Last week, we were invited in secret to join over 50 other folks in creating a breathtaking experience that would make most any proposal effort hang its head in shame. We were asked to caravan to the nearest Eugene lake and, at the right moment, simultaneously launch Chinese floating lanterns into the air. If you've ever seen the Disney movie, "Tangled", you know exactly what I mean and what the effect was supposed to look like. Hence the word "magical" in the title - I'm not talking sorcery here, I'm talking "straight from a Disney fairy tale movie"...
I have to admit, John and I were beat by the time Friday arrived. It had been a busy, but wonderful week with the Fourth of July festivities. Our boys had done their jobs at Harlow (post still to come), and we kind of desperately wished we could just relax at home and be couch potatoes. We did actually let the boys do that, for which I'm thankful - they weren't quite at the level of stealth and patience required to make the activity a success.
We did bring Mikayla, though - who loves these sorts of things and was my buddy all evening.
Sure enough, upon arriving at the rendezvous location (the shared home of the guy doing the proposing) - there were tons of people - all testifying to the fact of how many people ADORE Michael and Emily. That's the ultimate reason we left the comfy house Friday night, how could we not? We both adore them too. We've known them ever since starting CCF and while they've only been a couple for the last year, they are both stand alone incredible people - but, together, they light up a room.
Here's the special picture that John doctored to tell the story when he put the pics he took up on Facebook:
Here's their boat. We waited a LONG time for them to get their act together to launch their lantern.
This is their single lantern lighting attempt. Emily is so in love with these (and "Tangled") that she was positively giddy that Michael had purchased one and they'd light it together on their fun date on his sailboat. She had NO IDEA a proposal was in the works or all the folks were behind the scenes which is purely a GOD thing as nothing gets pulled over Emily.
Unfortunately, their lighting attempt didn't go well - it sunk in the water. =(
But, then, what is that in the distance? Can you imagine the chills she must have got? And, guess who's lantern started floating up first? Mikayla's and I's.... SO PROUD! We did have the advantage of being right near Heather who had the binoculars and walky talky waiting for the sign to begin.
Until the night sky was lit up with them. It was an extraordinary sight to witness - I can't wait to see the video.
I will say, though - it wasn't an easy task - nor was it all that safe. You folks on the eastern half of the United States would never be able to do this at this point in the summer with the drought conditions being so bad. As it was, I was pretty darn nervous lofting that first lantern, hoping it would go up and not off to the grassy field below and set it on fire!
This was one of the scariest incidents - being launched by none other than Heather (one of Emily's bestest friends). John was dying taking these pictures laughing so hard!
These two gals both received proposals this spring. Jenny (left) is getting married in August, while Christine will marry in September.
A final shot of Mikayla and I waiting for the fire to heat up the interior of the balloon enough to be able to set it free and let it rise.
As more folks put up their pictures of the event, I'll add a few more - particularly of the smile on Michael and Emily's face when they returned to his home after the experience and greeted all of us who participated as well as dozens more folks who showed up to celebrate their engagement. (The first picture is of us with a couple we met there, John & Julie - hanging out and getting to know each other while waiting for the newly engaged couple to arrive. And thanks Kaela for these extra pics!)
I'm so glad we said "yes" to helping out in this fairy tale scene, but even happier that she said "yes" to a married life with Michael!