So I just wanted to share will all of you what a special night I had this past Saturday, December 4, 2011.
For weeks my boyfriend, Ryan, and his family had been planning to have a Christmas party with several close friends and family members. This was also going to be my first weekend completely stress free because I have been loaded down with exams and studying for about two months now non-stop. Saturday morning the girls in my family went to a few craft shows in town and then I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and getting ready for the party.
A little side note, the night before (Friday, December 3) was mine and Ryan's fourth dating anniversary and we spent it eating dinner and going to a movie, classic I know, but special nonetheless. I had curled my hair for Friday and Ryan just loves it that way, so with that reason plus the fact that Ryan's mother, Judy, is an awesome photographer (but it's just a hobby), convinced me to curl my hair again. And of course, with it being a Christmas party I felt obligated to wear red, even though it's not one of my favorite colors, but I had a new silky J.Crew shirt in red and black, so it was worth it.
I had some time to kill in between getting dressed and cooking sausage balls for the party. I finally had the chance to paint my nails, something I had been trying to do for weeks but never seemed to have enough free time other than right before bed. Like I said, red is not one of my favorite colors, outside of Christmas time, but since I was wearing red, and with my grandmother's convincing, I used red polish.
Ryan was going to pick me up from my house and my mom and the rest of my family were going to drive separate, that seemed a little weird, but not really any big deal.
Ryan had told me the party started at 7pm and he would pick me up at 6:45 so when my family left at 6:25 I said to my mom, "You do realize you are going to get there really early, don't you?" She just said, "Yeah, I think Darlene needs to stop somewhere." (Darlene is my aunt, my family is very small and very close!) It wasn't too long after they left that Ryan arrived, and I just had a few minutes left until I could take the sausage balls out of the oven.
My computer was turned off, laying on the kitchen counter. Ryan turned it on and of course I immediately started in on how we didn't have time for him to do that, we were going to be late, blah blah blah. He kept insisting that I go downstairs to my studio to get my new charger (mine died and I had been borrowing his). I continued with the, 'we don't have time' speech and finally Ryan just got up and walked downstairs. Later, he told me he knew I would follow him because I wouldn't be able to stand the though of him accidentally messing something up in my studio...he was right.
We finally leave my house late, and by this point I am of course suspicious that something was going on.
I should have paid attention to the cars parked outside the church (where the event was taking place), but I didn't think about it. When we got in the door everyone else was already there so I didn't really even have time to think or look around before some was grabbing me and talking to me.
Ryan's family is big on playing games, and recently they having been playing a game that they call 'the blanket game' since it really has no name. Everyone divides into two teams of about equal size, and in the center, two people hold up a blanket so that each side can't see the other side. One random person from each side of the team goes up to the blanket and stands and when the blanket is dropped, each person tries to be the first to say the other person's name. They were just starting this game whenever we arrived, and they had divided the teams into girls and guys. I thought that was a little weird because there were so many more women playing than men, but I just assumed I had missed some 'we're better than you' argument that had taken place before Ryan and I got there.
A few people went first and whenever the blanket would drop, I noticed that Ryan was no longer standing on the other side with all of the other guys. I hadn't seen him walk away or anything. Of course I was thinking "What in the world is going on? What is about to happen?" Then Ryan's cousin Suzanna steps up to the blanket on the girls side. All of a sudden Ryan's aunt is grabbing Suzanna and pulling her out of the way and someone shoves me up to the blanket. To most people, that might sound really suspicious, like I should have known something was about to happen, however, that is usually how we play the game, trading and switching people out at the last second.
When the blanket dropped, there was Ryan. He had put on a suit jacket and his cowboy hat (he's a true country boy, and I love it!) and in his hand was a little black box with a shiney ring. I'm not sure when, but at some point I started shaking.
He got down on one knee, and I noticed his hands were shaking as much as mine, if not more.
He said, "I love you so much, and we have been dating for way to long." (pause) "I wasn't nervous before, but I am now. You can take it from here." I just laughed and slipped the ring on my finger. We hugged and kissed and everyone cheered. Most people were so surprised that he never actually said "will you marry me?" and I never actually said "yes" but you know, we really didn't have to. Ryan and I really have that once in a life time kind of love and we didn't need to say those things to know what each other was thinking.
When Ryan hugged me, I finally got the chance to notice the change in the people behind him. Standing there were several of our friends, they had been hiding out in the room where Ryan changed and had come out when he did, just before the proposal. It was so sweet, everything he had done to make the evening special, making sure our friends could be there, and making it all such a suprise. We of course had lots of food, picture taking, and showing off my ring that night. Lastly, Ryan had made a slideshow of our last four years together and played it for everyone to watch. It was so special to be able to share a moment like this with all of our friends and family. It couldn't have been more perfect.
We haven't set a date yet because we are still working out some details. I'm not quite yet finished with school and Ryan will be finishing up this summer. However, you can definitely expect to see my blog getting a little more wedding-ish from here until whatever date we decide on. I promise to keep posting the usuals, but it is a little to hard to resist reading all the amazing wedding blogs out there and searching for inspiration. And I will be keeping you updated on the wedding plans, I am so happy to be able to share this special time with family, friends, and all of you. ;)