THANK YOU for all the congratulations! it always makes your own excitement that much sweeter when you've got lots of people excited for you. so, thank you :)
alright - how it happened. i have to tell those of you that don't really know me or my history with Brad, please know that this is a VICTORY in our relationship! we've been through a lot of up and downs, and my whole reason for moving to Europe last year was because i couldn't handle the direction that we were (or weren't, actually) going in. it was only a year to the week that Brad came to Sweden and told me he wanted to marry me. the 3 years before that...well, he was your typical "i'll be single til i'm 35" kind of man.
but i loved him more than i even know what love is, so i stayed patient and persistent and it finally came around!
obviously, everyone knows that i was expecting a ring at Christmas. and everyone knows i didn't get one :) i had been waiting and waiting and waiting since then, and about a month ago we went ring shopping together cause i suddenly changed my mind from the ring that i thought i had always wanted. we went and looked, and after that day, i seriously thought every.single.day. "is today the day??" you never know! but Brad kept waiting, and waiting...and finally a week ago i told him that i didn't want him to propose to me on Valentine's Day. it's a sweet holiday, but (in my opinion) a little cliche and predictable for an engagement.
so come Friday, there had been no new developments and no special plans that i thought he might use. and he hadn't said a WORD about Valentine's Day plans, which wasn't like him. on Friday morning i planned to meet for drinks after work with one of my girlfriend's, and during the day talked to Brad who told me that his parents wanted to have us over for dinner that night. nothing unusual...
i go have a drink with my friend Dawn, and practically the whole time i'm talking about how i can't wait anymore, it's killing me, and doesn't he realize that people have to make travel arrangements to come up for a wedding? Dawn sat there and listened to me moan and groan, the whole time knowing what was about to transpire :) finally i leave to go to Brad's parents house for dinner, and the whole way there i'm giving myself a pep talk, like, "don't get your hopes up" and "it's not about a ring, and don't be bratty about it if it doesn't happen."
so i get there and his parents and brothers are sitting in the living room...no dinner anywhere. His parents get up and come over and his dad says to me, "Brad wants you to meet him in the cabin." and that's when i knew what was going on :) i drove his Jeep down to the quaint little cabin on his parents land, and through the woods i can see candles everywhere. i pull up and there's candles lit, music playing, and wooden signs leading up to the doorway. the signs each say something different, but they make out "To me you are my friend, my comfort, my everything." i go inside and he's got one of my favorite Faith Hill songs playing, "Wild Frontier", and he comes up to me and says, "I can't think of any better place to ask you to be my wife" and then drops down and proposes :)
(by the way, the cabin has special meaning for us...it's the first place that i saw him as more than just a friend, and the first place we ever hung out alone and knew that we liked each other).
then we shared a GREAT dinner from my favorite restaurant in town, and talked and talked and talked...and started planning! but that's the story of how it happened, and to my great saddness, we only have ONE picture of it all, and it's from when we saw his parents afterwards. oh well, leave it up to the man to forget the camera on a day like that! :)
here's a picture of the ring - it's simple, and just what i wanted. the diamond is BEYOND beautiful!
the details of the wedding are still a little unclear - we're planning to have the reception at his parent's house, but the ceremony is up in the air. i'm checking out a few churches this week. i love our church, but it's the one thing that i don't want to compromise on: i want a pretty little church, or an outdoor ceremony.
and i have to say...prepare yourself for lots of wedding talk! i'll need some good opinions on things as they come about. first thing, though: the dress! that's for later this week....