A big secret.
First I had some people to call up and tell, and then I suppose I didn't want to examine it too closely, write it out in too much black and white, because in my head it kind of glows, and I didn't want to dissect away the light. However, I think it will always glow a little.
It involves some beautiful gardens, some surprises, a diamond and me saying, "Yes!"
Yes! On May 31, 2011, after 4.5 awesome years of dating, John asked me to marry him, and we're engaged!
And now, a couple+ weeks later, I'm ready to (try) to share the story, because it was an incredible proposal, I'm ecstatic and also beyond blessed, and I don't want to forget anything about it as time passes. A huge thanks to our friend Eric for the excellent photography.
The Proposal Story
I had just gone through my harrowing Boards experience and driven up to Santa Barbara. I was just enjoying my vacation. May 31 (Tuesday) was John's last day of work, and I spent it as in this post: written when I had no idea what was coming.
At 4 pm John was supposed to come back to the apartment, but instead his roommate and friend Evan walked into the room, said, "Pack up all your stuff. I'm supposed to take you somewhere and we have to go in 5 minutes."
This was weird, but I went with it. I thought, "Oh, Boyfriend's doing something nice for me because Boards were so stressful."
Evan drove me to a hotel on the ocean, where this was the view from my room:
After checking me into a room under John's name, he also told me I had an appointment at the salon and would need to be in the lobby for dinner a little after 7, then he left. I didn't really know what was going on, but I decided a picture wouldn't be out of order:
Off I went to the salon. There was only one person there and it went like this:
Her: "Can I help you?"
Me: "I think I have an appointment?"
Her: "Are you Kari?"
Her: "Great, pick a color and have a seat. We'll get started."
Me: "Okay...what's my appointment for?"
Because really, picking a color could be anything. Are we dyeing my hair? What's happening?
Her: "Oh, it's a manicure and pedicure."
Me: "Oh! Great."
A couple hours later found me and my awesome nails nervously waiting in my room, dressed for dinner, furiously trying to convince myself that he could NOT be proposing because if I let myself think he was, I would get really really nervous.
At 7:15, it was time to go down to the lobby, where it was not John waiting for me, but our friend Joe, who forced me to sit in the backseat of his car in order to properly chauffeur me to the next place.
We drove up into the hills, to the San Ysidro Ranch. Joe let me out of the car, walked me through gardens and a gate, and sent me walking on up some more stone steps. I passed Evan, who told me to keep walking up, and as I came up to the top of this staircase, I was no longer trying to convince myself that John wasn't proposing, but I didn't feel nervous anymore, just so happy to see him. We were in this upper garden with trellises and lemon trees, but I barely noticed all of that at first. I was looking at him. Of course he looked handsome. Always really, but I do love him in his suit.
He had some thoughts for me, about us, what we've been through, where we're going, and then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
And as we already know, I said yes. Eric (who was photographing from the bushes, dressed in all black) says I said yes three times, but I really don't remember.
I didn't cry, I was far too happy even for happy tears.
We then went to dinner at the restaurant there at the ranch. He had called and spoken directly to the chef to be sure I would have something good to eat. Just a tiny example of the thoughtful man I'm marrying. Then he had planned a party to celebrate with our friends a bit. A GIANT thanks again to all of our friends who helped plan and orchestrate, and to those who knew but had to keep it a secret - you all did a great job.
Joe, John, Evan
He told me later that he had called my parents and asked their permission, which was really important to me.
I could not have conceived of a proposal more suited to us - it was perfect, but more than that, no matter how the proposal had gone, I get to marry John, and that's why this day will always glow a little.
I'm engaged to someone I love too much for words, who knows me incredibly well - sometimes I'm surprised the way he anticipates what I might think - and who is the kind of best friend I can't wait to walk through the rest of my life with.
And now I can stop hiding my ring in pictures that show my hands...