Buckle Up! This is a long one, but I am so excited to finally get it out in writing for you!
Writing this post, even months later, is still a pinch me moment! One of the first times in college Russ and I hung out, we were Kayaking with friends. Two of our friend were poking fun at each other and Russ and I kept making eye contact. I remember looking up and him smiling at me and I said to myself wow, I think I am going to marry him some day. 6 years and 10 days after our official first date, he popped the question!
Russell knew that the only way to get me someplace dress up, hair and makeup done, in an outfit I loved was to stage a photoshoot. I had been wanting to get Christmas card photos done with Ryder so at first when my best friend Ashley reached out to me about swapping photos, I didn’t think anything of it other than I was excited. She was sending me tons of outfit inspo picks and making sure I was wearing a pretty dress (instead of my usual jeans and a sweater) so I started getting a tiny bit suspicious. That weekend at brunch, I confronted her about it (one thing you will learn about me is I am super blunt). Ashely, Amanda, and Rachel three of my best friends were all quick to assure me, multiple times over the next two weeks, that if he was doing it was a total surprise to them. In fact they even acted mad that they didn’t know. So I totally believed them.
Fast forward to that day, Russ was acting like it was just a normal day. We grabbed breakfast and Starbucks, watched football, and hung out. He paid extra close attention to getting ready and (all girls know this struggle) encouraged me to wash my hair when I said I think I would just leave it as is and curl it ;). I felt so pretty as we left the house and was still a tad suspicious but really tried to not get my hopes up. About five minutes in to taking the pictures, I felt like I had been wrong it wasn’t happening or it would have because he took Ryder back to the car for some pictures with just us two, he had no ring box anywhere I could see, and you know ladies all the ‘signs’ you look for.
Ashley suggested we do a pose that is one I usually hate, so even in the photos I did not look totally ready. I was expecting him to run, pick me up, and spin me around so I was braced for impact haha. That is when he told me to turn around. I immediately blacked out. It took me a couple of minutes to even take the ring because I was so in shock and so filled with joy that I would get to marry this man!
After several more pictures, we made arrangements to meet Ashley at a local bar for a celebration drink. As we pulled up I saw a couple of my friends cars and figured it was an engagement party! I was shocked when none of our family was there but I was so excited to see some of my closest friends and celebrate. We decided to go over to another local restaurant for dinner but didn’t think much of it. As we walked into the restaurant, I made eye contact with my dad and future dad-in-law and didn’t even recognize them. I was shocked and burst into tears when I walked into the room and found all of Russell and I’s family and my best friend Rachel there. It was the most surreal moment of my life and one I will never forget!