I finally got my act together to get this series DONE.
[Not from the proposal; this was last July for our three year dating anniversary.]
Michael and I talked about engagement very early on. I was adamant that I did not want to get engaged in college. (It's not as common in the PNW as it is in other parts of the country.) Michael joked then that he would propose right after my graduation. I was also worried about what people would think. We both felt ready, but I didn't want my family to be like, "Are you absolutely insane?" So at some point over winter break I talked to my mom about it, and she told me, "When you know, you know." And so I decided I didn't need to wait until after graduation.
Michael and I aren't super traditional, so we hadn't even considered having him ask my parents for my hand, but my mom mentioned that she would like that. So we knew we couldn't get engaged before he had 'the talk' with my parents. We decided to go visit my parents during a weekend in late January. We also picked out my engagement ring from a shop down there. My mom said she didn't think anything of it when we were coming down to visit, but my dad said, "Do you think he's going to ask?" and she jolted. I remember it was Sunday morning and I was asking Michael if he was going to do it or not, because if he didn't, we'd have to wait who knows how long. He went upstairs and I was just antsy waiting downstairs to hear about the conversation.
I wish I could remember what he told me they had said, especially since he asked my mom and dad (my stepdad is my dad, as you may recall, and he passed away in March). He did not ask my father, because even then he didn't have much influence on my life, and we are still currently not speaking.
I had to drive the hour and a half from school home on a week day to pick up my ring that had been resized. I had to keep it until I could give it to Michael, and I was told I was not allowed to look at it. Hahaha. I didn't know how long he was going to wait to propose, but I didn't have to wait long.
In early February, he told me that on the coming Friday (February 8th, 2013--if you're keeping track, less than seven months after we made things official) we were going to go to a restaurant that his friend had recommended to him. He told me I should dress nice-ish, and I already had suspicions that maybe he'd be proposing, but I also didn't want to assume that and then have it not happen.
My friend and roommate at the time was also going to dinner in Seattle with her boyfriend, and she told me they were going to McCormick & Schmick's. She told me she had really wanted to go to The Pink Door, but her boyfriend said that was stupid. I told Michael this story, and it turns out, The Pink Door is where we were going! He spilled the beans because he thought maybe it'd ruin it if I thought the place was stupid. I told him no, that was silly, and he didn't have to ruin the surprise for that!
So off we went to The Pink Door, and it was delicious. We split a salad and a carafe of wine and ate pasta. He told me we could get dessert there, or we could go to a restaurant near the Space Needle that has beignets that are supposed to be amazing. I opted for the beignets, because I'd never had one (spoiler: still have never had one). As we walked through the Seattle Center toward the restaurant, Michael started veering off course toward a bench, saying he had to tie his shoe. At this point, I was extremely suspicious. We were at the exact spot where we had first hung out together alone. My suspicions were correct, and he got down on one knee and proposed! [I think we maybe took a selfie at some point on this night, but I have no idea where it is, so that's sad.]
Even though we both knew we were getting engaged eventually, it was still kind of a blur! He was sooo nervous, his voice was a little shaky, and I was so excited that I hardly remember what he said. All I remember is that he was so nervous he said, "I love you with all my heart" twice. Hahaha.
And that was that. We walked off giddy in search of beignets...but the restaurant was crazy and we would've had to wait like half an hour so we opted out.
The next day was so fun, calling our family and closest friends. Michael was still living with his two best friends in campus housing, so we came out and got to tell them in person and we all drank champagne at like 10 a.m. (we had been too tired to drink any the night before). We called my mom and dad who were in Hawaii at the time with my dad's cousin who lives there. My dad's cousin started crying and was like, "How are you not crying?!" My mom said she knew it was coming so it was exciting, but not a shock. My best friend also started crying when I called her.
Michael graduated early, in March, so we found an apartment near the Space Needle with a lease starting in March. He lived there alone until I was done with school in May and I moved up there. We only stayed there six months because we desperately wanted a dog, and that's when we moved to our last Seattle apartment.
And that's the end! You can read about how we adopted our first dog here, how we adopted our second dog here, our wedding posts are here, and posts about buying our first house are here.