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[Leading up to the proposal] [The night of the proposal] [During our engagement]

Sam and I would like to wish you both the best of luck on Sunday night. You will remember this forever (just like the fact that Drew Carey was at ours). For obvious reasons, we won't be able to attend. (I kept thinking we could find someone to watch Gabbi, but it's so late in the evening and anyone we would ask would have to work the next day). I really do wish we could come, but just know we'll be there with you in spirit. Good luck and Congrats. - Sam and Cheri

That is great news that you are going to propose to Suzanne on Gaudete Sunday--this is truly a moment of rejoicing for you two. Thank you for asking us to share in that joy. However, since we have Liturgy obligations at 9:00p.m. at Washington University, we will probably not be able to make it in time for Liturgy at SLU, but we will get there toward the end to continue the celebration somewhere else. I hope we will be able to go out with all of you after Liturgy and celebrate it. We will look for you all at the entrance to the College Church at the end of the Liturgy. Hope to see you then--praying that she says yes. The readings for that day are quite the readings for a proposal night. From the first reading "Shout for Joy, O daughter Zion, Sing joyfully, O Israel" and then again from the second reading we hear "Rejoice in the Lord always, I shall say it again Rejoice!!" and then the Gospel calls us to share what we have with others. What a great night for you two, looking forward to sharing in that joy. So I say again, Rejoice!! Peace, Jared Ainsworth-Bryson

Jeff and I will be there and I am so happy that you two have found each other. I don't think there is any other couple I have ever seen so happy together as you two are and I know you two will be together forever. Best of luck. Love - Tara Meehan (& Jeff Hartsoe)

Mike, If I could be there, I would be. Your happiness is at the top of my list of things that count in our friendship. I love the way you are proposing. It was God and church that made us family and my parents husband and wife... which is quite another thing from being a couple, in love or parents. I know you’ll serve God and your wife with the same care and devotion with which you have served others your whole life. Go for it. In all things, Josh Henry

Man... That's awesome!!! On the way home from your place, Erin and I were wondering how long it would be until you two got married! We'd love to come down and be there, but it's just too late for a Sunday. You'll definitely be in our prayers! There is no better place to propose than in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I proposed to Erin while we were praying in front of the tabernacle at Quincy U. It's totally amazing. We're excited for you! You'll be in our prayers. - Justin Meats

Mike, congrats... I'm sure that you and Suzanne will be very happy... - John Gasink

Mike- Congratulations! Unfortunately, as you correctly surmised, I will be [here at school and] unable to join you on that special night. Good luck! - Robert Lampitt

Congrats, I don't know if i can make it, but I sure as hell will try. Love, Chris Layloff

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! Although I probably won't be able to make it, I'm very happy for you guys. I hope the night goes off perfect for you and I think that's a great way to do it! - Steve Kromraj

Just read over everything. I'm in tears (of happiness as you can imagine). I am so happy for both of you. I wish we could get away to be with you on Sunday, but I am going to have to pass on this one and be there with you in spirit. Welcome to our family. Will talk to you soon. - Aunt Virginia Ritchie

MIKE!! Oh my, that is SO AWESOME!! And can i say it's about damn time. :) Oh MAN, this is so exciting! I cried when i read your PDF. I will definitely try to be there. :) - Leah Bennett

It is about darn time. Mom and Dad have been trying to get me to go to church and I didn't know why. So thank you for the email. Good luck, God Bless, and I wouldn't miss it for the world. - Lindsay (Lerch) Moore

VERY cool. I don't know if I'll be able to make it or not, but good luck (and I'll bet on Congratulations! as well) if I can't get there. - Steve Walters @ Avatar

You ARE SO AWESOME! You make me cry!!!! Best wishes! - Pam Rainey @ Avatar

Mike, I won't be able to come Sunday night because Dave and I are a part of our own Christmas Program at our church, but I wanted to wish you a blessed time that evening and hopefully it will work out the way you hope for! Congratulations, it sure is an exciting time! (Just don't plan your wedding for Valentines day! That is my wedding day! hehehe - Kelly Yapp @ Avatar

Wow! I can't believe it is the big night already! How exciting... Well, we have a big liturgy ahead. We have a baptism and confirmation -- one of our catechumen has been called up to active duty in the military and is heading to Iraq. So we will have a loaded up celebration! Hard to pick music for Advent and confirmation, but we are looking pretty good! Good luck with your proposal. She is sure to say YES, isn't she?! LOL. - Sean Dineen @ SLU College Church 10 PM Choir

Mike- Marty showed me the email you sent. I am so happy for you both. I admire and am a little jealous of your commitment to God. It is really a beautiful thing. I don't think Marty and I will be able to be there but know I will say a prayer for you two that night. I am sure she will accept your proposal!!!! Best of luck and again CONGRATULATIONS to you BOTH!!!! - Debbie Reider

That is so sweet! :) I'll look forward to more pictures of the happy couple. You two are so cute!!!!!! Thank you for sharing that with me. I wish you both all the happiness in the world. - Dannie Drake (my Avatar account rep at CDW, whom I tell how much I love Suzanne every time I place an order)

Mike, I am so very happy for you!!! Chris and I would love to be there, but I don’t think we will be able to do that because of an earlier promise we made to one of our dearest neighbors. I am sooooooo sorry! If I can slip out of it and join you, I will! - Merrell Hansen @ Avatar

I really wish we could be there for you and Suzanne, but we will be celebrating our second child's first birthday on Sunday. Thank you so much for inviting us for this wonderful occasion. Take care! - Scott A. Sorgea

Dear Mike - this is from Aunt Kate in Houston - I met you this past year at a sadder part of our lives so it is with joy that I write and assure you and Suzanne of my prayers and good wishes and blessings. I am happy for you both - as you see I feel sure Suzanne will say "YES" God bless - Aunt Kate Fogarty

Hi! My name is Liz Diaz. I'm one of Suzie's cousins and would like you to know my family will be praying on Sunday for you and for God's blessing on your future (hopefully!) union. Suzie is so special, and she is just such a gift with her generous nature, giving heart, and sincere consideration of others. We love her so much! I will pray for her happiness and well-being and that God will continue to use you both! We live in Florida and you are always welcome to come and visit! God bless you. - Liz Diaz.

I will be there Sunday. Mario might, it depends on if he gets finished with his dart league in time. My mom is thinking of going. I just wanted to offer my help if you need anything (like flowers, etc.) Anything that would set her off if you did it. I think the plan is fool proof. And I'll be praying for you this week. - Frances Long

I think it is great that you plan to propose to Suzie. I am really excited for her, she deserves a good man and especially one that believes in God and practices his word. My sister Liz and I think Suzie is special. she is the most kind hearted soul there is, we just love her to death. We have gotten real close with her since my wedding over 3 years ago. I know she will be so excited when you propose, we have spoken about in the past. Please keep me posted. Thanks, Stephie Mathews

Sounds great! As long as I'm not working or anything, I will be honored to be there! Keep in mind I am not affiliated with any religious discipline, however, I would love to be present for this! Good luck!!!!!! - Matt Bower (our friend who works at Sacred Grounds and who makes a killer mocha!)

I am so excited for you both!!! It's so wonderful to see a couple who bases their relationship and their love in their God and their church. Not enough families are doing that today. - Tina Nelson @ Avatar

Mike - I just wanted to wish you luck on Sunday night. I am sure Suzanne will say yes. So, I wish the both of you happiness for eternity. - Rebecca Adcock

GREAT NEWS! I'm very happy for you. I will ask Lashawna if I am allowed out this Sunday. I would love to shake hands with you after becoming an engaged man.
- (Bootlicker) Joe Hipperson

Dear Mike, Wow, we are so excited for you! Unfortunately we have a Christmas party to go to the same night. We would love to be there for you! We are sorry! Would wish you luck but you don't need luck! Lots of love! SMILE!!! - Tina Marlene and Rob Hoffmann

Sorry we won't be able to attend Sunday. John has the flag football game and I have an early final Monday morning. Our thoughts will be with you. Good luck! Laters, Catherine Layloff & John McCall

May the force be with you. I'll be thinking about you this weekend....Yippee! - Missy Belosi @ Avatar

That sounds like a very exciting plan. Congratulations! - Bill Faris @ Avatar

[Leading up to the proposal] [The night of the proposal] [During our engagement]

In addition to those who were with us in spirit and in prayer...
The friends and family who were with us at the church the night of the proposal...
Mark & Mary (Mom & Dad) Lerch John Mark Lerch (brother) & Jen Padgett
Lindsay (Lerch) Moore (sister) Woody & Rita (Mom & Dad) Halbrook
Sara (sister) & Sean (brother) Halbrook Andy O'Guinn
Jeff Hartsoe & Tara Meehan Paul Yehling
A.J. Somraty Mario Rossi & Frances Long
Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Long Jared & Elise Ainsworth-Bryson
Chris Layloff Judy & Brittney Kult
Carol Reagan  

[Leading up to the proposal] [The night of the proposal] [During our engagement]

Congratulations! I think you both are very lucky. And you proposed at one of my most favorite and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and special places around!! I have to get back to doing work but I just had to pay a quick visit to the website...

Best wishes (with a whole new meaning),
Stacey (Davis) (a client & friend of Michael's at Avatar)

I heard the good news a few weeks ago, however, after checking out your wedding site, I wanted to say congrats! After reading the website, it sounds like you to have shared some pretty special moments together, and I'm sure that you two will have many more! Congrats once again.

Your Friend,
Nik Kern

Hey, congratulations!!  Very cool!  I wish you many blessings in your marriage.  You're definitely starting out together on the right foot as God is very much part of both your lives and will definitely bless your marriage.  Keep me posted on you guys decide when the wedding will be.

Again, congratulations on your engagement!  It is so fantastic to hear of a new marriage that will be so grounded in a mutual faith in God.  I wish you and Suzanne the very best!

BTW, if you do name a son Xavier, be sure to pronounce it the correct way:
"Zay-vure," and not "Ex-zay-vure" like they do in the X-men movies. :-)

-Michael Dixon (art director at a partner of Avatar Studios)

Congratulations! Shaun told me the great news--I'm excited for you and your fiancee. I wish you both great luck in the future and the blessings of the Lord.

"[A]nd the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage." John 2:2

- JT (OA Shows & Scouting friend)

May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another trip a smile
from your lips, a twinkle from your eye.

And when eternity beckons, at the end of a life heaped high with love,
May the good Lord embrace you with the arms that have nurtured you
the whole length of your joy-filled days.

- John Gasink

CONGRATS!!!  Seriously, way to go...I am super happy for you...we need to all go and your queen to be and my wife and I.  Let me know when.  - (Bootlicker) Joe Hipperson

Mike,  Congratulations, I wish I could've been there...  I'm glad everything went well for you, and wish you the best in the future...  I wish you both the best of luck and am sure everything will work out for the best.  For no apparent reason I would like to interject and state my belief that you should have an outdoor ceremony at the Summitt House.  I think that this makes the most sense, it does to me at least.  Plus, it'd be pretty damn funny.  No, the Summitt House didn't have alot to do with your relationship, and therefore would be lacking any real sense of meaning or symbolism, but still.  Again, congrats, and I wish you both the best of
luck in everything that follows. - Ryan Yepsen

Mike- I apologize that I couldn't make it last night.  I hope that everything went as planned or better.  I am very happy for you and Suzanne and I wish the best for you both.  If I don't get a chance to talk to you before, I want to wish the both of you a merry Christmas. - Anthony Dust

Sorry I missed your big event last night. I was with you in prayer and spirit. God bless you both. I couldn't have picked better people for each other, I know God had this plan for you!
Cathy Webb (Youth Director at Holy Family, grade school teacher of Suzanne and I, and very close friend of ours)

YEAH! :) i am so happy for you! i am sory i was unable to be there last night--i completely forgot i had paid to go to the fuel concert already. :( grrrr! but i prayed for you at mass earlier in the day! :) CONGRATULATIONS and i hope you have a long wonderful happy life together! :)

and if you want anyone to read, minister, or anything at your wedding mass, i would be happy to do so!! :)

- Leah Bennett

Hi Mike! It’s great to hear the news. You are engaged, wow, it’s such an amazing thing that someone can find another person in this world that is a perfect match for them. I’ve found it with Stephanie and you with Suzanne. It’s really great to hear the news. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there last night to congratulate you in person, but I thought about you. I can’t wait till I am done with these finals and get to see you and the rib. We are so happy for you and we all should get together sometime during Christmas-time. I can’t wait for the wedding either. Let me know when the date is set, I’ll be sure to clear the calendar.

All our hopes and prayers,
Brian and Steph

I read the entire website...and I am very proud of you two. You are such an inspiration. I know you are going to be very happy. The ring is beautiful!!! I am very excited for you both! First comes married...then comes babies! :)))

- Ginny Becker (Alton Regional CVB)

Congratulations on your engagement, now that it is official! I checked out your website, and I'm glad everything went so well. I knew she would say yes. You and Suzanne are the perfect couple! I wish I could have been there for the happy occasion, but I was just getting over a mild case of the flu, and I was in bed by 10:00 p.m. You know how that is! Let us know as soon as the two of you have set a date. Again, congrats! I am very happy for both of you.
- Jeannie Schnefke (Holy Family Music Ministry)

Glad to hear everything went ok! We'll have to get together sometime soon for dinner or something!

Jer (Klaas)

Congrats man!  That is so awesome. Ashley and I have been rooting for you.  Keep us all updated as to all the fun events planned for the future.

Your bro, Jordan Hitchens



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