Each January for the last couple of years (though not this last one, unfortunately) we’ve gone up to Vancouver, British Columbia for a weekend. This usually coincides with a break from our annual (January) tradition of going vegan, giving up alcohol, and stopping caffeine.
January 2012 was no different. We were in Vancouver, staying at the Pan Pacific Hotel. We try to do some touristy things combined with relaxing, so on January 14th we went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, where we’d never been before. It was sort of slushy and cold, but we had a good time.
Montage of Capilano Suspension Bridge Park / Personal photos
When we returned to the hotel we were just in time for happy hour in the lounge. As we were chatting over snacks and a glass of wine, I realized and commented on the fact that it was 4.5 years to the day since Sparky had asked me to be his girlfriend. He looked a little startled but smiled and said that he hadn’t realized it.
We returned to the room so that we could get ready for dinner. I was planning to straighten my hair and put on makeup. When I was about halfway done with my hair, Sparky came in and hugged me from behind. Normally I would be frustrated, since I was in the middle of straightening my hair, but there was something about this hug that felt special so I just relaxed and enjoyed it.
“I like our life,” Sparky said.
“I like our life, too,” I replied. Then, smiling at him in the mirror, I added spontaneously (and only half-joking), “I would like it better if we were married.”
“Our relationship is really good right now. What if it changed? What if things got bad?” Sparky asked.
“We would get through it,” I answered with confidence. “We’ve been through bad times before. We’d get through them again together.”
Sparky nodded. “I think I’d like to try.”
Sparky released me from the hug and stepped back. At this point I watched in the mirror as he began digging in his pocket. It slowly dawned on me what was happening. I was thinking Oh my goodness, this isn’t happening. This can’t be happening. Oh my gosh, this is happening!
He slowly pulled a box out of his pocket. “Will you marry me?”
I started grinning and crying and threw my arms around him. “Of course!”
I hugged him before he could get down on one knee (though he asked as he was getting down on one knee, so I can hardly be blamed for getting too excited to let him finish).
This is a terrible Paint rendition of the proposal.
Sparky then put the ring on my finger and said, “I hope it fits.”
“I’m going to wear it anyway, even if it doesn’t.” I exclaimed (and I meant it).
I was still laughing and crying and felt dizzy. I told him, “I need to sit down now.”
We hugged and sat down on the floor in the bathroom.
Once I felt capable of standing again, I ran around trying to decide if I was finishing my hair (note the ridiculous ponytail in my Paint drawing) or calling family. I tried to do all of the things at once; I distinctly remember running around with that half-ponytail, one arm out of the shirt I was wearing while I called my mom, my dad, and my brother (Groomsman Taco).
Somehow in my chaotic excitement I managed to finish my hair, put on makeup, and get dressed. (Sparky told me later that he proposed in the bathroom because he wanted to do it before I put on mascara in case I started crying—what a thoughtful guy!)
Sparky had left the tripod in the car (even though he claims he always intended on setting up a timer series to capture the proposal), so we ended up taking pictures at the restaurant and once we got back. We’d been fielding text messages from family and friends all night (which was wonderful), and after we got back and took pictures, Sparky pulled out a bottle of champagne (he was full of surprises!) and we sat back and enjoyed our time together as a newly engaged couple.
All photos personal:
Ring at dinner
At the restaurant celebrating—note my grin. That stayed on my face for DAYS.
Congratulations from the kitchen
Outside the restaurant—it was snowing, my favorite!
I couldn’t stop smiling.
We both were so happy.
Full of surprises!
I found out later that he’d brought the ring with him that weekend (actually, he’d been carrying it around for months) and had planned to propose at some point, but after I commented on it being 4.5 years since our official relationship beginning he decided it was going to be THAT day.
When I think about that day I am still full of bliss. One hilarious thing that happened (and I’ve heard this from other people, too) was that mere HOURS after getting engaged we were asked several times “WHEN IS THE WEDDING?” We actually decided that night that it would be in September, but it was amusing how much people expect that information immediately. A piece of advice: Give your newly engaged friends a few days/weeks before asking that question; most likely they won’t know yet!
Anyone else hear that question on the day you got engaged?