As a girl, you get to tell the story over and over again, each time reliving the thrill and romance of the proposal. I love to remember how excited I felt in that moment when I realized what was happening, and I wanted to document the long, detailed version for myself and to share with Jesse too. I wrote this soon after it all happened, with the details still vivid in my mind, it was fun to document and share our engagement story!
I remember I was laying in bed with our girls (Rosie Wiggles the pug and Sasha our grey fuzzy cat) and Jesse was standing by the bedroom door. I had just asked him about whether or not we'd be going to visit his brother Joel's restaurant, Aurora Borealis, in Manitowish Waters when we went to visit his folks that weekend. Going to the "AB," as it is affectionately called, is so much fun for me. I love going out to eat there with the Schroeters because it reminds me of the fancy meals we had on vacations with my Grandma Shirley when I was little. My Grandmother was a really important part of my life growing up, and she definitely was an influence on my love of lavish meals, cocktails, and elegant clothes! I became suspicious when Jesse said his parents and grandparents wouldn't be accompanying us to dinner that weekend because they had friends in town. Even though he had a solid story, I thought it seemed unusual.
I remember driving down East Johnson over the railroad tracks and saying to my mom, "I think he's going to do it; I think he's going to pop the question." After being completely convinced that it was going to happen over Valentine's Day that winter, I had felt a little gun shy until now. Something just told me the time was right. Mom though, stopped that train of thought in its tracks! "I just don't know with Jesse. I don't think he's ready to commit to you. Remember, you thought he was going to do it before." My heart did a belly flop into my stomach--she was totally right! I was getting myself excited over a proposal that might not come. I cautiously tried to steel myself against the wash of emotions and elation that I was feeling about the prospect of Jesse asking me to marry him.
On Saturday afternoon Jesse, Tom, and I went on a bike ride to visit Susan at the cranberry gift shop where she was working. Jesse was his usual enthusiastic self as we rode the beautiful trails around Boulder on our bikes. We visited Susan, stopped by the art gallery, and got coffee in downtown Boulder before biking back down the trail. Once we were home, I jumped in the shower to get ready to go out for dinner. I always love to glam it up for a date, so I had brought the flowered chiffon strapless dress I was planning to wear at my brother's rehearsal dinner. I had been working out with my trainer at the gym, and the dress, which I'd ordered a little small online, was finally fitting! I remember standing in the Schroeter's guest bathroom coaching Jesse as he zipped it up--I couldn't understand why he seemed so jumpy! I told him to steady his hands and get that zipper up! When he finally got it (I was worried we were going to need pliers or something!), Susan asked me to come help her pick out her outfit for the evening.
I couldn't have been more surprised when I came out of Susan and Tom's bedroom to see Jesse at the bottom of their oak staircase kneeling with a red rose in one hand and my grandma's diamond ring in the other. My breath caught in my chest while he talked to me about his effort to find the right time to ask and his feeling that because I was the right one for him, he knew that any moment we were together would be the right time. I just remember thinking, "Oh WOW! He's really doing it!" I ran down the stairs and kissed him and said yes.
My heart still pounds in my chest as I write this. I was so overwhelmed with happiness and excitement when Tom and Susan peeked around the corner to hug us and take photos. I was so glad that his family was there, and Rosie actually had been sitting quietly right by Jesse at the bottom of the stairs the whole time. I called my mom from the bottom of the stairs and she was so great--she kept Jesse's secret right till the end! I said, "Mom! He did it!" To which she coyly replied, "Did what?" I just repeated, "He did it! He did it!" In true teacher fashion, she said, "Use your words! He did what?" Jesse laughed so hard at her not wanting to break the secret even after! She and I talked for a few minutes. She told me she was on the way to a graduation party with friends, and she said she wished she could be there to celebrate with us. Jesse and I got into my car to go to the AB for our first meal as an engaged couple!
Despite my incredibly high heels, I almost jumped over the table when I saw my parents coming to surprise us at dinner at the AB. It was the perfect way to celebrate our engagement with both our families, who mean so much to us. Joel even came out with some champagne for a toast to the evening. It was absolutely wonderful. I will remember it for the rest of my life.