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Here's the story, as told by both of us

Debbie's words are in this elegant scarlet text
Tim's are in this masculine yet not overpowering navy.

We had planned a week long trip to San Francisco starting Memorial Day weekend.  I had a conference for work and it went from Tues (after Memorial Day) to the following Friday.  Tim was going to get to come out with me for free also so we decided to make a mini vacation of it. 

We had just been to London for ten days a month or two before- we had such a wonderful time that I started thinking about how I positive I wanted Debbie in my life forever- and I knew while we were there that I wanted to propose- and soon. As soon as we got back, I started plotting and scheming to see when this was possible for me to pull off financially.

I used to live in California and thought it would be wonderful to spend some time at my favorite beach. It's a very beautiful and romantic spot and I knew it would be wonderful to take Tim there. So I told him about the beach and we planned to go there on Memorial Day. We were both really looking forward to it.

Favorite beach? Very romantic spot? That's all I needed to hear. This was my spot. I also figured it would be nice to have a few days away to celebrate this exciting step in our lives together. I stepped it up in terms of hunting down a ring, and with the help and encouragement of my friends, co-workers, and especially my sister Eileen, I was able to pull it off. I picked it the ring about five days before our flight and I was beside myself with an overwhelming sense of excitement, couple with a staggering amount of nervousness.

So, it's the Friday before Memorial Day.  My sister is up at my apartment in Chicago helping me pack (this is shortly before Tim and I were going to move in together), and Tim was out with his friends (his friend Pete came in from Washington D.C. and he and Pete were going out with a bunch of his other friends). 

I took the ring from my locked cabinet in my office and moved it into my backpack. I thought I knew what it was to be nervous before, but I was not prepared for this- I was a wreck carrying the ring around with me! I couldn't wait to get it out of my backpack and (hopefully) onto Debbie's finger.

Tim and I were going to leave on Sunday for San Francisco.  Anyway, Cathy and I were at my apartment when we got a call from my parents.  My grandfather had died that night.  He was nearly 90 and had been sick, so it wasn't a huge surprise but we were very sad anyway.  The funeral was probably going to be Sunday so I knew that Tim and I would be going to Iowa to see my parents the following day and we'd have to push back leaving for the trip until Monday.  Well, after a few hours Cathy and I were OK again. I was getting ready to go to bed at about 2.  I had just gotten into bed when Tim came home.  Cathy was out in the living room and told Tim what happened, so Tim came into my room and we talked about it.  I told him I was OK, but it did change our plans. 

What's the saying about "the best laid plans"? I was so excited, nervous, confused, sympathetic- about a dozen more emotions, too, and all at the same time. I wasn't sure what to do next, where and when I could propose. At this point, all I could think about was how I much I wanted to ask Debbie to marry me. I knew I couldn't hide my feelings much longer, so I started telling her how I felt, saying the words I had said over and over to myself in the previous weeks.

So, I was lying in bed and he told me he was sorry we wouldn't be able to go to the beach because there was something he was going to ask me there...He got down on one knee and proposed.  I just couldn't believe it!   I was so excited and I was already so emotional after the events of that evening.  I cried and said yes!  It was so wonderful. 

It was wonderful- not as I had it figured out perfectly in my head, but much, much better in so many ways.

A few minutes later we went out into the living room to tell Cathy and she said, "Wow, did that just happen right now?!"  Her reaction was priceless.  So, that's the whole weird crazy proposal story.  Ah, I get sentimental thinking about it. 

Me too. I'm so glad we were able to share the news with Cathy right away- and that we were able to surprise both of our parents in person the next day.

By the way, we did wind up being able to go to that beach the following Saturday, he did a re-proposal which was just so sweet, and we also set our wedding date when we were there.  It was wonderful.

And it has been wonderful ever since!

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