day 9: a place

Paris, France. My favorite place in the world

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Paris, March 2011

Paris has been my favorite place in the world since I was in 2nd grade. We were studying famous sites in Ms. Olsen’s class when she showed a picture of the Eiffel Tower. She explained that Paris was considered the most romantic place in the world. It was night in the photo and the tower was sparkling. Just gorgeous. I remember there in that moment, my adventurous untouched heart tucked away a dream of getting engaged right under that tower. (But let’s be honest…those kinds of things only happen in movies right?)

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Eiffel Tower, March 2011

This picture was taken right after the love of my life proposed to me 🙂 My mom, sister and I went to Paris for a girl’s day out (We were living in Mannheim, Germany at the time). Little did I know that Grady, my dad and my brothers were going to surprise me at the bottom of the tower that night and make my biggest-never-ever-ever-thought-it-would-actually-happen dream come true.

I still get teary thinking about it. The blessing of a dream come true. The blessing of being given a man who wanted to make this happen for me and share it with me. The blessing of God’s unconditional, faithful, amazing love. I had definitely put a Parisian proposal in the “just too big” dream tank. Oh, how He loves us.

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March 2007.

Almost exactly 4 years before getting engaged, I got to go to Paris for the very first time. My awesome parents let me go on the two-week Senior trip to France. There is nothing like being a High School in a foreign country with your absolute best friends! I will cherish those memories for always. Best trip ever.

I remember sneaking away from the group when we first got to the tower. Unexpectedly I got so choked up at seeing it. I couldn’t believe I was actually standing there! It was just beautiful. I remember feeling so full of joy I could burst…and then suddenly a quick pang of disappointment as I realized that my dream of getting engaged there was just never going to happen. Paris is so far from America. What guy would go through all that trouble? So I pushed my dream even further down, and got back to enjoying every second there while I could.

“America is my country, but Paris is my hometown.”

Nothing is impossible with He who loves us 🙂

Ali

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