We had gone shopping for rings several months before. I am not one of those people who likes to be surprised. In fact, I kind of loathe it (I know, it's another weird thing that I don't understand about myself and I'm working on...) Luckily, my hubby knows me well enough to know that the ring is not something that he should pick out by himself. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved the meaning behind whatever ring he picked out, but, well, maybe I had read too many bridal magazines or something and I already had some pretty solid ideas about what I wanted. Honestly, shopping for the ring together was almost as special to me as the proposal itself (and not even because of the actual ring). I loved the look on his face while we looked for rings together, the shock he got a few times when they brought out a ring that was a "little" too extravagant, and the pride in his eyes when he told the jewelers why we were there. It was the first big decision we made together. It was a special time for us to spend together. And those of you who actually like surprises will appreciate the fact that my hubby didn't give in to me 100%, he still had to surprise me a little bit (it's all about compromise right). He made me pick two rings that I loved then he went back later and picked out which one he wanted. This drove me nuts because even though I picked out two I really only liked one of them! I would even dream about one particular ring, and it drove me nuts not knowing if that was the one he picked. I couldn't ever bring myself to tell him that I loved that one so much more just in case he picked the other one!
Since we went shopping for rings together, I knew it was coming. Maybe the only downside to shopping together that he hadn't considered was the fact that it took him a little too long after that to actually propose. After Christmas, when he didn't propose, I had convinced myself that he had changed his mind since it had been a couple of months. One night after enjoying a night out we sat in his parents drive-way while I cried and asked him if he still loved me (thank goodness I am a more confident, patient person than I was then!) He gave me the most beautiful speech about how much he loved me, what I meant to him, and how he wanted to spend his life with me, but I just needed to wait. I later found out that this was the speech he had prepared for the proposal and if I had just waited a couple of days he would have been able to say it under "more pleasant" circumstances, but, well, that's the way real life works out sometimes. Sometimes it's not as neat and tidy as you see it in the movies. On New Year's Day at dinner with my family he proposed to me. While he was talking my sister's boyfriend's mom screamed and hollered with excitement the whole time, I was actually looking at my sister asking her, "Is he really doing this," and my brother had gone to the bathroom and missed the whole thing. Again, messy, not perfect, and actually pretty funny. I still tease him about not getting on his knee, and he says it's a good thing he got to tell me his speech earlier since I wouldn't have heard it anyway if he had used it during the actual proposal.
The great thing about our proposal was how real it was. We are not super romantic, mushy people. When we try we just end up laughing about it because it feels so cheesy and unnatural. We are not extravagant. We are simple home-bodies who enjoy spending time first and foremost with our families. And that's exactly what the proposal was about. He proposed on New Year's Day because he wanted it to represent a "new start" to our life together. He did it surrounded by family because he wanted me to know how important it was that they were a part of it. AND he actually picked the perfect ring!!! Although, that surprise was ruined the same day he proposed because right before the big moment I went to check his truck to get something and found the receipt (I promise I was not purposefully looking for it!) Since the rings were from two different jewelers I knew which one he picked, and I pretty much figured out he would probably be proposing that day. But, again, that part of the story is just so us, since I really do hate surprises.
Looking back I learn a lot about myself through our engagement story. A lot about expectations, about my own personal flaws, about our relationship. I can see where we were (my own immaturity at times) where we are now (some things I still struggle with). I can remember how much we loved eachother then, and sit here in amazement when I realize how much more I love him even now. Think back on your dating/ engagement story. What can it teach you about yourself? Look at how far you've come. Whether you believe you've gone forward or backward, it's amazing how differently things end up when we look back.