Ryan and I had talked about getting engaged for months. When the move to DC was put on the table back in March, wedding talk immediately followed. The conversation was slow at first. I didn't want Ryan to feel rushed with a proposal and he seemed nervous to bring it up. Essentially every person in my life knew what was going on. Mostly because I can't keep my mouth shut, but also because I was so excited about the possibility of being engaged to Ryan (not so much the move) sooner than I had anticipated. We looked at rings over Memorial Day weekend and every weekend following I went a little crazy with anticipation. (A note to guys everywhere: do not do incredibly out of the ordinary romantic things CONSTANTLY and then be confused why your girlfriend is irritated later when you have already looked at rings)
Knowing it was coming before he moved (the third week in August), I knew that his timeline was getting shorter and I was getting fidgetier. So, when he finally started an awkward conversation about wanting to take me to a fancy dinner so I could wear a gorgeous dress that he had surprised me with, I knew it was really happening (he was also leaving in a week at this point). I fretted that maybe I had built it up too much in my head. That maybe it would be less exciting because I knew that it was coming. I was worried about little things that drove me crazy like, what if I remember what he says when he proposes? Every other girl says she never does? What would that mean? And so on. I drove myself nuts. I am so lucky to have sweet family and friends who listened to my crazy stream of thoughts the whole week leading up to the dinner.
On Friday (August 14th), I anxiously got ready at work (I swear I'm a great nanny) and headed to Ryan's. It was down pouring and little did I know that he was panicking on the train that his plans were going to be ruined. When he got home, he was soaked and acting completely normal. So then I began to seriously doubt myself, was he going to take me somewhere fancy and NOT propose to throw me off? I immediately texted some friends that if I did not call them that night about a proposal that they should come over in the AM with ice cream.
We headed out to dinner (I wasn't told where we were going) and pulled down a street that...had the one restaurant that I had specifically asked to not go to. This is when the out of body experience began. It had stopped raining for about ten minutes, but was still lightening steadily. Instead of heading towards the restaurant, Ryan started crossing the street to the park. If I would have blacked out during the proposal, this is when it would have happened. But I was feeling too...everything. I was feeling every good emotional you could imagine all at once...amplified. I also immediately thought "oh, wow! My mom is sneaky. She told Ryan exactly how I hoped he would propose (turns out I was completely wrong...he had no idea that for about two years I had been telling everyone I hoped that Ryan would propose to me at the swings where I fell in love with him...he's just that good)!"
We awkwardly swung for about ten minutes talking about none other than...pie. I was promising to make him a strawberry rhubarb pie when he started seriously fidgeting on his swing. For anyone wondering, proposing on a swing is such a romantic thought but difficult to actually execute while swinging. Ryan got off his swing and started to push me and then awkwardly stopped my swing abruptly and immediately when I turned around to face him I started to cry. He talked about the importance of that spot and the moment he fell in love with me. At that point, he then got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him, love him forever. I was messy crying and couldn't believe that it was really happening. (and I said YES of course)! We ran back to the car before the rain hit again and went straight to the best dinner I have ever had.
It still seems surreal thinking about that night! Even after all of the family phone calls and telling the story so many times, it still doesn't seem real. I stare at my hand constantly reminding myself that I really do get to marry the best man I've ever known.