|We have had lots of requests for all the details. I can fill you in on a bit of the proposal details but as far as future plan details, well, they are in extreme rough form or non-existent at this point.|
I really only had two things that I knew I needed to include in the proposal. I knew that Maya needed to have a part in it and I knew that I wanted to do the actual asking at Fells Point in Baltimore. This was where we went on our first date (with Maya) and I thought it would be nice to return to the "scene of the crime".
I had several ideas and many variations on those ideas of how to get her to Fells Point . The one that lasted the longest was a scavenger hunt around Baltimore to places we had been on dates. Each place would have a rose and a clue of the next location. The clues would be written in the form of "Would you rather..." questions since Jill is quite fond of making these types of questions up herself. The major problem I had with this whole scenario was that none of the locations were easy to get in and out of (park, find the rose, leave) especially if Jill was alone.
I had narrowed it down to three locations, created the 'Would you rather..." clues, and created the blog post of the whole adventure. Then I fretted over it for several weeks trying to figure out how to really make it work.
I accomplished the task of getting Maya involved during my last trip to Utah at the beginning of November. I created four small signs that Maya colored and then took pictures of her holding them as you can see here. She had a lot fun coloring and holding the pictures. As you can see in the pictures, it was windy and pretty cold. She was done after a few shots.
So when I got back to Virginia I decided that it needed to happen sooner rather than later. I had had the ring in my possession for almost a month and it was getting harder and harder to keep it from her.
More changes were made to the plan right up through leaving work early on Friday. I left early in hopes of beating the traffic which is a completely futile exercise in DC. I still want to believe that if I'm the beltway before 3PM there will be less traffic!. And maybe it really is less, but bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic sucks no matter how many cars you can count being effected by it. After an hour on the road Jill called I was just getting to the Temple. (For reference, if it is after 10PM, I can usually make the trip in just over an hour) Then it was another hour as I got stuck in traffic because of an accident (not blocking any lanes, just rubber-neckers) on I95 and the plans changed again. Jill left work early also and was able to go home take a quick nap before I got there.
We talked about what a great evening it was and I suggested that we head down to Fells Point to take pictures of the sunset then find something to eat. I sent her one of the text messages that I had created for the scavenger hunt (the only to be sent) which read:
Would you rather...Eat frozen desert before dinner?
Feed the pigeons in Fells Point?
This was a reference to our first date where we ate Maggie Moos ice cream before we walked over to Little Italy for dinner.
When I got to her place it took a little bit more encouragement to get her off of the comfy couch and drive to Fells Point. The sun was setting fast and we were going to miss most of it but I brought up the fact the colors are amazing for up to 30 minutes after the sun has set below the horizon. On the way I got another call from a company looking for a very short training consultant position (only two days). We walked out on the pier and I took a few pictures of the sunset then we just stood and talked a bit as we watched the Inner Harbor and Baltimore get darker and darker. It was a bit cold a windy and at one point Jill started to turn and go, but I held my ground.
I don't remember exactly how the dialog went but here is the basic idea:
I said that it was a wonderful evening and wouldn't it be a great night to get engaged. She said, "Don't Tease Me!" and I said, "Maybe I'm not!". I turned her around and showed her the ring that I had in my fingers. She looked at it, looked at me then said, "Are you Serious?" I said, "Yeah, will you?" "YES!", "Are you Serious?" "Will you put it on my finger?" I think she asked if this was real or if I was serious at least 3 or 4 more times (there were a few more Yes's too). She started shaking (but that might have been the cold breeze). Then I tried to send her the multimedia message I had created from my phone to hers but it did not work so I showed it to her on my phone. It was the pictures of Maya with music (Life Less Ordinary by Carbon Leaf). She started to get a bit teary eyed then wanted to see it again. I showed her the wedding band that I had picked out to go with it. She of course had to try it on to see what it looked like. And of course, it looks awesome!
After a few minutes of letting it sink in she called her folks and told them the news. Donna and Bruce were excited. They said that it should happened a couple of months ago and that I should have formally asked for her hand like the other two son-in-laws did! So now I have to bring cranberry sauce along with the pecan pies! Donna also reminded me to take back the wedding band!
We had wait a while to call my family because it was only about 5:30PM (3:30PM in SLC) and everyone was still at work.
It was getting colder so we headed for home, but not before stopping at Maggie Moos to get a hot fudge brownie sundae to go. We spent the next few hours calling friends and family and sharing the news. I posted the two blog entries to announce the engagement. Then we got hungry and headed to Chili's for a late evening, high-class, romantic dinner (seriously though, comfort food Rocks!).
Saturday we spent the day doing errands, chatting with Nate and Sara for a while, birthday gift shopping and getting ideas for Christmas presents.
Sunday, Jill enjoyed the attention at church as she showed off the ring and re-told the story.
The weekend was pretty surreal. I kept catching her (and me) looking at the ring on her finger. It looks SO much better on her finger than it did in the box! She says I did a pretty good job of finding a ring that is very unique, in the style she likes (antique) but style has quite a bit of modern appeal. I also did a pretty good job of surprising her. We had talked in generalities and possibilities but she didn't know that I had the ring. That was not easy! Thanks to everyone who knew (and especially those who had seen the ring) for helping me with the charade.
Well, that is a lot details. And pretty much all we know at this point. We have several wild cards that make planning a bit of a challenge. We are actively looking for jobs in SLC in order to be closer to Maya. Timing will be interesting. So far the only thing that we are leaning towards is springtime and either the DC or SLC temple. Or maybe we will just elope to Hawaii or New Zealand!
Anyway, that's it.
Further details will be revealed later.
Here are a few more pictures.