If you would have asked me a couple of years ago where I'd be heading into the tail end of 2017, I most certainly wouldn't have told you I'd be living in Louisville and engaged to a man that makes me feel ridiculously loved.
Yet, in a wonderful twist of “it's funny how life works,” that's where we've landed!
Last week, Steve asked me to marry him, and of course I said yes. And then I promptly snotted on his sport coat.
It wasn't a surprise. When you're 2 divorced people entering into a serious committed relationship with relocation and combining of homes, the conversation of marriage (or at least, “how serious is this?”) comes up. Even still, I'll admit that I never thought I'd get married again. I thought that I'd date around, but enjoy my life in my own space, blissfully untied to anyone legally. The shock and pain of divorce shook any romantic notions of happily ever afters far away.
But with him? All of those things went out the window, and pretty quickly. When we got into an argument a few months into our relationship and I was ready to blow the relationship up (I'm really good at deciding things are doomed so I should just end things to escape with the upper hand – trust issues, man), Steve blurted out something asking me not to leave because he thought about us spending our lives together. I could see on his face that he probably hadn't planned on saying it, but also that he meant it. To be honest, that thought had entered my mind as well, but I brushed it off as too soon and too eager. Something this good couldn't last forever.
A few months later, we were at his house and he had made himself some kind of fruity tropical adult beverage and became loose lipped. This man barely drinks, so when he does, it doesn't take much for him to get tipsy. We were just lounging around, and he looked at me and said “I'm going to marry you.” I laughed it off and thought, “that's nice, but you're drunk and it doesn't count.” I fell asleep shortly after this. He woke me up the next morning when he was leaving for work to clarify: “I don't want you to think I just said that I was going to marry you because I was drunk. I mean it.”
I shrugged it off, because why get excited? Something this good will fall apart and end up in heartbreak again.
But the months went on, and we made plans for cohabitation. We did some work on my house in Lexington to get it ready. We listed it and it sold faster than expected. I moved into his house in Shelbyville, and we powered through to get it on the market. It also sold faster than expected. We stumbled upon our dream house in Louisville and had an accepted offer. We moved in to our new Louisville home a little over a month ago.
Of course there were fights and squabbles and enormous amounts of stress. We had to get down and dirty into how to manage these stressful life events and major financial decisions and learn how to live together. We stand back now and are in awe of how much we accomplished together so quickly. It should have been much harder, and taken much longer. But somehow together things have a feel of ease about them.
Once we had things relatively settled in the new house, we worked on finding the right engagement ring with the ladies at Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers in Lexington (no, this isn't sponsored! Had a very good experience and want to give them kudos.) I knew he had the ring, it was just a matter of how he was going to ask.
We slept in on Sunday after getting home late from a friend's wedding in Lexington the night before. (The same friend who convinced me Tinder wasn't entirely evil, and where she met her now husband, and I met Steve.) We went to lunch, and then he disappeared for a while. I was working in my office when a few hours later he came in, dressed in the outfit he wore on our first date. He asked me to come into the living room, and to have a seat on the couch. He had the most beautiful roses (seen above) and a couple of pieces of paper.
He sat down next to me, and saying some ridiculously lovely things about me and our relationship together. He was choked up, which is something that doesn't happen often with him. He said that he knew that it would be hard for him to say everything he wanted, so he wrote me a letter.
(This is not the actual proposal, but it is the actual letter – there was no photographer present! He thought it should be private between us, and he was right.)
I read the letter, ugly crying the whole time. He got down on one knee and asked: “Emily, will you do me the honor of being my wife?”
And I said of course, and cried some more and hugged him – this is where the aforementioned snotting on his sport coat came up.
A couple minutes later, he said “oh, I forgot the card!” It was a lovely card, but the letter had everything in it that I could have hoped for.
We then cleaned up (well, I was the hot mess, so *I* cleaned myself up) and went out to a nice dinner to celebrate. I put on my first date outfit to match his.
He knew photos were important to me for sharing, so he arranged for my friend/Lexington photographer Emily Moseley to come to our house for photos the next Friday. It was fun to keep things to a small group of people for a few days. I'm usually so quick to share everything (the nature of blogging and social media) that the time to savor it was a really nice change.
He worried that the proposal wasn't elaborate enough, and explained how he wanted to do it in private in our new home – a goal we'd worked on all year. I may seem like I want a flash mob or trip to Paris, but this simple and thoughtful proposal was everything I could have wanted.
I can't even describe how excited I am to be engaged to this man. He loves me in a way that I didn't realize was possible, and my love for him is immeasurable. He is truly my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and best support system I could imagine.
As I talked about recently, I don't do well sitting in my own joy. I'm always looking for the next problem to tackle, or next thing I can get anxious about. In an effort to NOT skip this enormously happy moment, I'm not sure when we're getting married, and I'm not going to start planning or looking at dates for a bit. 2017 has been a whirlwind, so I'm going to ride the rest of the year out without another huge project (wedding planning) on my plate.
(A Kentucky love story had to have some bourbon involved!)
I shared some photos on Instagram yesterday and we were both overwhelmed by support! Whether you're a new follower or have been around through all my ups and downs, I really appreciate you taking the time to share in this joy with us. 💕
Photos by Emily Moseley