For about a month, Josh had been asking every weekend if I’d like to go up to Flagstaff or Sedona, or anywhere up North to take the dogs to play in the snow. Maya, who is 10 and grew up in Virginia, loves the snow and thinks she’s a puppy again as soon as her paw hits the snow. Ollie, who is purely an Arizona dog and is only 3, had never stepped [paw] in the snow so Josh thought it might be fun to introduce him to it.
There was never really a good time in December to go up North, as my nephew was born on a Friday so naturally we flew up to Denver for the weekend to meet him and congratulate Vanessa and Vinny. The next weekend was a work party, and the following weekend we would be in Virginia visiting the Reilly’s following Christmas.
Much to my surprise, Josh designed, ordered, and picked up the ring in the months of November/beginning of December. He had planned on proposing on one of the trips up North, but when those didn’t work out, he decided he’d take me out in Old Town Alexandria when we were back in Virginia after Christmas. He says he didn’t want to propose on Christmas or New Year’s because it would be too expected and not as much of a surprise as it was.
The night of December 26th, we got dressed up to go out to dinner and Josh decided he would propose to me after dinner at the docks where we used to feed the ducks our first summer dating. As we were walking out the door, a bunch of Josh’s friends from high school waltzed in the door ready to hang out. April and I had planned a “surprise” belated birthday party for Josh on this night and invited all of his friends, because obviously we didn’t know his intentions for the evening. He’s a GREAT secret keeper!
Luckily he was never too disappointed and knew he’d have plenty of opportunities, which I am thankful for, because otherwise I’d have lots of guilt about never being able to plan to go out somewhere together. The element of surprise (for both of us, really) made the actual engagement night even more special that both of us were *so* excited and elated to finally be “taking the plunge” (or beginning the planning to) after 5 and ½ years of dating.
Here are some photos of us from over the years:
One of the first photos of us, taken in Old Town Alexandria, June 2003
May 2005, Virginia Tech Graduation
May 2005, Graduation dinner
Jeep Tour on St. Lucia, some time between 2004 - 2006
San Francisco, CA
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, March 2008
David and Erika's wedding, June 2007
Rocky Point, Mexico - May/June 2008
Carnival Cruise, 2008
New Year's Eve 2007, Tempe Improv
January 4th, 2009.. the morning after he popped the question! :)
edit: oops, got some of the timeline a little out of order..