(our friends who got engaged last night - we were the sneaky surprise photographers!)
We had been talking about marriage for a long time - think since we started dating in March of 2008. In December, we started talking about it a lot more seriously, and began looking at rings. Between December and February we made several trips to jewelry stores, and in early February I found the ring that I thought was perfect. Unbeknownst to me, Thomas actually called the store two days later (on a Monday) and asked them how soon they could have it ready. At this point, I still thought he was saving up or deciding between all the options or maybe just dragging his feet, so I was still very impatient.
The weekend of our one-year anniversary also happened to be the weekend of a major fraternity event, at which Thomas was running for office in his district. I went to be supportive, and also because I didn't want to spend our one-year anniversary sitting in Athens, GA while he had a fun weekend up in Toledo, OH. So I drove up to Kentucky on Thursday, and we drove to Ohio on Friday. That Saturday was our one-year anniversary, and we spent it in leadership classes and promoting his campaign. That day also happened to be our friends birthday, so that night all of us planned on going out to get pizza and drinks to celebrate. Since Thomas was still campaigning, we left a lot later than they did, and by that time it was very dark, and very cold. The restaurant was only a block away though, so off we walked.
Instead of turning right to go to the restaurant, Thomas decided that he wanted to go see the gazebo by the river that he had pointed out to me earlier in the day. I don't do very well with cold, or being late, so I was being a bit cranky, and kept point out the fact that the wind was probably blowing at least 40 miles per hour. We got to the gazebo, he set down his papers.. and they promptly started blowing away. I frantically tried to pick them all up, since they were all his campaign papers, and he was just trying to get me to focus on him.
He started telling me all about how he had ordered the ring, and had talked to my dad.. but my ring hadn't come in yet. I must have looked disappointed, so he said that maybe we could just take a picture out here in this gazebo thing. He had my camera in his jacket pocket, so he reached in and pulled out .. the ring box! I immediately asked him if he was serious, he asked if he should get down on one knee (uhm, yes!) and then he asked me to marry him. Clearly, I said yes :-)
Right after it happened. Here, you can see just how dark it really was!
I immediately began this strange combination of laughing and crying - evidenced by the mascara smudged all around my eyes.
We went back the next day to take some pictures in the place where it actually happened. This is the "gazebo" thing. It ended up being on the campus of a company that makes pink insulation.
A reenactment, and also one of my favorite pictures.
A close-up of the ring!
So, that's how we came to be engaged on the banks of the Ohio River, far away from where we met (Orlando, FL) where we had our first date (Atlanta) and where we currently live (Lexington, KY!)