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All I can say is, he asked, and I said YES!

Joe and I toasting at Blimpy Burger! Wow we looked tired!

But I know your next question – HOW!? When?! Where?! Let me see! Well, here is the story (it’s a bit long sorry).

Let me preface this story with a bit about my boyfriend fiance. Joe doesn’t get nervous – or mad – or upset. In fact he has been trained to stay ridiculously calm under pressure. I know him well enough to know that look of steady, unwavering calm – and know it means he is nervous.  Additionally, he LOVES – LOVES – to tease me. Not in a mean way, but ways that make me genuinely laugh. SO…. keep these in mind.

Way back in September on our anniversary trip to Chicago, Joe and I had a sweet heart-to-heart – but no ring. We started thinking about our wedding – and the preparation for marriage. Joe joked that he’d do the big proposal when I least expected it. I half thought he’d show up at my gym and propose to me on a Precore machine just for the shock factor haha. Happily he did not….

Last Wednesday I took the first flight out of Boston to Detroit – at 5:30am – to spend Thanksgiving with the Rutherford clan. If you count in my “I’m not going to freak out about flying” prep time, I woke up at 3:00 am. UGH! When I touched down in Michigan at 7:30am, I was SO excited to see Joe – and MORE thankful I had made it. In my sleepy stupor, I chalked his mild demeanor to the early morning pick-up time. He was thrilled to see me, but a bit quiet….hmmm.

We headed towards Ann Arbor, stopping for breakfast. Joe wasn’t hungry……hmmmm. This man will eat a horse for a snack. But again, I just chalked it up to the early flight time and figured we’d go out for a big lunch in downtown Ann Arbor anyway.

When we got to Joe’s apartment, I immediately asked if I could freshen up. I mean, I didn’t look awful, but it was not my prettiest moment. I was running off caffeine and adrenaline. Girls gotta take care of her self! I grabbed my toiletry bag and headed for the bathroom (poor thing, I must have been in there for at least 15 min.). When I came out, I opened my suitcase to put my bag back and found a small wooden box in the spot where the bag had been carefully packed.

I am SURE my face was a sight to see (since my neurons were NOT firing on all cylinders if you know what I mean). I stared at it for about a minute (which is a really long time when you think about it!) before turning to Joe and asking, “What is this? I didn’t pack this.” (Because I’m a planner and had carefully packed every item two days before I left.) Joe replied, “Hmm I don’t know. What do you think it could be?” At this point my poor exhausted mind was racing – and finally realized…. A RING! As if Joe read my mind (or could tell from the confused look on my face) he said, “Is it a ring? PAUSE Nah! It’s just a joke.” As I proceeded to slap his arm and laugh, he reached to pick up the box. However, I realized that he was also bending down – and not coming back up! I turned around to face him on one knee with the box open and a beautiful ring inside….

I know he asked the question, but to be honest, at this point I couldn’t stop saying, “Oh my God. Oh my God.” Nor could I see because tears were streaming down my face. He did eventually ask if I had said yes. My blubbering answer, “Yes” brought him to his feet to wrap me in a bear hug. I didn’t even get a good look at the ring for a few minutes. We were just so overwhelmed!

It is by far the happiest moment of my life. While it wasn’t a big production, it was perfection for us! I am so glad he picked such a quiet, private moment to ask the most important question of our life. At the end of the day, it is just the two of us who are agreeing to the vows of marriage.

We actually decided to take a nap after that before calling friends and family – apparently he was so excited and nervous about it, he hadn’t slept either! We woke up later and went out for a celebratory lunch at Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger in downtown Ann Arbor. Needless to say we were both famished at this point! We toasted to our new life with Cherry Coke and Root Beer! Let the planning and preparations begin!

Full of gratitude!

Erin

PS- We did go out to celebrate formally – with a nice dinner and champagne later. Afterwards we walked around Ann Arbor taking in the holiday lights. But what totally warmed my heart – when a homeless woman asked us for money to buy dinner. Joe didn’t bat an eye, sigh, moan, or waive her away. He asked her where and then bought her a hot meal at the Fleetwood Diner. She even asked Joe if it was ok to get a Coke (as if that was asking too much). Joe said sure, “what ever you want.” We went back downtown two days later – and did the same thing. She was a bit surprised we remembered her. No question about it – I am marrying the RIGHT man! I am so immensely grateful for this past Thanksgiving! And many more to remind us of how blessed our lives will be together.

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