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Where has the time gone?

Today marks 10 years Mr.S and I have been together.  It doesn’t seem possible!  It does seem like a long time since our first date, but a whole decade ago.

It just seems amazing and unreal to me… ten years only one major fight and it was over a simple misunderstanding in the first year.   We have never taken a break or even seriously entertained the thought.  I feel so lucky to have found each other.  Everyday being able to waje up next to him, its just an amazing treat.  I never have any doubts we are perfect for each other. We have shaped and molded each other into wonderful people over the years and have grown together.  In many ways we have gained the wisdom of older couples and enjoy the small treasures in life together.

I am not sure what we are doing to celebrate, but we must do something.   This is more than twice as ling as either of us have been in a relationship and to have the love and passion just like year three is a major accomplishment and worth celebrating.

I know its been a long time since I have posted, but we had to put our wedding plans on hold due to finances.  Now with extra money coming in we have started talking and planning again.  The goal is by the end of next year to be married.  But until the I will keep you all posted.

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The actual planning has begun!

Throw all the old ideas out the window.  We toyed with Thailand, Hawaii, Alaska and so many others.  Over Labor Day weekend we started talking about places we had been and would love to go back.  He mentioned he would love to go back to D.C. to the museums.  As coincidence would have it I was looking to see what the Appalachian Mountains had to offer in way of elopements and wedding venues.  So I started looking in Virginia / Maryland area. 

We have tentatively decided on having a wedding at a bed and breakfast somewhere in Virginia.  Right now we are looking at two different bed and breakfasts in the Shenandoah Valley.  Both include several amenities, but the search for the best place still continues.

We are planning for early May 2013 when the weather is still cool.  I can image either of us enjoying a day in the heat.  I would rather chance rain than sweat!

The Ring

The ring… it’s always such an important part of the engagement.  It symbolizes your never ending love and it’s the first thing anyone wants to see when they hear the news.

We made a compromise on the ring.  I kind of wanted a surprise and he wanted to make sure it was something I would love.  According to him, since he made me wait so long I should have exactly what I wanted.

I started looking and was unimpressed by the standard engagement solitaire.  I also disliked the “newer” style with a center stone and tons of diamonds all around it.  My problem was I wanted the band to be special and not just a simple thing with the stone being the primary focus.  I also am not really fond of diamonds.  To me they are too cliche` I wanted something special.  I felt (and still do) that we have something special so the ring should signify that.

I started looking into filigree rings.  The problem was a lot of them were either really tall which I thought might cause a problem or they look as if they had been casted a million times.  Again not very special.  It took me probably a year and a half from the time he told me to start looking until I finally found one I have.  I had found a couple that I liked, he wasn’t very fond of them and told me to keep looking around.  While I was looking we also started ordering different sizes and styles of lab created gemstones.  I had already stated I did not want to spend a fortune on this ring and to be honest I like the way the lab created gemstones sparkle.  They don’t have the imperfections the mined gems have and they cost a fraction of the cost and have the exact same chemical make up of the ones from the ground.

There was one I liked pictured below, but decided it was not for me.  Though I still love the design and symbolism of the tree of life.

Unique Engagement Ring

I finally found a website of custom jewelry out of Austin, Texas.  I fell in love with two rings.  One was based off of Van Goh’s Starry Nights painting, the other was titled Garden Gate (pictured below).

I gave him the option of four different rings in varing price ranges to choose from and he took multiple gemstones out of our collection and hid them so I wouldn’t know what I got.  He ended up picking my favorite, though I tried not to tell him which that was, the Garden Gate pictured above.  Though mine looks very different from the one above.  We placed a green stone in the ring and took out some of the diamonds around the band.  The ring is absolutely stunning and a year later people are still asking too look at it and I get plenty of compliments on it.

Happy Anniversary!

May 8th we celebrated our 1 year engagement anniversary.  It doesn’t seem like it has been that long, but I suppose the calender never lies.

For celebration we decided to take our first vacation together.  Historically our vacations included driving 1,000 miles to visit family at the holidays.  I took a couple of days off from work and we took a short little weekend trip to St. Louis.  We had tons of fun.  We did some of the typical tourist things though we didn’t make it to the Arch.  Instead we spent the majority of our time at Forest Park where we went to the Zoo, a couple of museums and the Planetarium.  We also made a trip out to the Missouri Botanical Gardens where we had an absolute blast.

The highlight of the trip was the food.  We went to a restaurant that served Nepalese food.  It was to die for.  I have decided I am going to find some recipes online and incorporate them into our dinner recipes.  We went to Fitz’s Soda shop where we both fell in love with the soft drinks (neither of us really drink soft drinks anymore).  The last meal we had was at Pappy’s Smokehouse it was pretty good, but I still LOVE Jazzy’s in Tampa.

If we can have so much fun on a short three-day trip I can only image how much fun we are going to have for our destination wedding!

The Proposal

Nearly eight years, two cross-country move and seven homes later he proposed.  It was somewhat unexpected and completely fantastic.The best day of my life so far.

 

First let me give you some back story before I take you to the day of.  We had moved to Florida about a year and a half after college.  We spent the next four years there before returning back to our home state.  We had been casually making plans for the future and one day he out of the blue suggests I start looking at engagement rings. (This was two years prior to him popping the question).  Anyway time moves forward.  We moved back “home” in August of 2010.  He quits his job so I can take a wonderful position, nearly my dream job.  So when tax time comes around he said he was buying me a ring.  I had picked several for him choose from and we had purchases several lab created gemstones of varying sizes and colors.  So I knew there was a ring in the house and probably could have found it if I had wanted to, but I didn’t know what it looked like.  The deal was I got to basically pick the ring and he was to pick to circumstances in which to give it to me.

 

So fast forward to May 8, 2011.

 

It was a pretty day outside, the sky was blue with hardly any clouds.  The lilac tree was blooming and the lawn needed trimmed. I decided it was the perfect day to sit outside in my blue jeans, t-shirt and jacket.  We got the lawn chairs out of the garage and sat in the lawn reading books.  After being outside for a while I decided it would be great to lay on the ground and stare at the blue sky and watch the few clouds go by.  So I ran into the house and took the quilt off the bed and we laid on it watching the sky and telling each other the creatures we saw in the clouds.  We talked about all sorts of topics, but even better than the conversation was the peace and comfort we found with each other in the times the conversation ceased.

We went inside to get dinner, but only stayed in for a short amount of time.  We returned outside to watch the sun set on a beautiful and peaceful day.  He seemed a bit more anxious when we went back outside, but I just assumed it was because we had spent the whole day idle. 

 

As we walked back into the house, I was feeling overly relaxed.  I heard him say something to himself that sounded like I can’t wait anymore.  We were standing in the book room and turned back around to ask him what he said.  He got down on one knee and asked me if I’d be his wife and offered me a beautiful ring with a trillion cut green garnet solitaire.  I of course was excited and say yes about a billion times and knocked him to the ground with a hug.

 

I actually liked the surprise of him proposing on a normal day instead of some elaborate date that I would have known it was coming.

The First Date

Mr. S and I have been together since July 2003.  We met through an online chat room that catered to college age students.  We happened to go to the same university.  We talked most of the summer through instant messaging and emails.  He asked me if I wanted meet for lunch near the campus.  I decided to be take a chance after all I might actually have fun.  Mind you we had been talking for months and days before our date I realized I had no idea what he even looked like, but he seemed to have a great personality and he made me laugh a lot. 

 The day of our date I was at my parents home two hours away from campus.  I left the house with plenty of time to meet Mr. S on time.  What I didn’t expect was road construction that would cause me to sit in back up traffic for over an hour.  At this point in time he did not have a cell phone.  So knowing he was already at the restaurant, I had to call his house and leave a message on his answering machine apologizing for missing our date.  Luckily I decided to continue on, I of course made an additional phone call to my old roommate to see if she was going to be around.  I decided it never hurt to have a back up plan.  Right before I got into town Mr. S calls be back stating it was alright that I was running late and asked what time I thought I would arrive and he would be there.

 I walked into the restaurant / bar then called “The Speakeasy”and I looked around.  There were several couples and other groups of people and one solitary man sitting in the corner booth reading a book.  He looked up from his book, smiled and waved.  Luckily he had seen a picture of me on my profile.  We hit it off from the start.  After a late lunch we went to a bar downtown and he had me try one of the first beers I ever liked, Lindemans Framboise.  After a drink we went to played a game of mini golf.  Where he learned not only do I stink a mini golf, but I’m a good spirit.