled up in the driveway. I watched from the office window as she parked outside since bags greeted her once the door had opened. She came inside and I told her we had to move quickly. "Ooookay" - she said hesitantly, "do I have time to change my top?" I of course agreed there was time and we were out the door 3 min later.
Once out of the neighborhood she asked if I was going to tell her anything - I smiled and simply replied that I was taking her back to where it all began. She could hardly speak through her happy tears and I knew at that point I had arranged for the perfect gift for her and achieved the element of surprise - yes! It was the most memorable reaction to a month's worth of planning - it couldn't have been more perfect as was the entire weekend to follow.
We ended up shopping all day Saturday before changing and heading out for our big night. We had reservations at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building/The Roof Restaurant where I had taken Tamara on December 9, 1994 to propose. I can't recall why, but I ended up proposing to her in the chapel a few floors down on the the mezzanine level. We sat in the same pew of the chapel on Saturday night and she said yes all over again. I couldn't imaging life without my best friend and companion. She is my true confidant and I look forward to the next 20 years and the eternities beyond. I love you Jo - forever!