Six years ago today, this happened…
I got engaged to the man of my dreams. Here’s the little story of how. Because everyone loves a good love story. Because it’s Valentine’s week. Because I really like telling it.
Nathanael and I had met a little less than a year before (an amazing story in and of itself, which shall be saved for another day). Suffice it to say we were best friends, and madly in love, though we hadn’t uttered a word about it to each other–by mutual agreement we had determined not to say “I love you” until we were engaged.
Let me begin by saying that normally I consider myself a person that is hard to surprise. Chalk it up to intuition, if you will. But on this day six years ago I got the surprise of my life. It began unsuspiciously enough. Nathanael and I, along with my parents, were enjoying a ski trip in Tahoe. Six years ago today was my dad’s birthday so we geared up and headed to the slopes. We had tons of fun but underneath my smile my heart was in turmoil. We had come just about as far in our relationship as I could stand without taking the next step. On the way up the mountain on the ski lift I thought to myself if something doesn’t change soon I’m going to go crazy! Little did I know what the handsome, dark-haired man riding next to me had in store for that very night.
When we returned to our cabin late that afternoon, nathanael nonchalantly asked my mom and dad if we could drive over to Lake Tahoe to watch the sun set. Suddenly everyone kicked into high gear, running around frantically to get out the door to “see the sun set”. For the life of me I couldn’t understand what the sudden fuss was about! “Guys,” I exclaimed, dumbfounded by the sudden sense of urgency, “what’s the big rush? If we miss it tonight we can always see it tomorrow!” My common sense was lost on them, apparently, because they all insisted they wanted to see it TONIGHT. Alrighty then.
Mom told me to be sure I “looked cute, fixed my hair, put on my makeup, you need some lipstick”. (Big red flag, no? Well, not really, because she was always telling me that, hehe.)
Finally we were all ready, and off we went–Dad driving furiously along while Nathanael and Mom poured over a map, looking for a beach or somewhere we could watch the sun set. (Really, people, what is this obsession?!)
Lest my bewilderment with these events make anyone think otherwise, I really AM a Romantic. Like a big-R Romantic. I think there were angels all around me that night with the specific assignment to confuse me and throw me off any possible thought that tonight was THE night. Because you know, deep in my girly heart-of-hearts, I always wanted to be surprised by a proposal. Because that’s so Romantic.
It really was the perfect beach. Crunchy snow underfoot. Crystal clear, smooth-as-glass lake. The sun descending peacefully behind the mountains on the horizon. We snapped some pictures. We saw the sun setting. Success.
But wait, there’s more.
A little ways down the beach we spotted a small pier jutting out over the water. Nathanael suggested we walk down to it. (Red flag, much?) My parents sort of drifted back away from us. (Big red flag!) And my Romantic little brain thought, This would be the perfect setting for a proposal. (Enormous, huge, neon red flag!!!!!) But get this, the angels must have been doing their job, because as fast as the thought came into my mind, it was gone. And I thought no more of it because it wasn’t Valentine’s Day, and I figured IF Nathanael were going to propose, it would most likely be on Valentine’s Day.
We wandered out onto the end of the pier and stood there taking in the beautiful sunset and enjoying each others’ company. We chatted (about what, I cannot remember now), and in the midst of our conversation, Nathanael turned to me and said, “Kirsti, I love you.” Fireworks exploded in my heart and my head! I was utterly surprised and thrilled and shocked and elated. I smiled a huge and slightly nervous smile and kind of stammer-giggled back to him, “Well, that’s good, because I love you too!” Ahh, that felt so good to say!
And then he was down on one knee before me with a velvet box in his hand saying the words I’d been waiting my whole life to hear from the ONE man I’d been saving myself for: “Kirsti, will you marry me?”
I laughed out loud and squealed, “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING! YES!” The “yes” got a little lost in the outburst of emotion, and he queried, “so that’s a yes?” “YES!” I said, “yes, yes, yes!”
He stood up and wrapped me in his arms and I buried my face in his chest, feeling like the most blessed and treasured girl on the planet. We took hands and walked back to where my parents were waiting and I looked up at him and squealed, “We’re getting married!!!”
Here we are, a couple of days later, re-visiting “our” pier.
Our first Valentine’s Day…already engaged!