NOTE: I am in such a love-fog right now that I haven't a clue where to begin with this post so please forgive me if I ramble, get too cheesy, and/or over-share. This little blog of mine is in many ways a journal and a way for me to remember everything one day when my memory up and fails me completely :) Without further ado, I have a little story to tell. So there we were. It was May 4th, 2005 and my girlfriend Maggie texted me seven times begging me to come meet some "really cute and tall boy" at the baseball house. We were in college and it was the last day of class my second year so of course we were out celebrating. I texted her "No!" every way I knew possible ("He's a first year!" / "Um, no thanks." / "I don't want to go all the way over there." / "Ugh, I'm tired." / "I mean....how cute?") and finally, I reluctantly gave in. I figured why not. But gosh, I was tired and I just wanted to go home! I was with another friend and a guy who ended up carrying me piggy-back over the train tracks to the baseball house. (That guy, by the way, was Ryan Zimmerman.) I stood at the end of the little sidewalk in front of the house. Patrick tells me I had my arms crossed, I was hunched over and shy, and I appeared taller that night than ever again. We hung out for hours, even watched Varsity Blues with friends, and I remember pulling them into the bathroom and being like Help! I really like him!!! I also remember calling my mother the next day and being like, Ok...so I know this sounds crazy, but I met a guy last night and I think he's the guy I'm going to marry. Looking back? That was a completely ridiculous statement. I was so young. And dumb. And for heavens sake, I didn't even know the guy! But there was something about him. We just clicked. It was like we were best friends immediately. He felt familiar. I could be myself. Even though we were POLAR opposites. He's 100% boy and I'm 100% girl. He likes following sports. I like drawing. I'd go visit him at the baseball field. He'd come visit me in the art studio. He's athletic and I'm well....not. He used the same spiral notebook for, like, his entire college career which did not mesh well with my organizational tendencies. I've since helped :)
Let's press the fast forward button 8 years, 3 months, and 13 days →
...through friendship turning into dating.
...through driving the farthest I ever had alone to visit him in the summer-time when I missed his face. and my Jeep's air conditioner exploding / leaking everywhere.
...through me leaving college a year before him and being pulled by a desire to live and work in the big apple.
...through long distance being too much to handle and us breaking up. and it feeling like nothing could ever be so painful.
...through us getting back together again while he was playing baseball professionally in different parts of the U.S.
...through us seeing each other only once every 2 to 3 months.
...through countless goodbyes when I inevitably picked a fight the night before because I so sad and angry that it was all we had.
...through having a relationship via our phones and me staring at pictures of him to remember what he looked like.
...through cross-country drives, flat tires, and different time zones.
....through us being in different places in our lives and breaking up yet again. and it somehow being even more painful.
...through us believing we would never talk again.
...through him driving from Arizona to Virginia to see me and me debating whether I should let him.
...through him showing up at my door in NYC unexpectedly.
...through witnessing him have 3 surgeries in one year. and my heart feeling like mush seeing him hooked up to cords in the hospital, all pale and vulnerable.
...through living together for a year in a 400 sq. foot apartment, but finally getting to date in the same city as adults.
...and then there we were. It was Saturday, August 17th, 2013. I worked on calligraphy projects, went to the gym, and stopped by my paper supply store for some packaging supplies. The bill came to $11.11 and I remember thinking must be good luck! I came home and showered. Patrick told me multiple times he was wearing jeans. Ok then I'll wear some, too. We decided to go out to dinner and go explore a bit in Brooklyn. We wandered in our neighborhood to find a good spot for dinner and ended up at Recette, a place we had never tried! The food was downright delicious, but it was one of those places that was overly fancy and the portions were too small for the prices and the music was weird and out of place. We just kept giggling to one another. Oh! This singular spear of asparagus is the side of asparagus the menu mentioned? Patrick was like a bull in a china shop. He dropped his phone on the floor. He dropped his fork on the floor. He smacked his hand so hard on the table next to him that I busted out laughing! We were a mess. We left and went back to the apartment (I had left my phone which I never do) and we took the train to DUMBO, Brooklyn. (acronym for: District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) We went to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and treated ourselves to hot fudge sundaes. Yum! But about 4 bites in, I started feeling SO sick to my stomach and thinking Ya know, we should just go back home and watch Breaking Bad or something. I also remember silently praying for the feeling to go away. It was such a pretty night and I didn't want to end it by feeling sick. Miraculously, the stomach ache suddenly disappeared. No I'm ok, I assured Patrick. I'm good. We walked....and walked....and kept walking. Patrick kept saying Let's go this way....and Oh! Let's go over there.
We walked up to one of those telescope machines and found some change deep in our wallets. We looked in it a few times and I looked once more, trying to get the zoom knob just right so I could spy into the office buildings in lower Manhattan. Ohh, I can see people! Look! When I turned back around, Patrick was on one knee. My heart stopped. I LOST IT. Patrick said my initial face terrified him and he forgot that it was his turn to talk! So much happened all at once. People nearby started cheering and taking pictures of us and Patrick pulled his phone out of his pocket and said Here, use mine! It was around then that I basically blacked out. Apparently the fishermen next to us were clapping. I do remember seeing a fish flop around! He said sweet words that came out in slow motion...about how he had talked to my dad...and then he called me Virginia which he never has...and then he said Will you marry me?
I saw some sparkly object below, but I couldn't stop looking at his face. I was sobbing and just wanted to kiss him so I did! And then I kissed him again!! I know I said yes in there at one point even if he said it was inaudible. I remember him saying, Okay well let's get this thing on you, silly! (I'd like to note that he kept the ring in a giant wooden box in his sock all night. No wonder he wore jeans! But good heavens, we walked so much!) We thanked the people nearby and we just sort of stared at one another, in shock. Were we dreaming? Then the ring stole my attention for a good 5 minutes. It's the prettiest thing I've EVER seen...and so very special. We went ring "looking" for fun a long time ago which I highly recommend for couples as neither of us had a clue about it all and we met a local jeweler who is so darn sweet. He took my measurements, noting that he had never seen someone with a finger that was shaped like the sizing tool. That's right! I have cone fingers. Small ones. He said since I have no knuckle to speak of (who knew that is something to worry about?!) that I would need it to be extra snug. I tried on a few things, noting how I liked certain aspects. I honestly thought Patrick, if he decided to, would use that knowledge and maybe just go pick one out somewhere one day. But he went back and designed one from scratch with him, picking out every detail, even incorporating a special number we have between us. Yes. Who is this man??! I was and am completely blown away. I've never had an object that has so much meaning.
One of the first things Patrick said after proposing was how he wanted to write the jeweler a handwritten thank-you note (which he's already done) and I fell in love all over again, haha! He comes from a good family, that one.
We started walking back...we hugged and I told him I just wanted a few more minutes of it being our moment, not anyone else's. Pretty soon, though, we couldn't hold it in any longer...so we started the calls! We called our parents first (hearing their voices was incredible) then our big sisters. My sister and I sounded like dolphins calling back and forth through sobbing tears. We had to just hang up at one point because there was no use in making sense of what we were saying! We called our brothers after that and then reached out to our close friends. I think I startled a couple people since no one ever uses the call feature on their phone these days, but it was so fun sharing our joy and news. Hearing the emotional reactions only made me cry all over again. This took some time and I think we lost track after awhile...we were handing phones back and forth and trying to make sense of who we had told. I then saw that my mom, who joined Facebook a week ago, blasted the news for everyone to see...! Silly goose! I had to call her back and ask her to remove it because we were still making our rounds. She apologized and said she just got a little too excited... Oh, Mom.
The only person in the world that knew it was happening that night was his 13-year-old sister. She's apparently been pestering him about this for some time now (love her) and he promised to tell her when. He showed me a text she sent him earlier that day - "Good luck bro!!! You got this!!!" Too. stinkin'. cute.
We finally caught a cab back to Manhattan and went across the street to our favorite little wine bar for champagne and food. Patrick hadn't eaten anything all week and was starved! Thinking back to all his "stomach aches" over the previous days....well, it all makes sense now. He hid the box inside his iPhone case in his sock drawer, by the way. Sneaky, sneaky.
After that? We crashed. I had such a terrible headache from all the crying and could barely make sense of anything. The next morning felt surreal. I didn't want to sleep in my ring for fear of losing it somehow so I woke up and it took me a few moments to remember everything and once I did, I LEAPED to the box. We spent time just day-dreaming about everything (as much as I envisioned our future together, everything about it feels so real now!), eating French toast, and practicing the word fiance/ée. We were like two kids on Christmas morning! And our giddiness hasn't subsided. I am in one. big. daze. Sunday night, Patrick had me hysterically laughing about something and I got all teary-eyed...I keep waiting to wake up from this too-good-to-be-true dream I'm in.
As much as I love weddings (you know that I'm squealing inside about the invitations!), I am certainly not the girl that has had it all planned out since she was little...I never really dreamed about my "big day" with someone...what I dreamed about was starting a little family of my very own. Technically speaking? I'm an only child even though I would never consider myself that. My parents separated when I was seven and ever since, I've been looking forward to starting my own little gang. 20 years later, I officially know who will be my lifelong teammate -- and I couldn't possibly be happier.
I wanted to share a few pictures...
^^^the view as we got off the train in DUMBO.
^^^the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
^^^Little did I know he had a giant wooden box in his sock..!
^^^the telescope machine I was looking through. otherwise known as WALL-E.
^^^ so very thankful for these pictures. ^^^
p.s. funny story - my sister showed my 4-year-old nephew, Ezra, this picture in color and the box had a reddish tint to it. He goes, What is he giving her, an apple? :)
We also realized later on that you can see the Statue of Liberty in the background. Patrick said on Facebook that it's Lady Liberty keeping a close eye over the little lady. Made me smile.
^^^our incredible photographers - they were the sweetest! Patrick said he was actually waiting for them to leave since they were sitting so close to us, but we're so glad they didn't :)
So...that's our big news!!! I'm still in la-la land over here. I might be a little absent on the blog these next couple weeks so I can catch my breath. We have a wedding this weekend and next weekend and I am SO excited for both! I hope you all are having amazing weeks so far. Sending out big ol' hugs to all ♥