Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Next Part of Our Story: Are You Serious?

I have been waiting to share something with you. I have been waiting for pictures, waiting to have time to sit and craft the perfect entry. But after waiting over two weeks, I have realized that none of that matters and I just want to put it out there. I want to write it because in my life, nothing feels real until it is written down. Maybe sharing it with you will make it less surreal and more fantastically real.

On July 1st while walking home from dinner with friends, Nick asked if there were any summery things I wanted to do over the long weekend. I said that I wanted to go on a picnic. Nick said that I should have asked him for that sooner and that he would be glad to take me on a picnic.

The next evening I came home to find Nick napping. The bed looked too cozy so I climbed in and dozed off. A few hours later, Nick was waking me up. I didn't mean to sleep so long, but it felt nice.

"Are we still going for this picnic?" Nick asked.
"Yes, if you're still up for it."
"Sure. It sounds nice. What lake?"
"Lake of the Isles. It's quieter."
"Can we bike there?"
"Should we bring books to read?"
"If you want."

A few minutes later we were out the door. Nick had a back pack stuffed with a blanket, food that he picked up earlier that day, a bottle of wine, and two books. We rode our bikes around Calhoun, the more populated lake, and went over to Lake of the Isles, the quieter more peaceful lake.

We found a spot in the shade of a giant tree, close to the water, and stretched across the grass and street from a beautiful home having a dinner party on their front porch. We were too far to see faces but every once in a while you could hear laughter.

We set up our blanket and started snacking. The food was so good. Fresh bakery bread, Australian pepper crackers, apricot cheese dip, cherries, and the best grapes I've ever had. We sipped wine and talked about when we first met. This is something I do a lot around this time of year. It is close to our anniversary, to when we first met, first kissed, first arrived in Australia.

After a while of talking about that place, that time, that kiss, he told me he had an early anniversary present for me. He made me close my eyes and put out my hands. When I opened them I was looking down at a blue viewfinder. I lifted it to my eyes and found Australia! Sydney! The Opera House, Manly Beach, and Our park. The gift was so thoughtful, so sweet. The images seemed so close and even though they were from the 70's, the places looked the same.

I was completely enthralled with my little gift. I was staring through it remembering, when I heard Nick say, "I have something else for you too." I moved the viewfinder away and looked down. It was hard to focus on what was in front of me. My brain did not process it. I gazed at him without understanding.

"I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"
I always thought I would cry. Instead I just stared at him with an incredulous smile. "Are you serious?"
"Yes I am."
"Is this real?"
"You still haven't answered me."
"Yes! Yes I will marry you!"

He slipped the ring out of the box and slid it on my finger. I got nervous it wouldn't fit, I was convinced it wouldn't. But it fit. It fit perfectly and it is more than I could have ever imagined.

I have known for a long time that Nick is the man for me. And our lives already emulate a married couple in that we share a home, two dogs, and have been through the battles of finances, groceries, and cleaning duties. I already know his weird quirks and cute habits. And after all of that, we are still very much in love.

I am excited to share this next year of planning and preparation.

Step 1: Weekend trip to Boston to find a venue and pick a date.
(This picture was taken moments after Nick asked my parents for permission at my best friends wedding reception. Sneaky. Photo courtesy of Abbie.)