Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shae & Chris Engagement Story

So I didn't actually get engaged IN Indianapolis, but here's my story...

I happened to accidentally stumble upon the city of Indianapolis last summer, just passing through on a cross-country move from North Carolina out to California.. and now I am moving to Indianapolis and marrying my fiance there!!

To make a long story short, I ended up having an extended stay in Indianapolis last fall/winter for 5 months. I met Chris in October and we began dating. We dated the whole time I was in Indianapolis. I moved back to North Carolina for work in January, and we did the whole long distance relationship for almost a year, him in Indianapolis and me in NC. It wasn't easy, but we were usually able to see each other every other weekend, which really helped. Things got tougher though when I found out I was moving to California for my job this January. I was having a really hard time with it because we were going to have a 3 hour time difference between us, and the flights were going to be a lot longer. I knew seeing each other every other weekend wasn't going to be very easy or realistic. At the beginning of December I was starting to freak out a bit about moving. I got sad and scared and kind of nervous about it all. I knew things between us were going to be harder being even farther away and not seeing each other nearly as often. So not only was I worried about all this, but I was also in the process of packing up all of my stuff to make the move, AND Christmas was rapidly approaching. Stress, stress, stress. To make matters even worse, I had been unable to get a hold of my mom all week (I talk to my mom when I'm stressed.. she usually has some words of advice, although I don't always follow it, but I at least listen). Anyway, Chris was coming to visit that weekend. I didn't even have anything planned for his trip, figuring we would just kind of play the weekend by ear.

Chris arrived Friday night and on Saturday we decided to drive down to Wilmington, a very cute city along the Cape Fear River (for you WB fans, Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill were both filmed there) to do some Christmas shopping for the day. It was about a 2 hour drive, so we were going to spend the day in Wilmington shopping, go downtown and have dinner afterward, then head back home. After a long afternoon of shopping, we were both exhausted. I couldn't imagine spending 2 hours in the car without falling asleep. Chris seemed to be feeling the same way, and he suggested that we find a a place to just spend the night. I agreed. As we were driving around, however, Chris kept driving past hotel after hotel, which is where I assumed we were going to stay. Instead of a hotel, Chris stops in front of a cute bed and breakfast downtown Wilmington. We were both trying to save money, so it took me by surprise that this is where he wanted to stay. I didn't bring anything for an over-night trip, but I didn't argue, especially after taking a tour and seeing how quaint and comfortable everything looked. So we took the room and rested a bit before dinner.

Dinner was so much fun! We ate at a restaurant that had an outside private 2-person balcony that overlooked the river (very romantic). We ordered appetizers and a bottle of wine.. and of course dessert. Afterward we walked along the boardwalk back to our room, with twinkling Christmas lights illuminating the way back. The whole town was so beautifully decorated for Christmas. Back at our place we drank a glass of wine and sat on the balcony talking and joking, Chris had been joking about silly, ridiculous things he was going to get me for Christmas all day (a pair of old baggy sweat pants, one of his belts, etc). He asked me to come over and stand by him, to check out the view, I assumed. But instead he kissed me, hugged me, and told me, "You know all that stuff I told you I was going to get you for Christmas? Well, I'm not getting you any of it." I thought he was still kind of joking around, not quite sure where he was going with it. Then he got very serious and said, "I'm giving myself to you for Christmas," and then he got down on one knee (yes, one knee!) and asked me to marry him! I seriously stood there for 10 seconds (he said it felt like 10 minutes) in complete shock. I finally kissed him and said, "Yes, Yes, YES!.. put it on, put it on!" (the ring). I couldn't stop smiling! He had had the ring with him all day long in his pocket. He said he had been so completely nervous the whole day.. afraid he was going to lose the ring or that I would say no (silly boy). I had absolutely no idea he was going to propose then!! He had picked out the ring the week earlier, and it was perfect in every way. I still tell him that if I were to pick out a ring for myself this is exactly the one that I would choose. Everything about that day was perfect.. it was the intimate, sweet proposal that I had always imagined. I called all of my family to tell them, but they already knew Chris was going to ask me that night. He had called my parents and asked for their blessing earlier in the week. That's why I hadn't heard from my mom all week! She was afraid that if she talked to me she was going to ruin the surprise!

The next morning we had an amazing breakfast (upside down banana pecan pancakes.. yummy!) at the house. Two other couples were staying at the B&B, too. We were all talking at the breakfast table, and one couple said they were there to celebrate the wife's birthday, and the other couple had just got married the night before. I couldn't help myself and I blurted out, "We got engaged here last night!" We are definitely going back to Wilmington to stay at the same B&B again! It was so sweet and romantic!!

All the stress that had accumulated prior to this weekend disappeared. I was so happy and seriously could not stop smiling. We set a wedding date for October 17, 2008, so I'm only staying in California until early summer, which makes things much more manageable, much less worrying about where things were going between us. I also got all the Christmas presents I needed AND finally talked to my mom.. so everything worked out fabulously!!

...now all I have to worry about is the inevitable stress of wedding planning...

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