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It is unusual to have a free weekend around here, especially with all of the freelance work I have been doing lately. Since I began dating Grant, if we weren’t working on the weekend we were traveling to see each other. So to my surprise, I found that we had a free weekend early in December. I called Grant on Friday, December 7 during his lunch break to tell him about my discovery. In fact this was going to be our last free weekend until late January. I couldn’t believe how it had snuck up on me like that. He’d known for over a month that it was free. Immediately I began planning a date, because why let things be spontaneous around here?

That night after the gym Grant casually asked if I would like to do surprise Christmas things the next day. Of course, but why the surprise? The rest of the night I tried convincing him to tell me, but with no avail, I was still clueless. My mind went from the Gaylord ice exhibit to shopping in downtown McKinney. Last year we missed driving around and looking at Christmas lights so I thought that could possibly be it.

I woke up Saturday morning and started working on things. At the time I was in the middle of wrapping up a wedding I had photographed. I’d told Grant I’d go on this Christmas surprise if he promised I’d be back in time to work. (A promise that I am really glad he broke!). He texted me around 9:30 asking if I was up for a Whataburger taquito and cup of coffee in the park. We went to the park and as we were sitting there I noticed green pen and black sharpie marks all over his hands. This is not usual for Grant. So being nosy per usual I confronted him on what he was up to. “Christmas surprises.” Grant headed to the car and came back with his backpack full of presents! The first one that he handed me was a post office box from the early 1900’s converted into a bank. I peeked through the coin slot and saw something inside, but it was locked. I knew that it’d be too easy for Grant to just hand me a key. With the next box he asked “Would you like to go on an adventure for your Christmas present this year?” I unwrapped it to find a beautiful compass and a small note with coordinates. This led to a hunt all over the park for more clues with coordinates.

The last clue I came across was a riddle and piece of paper with a number key on the back that I would need later. The riddle led me to Grant’s apartment and into a backpack I was told not to touch because secret Christmas things were in there. Inside the backpack was a hat and a dry cleaning ticket, which I almost threw away…

Grant and I jumped in the car and went to Hopkins cleaners here in Duncanville. Inside I handed the front desk worker the ticket and he returned with an apron. We get in the car and I thank Grant for the cute apron, thinking this was the end of the line. Grant laughed and told me to open it up. I checked to see if there was a key, but I couldn’t find it. Finally I found a flash drive in the pocket. We head pack to the apartment and plug it in to the laptop. Then Morse Code begins playing. Really, Grant? I don’t know Morse Code!!! I muddle my way through it to find out we are to have lunch at Romas! It is one of our favorite local eateries.

After we order Grant hands me a newspaper and tells me to use the number key that he gave me earlier that morning. A lot of counting letters later and I find out that Half Price Books is holding a book for me. What ever could it be? 🙂

We arrive at Half Price Books and I ask the cashier for my book. He can’t find it. Finally after digging he finds it hidden way in the back under the register counter. He asks if we paid and I have no idea. Grant said we did, grabs my hand and we run out of the store. I thought maybe stealing was part of our adventure, but it turns out that Grant had them hold a book he had purchased on Amazon. The girls working at the counter the day before gladly held it for him.

The book turned out to be “What Katie Ate”. I had been wanting this cookbook since it came out and was so excited! All I wanted to do was look at the book. Poor Grant must have been getting nervous at this point, but he patiently waited. Once I finished I looked at him and said “What’s next?”.  I missed another clue! Tapped inside the dust jacket was the key to the post office box! We rushed home and I ran inside to open it.

Grant grabbed the box first, led me to the couch and said I could open it. What did I find? An old pair of his socks. I kid you not. A little surprised it took me a minute to see the box. I opened it and looked up to find Grant on his knees where he told me that he wanted to go on adventures with me everyday. Then he asked me to be his wife. 🙂

Now we will be going on adventures together for the rest of our lives. I truly am the luckiest. Isn’t he great at planning wonderful stories? I can’t wait to marry you, Grant!