Monday, July 28, 2008

The 28th

Exactly five months from tonight, I will be married to Sandy. The girl I love will be my wife and I her husband. It will be the beginning of a totally new life for her and I, but I am completely at peace to be embarking on this adventure with her.

When I’m with Sandy, I feel at home…yet on vacation all at the same time. I’ve been telling her this a lot lately.

Earlier this evening, I received a phone call from her, she was getting ready to have dinner out with her Aunt and Cousin. She had called to let me know that she just bought her wedding dress. She said, “You’re going to love it!” “I’m sure I will”, I replied.

At the end of our short conversation, Sandy said to me, “I’m excited to marry you.”

…I’ve been letting those words sink into my heart all night.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


My favorite cologne to wear, is “happy” by Clinique. It’s a mix of citrus notes that have always made me feel…well, happy, ever since I first smelled it eight years ago. It’s difficult to figure out exactly what all the scents are that make this fragrance up, but sometimes I can smell a hint of grapefruit in there, if that gives you an idea?

I usually only wear this when I know I’m going to be around Sandy. Her and I are both fans of good fragrances and have spent a few outings testing colognes and perfumes at various department stores for fun.

Another thing that makes me happy, is how all of you who comment on this photo blog have really shared in my joy recently. Everything you have said has touched my heart and I do not take it lightly.

The photo blogging community that we’re all a part of on here is a rare one. Not all message boards on the internet are filled with mature, decent people like you all are. Have you ever taken a look at the comments on “youtube” videos? You’ll quickly see what I’m talking about. In some areas on the web, people are quick to judge, hate and just be jerks.

Thankfully, around here, we support each other and just enjoy one another’s work. If there is critique to be given, it’s given in a mature way to help the other and not to tear someone down.

I appreciate all of you who take the time to enjoy my photography and read my stories. Know that you’re always welcome here.

Thanks again for all your well-wishes to Sandy and I, we both enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


She's my "Bliss".
I got the idea for this image while sitting at my desk today, eating some chocolate. After work, I went to the grocery store, picked up some HERSHEY'S Bliss Dark Chocolates and brought my idea to life.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

An Engagement Story part 3

By that Thursday, I had decided that I wanted to propose on Friday morning (July 4th) and get the weekend started with a real Bang! So, on Thursday afternoon, I emailed Sandy and suggested that we have breakfast out on the boat dock behind her Aunt and Uncle’s house who live across the street from her. She replied and said that she thought it was a good idea.

Later Thursday night, while on the phone with Sandy, I suggested that we bring her iPod player with us to the dock on Friday morning. My secret idea was that I would play a set list of “our songs” and for the last one, I would have her stand up with me and once the song was over, I’d go down on one knee! The tune I picked for that is a song by Mark Schultz that talks about going the distance for her. (Click here to hear it.)

When I arrived at Sandy’s on Friday morning, I could feel myself shaking a little. This was the day that I was going to ask my future wife to marry me. It was a huge deal what I was about to do, but it felt right and I was ready.

As Sandy and I headed across the street and down to her Aunt and Uncle’s boat dock, she asked, “So, what about breakfast?” Since neither of us had mentioned anything about “what” we were going to eat for breakfast while at the dock, both of us had assumed that the other was taking care of it. I replied, “Well, I guess we’re not having breakfast, but can we still go down there and just sit and listen to some music for a little bit?” Sandy, being very gracious, agreed to my request.

Once we got down there, I said, “I’m going to take you through a musical journey of ‘Chad & Sandy’.” I then sat beside her on a bench swing while the tunes began to play. About half way through the set, I heard someone whistle behind us. I looked up to the house and saw a man who appeared to be Sandy’s Dad waving his arms at me. After I acknowledged him and waved back, he turned around and disappeared. Sandy, not having looked back to see who it was, asked me if I knew. I said, “I think it was your Dad?”

A few songs later, I looked back to see Sandy’s Dad and step Mom walking towards the dock. Her Dad, who has a passion for photography as well, had his camera around his neck. To keep things from being blown, I told Sandy that I was going to go talk to her Dad real quick and would be right back.

As I approached them out of hearing range from Sandy, Mr. Vasquez asked me, “Chad, how are you doing?” and proceeded to greet me with a hug. I said, “I’m doing wonderful, but I haven’t ‘done it’ yet.” I then explained my plan about standing up for the last song and then proposing at the end of it. He said that he was going to pretend to be photographing nature and would capture “the moment” when it happened. They then headed back up to the house as I returned to Sandy. “What did my Dad want?” she asked. “Oh, he’s just going to be photographing nature.” I cleverly replied.

When the last song was getting ready to begin, I stood up and asked Sandy to stand with me for this one. I held her close as we took in the lyrics together. When the last set of verses came, her head was resting against my chest and I could tell that she was crying. At this point, I was crying too.

Once the song ended and all was silent, I pulled back and proceeded to go down on one knee. As I knelt before her, Sandy’s crying turned to sobbing as she covered her mouth with her hand. I then dug in my right pocket for the ring box and pulled it out. I looked up at the woman I love and with tear filled eyes, said, “Will you marry me Sandy?” She said, “Yes”.

I got back up and embraced her. We then heard a collective cheer and clapping in the background. It was her Dad, step Mom, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, and both her sisters all coming down the dock to congratulate us. Turns out that word had spread quickly through the house while we were out there and a lot of people just happened to be in the right place at the right time. They all had watched from a distance and got to share in our very special moment.

Sandy and I have been flying ever since.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

An Engagement Story part 2

Once inside the “Lakeland Square Mall”, Sandy and I soon found ourselves standing beside a glass case of engagement rings. As we waited for a clerk to help us, we looked at each other with big smiles on our faces. Our relationship had brought us to this place and the reality of it was surrounding us there in that store.

After looking at a few “prospect rings”, we moved on to another jewelers. It was the place that I had purchased the amethyst pendant for Sandy a few months ago. A sales lady named Anna, helped us and began showing Sandy the rings that caught her eye. Before long, Sandy was trying on a ring that the store referred to as, “The Paris Ring”, because it resembled the Eiffel Tower. Sandy has been to Paris, so I was anxious to see what she thought about this one. At first, she didn’t think she liked it, but as she spent a little bit more time with it, she began to become very fond of the ring. By the time we left the store, she was declaring it one of her favorites that she had seen thus far that day.

As I realized how much she liked “The Paris Ring“, I knew more and more that that was the one that I wanted to get for her. We looked at one more store, but I said before going into it that we weren’t going to find anything that compared to the ring she liked, and I was right.

The next day after I left work for the evening, I went back to that jewelers. Before I knew it, I had purchased the ring that Sandy raved over the previous day. I now had in my possession the very ring that I would ask Sandy to marry me with! When I got in my car and closed the door, I shouted “WHOOO!” a couple times at the top of my lungs. Much like I did at the end of my first date with Sandy, once I was in the quiet confines of my car.

All I had to do now was figure out when to propose. Immediately, my thoughts went to the upcoming 4th of July weekend. We could celebrate all three days and Sandy could show off her “BLING” to everyone the whole time.

There was actually one more thing left to do first though; I had to let her Dad know what I was planning on doing. So, that same night, I emailed him:

Mr. Vasquez,
“…I would like to meet with you briefly sometime on Friday during the day...if your schedule allows. Sandy can't know that I want to meet with you though, so maybe we can make it look spontaneous as if it was your whole idea? Whatever will provide a way that I could get a few minutes to talk with just you. …Please don't let Sandy know that I emailed you or wanted to meet up. It has to do with surprising her later.”

The next night, I called her Dad, by his request, to set up “a time to meet”. Since I wasn’t completely clear in my email (because I was wanting to talk about it face to face), he asked what it was that I was wanting to do for Sandy? I said, “well actually…I was wanting to ask her to marry me!“OH, I see!”, he replied. After we chatted for a few moments, I had received his blessing.

That was Tuesday night, it wasn’t until Thursday afternoon that I had begun to get a clear picture as to “how” I was going to do this.

Monday, July 07, 2008

An Engagement Story part 1

For a while now, I had known that Sandy was the woman that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. With each passing week, our love grew only stronger and the commitment in my heart grew only deeper.

Originally, my idea was to propose to Sandy on Christmas day later this year. As we talked about the prospect of marrying each other and what the future would look like, I dropped hints that a proposal was still a little ways off, although my love and commitment to her was already very strong. I just thought that Christmas would be such a special time, especially since it’s my favorite holiday. That and the fact that it’s three days after our first year anniversary of meeting each other (December 22).

It was a great idea, but I soon began to realize that Sandy and I were already engaged in our hearts. I even told her that’s how I felt. All we needed to know, we already knew.
So, two weeks ago, I had decided that I was going to make our engagement official within the next two months. All I needed was to find the type of ring that she would want.

Two Sundays ago, Sandy and I went to the Mall after church to look at engagement rings. It was in the understanding that she would tell me what she liked, then I would surprise her “some day”.

That morning in church, my pastor spoke about the Christian life and how what we’ve experienced in our hearts by the work of Christ, we live out of. When I heard that, I related it to my relationship with Sandy as well.

As we walked through the parking lot up to the entrance of Macy’s, I told Sandy about how I related what my pastor said to our relationship.

“Out of what we’ve experienced in our hearts, we live out of. That’s why we’re getting ready to look at engagement rings right now, because we’ve experienced this in our hearts.”