For the date that marks our engagement two years ago, I thought I would share the story of Ryan asking me to marry him, and my busting out "Are you PROPOSING!?!?!" Enjoy...
Two years ago, Ryan and I were both living in Fort Collins and the weekend before Christmas and right after Ryan was done with finals, his family invited us to go to Vail for the weekend. They had rented a condo up there and the whole family was going. We, of course, agreed and looked forward to it for several weeks.
The night we left, we went to Whole Foods to grab dinner and then made the drive up. During which, by the way, I thought I was going to die given the slippery roads and Taylor's driving at 100 miles per hour. Anyway, we survived, got to the condo, and just hung out and relaxed. The next day, Ryan, Taylor, Lexi and Brad were all going skiing and snowboarding. Luckily, Sheri's (my mother-in-law) idea of a trip to the mountains is exact to mine and we pampered ourselves with a spa day including facials, hot stone massages, manicures and pedicures. Ryan says he was pampering me up to say yes and it did the trick - of course I would have anyways sweetheart. More on that soon. The picture below was taken the morning of the day we got engaged before Ryan hit the slopes and before I hit the salon. I don't know why I didn't think it was strange that we were having our picture taken right when we woke up and for no apparent reason...
So Sheri and I ate breakfast, enjoyed our spa day, and came back to the condo. Ryan had mentioned earlier that day that he wanted to go out to dinner just the two of us in downtown Vail. At first I thought that since we were only up there for the weekend and his family was kind enough to take us on such an amazing trip, we should stay and hang out with them. But dinner out is definitely one of our favorite things to do so I said yes (one of many that night). I got ready and Brad dropped us off for dinner.
It was freeeezing cold and since we had a little while before our reservations, we snuck into a little bar for a drink, a warm Tuaca concoction. After having warmed up a bit from the drink and gathered a little bit of liquid courage, Ryan wanted to walk around the town. Again, I don't know why I didn't think this was strange since it was bitter cold outside, but I didn't, so I said yes to that too, and we walked down to this beautiful outdoor fire place by the creek that runs throughout Vail...
... except there was a huge family standing there and they were taking pictures like the paparazzi, so Ryan casually wandered us into a North Face store and we looked around in there fore a few minutes. When he noticed that the crazy family left, he led me down to the fireplace.
To set the background, it was just Ryan and I, there was this big beautiful outdoor fireplace right next to the creek, and it was snowing huge fat flakes all around us. Ryan started talking all mushy for a few minutes, and then he got down on one knee in about six inches of snow. I froze, and this time it was because I finally realized what was happening! I looked down at him, looking up at me, and blurted out "Are you PROPOSING!?!?!" I was absolutely, perfectly surprised. Since I did this right in the middle of his pre-planned speech, Ryan answers with "What if I was proposing? What if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you?" And then... "Will you marry me?" I
I cannot describe all the emotions I felt during those moments and I will never forget them. When down on one knee, Ryan pulled out the box holding my gorgeous engagement ring. More shock. It was perfect, and it was exactly what I always wanted my engagement ring to be. Which is funny because the months leading up to our engagement, I got caught up in trendy rings that were definitely beautiful, but not something classic and timeless like I have always wanted in a ring. I am so glad Ryan knew what I wanted and what was perfect for me. A round cut solitaire. Perfect, stunning, classic and timeless. Unlike my fake nails. Anyway...
On with the story. Ryan popped the question, I yelled "YES!" and then we walked to the beautiful little restaurant in Vail where our table was overlooking the spot where we had just gotten engaged. We stopped by the bar on our way in for a celebratory drink and I could not stop beaming, nor did I want to. I couldn't stop replaying everything in my head and staring at my ring and my fiance! We then enjoyed an amazing dinner and a wonderful bottle of wine that the server suggested... ironically enough, the wine was called "Educated Guess."
After dinner Brad came to pick us up and I was greeted with a "Welcome to the family!" and he was greeted with "Ahhhh eeeaaahhhH!" by me and then we drove back to the condo to celebrate with Ryan's family.
At this point, we've been engaged for a good three hours and I still have not called my mom and told her. Not my choice though, Ryan literally wouldn't let me. I tried to a few times and he would suggest calling her when we got back to the condo so I could tell her the whole story and relax. So as soon as we got back to the condo, I called her on my cell phone. Again, I never thought it was strange that Ryan wouldn't let his new fiance call her mother to tell her she was getting married. A second later, a phone on the coffee table started ringing. Enter my oblivion again, I assumed it was Taylor or Lexi's phone ringing and waited for my mom to pick up her phone. Well, right before it went to voicemail, my mom and dad walked down the stairs! This is where I just lost it. I burst out in tears and ran up to hug them. I will always cherish the pictures below. They are the most candid photos and there is so much joyful emotion between all of us.
After hugging and crying and telling everyone the story, Ryan and his parents said they had one more surprise for me. They had booked our own private condo for the two of us down the street. We walked down the road and were welcomed with flowers, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries.
It was a perfect ending to a perfect night, and the next morning we were on top of the world. The two of us, along with our families, enjoyed a wonderful champagne brunch. Champagne from France, that is. The first picture below is one of my favorite pictures ever taken of the two of us.
Following the brunch, my mom gave me my wedding planner and bridal magazines. I think this is where Ryan's realization of the wedding planning kicks in and he looks a tad overwhelmed, which is hilarious.
After we finished brunch and packed up, we wandered around Vail and Ryan showed everyone exactly where everything went down, including the bar we had a drink at, the restaurant, the outdoor fireplace by the creek, and, of course, he gave a knee-in-the-snow reenactment.
Ryan and I had a long engagement, eighteen months. I am so glad we did, for many reasons, but the biggest reason is for the simple fact that those eighteen months of our engagement were some of the most magical months of my life. I love being married more, but that time was truly special, full of excitement and anticipation for joining our two lives and turning them into our one life.