About Me

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My name is Chad Davis. I am the creation of my Lord and Savior, I am the son of Marilyn Davis and the late Carl Davis, I am the brother of Gregory Carl Davis, I am a husband to the amazing Tara Davis, and I am a friend to many; all of which put up with me and keep me in-line. I am grateful and blessed to have such an amazing cast of characters in my life. Without them, I would have nothing to write about.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Proposal Pt. 5 - My Story

Tara's story has a lot of good details about the proposal, but it gives little insight to what it actually took to get us on a balcony in a small vineyard right outside of Athens, Texas. Any guy that has ever been down on one knee with a ring in hand, knows the effort that it takes to stop in a kneeling position. It would be more appropriate if proposals happened face down after the dude collapses. The exhaustion, the stress, the excitement, everything that it took to plan that moment comes crashing down on you in that one instant. Somewhere along the way, I thought of this metaphor to describe it all:

A proposal is creating a hurricane around someone, all the while, fighting to keep them in the eye of the storm.

I find it amusing that it took less time for me to decide to propose to Tara, than it took for me to decide how I was going to propose to Tara. During one of our dates, we experienced a middle-of-the-restaurant proposal by a couple on the other side of the dining room. I remembered her saying that she would absolutely die if that ever happened to her. She went on to say that she wanted her proposal to be somewhere remote and alone. This became one of the biggest hurdles for me in the planning stage.

I had precious little time to plan this proposal; less than 48 hours. For the umpteenth time, I called on Blake to help me out. Together, we started racking our brains for any non-public, decently-romantic setting that would actually mean something to us. During one of our many conversations, I remembered Tara talking about a winery in Texas that she wanted to go visit called Tara Winery. I called the winery and was amazed at how helpful they were. The manager said that all I had to do was show up, tell him my name, and he would take care of the rest.

As I gradually started telling everyone about my plans to propose, I recognized a pattern; everyone wanted to be there. The first person to start the pattern was my brother. When I called to tell him about everything, I asked him what he had planned for the weekend. He said that there was absolutely nothing that was going to get him off his couch. He had been traveling nonstop for the past month and just wanted to rest. After I told him my story, and towards the end of our conversation, I heard him rustling around. I asked what he was doing, and he said that he was packing; he was about to head to Dallas. After I had people coming up from Houston and others cancelling different weekend plans, I knew that we needed to find some way to include everyone. Obviously, they couldn't be at the actual proposal because that would defeat the purpose of an isolated location, so I decided that we would come back and have a celebration... or a drown-Chad's-sorrows drinking binge if she said "No."

While I was waiting for Tra to get off work on Friday, I was with Greg, Sam, Dave, and Nic. We were all at Nic and Emily's house, and they were trying to pump me up for the evening because I was doing a pretty good job of freaking myself out. Finally, I found some nerve and headed over to Tara's apartment. She lives with her two best friends, Lauren and Megan. If you go back and read the previous parts to this proposal, you won't find anything in there about me reaching out to these two girls. Not saying that I don't love them to death, but I can't think of any secret that I would ever entrust in them to keep from Tara. However, while Tara was in the shower, I pulled Megan aside and told her everything. I needed to make sure that she and Lauren were going to be at our post-proposal party. After I got Megan to stop yelling at me for stealing her friend, I made her promise that she would play it off after Tara got out of the shower, and make sure that Lauren knew to be at the Katy Trail Ice House that evening.

After an Academy Award worthy performance from Megan (and a few thoughtful suggestions on Tra's outfit by Megan), we headed out the door for our date-night. I was completely and utterly a wreck on the inside (which is a wonder how I didn't cause an actual wreck while driving), but I tried to play it off that I was just eager for the surprise location of our date. Throughout the entire evening, I would drop feeler questions to get her opinions on certain things - not directly related to or close enough to cause suspicion - around us getting married and running off to a foreign country. At one point in the drive, I was playing with her college ring, and I commented on how small it was. I asked about her ring size and found out that it was about a 5.5. That was an entire size off of the ugly little circles I was trying to conceal from her; just the icing on the cake for the ring story.

Everything happened just as Tra described as far as her finding out about the winery before we got there. We passed the mansion  and vineyard and navigated our way to the winery. When we were getting out of the car, it was time for me to make the smooth transition of getting the ring box out of its hiding spot and into my pocket. Problem number one hundred with these stupid rings: the box was gigantic. It looked ridiculous in my pocket, and I figured there was no way I was going to pull it off without her noticing the giant bulge. In a panic, I threw the box with the rings back underneath the driver seat and slammed the door. The nagging problem of getting the rings out of my pocket without them actually being in my pocket grew with every step I took in the opposite direction of the car.

After I spazzed out on Tara about needing to fulfill our reservations even though we were staring at an empty dining room, we were led to a beautifully placed table surrounded by elegant, high-backed chairs. At this point, there was nothing smooth about my candor or posture. The speed at which my knees were knocking under the table could have powered a small city, and I had the vocal skills of Gilbert Gottfried. I was doing everything in my power to speed the evening along. However, the fact that it was supposed to be a romantic date-night was working against me. Thinking that we had nothing left in the evening, Tra was taking her sweet time with everything. She grabbed the drink menu and decided that we needed to do a "wine tour." This is where they bring out samples of a bunch of different wines for you to taste and savor; about a 45 minute process. Tara would grab one, take a sip, pass it to me, and I would chug it. Apparently, she didn't pick up on my haste to get through the meal because she ordered another wine tour.

Later, I discretely got our waitress's attention (I may or may not have thrown something at her) so that we could order our meal. I was hoping to share an entree, let her take a few bites, and then stuff an entire steak in my mouth at once; similar to the wine. To my dismay, Tra ordered an appetizer, her own entree, more wine, and wanted to see what we had to look forward to on the dessert menu. While we were waiting on our food, I excused myself to go to the bathroom, but I actually went to the car to grab those stupid rings. I conceded to just keeping the box in my pocket, and I'd just pass it off as a tumor if she noticed. I did make it a point to keep her on the opposite side of the ring box for the rest of the night.

After wrestling the dessert menu out of Tara's vice grip (if you know any Foley, you know how important their desserts are), I asked the manager if we could take a tour of the mansion (as instructed by the manager when I made the reservations). Ironically, Tara and Tara Winery are named after the same winery from the movie Gone With The Wind, so I used this as an excuse for our intrigue. Knowing that this is where I needed to be when I popped the question, I was not worried about it being closed. With complimentary wine in hand, we started the journey up the path towards either our relationship's future or it's demise. I'm surprised my legs were working. Well sort of working; Tara was trying to take a leisurely stroll and I was trying to sprint.

We entered the mansion, and again, Tra wanted to take her sweet time. She had to look at every single room and had no clue that I was about to lose it. I did everything short of throwing her over my shoulder and sprinting up the stairs to get her on to that balcony. Eventually, we did get out on the balcony, and then it hit me: I'm about to propose to my girlfriend.

I immediately slammed on the breaks. After rushing and pushing to get to that point in the night, I couldn't handle the stress. I began to stall by walking from one side of the balcony then back to the other. Eventually, we stopped together on the far side, and as we were looking at the truly unbelievable scenery that no human could have put together (right at that moment where the sun is still setting but you can already see the first stars, mixed with a beautiful vineyard and countryside), it came to me that this was my sign. That's when I said a little prayer and started my story.

When it came to the point of getting on a knee, I found a new respect for every married man in the universe. Graceful is a word that will never be used to describe that movement. However, I did manage to make it to one knee, and in the same movement, retrieve the ring box. To get incredibly cheesy for a second (but I have to because it's true): when Tara saw me on a knee, I saw our future in her reaction, and EVERYTHING that I had gone through - from the sleepless nights, to the stressful planning, to those horrid rings that she didn't even notice, to the unnecessary worrying, to everyone that I used to get to that point - was worth it all because of her response.

Tara's version of our proposal is the epitome of her personality; optimistically-clueless. As a matter of fact, if you made me describe Tra in two words, it would be hard to substitute either one of those words. Tara has this uncanny ability to find something genuinely positive about every single thing on this earth, and she has no clue that she does it. Her glass is never half empty, and she would find it offensive to the glass if you described it that way. I give her a lot of grief about her optimism, but she has no clue that I thank God every single day for blessing her with this gift. It's this very reason that she's capable of still loving me after all these years. It's the reason that we will be able to not only survive, but thrive in marriage. It's the reason that I will be able to survive in Singapore because not only is Tara's optimism unyielding, but it's infectious. No one has ever met that girl and come away with a negative experience. I love Tara for so many reasons, but her outlook on life leads the pack.

Now it's time for a celebration, a conclusion, and a few pictures.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Proposal Pt. 4 - Her Story

This blog will be a first for me. I am going to take the back seat on this one and introduce a special guest-writer to my blog. I want Tara to tell her side of the story about the proposal weekend. She's kind of long-winded so without further ado...

Chad has given me the task of writing my version of the proposal. I have never blogged before, so bare with me….

It was the beginning of August and Chad had just been promoted to the NOV corporate office in Houston. I was planning on visiting him the weekend of the 12th because I hadn’t seen his new place; however, he called me that Wednesday and informed me there was a change of plans and that he would be coming to Dallas Thursday.

Immediately, I asked why he was coming to Dallas, and he told me that he had to take care of some insurance issues from his past tonsil surgery and needed to go home to try and find some paperwork at his mom’s house. That seemed totally legit to me, since I knew that he had been having some problems with his health insurance. We then carried on with normal conversation and I asked him how his day was going. On a side note: Chad and I don’t really like talking on the phone (I know it’s kind of weird; especially since we have a long distance relationship), so our conversations are normally pretty short. Anyways, the only thing he said was “good but very interesting”. Of course, I asked why it was “interesting” but all he said was “Nothing really, I’ll just tell you about it this weekend.”

The next day at work, I got a text message from him asking me if I’d like to go on a date with him Friday night. I didn’t suspect anything because he always asks me if he can take me on dates; we like to try and make time for just the two of us every now and then since we are normally always hanging out with family and friends when he comes in town. Of course, I said “Yes!” I was expecting him later that night, however, eight o’clock rolled around and I had’t heard from him. I gave him a call and find out that he and Dave had just left Houston, and he still needed to go by his mom’s house before going to Dallas. He also said that he’d probably just stay in Gunter since it would be late by the time he got in town.

I had been short with him on the phone that night because I had a really bad day at work and was tired and frustrated. He had asked me when we were talking if everything was OK, and I assured him I was fine; which really wasn’t the case. After we got off the phone, I sent him a text message explaining why I sounded a little down and not myself, and he immediately returned the sweetest message. He said that he was sorry I had a bad week and he wanted to spoil me this weekend to make up for it. This instantly brightened my mood, and I couldn't wait to see what he had planned for us Friday night.

Friday came and we spoke briefly that morning. He asked me when I would be off work and that I needed to be ready by 6:00 because he was planning a surprise for me. Again, I didn’t suspect anything because he does things like this for me quite often. Still, I was super excited and couldn't wait for our date; especially, after my frustrating week.

I left work that day around 4:30 to ensure that I had enough time to go home and get ready before our date. About 5:30 Chad arrived, and we left right at 6:00. When we got in the car, Chad told me to look away while he put the address in his GPS. As we started off, he turned to me and said that we had about an hour and a half drive ahead of us. Where was he taking me?! I was clueless! I then began trying to figure out where we were going (something that Chad wasn't too happy about). At one point, he got tired of me guessing and just wanted to tell me, but I stopped him. About an hour into the trip, I was looking out of the window when he said, “Don’t look! Don’t look!” You know when you tell someone not to look, that’s the exact opposite of what they’re going to do. So what did I do? I turned around and saw a giant billboard with the words Tara Winery pass by. I felt bad that I had spoiled the surprise, but I was still ecstatic!!! I couldn’t believe he was taking me there! I had told him about the winery a year ago, and I couldn’t believe that he remembered! After some high pitch excitement, he calmed me down and said that we had dinner reservations. I got even more excited because I had never had dinner at a winery, and I absolutely love wineries… and wine, of course.  

Finally, we arrived to the middle of nowhere (literally, nowhere), we pulled up to a huge plantation house with a large vineyard in front of it. As we drove a bit further, we saw another building with some cars by it, so we figured that was where the winery must be. When we entered the building, we were greeted by a man that showed us to the dining area. He told us that we could take a seat where ever we pleased. There were only about 15 tables in the entire winery, 3 of which were occupied, so I asked Chad where he wanted to sit. He kind of hesitated, and said he needed to tell someone that we had reservations. At this point, I’m thinking to myself… I’m pretty sure they won’t care where we sit! Anyways, I let Chad tell the waiter that we had reservations, and they directed us to a table.

We began ordering every wine on the wine list; trying all of their reds and whites, as well as ordering appetizers and entrées (This is a note from the editor: take notice that she used the word “we” to start this sentence; I will amend that in my next blog). The wine and food was delicious, but the conversation was even better! We talked about all kinds of things, but traveling became a steady topic. I told him that we needed to plan a trip together soon because we never travel together. He assured me (even pinky-promised) that he would take me out of the country within the next year. 

After we finished our entrees, I asked Chad if he wanted to get dessert (if you don’t know me, I have a huge sweet tooth and basically order dessert every time we go out). Chad said that he actually had dessert planned somewhere else, and I got even more excited about how the night was turning out. Before we got the check, Chad asked me if I wanted to go look at the plantation house that we passed coming in. I told him that I didn’t think it was open, but we should ask. The waiter told us that it was closed, but he’d see what he could do for us. He came back a few minutes later, and told us that we could go see it. He even said that he'd had all the lights turned on and that they’d left the back door open for us. As we got up from the table and were about to head to the house, the wine maker came over and gave us two glasses of wine for our stroll to the house since it was down the road a ways. All I could think about was how great this date was going, and I told Chad that we should do this every year! He just gave me a weird look and said “sure.”

We walked hand-in-hand down the road to the house, and when we entered the house, I was absolutely amazed! It was a replica of an old southern plantation house with antique furniture and décor. I started to explore the downstairs when Chad said that we should start from the top and work our way down. That sounded good to me, so we headed up the stairs. When we got up there, Chad found some doors that lead to a balcony, so we stepped outside. The scenery was absolutely beautiful! The weather was amazing; it wasn't quite dark yet, so we could see the vineyard below, and the stars were beginning to come out as well. We were both just enjoying the view for a bit when Chad said “So you know how I told you that I had an interesting day at work Wednesday?” I told him that I remembered, and then he then began telling me what happened…

During the story, I didn’t say a word. After the conversation deepened, I don’t think I was really listening to anything that he was saying. I thought that he was either breaking up with me or wanted to try and do a long distance relationship from Singapore. I couldn’t believe that after that amazing date, he was going to drop all of this on me. I was so happy for him for getting this amazing opportunity, but at the same time I was sad that this could be the end of our relationship. Then, he started saying something that brought me back to the conversation… he said that he told them he would go, but on one condition; that he had to be able to take me with him. At this point, I liked where the conversation was going and was a lot more interested in what he was telling me. He said that he wanted me to go with him, but not as his girlfriend… The next thing I knew, he was on one knee, with ring in hand, asking me to marry him. I couldn’t believe what was happening!

I immediately responded “Of course I’ll marry you!”, and then the crying began. I think it took me about 30 minutes to finally stop bawling, but then again, I think I cried the entire weekend. Once I stopped crying (and had cleaned up the mascara that was running down my face), we headed back to the restaurant where (unknown to me) everyone was anxiously awaiting our return. We walked through the doors, and Chad yelled “She said yes!” Everyone in the restaurant began clapping and cheering for us. Once everyone settled down, we received another special treat from the wine maker; a free tour of the wine cellar. It was the perfect ending to the night, but little did I know, the night was nowhere near over. Chad then told me that we had to hurry back because all of our friends were waiting at the Katy Trail Ice House to celebrate with us! I couldn’t wait to get back to see everyone and tell them the amazing story.   

Well, that’s basically my version of the proposal. I could have added a lot more details about that night, but I figured this blog was long enough. In conclusion, I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal! It was exactly what I envisioned, and it had the man I always wanted in it. I can’t wait to marry the love of my life and start our lives together. I will never forget that day, and I know that we have many more great days ahead of us.

Composed by Tara Michelle Foley(Davis)

Look at Tra with her mad writing skills!! I didn't have to edit nearly as much of that as I thought (kidding). Thanks babe, that really was awesome. I'm glad the proposal was completely stress-free and not nerve wracking whatsoever for you. However, not all of us had that same luxury.

It's now time to explain what I had to endure during the proposal.