To the chapel with my best friend…

I have really and truly the best excuse ever for being MIA on here. Moving, of course, was keeping me busy, but even more exciting, I’m engaged.

Breathe in, breathe out.

That was me resisting putting 8,000 exclamation points after the word engaged.

ring picture 3

I get to marry my best friend!!!

That deserves some exclamation marks.

Now that I’m surfacing from hours and hours of venue research and more hours of having fun cruising around on Etsy and Ruffled blog, I’ll tell the story of how my life changed on September 6th.

First some background… Mark texted me one day in July to ask if I had a hot glue gun, which amused me greatly. (I was actually at a random antique store checking out a wedding arch that I wanted to keep an eye on for the future.) When I asked if he was planning a craft night, he told me that he was working on a secret project. For the next month or so, I kept getting veiled progress reports about the project.

Finally, I blurted out one day, “Is the secret project a box to hold my engagement ring?” I caught him off guard, and his answer led me to believe I had guessed correctly. He played it off well, telling me he wished I wasn’t such a good guesser because as soon as I saw him with a present I would know he was proposing. I told him that, of course, the only solution would be to bring me a present every time he saw me 🙂

He then let me in on the fact that he had ordered the ring but was disappointed to learn that it would take at least a month it to arrive. I could tell the suspense was killing him. Finally, Mark got the ring on a Thursday, but what followed was quite possibly the worst weekend all summer as far as engagement timing.

We usually have date nights on Friday night, but Mark had to work the night shift. I also booked Saturday from beginning to end. My parents were in town all day to help with a yard sale and a dishwasher installation. Fifteen minutes, literally, after my parents left, Mark and I had to dash out the door to baby sit for some friends. Poor Mark. The whole day was go, go, go. He had the ring burning a hole in his pocket the entire time.

Finally, we got home. I had a headache setting in and suggested we just start the new dishwasher and watch Downton Abbey (no spoilers, please. We’re only on season 4). Since we’re paranoid about water damage after the washing machine incident, I wasn’t going to leave the house after hitting start on the dishwasher.

I loaded the dishwasher, closed it, and  got ready to start it when Mark said, “Well, let’s not tie ourselves to the house yet. Let’s take a walk.” We’ve walked in the dark before, but I knew something was probably going on. I was complaining about a headache and heat lightning was flashing like crazy in the distance. The conditions were not ideal for walking, but I could tell he really wanted to go. So, with butterflies in my stomach, I prepped for the walk, pretty sure I was coming back engaged.

Mark started the walk a little quiet with a few extra squeezes of my hand. But, after that, the walk was textbook normal. We walked a long loop talking about normal mundane stuff. I can’t remember for sure, but we might have even talked about the frog road kill that we occasionally see around the new house. It definitely wasn’t all mushy. love-sick chatter the whole way. We were getting very close to my place. We had crossed a romantic little bridge without incident, and I was starting to think I was coming back to the house still a girlfriend and not a fiance. But then Mark started tugging me towards the dark back deck and squeezing my hand a little.

I knew we couldn’t get in the back door because we had left it locked, but I didn’t have much time to shift back to engagement mode. That meant even though I wasn’t completely surprised, I was still taken off guard when the proposal started to happen. Mark walked me over to the bottom of the stairs. He had snuck outside while I was loading the dishwasher to put his secret project in the backyard.

by the paver take 2He hadn’t made a box. He made a garden paver asking me to marry him. What a sneaky devil…

I started saying, “Yes, yes, yes!!!”

Mark had to jump in and say, “Wait, I didn’t get down on one knee and give my speech yet.” He then went down on one knee. I was somewhat euphoric at that point. I vaguely remember that I was fidgeting all around, and Mark says that I was giggling through the entire speech. Then I said yes (probably several more times) and Mark got off his knee and hugged me. And, I was hugging him and hugging him and hugging him until he said, “Well, do you want the ring?” I shoved both hands at him and he had to ask which one to put it on. Then I hugged him and hugged him and hugged him some more until he asked if I wanted to go inside to actually see the ring since the full moon overhead was giving us enough light to see each other but not really enough light to see the ring.

proposal reenactmentHere’s us reenacting the proposal the next day  with some poetic license. The full moon made its appearance again for us, but we couldn’t pull off another lightning storm on the horizon.

That’s the story. Mark certainly could have waited for me to find the paver the next day when there was no lightning and no dishwasher to run and no whiny girlfriend with a headache, but I’m counting myself 100% blessed to be marrying a man who just couldn’t wait one more day to officially ask me to be his wife. We’ve had almost a month to process it, and I think we’re both giddy that we’re going to be husband and wife within six months. He has chauffeured my sister and I through 500 miles worth of venue hunting and has sat through way too many hours of Pinterest browsing. He thanks me frequently for putting in so much planning time on the wedding and even tried on his own to find some workable venues (yes, he’s that sweet and all mine). And, tonight in his daily email, he told me to look at our shared calendar because two Saturdays from now he’s blocked out time for a surprise  for me to help me unwind after a few busy weeks of pulling together the initial stages of wedding planning. We plan to get married on March 14, 2015, pending just a few more details to lock in that date. 164 more days…

standing by the fence

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