"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

And . . . We’re Off!

Five years ago today, in a hot air balloon in Del Mar, James asked me to marry him. And then almost exactly 2 months later, we were married. We planned a beautiful wedding in only 2 months—it can be done! We originally thought we’d have it in summer of ’07 but decided we just couldn’t live in two different states for another year. Everything fell into place so we moved it to November.

Fun Fact: When I called my grandma to tell her the date and location we chose, she told me that my Uncle Bob and Aunt Elena (who happens to be one of my favorite people) got married on the same date and in the same church. It was meant to be!

Back to the story of our engagement . . . I’ll admit, I was a little nervous. Not about getting married, but the balloon ride. James had been talking about going up in a balloon for awhile. I was hesitant due to my fear of heights, but he really wanted to do it so I said ok. Once we got there James wouldn’t let me read the disclaimer in the paper work – he told me to just trust him and sign it (I still don’t know what it said). Then a guy came out and told us that taking off was easy, it was the landing that was tricky. He proceeded to tell us that there were two different landing scenarios that could happen.

1. The basket would hit the ground 2-3 times and then stop upright.


2. The basket would hit the ground, fall over on its side and then we would be drug across the ground for who knows how long. We were instructed to hold on tight if this happened.

Next he loaded all of us up into a rickety old RV and we drove down an unpaved bumpy road to the middle of nowhere. Someone mentioned what we were all thinking – that they hoped we got there bfore the RV fell apart. And then someone else says “Hey, did you hear about the balloon that ran into some power lines last week?” I’m pretty sure James didn’t think he was getting me up in that balloon.

We reached our destination and they began to blow it up. It was a really neat process to watch!

Once we got up in the air it was amazing.

We had a view of the sun setting into the ocean over Del Mar and there were several other balloons out that evening. They handed out champaign and sparkling cider. We chatted with some of the other people in the balloon as we took in the views. Many were there celebrating birthdays or anniversaries.

Then, James announced in front of everyone that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. Everyone in the balloon started cheering and later we found out that at the same time James was proposing to me, another couple on the other side of the balloon also got engaged!

An incredibly nice couple took photos of James proposing and then mailed them to us:

After the balloon ride was over they put out a spread of chocolate covered strawberries and cheese and crackers. And then James and I went out for a tasty dinner at Red Lobster. It was a perfect, beautiful, and memorable evening. 🙂 I still feel so lucky to be married to such a romantic and thoughtful man. I love you James!


4 responses

  1. Great story and great pics!! Aaron and I are so happy to know you both and learn from your marriage relationship!

    September 2, 2011 at 9:19 am

  2. MOM


    September 2, 2011 at 9:22 am

  3. Beautiful story, Toni.

    September 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm

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