Now, I don’t usually blog about my personal life…

But this bears announcement:

So my girlfriend Amanda asked a few months ago that I paint for her something similar to the paintings that I’ve done that hang in my condo. For her painting, I chose a picture of a bridge that I had taken last May when I traveled with her family to Bellville, Ohio. (The place where her parents grew up.)

Now, we’ve been dating for quite a while now, so I thought that I would use this opportunity to include a hidden message that I’ve been meaning to ask now for a few months. I hid the message in the painting using a yellow highlighter. It’s invisible to look at, but when exposed to a black light, the message glows like this:

So several Fridays ago we had planned a weekend getaway to visit friends outside of Atlanta. Amanda took a half day off from work that day to get ready, I left work early to set the stage. I had to get her out of her house somehow, so I called her and asked her to go run an errand for me, which she happily obliged. I went into her house, put the painting on her mantle. I replaced the lamps in the sconces that are on either side of the mantle with black light bulbs.

She came home surprised to see me there, but amazed to see her new painting on the wall. I told her that there was more to it than just the painting. We turned on the light, and we started to decipher the message:

Because of the light in the room, I had to reveal the message one word at a time. (It’s more dramatic that way.) We started reading it… she stopped me when we got through “Amanda, will you…” and said, “WILL I WHAT?!?!.” (Needless to say, she was surprised.) I told her we should just keep reading…

We got to the end of the message, I got down on my knees and repeated the question. She said yes!