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The Engagement Story...

After Jodi’s reception and dance in Bowman, Shannon and Justin drove out to the country to watch the thunderstorm and ended up dancing in the rain in the car headlights... then 1.5 years later we were in Casper for the holidays:

On Saturday (12/23/00), Shannon was busy working on a puzzle when Justin went to ask her mom for Shannon’s “whole body” in marriage – not just her hand you know – and I showed her the ring. Shannon had a long day, was tired, crabby and wanted to go to bed early. She even told her cousin that she didn’t want to go out and do anything that night. But after supper, Shannon’s mom (Jenny) suggested that the two of them take some time for themselves and go to a movie. Justin suggested we go to “What Women Want” [pun intended] and Shannon agreed. The movie was good and afterwards on our drive home, Justin noticed that the sky was clear enough to see the stars, so before we got home, Justin suggested going to gaze at the stars. Shannon said "no" and that she "just wanted to go to bed". About a block from her house, she finally agreed and they headed out of town and into the country down an icy dirt road. They found an approach, backed in, and parked.

During the 1st 10 minutes Justin saw 3 shooting stars (holdovers from the Ursid’s meteor shower the week before). Shannon didn’t see any – I guess her eyes were closed she was so tired.

By this time of course Shannon was not too happy with Justin for “making” her go out there instead of going to bed and was snapping at anything Justin said, so he got out of the car to look at the stars and hopefully coax her to join me. After a few minutes of standing outside the car alone and freezing Justin went around to her side, but she wouldn’t even look out the window at him. Justin then went in front of the car on the icy road and started doing some ballerina dancing moves and almost fell on his butt. [Later Shannon confessed that she laughed at that.] But she STILL didn’t come outside, so Justin went back to her door and she opened it this time and said, “You need a ride?”. It was VERY obvious she wanted to go home.

Justin told her she could see the stars better from out here and she DID actually come out to look [just to get it over with I guess]. It was very cold out there and we were both shivering, but I asked her if she’d like to take a twirl on the road in the headlights with me. She said okay and we danced a little bit, like we did in Bowman,... only it was MUCH colder here.

She asked where his gloves were – Justin said they were in his pocket and that he didn’t want to put them on. She asked why he was shaking so bad and Justin said,... “Because I’m nervous.”

“Yeah, right, what have you got to be nervous about?” she grumbled.

Justin said, “Nothing, I’m just cold.”

“Me too, can we just go!?”

Then Justin told her that they couldn’t go quite yet because he had a Christmas present that he wanted her to open early,... that he just couldn’t wait for Christmas Day for her to open it. Justin told her how he felt about her and how much she meant to him and all that “mushy” stuff and finally said, “There’s something I have to ask you.” [I think this is when she finally figured out what was going on here.]

Justin got down on one knee and asked if she’d like to marry me. To which Shannon said, “Are you sure?”

“Yes,” Justin replied.

“Positive?” She asked, feeling bad about how crabby and grumpy she had been the whole day.

“Yes, Hunny.” Justin smiled.

And then she finally said, “Yes!”

They hugged and shivered together and then Justin said, “Geez, I wish I had a diamond or something to give you. Maybe I can find a piece of ice that we can use.” So he bent over, looking at the icy road and started feeling around for a piece of ice. When he stood back up, he presented her with the engagement ring [which was on his hand the WHOLE time and was why he didn’t want his gloves on]. Again, she was shocked and couldn’t figure out where the ring came from... till Justin told her.

She put the ring on and they embraced a little bit more and Justin saw another shooting star (Shannon missed it again) before deciding that it was REALLY COLD and they then headed back home. By this time it was about 12:30am on Christmas Eve,... [so much for going to bed early that night, huh?]

They got back to her folk’s house, but she didn’t want to go wake them up to tell them the news [even though we found out later that they couldn’t sleep real good anyway and were “sorta” waiting for us to get home]. After they got home, Shannon & Justin watched the end of “Anastasia” and went to bed in their separate rooms.

Later that morning, Shannon’s mom went down to wake her up and then Shannon finally told her what happened.

On Christmas day, Shannon opened other presents, which were her “ring papers”, and the wedding band which fits up-against the engagement ring.

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