It's funny how things happen. Justin and Sarah were married for 5 years last February, David and Codi 2 years in July. Caitlin and Kevin just got married in May and now Ryan and Allison will also soon tie the knot.
While I was busy with all of Caitlin's wedding planning, out of the corner of my eye, I realized that Ryan had met someone. Between my busyness and not really wanting to pry, I didn't ask Ryan very many questions (guys don't like that sorta thing...). Ryan lives in New Orleans and Allison lives in Tyler, Texas. They originally met while both were attending college at East Texas Baptist University. Her friend and roommate married Ryan's cousin and they both were in the wedding party. It was wasn't until much later that these two reconnected. I would like to believe it was because I had been praying for the perfect girl for Ryan. I could see his siblings getting married and starting families and although Ryan's life motto was, "I'm not going to rush things, when the 'right one' comes along, I will know it", I worried about him having someone to spend the rest of his life with (It's just a 'mom thing', I suppose...). And so, this relationship began to blossom while I was all tied up with Caitlin's wedding preparations.
The weekend of Caitlin's wedding was the first time I ever met Allison and everyone around me commented, "If she can make it with your family through THIS weekend...she might be a keeper!" Well, if you knew how things (I...) tend to get under pressure, you would understand. She showed up a couple of days prior to the wedding and it was as if I had always known her. She was friendly and immediately fit in with our BIG, FAT, LOUD family. And the reason for that may be because she is also one of four children. We have three boys and one girl and her family has three girls and one boy! Allison jumped in helped us load and unload items for the wedding and reception and spent MANY hours helping us decorate. And HEY! I actually wasn't a crazy lady that weekend either, so that made things kinda nice (although I warned her that the possibility was there...).
After the wedding, we made plans for our family vacation and Allison was invited to join us. That is when I began to notice the way she and Ryan looked at each other; I began to think that perhaps this WAS the girl I had prayed for. From there, Allison began to show up for family weekends, birthday parties and we all (definitely all the girls in the family...) KNEW it would only be a matter of time before Ryan would be "popping the question". As a matter of fact, there were even bets made as to WHEN he would "pop the question". I knew it was going to be "official" soon when Ryan began the search for the "Perfect Ring".
Ahhh...The search for the ring. This part (as the mother of 3 boys...) is always interesting. For you see, first of all, boys aren't usually even interested in shopping...for ANYTHING! And so when "The Search" begins, it is serious business. For Ryan, this was especially the case. I think he actually must have taken an online crash course on "Everything About Diamonds"! He research buying that ring like he was doing a science research paper. He would search online, make calls, write notes on pieces of paper, take opinion polls (One has to know Ryan to know that this is quite normal behavior for him...). And in the end I believe he made a wonderful choice...and it looks like she thinks so too!