Two years ago today, my boyfriend asked me to be his wife. In celebration of the continuation of an incredible relationship, I decided to tell our story again here:
My boyfriend and I planned to go visit family in the first weekend of February, to go SLEDDING! (I love sledding.) The Midwest had received a healthy dumping of snow earlier that week, so our hope for enjoying a Michigan winter at it's finest was not disappointed. When we were planning our trip, my boyfriend had mentioned that he would also like to go for a walk on "the 20," the wooded property just north of my parent's house. It would be just the two of us, walking back to the "magic bridge" I had always told him about where I had played as a child. What I didn't know is that he had been sending text messages back and forth with my dad. He had to make sure no hunting season would currently be open, so we wouldn't be interrupted by gunshots on our snowy ramble. On Saturday morning, much of my family was here there and everywhere, so my boyfriend and I made and enjoyed a big delicious breakfast with two of my sisters. Afterward, they had to do homework, so we geared up for our walk in the woods. We were instructed to be back by 3, as that was when everyone would be home and head to the sledding hill for an afternoon of sledding adventures.
The two of us walked through two feet of snow for a mile and a half, and made it back to the magic bridge. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find it, as all the trails were obliterated by snow! But my childhood memories served me well. We stood on the bridge, surrounded by trees and snow, and that silence that happens after a fresh snow fall. All we could hear was the faint hum of far away cars, and the occasional chatter of birds and squirrels, tending to their afternoon chores. There was a small bench next to the bridge, a board across two tree stumps. My Love cleared off some snow, and we sat together, drinking in the beauty around us. He was adorable, giving me the sweetest kisses, and he started saying the sweetest things. Suddenly he was off of the bench, and in front of me on one knee in the snow, pulling a ring box out of his breast pocket. I gasped, "No!," when I saw it, and closed my hand over my mouth. Both of us agreed afterward that we're not even sure what conversation transpired over the next few moments. He said something about me being amazing and beautiful and would I be his wife? And I answered yes!, over and over again, as I buried my face in his neck, laughing/crying/not being able to breathe, etc. He slipped the ring onto my finger and it sparkled brilliantly in the sunlight that was splashing over the snow around us. Then we just sat for awhile on the bench, knowing we were the happiest, luckiest people in the world.
The plan was to walk back to the house and tell everyone before we left for sledding. We apparently lost track of time, because as we were walking back to the house, a car pulled up and my sister said, "Get in! It's time to go sledding!" So we piled into the car and went sledding! The sledding crew as all dear family and friends, but I wanted to tell my immediate family first, in person, at the house with just us. So I kept my mittens on and didn't say a word. However I knew dad knew, as my Love had relayed the info about the text messages while we sat on the bench. So I took advantage of a sled ride with just dad and me. We reached the bottom of the hill and with everyone else still up top, I pulled off my left mitten and told him, "Daddy, I'm getting married!" "Yeah, I kind of figured," he said. Everyone asked later how I kept it secret for two hours. That's how. I was able to tell someone, and that was enough. And it was fun to have a deep quiet happy secret and know we'd get to surprise everyone when we were back at the house.
When everyone was adequately bruised, wet, and cold, we decided to end the sledding adventures and head home. Everyone shed their snow clothes and we were all sitting in the living room, relaxing and warming up before dinner. I had my laptop out and was pulling up an email for mom to read. We didn't want to "announce" it, but instead wanted to be, "discovered." My mom came to read the email over my shoulder, but suddenly stopped and walked away. "Mom, you didn't finish the email," I said. She responded with incoherent, incomplete sentences, "I know. I just... I need..." She was walking to get dad and I saw her stand on her toes to whisper in his ear. He responded casually, "Yeah, I know..." That's when she came back to me with a hug and a kiss, joy and salutations, my little sister jumped on top of me with a squeal of delight, and my Love smiled quietly from across the room. I smiled and glowed, happily showing off my ring. "I'm going to be married," I said. "I win," my Love said, and we all enjoyed a lovely evening together.