I usually do arrive early to my family's parties to help set up, so it was a perfect opportunity to set up the ruse! I had spent the previous couple months throwing her off with statements like "I need to find time to meet with your parents for permission" (already done), "I think it'll be a while until I save enough money for a ring" (already bought), and "maybe I'll propose in Hawaii, that'll be romantic" (our hawaii trip was still a few months away).
Rebecca explained most of how it went down, but on my side I had already toured the lake earlier that week to plan with a couple of friends who would help. They picked up the flowers and then went to the lake early in the morning on the day that I proposed to lay out the blanket, rig the lake's gate to not lock, and generally make sure no one was around to ruin the moment.
Oh by the way, on the way to the lake, Rebecca's friend was texting her asking her if we were engaged (even though said friend had no idea I was about to propose).
Rebecca: haha, yeah, that's funny she though you were going to propose this weekend
Earl: HAHAHAH YEAH LOL. OMG. [sweating profusely].
Anyways, I proposed, she said yes. While I was still on my knee I asked "...I don't know what to do now."
Afterwards we went to a farm and pet goats and stuff. Happy birthday, Kayla.