Not a ring.

A coupon.


(And you thought I was frugal!)

I had no idea it was coming. We had been dating for 4 months. It was my birthday and he asked what I wanted. There wasn’t really anything I wanted, so I said, “I just want you.”

He took that to heart. He took it to God in prayer.

He told me we were going out to eat. I came to his house after work and found him, sick. He gave me flowers. He was so sick that he said he had to pull over to the side of the road to toss his cookies on the way home from buying the flowers.

I could tell our night out wasn’t going to go as planned.

He said, “I have another present for you, but I didn’t finish it. Wait a minute and I’ll finish it.”

I waited in the living room. In a couple of minutes, he called me in. He rested in bed, so sick, and I sat on the edge of his bed.

He handed me an envelope–just a plain, white, standard–sized envelope, that was a little puffy.

I opened it.

Inside was a stack of coupons.

They had things on them like, “One Free Hug and Kiss”, “One Free Public Display of Affection”,  “One Free Toenail Polish”, etc. At the bottom of every coupon, it said, “Coupon must be redeemed with Steve Simper. Coupon not valid with any other offer. Coupon void where prohibited. Cash value of coupon 1/20 cent.”

I was thinking this was an odd birthday gift. I read through several coupons, and when I had 2 left, the second to last said, “One Free Horseback Ride.” Wow, I thought. That’s pretty cool. And there’s one left besides that! I wonder what’s on that one.

My jaw literally dropped when I read the next one, because I had no idea what was coming:

He was so sick I couldn’t just give it to him then! So, the next night, when we had dinner with my parents for my birthday, he asked my dad’s permission to marry me, and the next day, I got to pick the place. (He was planning on me just giving him the coupon at dinner, but since we never made it out that night, I chose Descanso Gardens). I found a rock under a wisteria vine, sat down, and that is where I gave him the coupon. He got down on one knee and proposed.

And I said yes.

We were married 2 1/2 months later. I got to choose my own ring (wise man, my husband; I knew exactly what I wanted for a ring, and I’m so glad I got to choose it).

Today I celebrate 12 years of marriage.

And I have a framed coupon that hangs on my wall.

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  1. How cute !! Happy Anniversary to you both . What a wonderful story to pass on . Thank you for sharing ! Mary Lucero

  2. That’s a wonderful story! I’m glad you shared it! I hope your anniversary is a wonderful one, full of those sweet little blessings. Only God, your husband and yourself will ever really understand the struggle you’ve been through together the last five years or so. It’s something special that will hold you together through all the years to come. My husband and I will have been married for seven years on July 11th. I was 19 and we had been together for less than five months. Most of our family is celebrating with us as well, since none of them believed we would ever make it past two years. We now have three children and a pretty happy marriage! 🙂 Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”-Danielle B

  3. What a sweet story! And thank you for sharing it!Congratulations on 12 years! It goes by so very fast doesn’t it?We celebrate 14 next month – time flies! We also married 2 1/2 years after getting engaged – hubby was so very sick and had to take a full year off school to recover his health. Since we had promised our parents we’d wait until we were done with undergrad, that pushed our wedding back a whole year. :)Lea

  4. Love this story! I live right near Descanso Gardens and I think it’s a perfect place for a proposal! I also love that your proposal story is a lovely foreshadowing of the gifts you would develop together in your married life. Happiest of anniversaries, and many, many more.

  5. Hi Brandy, this is actually a question for your hubby. I know he’s a real estate agent. I just finished my real estate classes and I’m studying for my license now. Does he have any advice for someone just starting out in the business? Thanks.

  6. Congratulations! He is so Cute!! Checkout my blog, we are having a $20 GIVEAWAY CREDIT for all Wedding Invitation and RSVP Cards

  7. love it~! just found your other web site on food storage, and cannot wait to dig into this site as well as the other. what a beautiful story. Lisa

  8. Network! Because you are always, essentially, looking for work (clients) the more you can talk with people, the better.If you are here, he can give you more specifc advice about our market here.

  9. Oh my goodness. I read this story to my husband and was in tears by the end. What a beautiful love story. Thanks for sharing. I hope this year will be amazing for the two of you and your sweet family.

  10. Such a sweet story. You and your husband both have a creative streak that makes life interesting and solving problems so satisfying. Your story of how you turned into a wholesale buyer/frugality princess is something you did together and your children (all five of them!) are lucky to have you two for parents. May you continue to be blessed in your marriage and family life.

  11. I love this story. Just going back through all your blogs and loving every minute of it. My husband and I fell in love just as fast but the opposite way. 2 1/2 month from first date to engagement, then 4 months later married. This year we will be married 22 years:)

  12. My now son in law met my daughter at a christian concert. The next morning he went to his parents house and told them he met the girl he was going to marry. His dad asked her name and he couldn’t remember and had to get his wallet out! She says she was a proper girl and didn’t say yes until the third date! They just celebrated 30 years.

  13. Congratulations! I love your engagement story! Every engagement and anniversary is a triumph to be celebrated. I got to choose my own ring, also. My husband and I just celebrated our 50th. We were just a little surprised, and very pleased, to find ourselves at this point! You have additional great stories to look forward to!

  14. Forty years this Sunday for us. We were so broke, he found a cigar band on the sidewalk and proposed with that. It was worth it, worth it all.

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