The few months before we were “officially” engaged were torture! At this time (late February, 2008), my mom and dad, and his mom, dad and step-mom were the only people we had told of our intentions to seal the deal. They were instructed to keep their lips sealed tight.
We saw one potentially MAJOR issue to the wedding ”“ when?? Mr. Bear Cub accepted the position in Chile with a start date of Oct 1, 2008. I was in the application process for a job nearby in Chile, but I had no idea if they would select me (this was the first “career” job I’d ever applied for!). If I was going to move to Chile with Mr. Cubbie, what would my visa status be if I didn’t get the job? Would I be a tourist? ”¦ Really?? I’d have to leave the country every 3 months! The thought alone was a nightmare. What if one of us got injured while we were living abroad? The other wouldn’t have legal power of attorney over the injured loved one! (Remember those legal reasons for which people actually marry?) They wouldn’t be able to see them, decide medical/legal issues”¦ and probably worse things I don’t even know about! It’s really only for this reason that we told our parents we were “engaged” before it was legit ”“ for legal counseling! (I know! So romantic, huh? 🙁 ) None of our parents are attorneys, but c’mon, parents are always the best place to start for life advice!
My parents told us about power of attorney and all that scary “what if” stuff. At this point, we toyed with the idea of being legally married before we left the country, and then getting “weddinged” the following year. We both would love for the wedding ceremony to contain the entire process in one fell romantic swoop, but for the time being we kept the courthouse wedding as an option if I were not offered the job in Chile.
Back to the story! 🙂 My birthday usually lands in spring break, and that year we had planned to go camping at the Gila National Forest for the break. Camping at Gila is pretty special to us. We both love rain, green, trees, mountains, ”¦ — all of which southern New Mexico kind of lacks. I won’t lie, living in southern NM was hard. It has its saving graces, though ”“ GREEN CHILES!! And Gila ;).
In August of 2007, a few months after I met Mr. Cubbie, we went camping together with a friend at Gila. It was spectacular! I was so thrilled to see rain and green after the dry and brown of southern NM. Before any of you think I’m really hatin’ on NM, don’t worry! It definitely grew on me. 😉 That’s another story, though!
Our camping trip was only a few days before the start of the semester, so this allowed Mr. Cubbie and me plenty of time to get to know each other better. He played his guitar (I especially loved “This Old Guitar” ”“ his inspiration for learning to play!), and we admired the amazing view of the Milky Way. If you haven’t seen the Milky Way at night – only a few stars – you’re really missing a beautiful view! It’s magical!
Our friend went to bed, and we pulled a blanket out into the middle of an opening in the forest to talk and look at the stars. We talked for hours, and then finally kissed! We’ve been inseparable since! I know it sounds cheesy ”“ I don’t care! 🙂 I love that we had our first kiss under a star-lit sky on a camping trip. 🙂 Nothing could be more perfect.
Back to early March, 2008 ”“ due to the significance Gila holds for us, I thought for sure Mr. Cubbie would propose on this camping trip! Then again, I realized that was only a few weeks after we’d had “the talk” ”“ I didn’t think getting a ring could happen that fast. So I figured he would pop the question either while camping, or when we went to Thailand. Neither’s pretty bad, eh?
Mr. Cubbie must have known I thought he’d propose at Gila. We were planning on going camping there up until the LAST. FREAKIN. MINUTE. Literally! We got up early to leave the day of. We had our backpacks in the car. We got our little coffee & muffins from the local coffee roasters. Mr. Cubbie was all like, “let me drive, you look sleepy!” At 5:30 AM, you don’t say no to such kindness 🙂 . We got on the freeway. Then he started driving north. Gila is west.
We’re driving to Albuquerque?? What?? (source)
“Surprise!! Happy Birthday!”
“Say WHA?? Wha’ Happan??”
“We’re flying to Boulder, CO to camp with friends for spring break!”
He got me! He knew I had been expecting the proposal to be at Gila! Little stinker diverted one surprise for another ;). Can’t really blame him, though ”“ it was awesome to spend time with friends in Boulder!!
But wait – flying to Boulder? He trickst me up to the last minute ”“ we drove 3 hours to another airport, so I’d still think we were “driving to go camping”. I love him so much! He knows me so well! 🙂
So, no formal engagement for us just yet, but the friends we stayed with in Boulder were just 3 months shy of their own wedding! It was really awesome to be able to spend time with them before their wedding day craziness. They are both such wonderful people! Their wedding was amazingly gorgeous, to boot!
I promise I’ll get to the good stuff pronto! 🙂 For now, I’ll leave you with some wedding porn from their Fourth-of-July nuptials in Boulder.
Be sure to check our her engagement ring! Her husband mined the aquamarine out of the Colorado mountains with just a pick! How rockin’ is that???
Is there some place that carries special significance to you and your loved one? How did you get through the pre-engagement psychosis?