Here it is, the announcement you’ve all been waiting for. Or at least I’ve been waiting for it!
It happened on Saturday. I was in Rolla visiting Michael for our anniversary. He had to work early that morning, so I was still groggy when he came home and asked if I wanted to hear my anniversary song. But I was totally attentive when he grabbed his guitar and started singing. It was a proposal. I was in charge of finishing the last line in which he asked me to say yes as he pulled the ring out of his back pocket. I squealed a little and just looked at it for a second til he prompted me, “this is the part where you say yes.”
Not that there was ever any question.
I’ve been anticipating him popping the question for…well…years. People asked me if I saw it coming or if I was surprised. The answer is both. I always saw it coming so I never really knew what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect it at that moment. He started off saying he wrote the song for our anniversary, which was Wednesday. So that seemed feasible. Even when he sang the line that said something like “it’ll be even better when we are husband and wife,” I was telling myself he was just talking about the future sometime. I wanted to enjoy the song and not be disappointed if it wasn’t a proposal. Well, I was not disappointed!
I bounced around for a while all giddy saying things like “hey, fiance, guess what? We’re engaged!” Luckily this didn’t annoy him too much, or if it did, he didn’t let on. He made me breakfast and then we headed to Jefferson City to get the ring sized. He wanted to make sure it fit perfectly, so he hadn’t tried to size it before proposing. Lucky thing because I told him 5 1/2 one time but the jeweler says 5 1/4, so I guess my fingers are slightly smaller than I imagined.
On the way to Jeff City, we stopped in Westphalia to go hiking at Painted Rock Conservation Area. I picked that spot out last semester. We had had the idea to meet halfway between Rolla and Columbia for an afternoon picnic when we didn’t have time for a whole weekend-long visit. That plan had gone swimmingly until I got a flat tire in Jeff City and Michael had to come rescue me and we didn’t have time to hike. (See my Thwarted post for that story.) This time it was perfect. We hiked up to lookout points over the Osage River and took pictures along the trail. He told me different ideas he’d had for the proposal so I knew all of his sweet potential plans.
The timing was all sort of coincidental. Two weeks ago, Michael went to Jeff City to buy a hollow body guitar from a high school friend. He decided to drop into the jewelry store just to casually start looking at rings. He hadn’t really looked yet except for doing some research online. Let’s just say the saleswoman earned her commission that day and Michael walked out with a ring in hand. It might seem impulsive, but I had already picked out that ring and not so subtly let him know I liked it a long time ago. After he got the ring, he drove to Columbia to give me flowers since I had a bad week. Then he had to go back to Rolla for work.
Last weekend, Michael went home to talk to our parents. It was quite a task since he had to talk to his parents, my dad and stepmom and my mom and stepdad all in one weekend. He didn’t even talk to his mom and dad at the same time, so he had to present his spiel four different times. Luckily, he had receptive audiences. He wrote the song after that, not knowing exactly when he would do it. He even told me it was ok if I didn’t visit this weekend since I had a film festival to go to and our friend Alex was in town. But of course I did come and everything fell together.
Fortunately we took some pictures of the ring on my finger.
When we got to the jeweler, we found out they couldn’t re-size the ring in the store. Apparently they have to send it all the way to Kansas City. So I had to give my ring up and they say it won’t be ready for two weeks. Michael was fairly upset about this. He thought I could get it back that same day and so did I. But I told him not to worry, some people don’t even have a ring picked out yet when they get engaged. I got to wear mine for 4 or 5 hours and now I have pictures to show people. It was nice to have a ring offered to me when Michael proposed, but the ring is so not the important thing. The important thing is the fiance, and Kay Jewelers cannot take him away 🙂
Our original plan for the weekend was to cook a nice meal together for our anniversary. But we were in Jeff City and were hungry and hadn’t picked out a recipe or gone shopping. So we opted for Red Lobster instead (special thanks to grandma for the gift card). On the way back, we decided spur of the moment to stop at Painted Rock again for a little night hike. The moon was glowing brightly so we didn’t need flashlights (though Michael had two in case we did). We hiked back up to the first lookout point and gazed at the stars over the river. He held me close because it was a little cold. It was eerie walking back through the dark forest, so I described everything in a creepy voice like the beginning of a ghost story. Then back to Rolla we drove, singing along to country music on the radio. Basically, I spent the day with my man and it was perfect.
Michael and I agreed not to discuss setting a date until at least one of us has a decent job (preferably him since journalism doesn’t seem to offer many decent job opportunities, whereas engineering does). So for now we’re just taking it slow and living in the moment. We’ve both been offered jobs at Lutheran Valley Retreat in Colorado for the summer, so that takes care of at least 3 months. After that, we can always each go home to our parents until we get things sorted out. Taking things slow is our specialty; after all, we’ve been together 9 years already. How does that saying go? Fools rush in. We’re not fools. We’ll make sure the timing is right. Now we just have to wait on God’s plan. I still don’t know exactly what my future will look like, but that’s all right by me.
Yay engaged! For some people, the excitement is all in the proposal and the wedding itself. But I know that those things are just ceremony, and the real prize is in dedicating ourselves completely to each other forever. I’m so happy; I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with the man of my dreams.