((If you want, you can go back and read part 1 and part 2.))
Although I was slow to let him in, Sean and I knew fairly quickly that we wanted to be together. Permanently.
I went from being the girl who liked her alone time and the single life to one who wanted to be with him every day. I could imagine waking up with him every morning and going to sleep with him every night. And everything in between. More than that, I wanted it.
In early December, we went to look at rings. We weren't in a hurry to get engaged, but we were heading that direction and wanted to get an idea of what we wanted. A facebook ad had shown us a pretty ring a few days earlier, so we went to that store to check out the ring. It wasn't conventional by any means. But it was beautiful, and I really liked it. While we were talking to the sales associate, she asked what the ring was for. When we told her it was for an engagement, she advised that the stone in the ring we were looking at wasn't very strong. Even with a lot of care, it wouldn't likely keep its luster for very long. We asked to look at a stronger stone that was not a diamond. I already knew I didn't want a diamond. So we looked at sapphires. I tried on a few from that case, and knew we'd found the right area. But we weren't quite ready to buy. Even with a good sale for the day, it wasn't right. Still, the sales associate wrote down the ring details so we could find it when we were ready.
That evening, Sean came to visit me at the brewery (as he often does) and he told me he would be a little late getting home from work the next day. He explained that he needed to help his radio hosts set up for an event they were doing. Something about his tone seemed off, but I didn't question it. I had a feeling he was up to something -- maybe going back to get the ring. But I let it go. The next day, we had a crazy schedule. While he was working, I ran a 5K. After he got off work, he napped a bit and then we headed to a toy drive event, then to his company Christmas party, and then to a hockey game with a few of our friends. As we were getting ready for bed that night, Sean said to me, "I have to come clean. I've been lying to you. I didn't go help Chris with that event. I really went back to get the ring. I feel terrible lying to you about it." I laughed and told him I suspected something was off and that it was a good sign that I could tell when he was lying. It's also a good sign that he felt guilty about lying to me about something so benign. I figure he's not likely to ever lie to hurt me.
So I knew he had the ring but still had no idea when the actual engagement was coming. I just had to wait.
I made him promise not to do anything public. When I was younger, a big public proposal sounded romantic. But in recent years, I've decided that would be embarrassing. I'd be far too self-conscious to actually pay attention to my guy and anything he was saying. Sean vowed not to put me in that position. Other than that, I didn't care what he did. He started working through plans in his head and even consulted three of my best friends with his final draft. He got the green light from all of them. Then it was his turn to wait.
Fast forward to New Year's Eve. Sean had insisted all day that we stay
up until midnight. This would be the first time both of us had someone
to kiss at midnight. I was looking forward to having someone with whom
to celebrate the start of a new year. I didn't have any idea he had more
planned than just a smooch and some champagne (which is interesting
because he's terrible at keeping secrets). Even though he insisted we stay up, he kept dozing off. I kept telling him we could go to bed. It wasn't a big deal. But he kept fighting to stay awake. It was a struggle, but we made it. After our midnight kiss, he got down on one knee and said some very sweet things (for me only) and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked. I kept asking him what he was doing. I think I even said, "you're really doing this now?"
Of course, I said "yes." And then we began contacting all the most important people in our lives. He said his parents were expecting a phone call (they were in on it). I called my parents even though I wasn't sure they'd be awake. They were, thank goodness. I texted and sent facebook messages to a few friends. After that first wave, we were wide awake. We didn't go to bed until almost 3 a.m. When we woke up, it was time for more calls and messages. There were so many people we wanted to tell personally before we made it Facebook official.
The response to our Facebook "life event" has been overwhelming. It's humbling to see how many people care about our happiness. Truly.
We have a lot to do over the next 18 months or so (we're shooting for summer 2018), but I'm looking forward to this adventure with him.
And to think it all started because of sports talk radio, local craft beer, and Twitter.