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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

our engagement story

Our alarm reminded me of this fun anniversary when it woke us up with "If you like it then you should have put a ring on it."  Three years ago today Paul asked me to marry him at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.  We were living in Chicago at the time and had decided to celebrate the fourth in style with friends at our nation's capitol.  

For a fun spin on sight-seeing, Paul planned a scavenger hunt for us - a competition between the couples to take pictures of as many national monuments and historic sites as we could in a couple hour period.  The day was extremely hot, and I remember there being very little shade as walked around.  As Paul and I finished the hunt, we sat on a park bench next to the FDR memorial.  He pulled a few wrapped gifts out of his bag which included this letter:

I had thought about this moment so many times that I couldn't believe it was actually happening.  I froze up, but I managed to blurt out some version of "yes" and Paul "put a ring on it."  As the letter referenced, my gift included a copy of the movie UP, a favorite of ours. 

Paul had picked out a beautiful conflict free sapphire/white gold ring from Brilliant Earth.  I loved it then, and I love it now.  I still feel so happy that Paul picked such a gorgeous ring so I didn't have to  worry about whether someone was hurt in the process of obtaining the materials for it.  The blue sapphire is also fun since it changes shades so often depending on the light.  

In true former Jesuit Volunteer Corps fashion, we celebrated our engagement with friends at the annual Washington D.C. JVC party after enjoying dinner and champagne with my aunt and uncle.  (Each East Coast JVC house hosts an annual holiday party.  D.C. appropriately hosts the 4th of July party.)  It was one of the most fun and exciting nights of my life.   

While we were waiting for our flight back to Chicago two days later, we made a last minute decision to switch our flight to St. Louis so we could celebrate with my family in person (they had heard the initial news over the phone).  We rented a car, drove to my parents' house, and surprised the bejeezus out of them.  My dad cooked up some barbeque, and my grandparents joined us for dinner.  That day - and this picture - means so much to me, especially since we've since lost both my Grandma and my Grandpa.  I'm so glad we got to share this step in our lives with them.  Our engagement weekend was so wonderful in so many ways, and I'm super grateful to Paul for putting so much work into asking me to share my life with him.  I feel so lucky to have him for a partner. 

And just for fun, I wanted to share the note that Paul sent to my parents before he proposed.  This note came with a fruit basket from Oregon, and my family likes to joke that Paul bought me from them for the price of a bunch of fruit.  

All photos taken with the camera Paul bought me just before our trip.  That guy seriously thinks of everything. 

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