Our Engagement Story

Yeah, our wedding is in 10 days.

10 DAYS!

I still can’t believe it, but am beyond excited and honestly filled with so my joy I could burst :).

Just because I love you all and want to share my excitement with you, I thought it would be fun to share our engagement story.  It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 months since it happened!

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A Little Back Story

Zach and I actually have quite the funny story.   We met back in 2009 on a ski trip in Utah.  Zach was with his father, I was with my grandfather.

zach

Such kiddos!

At the time Zach lived in Chicago and I lived in Saint Louis, finishing up my Master’s program.  While it was a long shot, we decided we thought each other were pretty cool and gave the long distance thing a shot.

For a year and a half, we traveled between Chicago and Saint Louis at least once a month.  It wasn’t easy, but I think long distance makes strong relationships even stronger.  We were forced to communicate with one another and were put in a place that trust wasn’t an option.  Sure, the time apart sucked,  but it made the time we had together special and worked well for us in the long run.

When I finished my graduate program in 2010 I moved to Chicago to be with Zach.

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We moved in together a year later, and extended our fur family.

home

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Fast forward 9 months.

The Engagement

It was Saturday, May 19th.  Nothing out of the ordinary for that day. . . oh except it happens to be Zach’s mother AND brother’s birthday.  Oh, and the NATO summit was in Chicago.   NBD 🙂

Zach and I woke up early for a long run.  I was in the middle of training for my first half marathon, and all my long runs were PDR’s (personal distance records).  Zach had agreed to run those long runs with me, to help keep me motivated when the going got tough.

When we got back from the run, Zach mentioned going on a bike ride downtown.  The NATO summit had the entire city on a quasi-lock down, and downtown was like a ghost town.   I was absolutely interested in going to see the city, and Zach had an idea to ride down to one of our favorite spots in Chicago, Notherly Island.  It’s a nature preserve in the middle of the museum district that is beautiful and quiet with the greatest views of the city, and the ride would allow us to go through some of the normally busy parts of the city that today, would be dead.

See the city and visit our favorite spot?  SURE!

So we got back to the apartment after the run.  Zach went and grabbed breakfast quickly while I did some stretching and yoga.  Zach had mentioned a couple times via the run that he would go get bagels while I showered, but I didn’t get the hint.  I decided if we were just going to go back out and get sweaty again, there was no point in showering (yes, I’m gross).  I did wash off quickly, but nothing substantial. I was still gross

Zach came home with breakfast and once again asked if I was going to shower.  When I didn’t take the bait, he decided to shower and pretty himself up.  There was one point in the bedroom when I even got on his case about wearing “cute clothes” and getting all pretty.  I didn’t understand why he was wearing khakis and a cute t shirt if we were just going to get sweaty?  But whatever — boys are silly.

So on the bike we went.  You all should know Zach is a bike maniac.  We’ve measured, his legs are one inch smaller than MY WAIST in diameter.  He’s a beast, and after a long run I am no beast.  Within a couple miles of the ride, I told Zach to keep going and I would head home.  My legs weren’t in it.

BUT — he wouldn’t have it.  He slowed down and we kept moving.  I’m actually really glad he didn’t let me turn around (for obvious reasons of course) because the city was so uniquely empty. Streets like Grand Avenue, usually a mad house on the weekends, were car free.  In the end it was a fairly easy ride and we made it to Lake Shore Drive. Where we hit our next road block.  Street Snow Plows.

Due to the summitt being held at the Field Museum (and Northerly Island is in the museum district), blockades were set up to keep people from coming in.  Literally hundreds of snow plows were set up from Lake Shore Drive to the Lake Shore Trail.

Once again I thought we should turn around, but Zach said we should push through.  So we walked our bikes up and were greeted once again by a blockade.

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Guard and security.  Yes, pedestrians could go through and get to the museums and the island, but no bikes and nothing that can’t get through a metal detector.

If Zach was nervous, he didn’t show it.  He gave the security officer his backpack (umm….) and we walked through the detectors.  Thankfully there were no issues and we were able to walk to Northerly Island.

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Up until this point, I honestly had NO CLUE.  I mean come on, I would have showered or done SOMETHING!

We walked around for a good 45 minutes.  It wasn’t until this point where the thought crossed my mind how PERFECT this would be for a proposal, but it was fleeting.  I didn’t actually think it would happen, just noted how perfect it would be.

Then we reached the water.  Zach asked me to head down to the docks with him so we could enjoy the views.

THEN my stomach knotted a bit.

THEN Zach hugged me, told me how much he loved me, said he didn’t bring me to the island just to walk, and that I should probably sit down (and I have chills typing this…).

I don’t remember much after this moment.  It’s all a blur.

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All I remember is that it as absolutely perfect.  The island was deserted and it was like we had our own little private stage thanks to NATO.   After he proposed, he opened up his backpack and had two mini bottles of champagne for us to toast to.

It was perfect.  We toasted each other, called our families, and just enjoyed being on cloud nine.

Eventually we did have to ride our bikes back home, but to be honest I could have ridden forever.  It was the greatest moment I had ever experienced and I just wanted it to go on forever.

It’s so funny — I had no idea.  There were so many points when things could have gone wrong, and they didn’t.  Zach said the scariest part for him was when he thought he would be proposing with the security guards, because he had the ring in his back pocket, but somehow he made it through.  To be honest, I love that it is so sporadic.  I love that I didn’t shower, I love that I was clueless, because the surprise was the greatest part.

We spent the rest of the evening celebrating in complete bliss with our closest friends.

And now, 15 months later, here we are getting ready to get married in 10 days.

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Does it get any better than that?

Question of the Day: What’s YOUR engagement story.  Or what is your favorite engagement story?

21 thoughts on “Our Engagement Story

  1. I love it!!!!! The simple & unexpected is the best. Kevin totally surprised me too! He proposed on Thanksgiving (after the dinner when it was just the two of us) in my apartment in the DR! Now we always want to go back to celebrate!!! Haha. 🙂

  2. What a sweet story! It’s a true testament to your compatibility that you stuck around and kept going with him even though there were all the roadblocks (literally!)…you must have subconsciously known that something important was on the other side 😉

  3. What a great story!
    Funny, my husband and I did the long distance thing too He is originally from England but was living/working in Illinois (Carbondale) and I in Ontairo, Canada. We did the longs distance thing for 11 months, lots of phone calls (which was a great way to get to know someone), a few visits each then he moved up to be with me. The next day we went snowshoeing on the lake and he proposed to me! My response was “For real” … and then yes.
    Sure hope the next few days are smooth and worry free 🙂

  4. What a sweet story! I was in the middle of washing floors, and my husband handed me a box and said..I got something for you. I opened the ring and that was it—-he didn’t even get down on one knee—what a romantic (HA)!

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