Thursday, January 30, 2014

Big News!

Big news, friends -- I'm engaged!

I debated writing this, at first thinking I should maybe keep it between the boy and me, but this blog  functions as a journal of sorts for me and I want to look back in a year and read this again. I also know that most of the people reading it are my friends, many of whom I won't get to see or talk to very soon, so it's nice to be able to spread the word this way.

Oh, there's also the fact that the boy did a really great job putting together a memorable weekend for the two of us. He planned everything perfectly and was so thoughtful and he kind of deserves to have all our friends and family know just how wonderful he is. Sorry, am I gushing? Anyway, let's get to the story.

Once upon a time, Kyle was out of town for work during the week, and our plan was for me to pick him up from the airport on Friday night and then grab a bite to eat together in Old Town, Alexandria. His parents were (supposedly) out of town for the weekend, so we were going to head over to their house after dinner, something we do once in a while when we want to have a nice staycation and get out of our respective group houses.

Per usual, I was running late and hardly had time to freshen up and pack a bag before I headed to the airport to pick Kyle up. The whole way there I was stressing that the poor guy was standing out in the cold because I was late. I pulled up to our usual pick up spot at the airport, he through his bags in the car, and we headed to Old Town.

This is where I probably should've picked up on things. He told me that he had a Groupon for Jackson 20, a nice restaurant in the Hotel Monaco. In the back of my mind I was thinking, "A Groupon? Man, they must not be doing well." He was also kind of irritated about the parking situation after we circled a few times and had trouble finding a spot. I just figured he had been traveling all day and was in a bad mood so I didn't think much of it.

Once we got in front of the Hotel Monaco things started to change real quickly.  As we walked through the doors he stopped and admitted that we were actually staying there for the night. I got excited and walked towards the check-in desk, but he directed me towards the elevator bank. At that point I knew exactly what was coming. When we got to the room he had rose petals on the floor, champagne, and that's when he proposed.

Wait, what? I know you want to know how he didn't even have to check in and did this moments after stepping off the airplane. Well he actually had gotten in at 2:00 pm, picked up his car, gone to the hotel to check in and prep the room. After that he drove to his parents's house and his mom--who was in town, by the way--drove him back to the airport with a suitcase so I could pick him up at 6:00 pm like we had planned all along. He even called to tell me he got bumped to a flight that connected in Philly so that if I checked the arrivals (which I tend to do to see if there's a delay), I would see a flight that was coming in right around 6:00.

OK, back to the proposal moment.

I was thrilled! But I'm also pretty sure I was super awkward for about 30 minutes as evidenced by the photo above. During really important moments I can kind of get stuck in my head and at that point my mind was racing through thoughts like oh my gosh this is awesome and I hope I seem happy enough! Or I can't believe he did all this for me! And how can I possibly give the reaction that this deserves? And, wait a minute, he doesn't have a Groupon. For a while I just sat there asking questions and saying, "Kyle this is so sweet!"

It was fun to sit in that gorgeous room together drinking champagne and just taking in the moment between the two of us, so I kind of dragged my feet when it came to calling everyone. I wish I could explain why I don't love making phone calls to a bunch of people even when I'm super excited. I'm pretty introverted and the idea of calling people, even my own family, to tell them news that places me right in the center of everyone's attention feels overwhelming to me. I also feel like there's a lot of pressure to be reacting in the way everyone expects me too, so there's an intimidation factor there, especially when I'm constantly over-analyzing things. But I'm glad Kyle encouraged me to start making phone calls because once we called everyone, the reality of the moment set in and I was in celebration mode. Shortly afterwards we got dinner at The Wharf, a restaurant down the street. Oh yeah, funny story, Kyle had no idea until after he made the reservation that his parents ate at the Wharf the night of their engagement too. So that was cute.

Kyle surprised me with another plan he had in the works that night. In addition to our amazing room at the Hotel Monaco, he had booked a room for Saturday night at a bed & breakfast close to Charlottesville, home of my alma mater and generally one of my favorite places in the world. So on Saturday morning we briefly stopped at our houses to pack a bag and then drove to Charlottesville where we walked around UVa's Grounds and the Corner. Kyle knows how much I love Charlottesville and it always makes me happy to walk around and marvel at the Lawn, so that was a really thoughtful move.  Once we were sufficiently frozen and had picked up a few souvenirs from the bookstore, we headed to our accommodations in nearby Louisa.

We stayed at The Prospect Hill Inn, which is an historic property in Louisa, Virginia. The Inn consists of a large manor house that is home to the dining room, a few other main rooms, and the owners' family residence. The buildings on the property date from the late 1600s and the entire property is on the national register of historic places. It's also part of the Green Springs National Historic District.

Can we just pause for a moment and take in how amazing it is that Virginia is dotted with little places like this, built pre-Revolutionary War and still standing and operating today? I love this place.

The guest rooms are in the smaller buildings that surround the manor house. We stayed in the second-oldest building on the property, which was originally built as a residence for the family who lived there. It's also the cabin Kyle's parents stayed in for a few nights of their honeymoon. The bedroom had no TV, no wi-fi, and a wood burning fireplace. The little cottage also had a sitting room and a bathroom, which was SO COLD. The rooms had baseboard heat, but they didn't really keep the place very warm so we were happy to get the fire up and going...which took a bit longer than we expected. But that was just part of the experience. Once it was finally roaring we sat down in front of it and talked for a while. It was so much fun to say things like "someday when we're married we should..." and "one day when we have a family I really want to..." and know that whatever we said wasn't just a hypothetical statement put out into the universe, but something that we could very easily accomplish some day together. Sitting in front of the fire together in that gorgeous little building out in the countryside was easily the most romantic part of the whole weekend.

Although the B&B part was awesome, Prospect Hill is especially well known in the area for their food. They serve a prix-fixe four course meal for dinner on the weekends, and you don't know what they'll be serving until they announce it right before they serve the first course. Guys, this meal was AMAZING (or "amazeballs" as they say in Kyle's favorite commercial). Everything was great, and the main course had the best pork medallions I've ever tasted. I highly recommend eating there even if you're not staying there, which you can totally do by the way. I think only two of the five couples in the room were actually staying at the B&B.

The next morning we had breakfast delivered to our room. It was also delicious and we felt so pampered having it delivered to us.

Sunday morning we drove home and got dinner with both our families to celebrate. I haven't really started any planning. I really wanted to make sure I focused on how meaningful the engagement was before we dive into wedding logistics. But within the next week or so we're going to start thinking about the big things so that I don't consume all my free time perusing the internet for venues and vendors in the area and actually start working towards something.

Thanks to everyone who wished us well and to our friends and family for helping Kyle orchestrate everything and keep it a secret. We are so excited for what's to come and it's so wonderful to have the support of everyone. Rest assured that this blog will not be full of wedding details, and I hope to get back to some good ol' design posts in the near future. Thanks again for your support!


  1. i am so happy for you and wish you all the best!

  2. Congratulations!!! What a beautiful story!! You deserve to be THIS happy!

  3. aww, congratulations. and what a sweet proposal/weekend!

  4. Congrats!! what a great engagement story!

  5. Hi Sarah! It has been a while since I checked the blog. So happy for you! Congrats!


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