He proposed! :)
Saturday, November 19th:
The boy had informed me that he had a surprise planned for us the weekend.. an "escape" is what he called it. I actually didn't think much of it, because he doesn't really do surprises. He's pretty terrible at them. I don't think I'd ever truly been surprised by him before this past weekend. But, I was intrigued, and excited.. Just not terribly suspicious. Yet.
We had told his sister that we'd take care of the little man on Saturday morning.. so around 10AM, the three of us decided to take a walk to a park nearby. This turned into a funny, really long morning. I think we were gone for three hours. But, it was so fun. We went to two different parks and our favorite coffee shopped and walked a few miles in all. We let Jaden dictate where we went and how long we played and we just went with the flow. No schedule, no nothing.. None of it mattered. We were completely present in the moment. Laughing with him, talking with other families, playing together. It was so fun. I wish I'd taken my camera on that adventure.
Of course, in the back of my mind, I was still wondering where he was taking later me and what his "escape" involved. But, I tried not to think about it too much :) Also during this time, we were just talking like crazy, about anything and everything. About us, about what we wanted, about the things we loved about each other and the journey so far. We were grateful and reflective and I loved it all.
I could go on, but this is getting lengthy.
We made it back to the house around 2.. I jumped in the shower to get ready for the rest of the day and Corey & Paloma showed up just before 3. Waiting for them to come, James and I were just sitting in the living room playing with Jaden on the floor, and that was the first time I started to feel a little nervous. He cut his hair, was dressed up really nicely, told me I should wear my fun boots, was calling Paloma to see why they were late and when they'd be home.. So out of character for him, usually he is running late, behind schedule, forgetting things at the last minute, and very go with the flow. For him to even ask his sister when she'd be home was a big tip off that something was up. We were going somewhere and doing something and wherever/whatever it was, he wanted to go there, and he wanted to do it.
Once they were back, we were gone within a matter of minutes.
We drove to have a late lunch at Chipotle and then continued on our way. All I knew at this point was that we had an hour and a half drive ahead of us, so I could rest if I wanted, and we were going to a park.
And at this point, I was suspicious. Of course I was suspicious. But I didn't want to have expectations and get my hopes up.. At the same time, I knew that if he was going to propose in a matter of hours, that I needed to be sure of what I would say to him. So, both of us were pretty quiet in the car. I was exhausted, so I did try to rest, but I was really just thinking about us, thinking about our journey thus far, all the ups and downs, and what I wanted for my life.. how he fit into that dream, and what I was and wasn't willing to compromise.
And I just kept being reminded of the ways we work together, the ways we support each other, the gentle way we communicate and how easy it is to be with him. I know he will let me be anything I want to be, and pursue anything I want to pursue. I know he will encourage me to believe whatever I want to believe and give me the time and space to create and dream and play.. I know he wants the world for us, and will do whatever he has to to make it happen.
And.. no matter what we've faced together, neither of us has ever wanted out. We've never threatened to leave or to run. We always stayed and worked through everything that came up.
So. I knew. I knew I would say yes. But, it still scared me. There is still a big world ahead of us and we'll have challenges on a regular basis.. but I want to face them with him. I want to live with him and explore with him and cry with him and laugh with him.
We pulled into Shoreline Park just after the sunset.. Which means, it was dark. Really dark. The park seemed pretty inconsequential.. I think what makes it special is the view ;) the one we couldn't see.
But, he wanted to get out anyway. So, we decided to take a walk to see if we could see anything. He went to the back to get his big coat and came to meet me, leaving his car door wide open.. silly boy. After returning to close it, and getting more and more nervous.. we walked. We didn't get very far though, I was still a little like "really, here? why are we here? it's cold. and dark. I don't understand?" but I just let him call the shots.
We made it to a little clearing near a few benches and close to a streetlamp. We tried to peer over the fence to see the ocean, but it was pretty pointless. He told me how much he loved me and how much he had enjoyed the whole day. He continued, "But, there is a reason I brought you here..."
I turned to face him, and he dropped to his knee, opened the ring box and said "Will you marry me?"
I don't know if I've seen too many episodes of the Bachelorette but I was maybe hoping for some sort of romantic segway.. some speech to let me settle into what was happening... but he just went for it ;) And I said "yes".
What happened after that is kind of a blur, I couldn't really see the ring because it was so dark. I assumed he'd bought the ring we'd looked at together.. so, I didn't pay much attention to it, because I wasn't supposed to care much about the ring right?
When I did see it... I completely lost it. Absolutely, totally, completely.
He proposed with my grandmother's engagement ring and wedding band.
And it was at that moment that I realized everything he had done, all he had figured out for us, all he had planned. and at THAT moment is when I was absolutely sure, with no doubts, no concerns, no fears, that I wanted to marry him. that he was the guy I wanted to share my life with.
I have loved this ring for as long as I can remember. (update: see photos of the ring without the band attached here.) It was not lost on me that she could have afforded something more more extravagant as the years passed, and trust me, she had her share of huge, gaudy rings. But, this one, she never touched. She never changed it, never upgraded.. because my grandfather gave it to her, and it was special because it was from HIM, because it represented their humble beginnings and commitment to each other. I always thought that was the most beautiful thing..
You can see in the pictures that her wedding band is connected to the engagement ring. She had them soldered together at one point. I think the plan is to have them separated so we can choose our own bands. When I told my mom, she asked to have the band back, so that she can wear it. I can't think of anything better, to feel always connected to my mother and grandmother and be reminded of their legacies. To see it and think of my family. To remind myself how to be a good wife, how to love my husband and how important our ties are.
Also.. it fits me like a glove, and I can't stop staring at it. Maybe it's silly to wrap up so much emotion and meaning into one little ring.. but it is so special to me. The loss of my grandmother is still very raw and very real and I miss her so much. To see her ring, to see her hands in mine when I look at them, to feel my family's support, to know that James paved the way for US, to feel so so loved and taken care of.. I really can't ask for anything more.
After processing everything, we sat down on a little bench and he told me everything that had happened over the course of the last month.. from talking to my parents and getting the ring, from foiled proposal attempts to planning all of the events of this last weekend.
I am so happy. I know it's a high, but I'm riding the wave and enjoying every second. Because I have never felt so secure in us and so excited about everything to come.
He astounded me. And I didn't think it was possible. But he did it :)
And I'm so so happy. And I feel so lucky.
Ahhhhh!! We're engaged!!!!!!!!!!
And, oh my goodness, he is a different person. He's giddy! Smiling constantly, jumping around, telling the story to everyone we talk to.. It's the most adorable thing I've ever seen. He is so caring and so loving and has absolutely made me his priority.
He wants his ring already. He said he just stared at the photos of mine that I put on facebook all day long. He wants to have his too and wear it and show the world that he is a committed, married man.
Monday night, after work, I was home and feeling overwhelmed.. by everyone's excitement but also by everyone's questions.. everyone's suggestions. They all mean well, and they are all thrilled for us, but it just made me realize how much we have to figure out now, and how many people are "involved" in this process. We will do what is right for us, and that will be a great learning experience for us.. but, he could tell that I was feeling overwhelmed without me having to tell him, and he just reminded me that "at the end of all of this, I just want to be with you. and that's it. that's all that matters. that is our goal."
He just calms me.. and balances me. And I couldn't be happier.
labels: our story