May 30, 2011

Monday Minute: Memorial Day Edition

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I hope you will take time today to remember those who have served our country and brought us the freedom we have and protect it every day!!! Thank you to our troops!

Today's post is short and sweet - it's a holiday after all there are things to be grilled and beers to be consumed. Thanks to Ian I finally have a reason to blog on Mondays! Again if you have never been to Ian's blog before, check it out! P.S. I really like a good excuse to feature Yoda on my blog too, he's my favorite Jedi, ever!

Monday Minute

1 - Aside from your armpits, what body part of yours sweats the most?
As a woman we all know how much our boobs sweat, hot right? Add to that my back and I'm just a hot mess all around when the temps get high. Alabama is not a place for a lady to live and not sweat that's for damn sure!

2 - You have two slices of bread.  You can add one additional ingredient to make a sandwich, but as much of it as you want.  What are you putting on it?
Apple Butter - pounds and pounds of apple butter. Better yet, screw the bread just give me a spoon I'll eat it like applesauce - SO good!

3 - Can you put your entire fist into your mouth?
I would try but that might cause wrinkles around my face and I'd hate for people to think I suck pole for a living because of it.

4 - Open your email.  How many emails do you have in your 'Inbox'?
Hehe, you said inbox... get it? 20 Emails but most have been read.

5 - If an adult male is taken for ransom, is that considered kidnapping?
Yes. I still believe it is even if the kidnapper is a woman, there be some craycray bitches out there!

I will try to remember to link up Ian! This message has been scheduled and I can't say if I will honestly remember the linkages after all those frozen drinks this weekend.

"There was something important I was supposed to do today...."
via google

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May 25, 2011

wedding wednesday: plans

Where to begin. In some capacity I knew planning a wedding was a huge deal, I just never realized how much went into it until I was tossed full throttle into wedding plans when I was given a beautiful ring. When Mike and I got engaged I was under the delusion that I'd have a full year to plan a wedding. The more we talked about it [that day] the more I realized we both wanted to get married sooner rather than later. I guess it goes right in tone with Mike's proposal and not missing an opportunity to make this happen. Live each day like it's your last. Oddly enough that wack job of a religious nut that has predicted the world would end this past weekend is now predicting that the world is due to end the day before my wedding. Nice try old fart, I've been saying for years that Hell would freeze over the day I got married so I beat you the punch!

The day Mike proposed we made a trip to the book store so I could pick out bridal HOW TO books. Like I said, I had an idea of what we had to plan for but no idea how much detail goes into getting hitched. Thankfully the wedding section at our local bookstore isn't that overwhelming and choices were few and I really think I purchased the best book to help me out. The Wedding Book The Big Book for Your Big Day by Mindy Weiss
via google
This book has everything. I knew nothing about Mindy Weiss when I purchased this book but she seems to cover all the bases and not just for "BLOW ALL YOUR MONEY ON A BIG WEDDING" style gigs either. She gives sound and proper advice for any bride no matter what her budget. I am SO happy I purchased this book instead of a few of the others I had in my hands at the time. The rest of my money was spent on tons of wedding magazines.

I read through the first few chapters that discussed everything from who pays for what to what all you need to get started. I had a few mini panic attacks when I read the time lines she listed. If we followed them to a T we were way behind schedule. Cue heart beating wildly. When I mentioned these deadlines we were off on Mike went into planner mode.

I'm happy to say it's been less than a month since we got engaged and we are only 5.5 months from our wedding date and we've already accomplished so much. Mike gets all the glory on this! Our biggest issue was figuring out budget. Thankfully we have 2 loving families willing to help us with our wedding so while we are staying completely realistic in our expectations and the cost of things it's nice to know we have support. If we didn't we would be planning a wedding for next year and saving every nickle and dime until then.

We toured a lot of locations online before even considering setting foot inside one. Most of the hotels around here while beautiful, were hugely overpriced and to me a bit cookie cutter. I was trying to think outside of the box. I knew a hotel would be the perfect location for the ceremony, reception and for people to stay but I wanted something different, and more, well, US. We toured a local reception site that would be able to take us for the entire day, we would have full run of the building and it was beautiful inside. Exposed brick, and a lovely courtyard to do the ceremony as well as plenty of reception room. Open catering and the whole 9 yards. The price was right and we loved the location but a nagging voice in my head was saying to look around a bit more. My father said the same thing so the following weekend we did lots of searches and came across the local State Park Resort here close to town. It had what we were looking for, outdoor views, a rustic feel and even better, lodging for our guests to be close to all the action and not have to drive far after a night of partying. We mulled over the typical locations around here, Country Clubs and such, but in the end it didn't feel like us. Neither of us plays golf, or tennis or anything like that. The State Park Resort however, screams Mike and Kelly. Mike being the planner he is set up an appointment for us during the week and we headed out to meet with the woman in charge of events at the location.

Driving in there are lots of tree lined winding roads. We both talked about how amazing it will look in the fall when the leaves start to turn bright colors. The whole area has a very outdoorsy feel to it and as you drive to the resort you pass campgrounds, boat docks, a marina, tons of deer and wildlife and a side road that takes you to lake front cottages. Our jaws dropped as we drove up to the front of the lodge. It's amazing and so pretty. My heart started to beat in fear worrying that we might not be able to afford it. It has just the right amount of outdoor feel without getting cheesy or feeling like you're going to summer camp. But not stuffy in the least which is what we wanted. After talking with our coordinator and walking the grounds and being shown all the areas we had available to us we were sold on the location. At this point I still hadn't had the big talk with my dad about budget so we got our names on reserve on the book and went home to mull it over.

Hands down this was the place for us! We secured the location and our date for the wedding. October 22, 2011. It was exciting to finally have a date! We had been asked since the first hour of engagement when we were getting married and only a week or two later we actually HAD a date to tell people.

via Joe Wheeler State Park Lodge

Once we picked and secured a date and venue my next worry was the photography. The resort handles the food and lodging and we are able to bring in our own booze and vendors for other items. The most important thing to me about the wedding day is capturing the festivities on film [digitally]. Since I was a kid I've always oogled over my parent's wedding album and even though their marriage didn't stand the test of time, all their pictures did. I'm a huge fan of journalistic style photography for weddings. I hate stuffy portraits, even though I will have those taken for posterity, I want the images that show how much fun everyone had during the big day. We will have friends and family in from all over the US and I want to have those memories.

My first choice for photographer sadly was booked. She and her husband will be off doing a wedding in Mississippi that weekend, which made me so sad. I had been dreaming about having them do my wedding for almost 2 years now. My word of advice if you LOVE a photographer or vendor and feel like you NEED them at your big day... find out when they are available and book your dream venue around them. After I got over my disappointment of not having them I was given a few other names by this couple for other photographers and a vendor friend that does sound as well. I finally found the right photographer for us. She has beautiful work and gave us a great price that we could live with. I had no idea photography was so expensive but in the end it's on my MUST HAVE List. We went with - I can't wait to meet her in person and do our engagement shoot with her.

While I said that music is important to me, I think Mike may be more passionate about it sort of like I was with choosing the right photographer. We've been making a playlist for our big day since before we ever go engaged. We have so many songs that mean the world to us that we'd like highlighted on our big day and needed just the right person to make that happen. We didn't want a show boat DJ. I can't stand those types. For birthdays or company picnics or even clubs YES, by all means. At a wedding I want the music to tell the story, not the guy who's about to play the Electric Slide [for the record that is on the "Don't Play" list]. Mike searched high and low for not only the right price but the right personality. You should have heard some of the stuff DJ's were wanting to do at our wedding. One wanted to play games!!! GAMES!! He talked so big about himself like he was just the bee's knees. He actually had a game where you blindfold the groom and make him feel women's faces to guess which is his wife! What the crap? There is no way that would end well! He also talked about how he gets the crowd going and all I could picture was this DJ being a lot like Carrot Top and not what we wanted in a wedding entertainer. Thankfully Mike found a great DJ that does all the important parts of his job and then lets the music do the rest. That is what we wanted and needed.

Mike and I have been going back and forth about music for the actual ceremony. Do we pick instrumental audio tracks on an ipod or sound system? Or do we get friends or family members to play instruments. While we think it would be super special to have our friends play the wedding we also didn't want people to feel obligated to do something for us at the wedding. We really want everyone to come, relax and enjoy the big day. Even our friends that are in the actual wedding party we want them to be as relaxed as possible. In the end Mike and I agreed live music, using classical instruments would be classy and beautiful. Mike did his magic work and he found a cellist and a violinist for the ceremony.

So here we are: Venue, check. Food, check. Photography, check. Music, check. Ceremony Music, check. Lodge rooms booked, check. Add to that Mike has picked out his suit,  and we have a meeting with a florist next week, we have a contact to hire a bartender for our evening, and I bet there is a ton I'm forgetting AND it's only been less than a month.

So this is where we are at. I have picked my color swatches for the wedding and will share that soon. I will be calling a few bakers this week to get quotes and meetings set up for the cake and finally try to get time to go shopping for my dress. I don't think we are doing too bad. I really hope that by our July vacation week we will be able to sit back and now that everything that can be done ahead of time, is done and all the other stuff we will worry about when we get back to our daily grind.

What was your biggest worry, or issue when you were planning your wedding?
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May 24, 2011

wedding nightmares

It's official. I'm a Bride-To-Be. Yes I know the ring is what makes it official but after last night I really feel like I've earned the title of a Bride-To-Be. In the middle of the night last night I had my first bridal anxiety dream.

So far planning has been a breeze and I plan on sharing all of this information on Wednesdays here at the blog. My own version of Wedding Wednesday. Thanks to Mike being so good at putting stuff together he's really taken the reins and handled the bulk of our phone calls, and arrangements that have needed to be made. I will share more of that tomorrow. Today I'm going to talk about my nightmare wedding.

First of there shouldn't be any anxiety for me right now with all of Mike's help but I guess in the back of my mind there is a nagging voice saying... "Kelly, your wedding is only about 5 months away!!!" So since that nagging voice is there, I guess my brain is freaking out. I have done the whole deal of falling asleep thinking about wedding plans and things that are on my to-do list, which is never healthy.

So last night I drifted off rather well. And slept great. Half way through the night I woke up, visited the restroom and then went right back to sleep and that is when it happened.... the nightmare kicked in.

My Nightmare Wedding
Don't say it could be worse... please!

It was our wedding day. Only the location wasn't the nice wilderness resort we are actually having our wedding at. Instead it felt more like a subway train station meets tacky casino. In the dream I seemed okay with this choice, [which is F-ed fo' sho] but very frazzled about every detail. I remember my shoes being something I was disappointed in [this probably stems from the fact that I'm more concerned about finding cool shoes for my big day than I am about the dress, yes I'm strange]. My dress fit well, and my girls all seemed pleased with the absolutely hideous dresses they picked out for themselves. [Most of my bridesmaids are coming in from my hometown or from the other side of the US, only one is a local bridesmaid so I won't be able to be there when they pick out their dresses. I have full confidence that they will do a great job in picking nice dresses, I think my fear lies that my "shade of green" won't be communicated properly, even after sending my care package OR the dress shops won't carry the color I have in my vision. Green isn't just green... damn I sound like Shelby in Steel Magnolias now... piss!]

Like I said all my girls were pleased with their dresses, I wasn't sold on them but let it go, it was the big wedding day after all and It was about me and Mike. I remember going to touch up my make-up and when I looked in the mirror I was shocked. I looked like Dee Snyder had done my hair and make-up in cahoots with a Bratz doll! It was super kinky curly and three different shades of pink and red. WTF?!

Seriously... I looked like this, even the make-up is a close match just add more Hot Pink, Red and Purple streaks to my frizzy curled hair.

[I'm going to guess this hair issue and make-up stems from anxiety about getting my hair cut this month and the fear of making sure my hairstylist will be available for my big day and a good make-up artist.]

All the girls and guys finally get ready for the big ceremony... but wait... we are in the hall entering the Casino-esque area and there are guests still filtering in to sit down. Mike and I are hidden from each other but I can hear his groomsmen on the other side of the hall... yep, they are all plastered. Just F-ing great! Then it hits me, I started to freak out again... we never told the people what to play for us to walk down the isle to... and then music starts. I can't recall what it was but I was pissed that it sucked and freaking out. If this dream is hell my guess is it was probably Nicklecrap because I was LIVID! Then I realized half my girls weren't there to walk out... AND my father was missing. The Wedding Coordinator signals me to walk down the isle and I yell to her, "MY DAD ISN'T HERE!" She bluntly says "Tough Shit, show must go on!" and shoves me down the isle. Not only am I walking down the isle but all the late guests are in my way, they are all in sloppy clothing and no one is watching this special moment and I'm miserable. I trip a few times on the runner which is also hot pink, what the crap? And then I start to sob. Not happy emotional tears but "HOLY SHIT THIS IS A TRAIN WRECK" TEARS! I get to the end and it's something out of The Hangover! Most of the guys that made it are all lined up and swaying, covered in dirt and what I believe is vomit, Mike is there, his eye is black and he smells like Whiskey and a cold cut sandwich. He smiles to me and it makes me feel a little better, but I still realize this wedding is a total hot mess. As I glance down the isle there is my Maid of Honor and my father walking down the isle together waving to everyone like they are Miss America and Mr. Universe and then I woke up... WTF?!

Needless to say I am sure most of this is due to some details being up in the air at the moment. I have to say for having a wedding in less than 6 months and only being engaged for almost 1 month we've gotten really far with planning. More on that tomorrow!

So tell me... did you ever have anxiety dreams as a bride or groom? If so please share!

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May 23, 2011

Monday Minute

It has been forever since I've been able to participate in one of these with the cool as shizz Ian so here goes! This is a better way to start off my Monday than the one that has made me super grumpy! *Gives the stink eye to Mother Nature*

Monday Minute

1 - Think back as far as you can, what's the first tape, record, etc you remember listening to?
Listening to vividly? I would say it was either be The Eagles or The Rolling Stones at home. I couldn't tell you for sure the album - but they were always on in my dad's car or on the stereo. In my mother's car she tormented me with Neil Diamond, Carly Simon or Jimmy Buffet, OH and Willy Nelson. If we are talking about my taste and what I was obsessed with I will say Michael Jackson's Thriller and The Boss' Born in the USA [it was the first tape I ever purchased for myself]. Oddly enough most of these are still true favorites of mine.

2 - What's the first concert you've ever been to, the year and who performed?
Debbie Gibson's Electric Youth Tour. I have no idea who opened, I can't remember. A fun fact was discovered through chatting with Ian over email, apparently he and I were both at this very same concert. Small world right? As far as the year, I will need Ian to tell me that. I have NO freaking clue!

3 - Ever bleed from your ass?
Not that I can recall... and clearly not enough to make me worry or I would remember, right?

4 - If you went to your Senior Prom and had a date, do you still speak to said person?
Yes, I went to my Senior Prom with my then boyfriend. We argued the entire time we went to his Senior Prom [I was a junior then], but at my Senior prom we got along great. We don't talk anymore, we broke up after 5 years and he dumped me for another chick, who he cheated on me with. Nice right? So much for first loves. I'm glad I got the one that treated me horrible out of the way when I was young. It made me tough and stronger. He found me on facebook. Asked to add me as a friend, I almost told him to kiss my ass but figured I could be polite. One email and that was that. Thank GOD!

5 - Name the one television show that's no longer on the air that could have gone on forever.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER! I'm still pissed it's over. Seriously there is no end to evil, and there is tons of ways to continue the story now that there are MORE slayers. JOSS stop teasing me and bring something back already!!! I was also pretty upset I got on the Smallville train so late. Watching the last episode made me super sad and I've only watched it for the last season.

If you have never been to Ian's blog before, check it out. It's a hoot!

In other news, the movie Bridesmaids is freaking HILARIOUS!!! I loved every minute of it. I can't wait for the Hangover 2 this weekend! And not soon enough Green Lantern, yes I just want an excuse to see Ryan's body in some green tights... so kill me! EPIC MOVIE SUMMER!!!! [Thor was amazeballs as well!]

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May 13, 2011

fixation friday: the proposal

Yep, it's here the moment many of you have been waiting for... the post where I share my proposal story. For those of you that missed my tweets or just didn't know, Mike asked me to marry him on April 30th and I accepted happily!!! I didn't want to steal Kate Middleton's royal thunder, or the Navy Seals amazing thunder when they caught Osama so I chose to keep it all hush, hush for a while. Oh wait, You say Mariah Carey gave birth on the actual day of my engagement, care? We don't need to taint this post with her crazy ass. In all reality... I am sorry it's taken so long - since the event happened it's been a whirlwind of plans. For those of you that have been hounding me, thank you for being patient and I love that you are so interested, it warms my heart. With out further delay, I want to present to you our proposal story, not just from my point of view, but from Mike's as well. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

HIS STORY... in his words.

I had the ring in my pack that I use to carry my phone, ipod, banana, & other various things to me with work when I ride my bike.  I had bought her ring with full intentions of asking her to marry me while we were on vacation at the beach.  Which already has cliché written all over it, but I didn’t give a fuck.  That’s what I wanted to do.  I looked at it a couple of times and put it away in the trunk that holds all my video games and accessories. [Clever hiding space, husband-to-be! love, k]

Then the tornadoes came on April 27.  We began to watch the videos and pictures coming in of all the people who lost everything, including their lives.  I began to think of their lost opportunities and chances.  On Friday, we watched some more videos that I had not seen yet.  The missed chances started weighing on me more and more.  I decided the next day I would ask Kelly to marry me. 

I woke up the next morning, thinking of how to do this.  Without even five seconds passing, it hit me: Railroad Bridge. 

The Railroad Bridge is no longer a railroad or a bridge.  Its more pier/walkway than anything else.  It starts on the Sheffield side of the Tennessee River, and goes roughly half way over the river, before abruptly stopping.

When Kell came down on one of her visits, it was one of the first places I took her.  She seemed to really like it, and I’ve always thought it a neat place.

When she woke up, I told her that I wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market, which is also across the river.  Thinking that we would cross the river and I would make mention that I would like to go down to the Railroad Bridge and check out how fast the water was moving.

We both got dressed, and while she was doing her hair, I retrieved the ring from the trunk, and put it in my pocket.  We got in the Jeep and drove across the river.  I said “Wow, look at the river, its really moving…I wanna go down to the railroad bridge and check out the water”

She said “Ok, but lets get an iced coffee from McDonalds, first.” 

“DAMN!” I thought.  So, we went through the Drive-Thru at McDonalds, she got an iced coffee, and I got a frozen strawberry lemonade.  We went back to the bridge and parked.  Got out and started walking towards the bridge.  Noticed that there was a dick painted on the trashcan.  I thought, “I’ll now remember that dick for the rest of my life.” 

As we approached the bridge, Kell said “This would be a nice place to have a wedding” I laughed a little on the inside, and she said something about the logistics of being able to get everyone seated where they could see.

We continued down the walkway, and passed a man with a stroller.  We stopped at the end, and just kind of looked out and about for a few minutes.

I didn’t rehearse anything over and over in my head.  I didn’t want anything to come off as forced, or cheesy.  I wanted this to feel and be real. 

I took off my sunglasses, and said.  “I didn’t really want to go to the Farmers Market.  That was bullshit.  I have something for you.  I was waiting ‘till we were on vacation, but with all the death and destruction that we’ve seen this week, I keep thinking of missed chances and opportunities.  I don’t want to miss another opportunity with you.”  I pulled out the ring, opened the box, knelt down on one knee, and said “Kell, will you please marry me?”

Before I could get the ring out of the box, she pulled her current ring off, and grabbed the ring out the box, and put it on her self, and emphatically said “YES!” 

We hugged and kissed.  Then noticed the underwear stuck in the tree limb.

Great, now I’ll remember that underwear forever. 

We walked back to the Jeep, and went to the Farmers Market.  I don’t think either of us cared about what anyone was selling.  We just kind of walked around, and then left.

I tried to call my mother, but she was in Illinois at the time, and I couldn’t reach her, so I called my dad. 

Then we had lunch at B’s grandmother’s restaurant. [B is Mike's brother's girlfriend]

When we got home, I changed my status on Facebook to “engaged to Kelly W”  Within 20 seconds the texts and calls started rolling in. 

Then it dawned on us.  We now have a wedding to plan.

HER STORY... in her words.
It was a day just like any other Saturday. We had spent the night before drinking with our good friend Miss K. The vodka shots were flowing and the conversation was rolling. Most of the evening was spent talking about all the damage and destruction that had taken a toll on most parts of Alabama. How fortunate we were to make it through with little damage, how much our hearts ached for people in other areas who were not as lucky as we were. My mind raced as we watched actual tornado footage taken by people all over the state, with hand held cameras, most while driving and swearing and breathing heavy in fear and later posted on YouTube. It was unreal. You know that movie Twister... doesn't even touch this. We had laughs to lighten the mood but most conversations went right back to everyone who was hurt or left with nothing. We all knew we were truly lucky to have our homes, and more importantly our friends, family, each other and our pets with us. We got home late that night, full of booze and went to bed.

Saturday morning as I said started as any other. I was a bit more hung over than  usual, so I skipped my workout, and knew I'd make it up on Sunday. I got up, got in the shower and tried to shake off the tired feeling in my brain. We try to not sleep too late on the weekends, I hate to miss the day. Long gone are the days of being 20 something and sleeping until the clock read PM. While I was in the shower Mike mentioned he'd like to head over to the Farmer's Market to see if we could find some good fresh produce for dinner. I thought that was a great idea. Spring has sprung here in the south, why not celebrate with fresh goodies. 

Since I knew we were bumming around I figured I'd just toss on a comfy tshirt, some jeans and flip flops. I had no idea the day would turn into something so special. We hopped in the car and the need for more sleep washed over me. As we headed over the bridge Mike commented on how fast the water was rolling. I replied that "Yeah, it's so brown it looks like chocolate milk." He asked if I cared if we headed out to the railroad bridge and I said it was a great idea. We hadn't been out there in ages. I think maybe once, since the first time he took me there upon visiting him before we were officially dating. However I begged him to stop at McDonald's so I could get some coffee.

Once we got our beverages we took the winding road back to the area where the Railroad Bridge entrance was. This as Mike said is an old bridge, that used to be functional, they have since cut it in half, blocked off the end and kept it for a historical marker for the towns of Sheffield and Florence, AL. We hopped out of the car with our drinks and started walking.. "Oh look... what a nice spray painted penis on that trash can... wonder if the Superbad Kid was here?" I said. Mike chuckled. As we got down to the entrance to the bridge and started walking we couldn't have asked for a better day. The weather was cool, the breeze was blowing and the water was rushing faster than I have ever seen it rush before. It's amazing after they day of destruction that was before this day, the following days had been absolutely beautiful, weather wise. Nature is a mysterious thing.

After a few steps I made a comment "This would be a great place to get married."  Mike chuckled again... after about 20 more passes I retracted that comment... "Nevermind, it would take too damn long to walk to the end and there isn't any where for people to sit." Again he chuckled. Mike kept walking back and forth stopping from time to time to comment on the water and chit chat. 

We held hands as we walked, which we do quite often but something felt different that day. A few weeks ago I had emailed Mike and stated that my biggest fear is that we would become more like roommates, and less like boyfriend and girlfriend. That I didn't want day to day things to make us feel like our whole life was a routine. Little did I know what he was planning but the two of us have always been honest with each other and we don't hold stuff in. So I expressed my worry, since that day we both made it a point to be more affectionate... but like I said this felt different. In my gut, in my heart. Maybe it was the thoughts of all that had been lost during the storms for many people, or maybe it was my instinct, either way I remember my heart feeling really warm, and my mouth wearing a smile. As we walked and the breeze blew, I looked over the water and I took a moment to be thankful for all I had. I knew it was the right moment to take that in, and thank God for my many blessings. Hand in hand with Mike is the one place I was happiest to be, and I had that.

We neared the end and sat and looked over the edge. They have wooden railings all around the bridge so you can fall unless you jump, we rested or arms over the top and talked about the night before, and stuff we had to handle that day. Watched the water and discussed simple things... Mike then paused and took off his sunglasses, something he never does. He's always wearing them outdoors... he said "I got something for you, and I was going to wait to give it to you when we went to the beach, but given the circumstances and all that's happened in the past few days, I didn't think it was right to wait." [I'm paraphrasing obviously]. He explained a bit more about lost chances and opportunities for people all over and how he didn't want to have that happen for him. During all the storms and footage we both discussed how we would feel if we lost our home, our pets and loved ones, but for some reason we never discussed the thought of losing each other. Not that it didn't dawn on me, we were at our offices, it could have easily been us that lost a loved one. We weren't together. I guess it was just too hard to discuss. I would be lost without Mike. It hit me as he started talking how much I need him, want him and never want to be without him... just then he said as he started to dig in his pocket, pulled out a box and knelt down "Kelly, will you please marry me?" As soon as he started to kneel I could see the red box and I knew what was coming... my ears started to ring a little bit and I can't say I blacked out, that's not the right wording but I went into auto pilot mode... I started to rip off my ring on my left hand and move it to my right finger and while I was saying this said "YES!" in a quivering voice.... I knew when he said "I got something for you..." that the ring was coming but I wanted to be absolutely focused on what he said... once he got the words out... it was a daze... I apparently snagged the ring from his grip and shoved it on my hand saying "YES!" I feel horrible for that, it was a chance for him to slip the ring on my finger. I will have to be more calm at the actual wedding and allow him to take the lead. I know I said "WOW" a few times and I hugged him and held him tight and kissed him. I welled up, I didn't full on cry but I knew in my heart he was who I was meant to be with and it felt just right.

It was the perfect setting, the perfect person and the perfect reason and I couldn't have asked for anything more! I can remember shaking a little bit and while we hugged I thought to myself.. "Shit! Now I have to plan a wedding!" That's a healthy "SHIT" mind you not an "OH CRAP" shit. Just an overwhelming feeling but in a good way.

When we stopped to breathe a minute and admire my new ring... we looked down and noticed underwear stuck in the branches below... how romantic... a pair of BVD's... and a thong. Clearly someone else got engaged or lucky out here prior to our moment... but the basis of our relationship is our ability to laugh together and that is what sealed the moment, one question, one answer, a hug, a kiss, and a full belly laugh. We were engaged.

We walked slowly back down the bridge that he had brought me to so many years ago smiling and marveling at what had just happened. Now every time we cross the river we can remember that day. [And the underwear and the penis painted on the trash can, good times].

We chatted excitedly while driving over to the Farmers Market, he later told me that he didn't even want to go there it was just a way to get me over the river. But we enjoyed browsing and talking to others. I had a hard time not wanting to shout it out loud. The man and his son that Mike mentioned on the bridge were at the Farmer's Market it took all I had not to say, "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST MISSED?" It was odd to run into them again. 

We went about our day, shopping for groceries and items for the tornado relief and went home. We made phone calls, changed facebook status and did all we could to get the message out. We decided to take a walk around downtown with our dog June to sort of celebrate. We started discussing our plans for where we'd like to have the wedding and reception. As we walked passed the park we noticed a wedding happening... I felt like this might be a sign. Our first choice was to get married in the park, it was after all the very first landmark Mike took me to when I visited, and I've always loved the park with the fountain surrounded by trees in the town center. I had another sign earlier in the morning as we drove through downtown to get to the bridge we passed the local bridal boutique. I've never noticed anything in the window prior to that morning but as we drove past a dress grabbed me by surprise and I couldn't take my eyes off it. I shrugged it off mostly because I didn't think a wedding would be happening for me anytime soon. Boy was I wrong.

We later decided to celebrate at our favorite bar, just the two of us. We sat down, and had a few rounds of beer chatting with one of the owners, our friend and other workers about our great news. We tweeted the good news and got wonderful feedback, thank you for that! Then we quietly brainstormed our wedding, sitting at the copper bar top, over our favorite brews and it all became clear to me... this is really happening.

A little secret: The first time I met Mike in person, after an hour of hanging out he kissed me on the cheek and I told myself, "One day you are going to marry him." I'm so happy I was right. 

Mike and I at the Railroad Bridge during our first visit in 2005

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