Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Story

I realize it has been a few weeks since my last post, but I've had pressing matters at hand--you know, work, wedding planning, finishing the current book in the Game of Thrones series...really important stuff.

Now that we all know the background story, let's get to The Story. I've delivered many versions of this story since it happened. The full version, the shortened version, the two sentences version, and the non-verbal version (this one is the easiest, I just point to my ring and let the bling speak for itself). Lucky you, you're going to get the full, unedited, directors cut! Let's get to it.

I had been eagerly anticipating a proposal from Matt for some time. And by some time, I mean since the day we met. It wasn't until I got my new job as a 4-H agent in Loudoun County that I felt ready to be engaged. For some time I had been floating around from job to job, never fully happy and never fully sure of what I wanted to do with my life. Landing the 4-H position finally made me feel like I had found the right career path. I gave Matt the signal that I was ready to get started on the rest of our lives together (if you want to know what the signal looked like, take a look at Daniel Stern's character from Rookie of the Year), and the real waiting began.

We began idly browsing rings in October. Towards the end of the month, I noticed that Matt started doing some ring research on his own. And by saying that I noticed, I mean that Matt told me. This kid cannot keep a secret.

Matt also told me he was planning a trip to NYC for us in December. I was thrilled of course, because I always wanted to go to NYC at Christmastime. I immediately assumed that it would all go down in December. In the middle of November we went home one weekend to visit my parents and celebrate my brother's birthday. It was the perfect opportunity to spend time with family, eat at Crackerbarrel, and give Matt the chance to ask for my parents' blessing.

During the afternoon, my mom and I went shopping, which gave Matt some alone time with my dad. When we returned, I casually asked Matt what he and my dad talked about. "Nothing," he replied,"we didn't talk about it." This made me a little bit cranky, because I was getting a lot of anxiety over the anticipation of everything. Really, I just needed to take a nap.

Upon waking up refreshed from my afternoon nap, Matt informed me his friend Tyler was in town and wanted to have drinks with us. Tyler was from Bristol and we'd met up with him before, so it was nothing suspicious. The plan was to meet him in Abingdon around 8:30. However, we were running a bit late with the birthday dinner, and around 8:15 Matt looked at his phone and said "I think Tyler is already at the bar, waiting for us." I simply told Matt that Tyler would have to wait, because he was early anyway, and we were spending time with family and we weren't going to rush that. So, Matt went outside to call Tyler and tell him we were running late.

Finally, we were on our way to the bar, and all of a sudden Matt made a big show of his phone going off, and told me Tyler was calling him. He then proceeded to have a fake phone conversation that went like this:
"Hey we're on our way. The Tavern, right? Oh you're at the Martha? You want us to meet you there? Alright be there in about five minutes."

Again, I detected nothing suspicious. I did not think it was weird that I didn't hear the phone ring, because Matt always keeps his phone on vibrate, and it made sense to me that they were at the Martha. The story Matt fed me was that Tyler's fiance wanted to go check out the Martha, and of course I believed it. There are about three bars in Abingdon, one of them at the Martha, and it's an old, historic, haunted hotel, so who wouldn't want to go check it out?

I should mention that we had already been by the Martha that day, to look around and spy for ghosts. Also, it's no secret that I have always dreamed of having my wedding reception at the Martha, so Matt wanted to take a look around. 

We arrived at the Martha and walked towards the front porch, where Matt claimed we were supposed to meet Tyler and Emily. There was a horse and carriage waiting in the driveway, but that's also normal; the Martha has been offering carriage rides through Abingdon for as long as I can remember. As we walked up to the porch, however, Matt started pulling me towards the horse and carriage. I started pulling him away, thinking to myself "what is he doing?!? We're already running late and people are waiting for us!" Matt then looked at me and said "I think this is for us." For a brief moment I felt his hand tremble, and I thought "this is it! this is the moment!" But then I remember he did not talk to my parents, so no way was that going to happen. I promptly forgot the brief hand tremble, mainly because I was brimming with excitement over the quaint horse and carriage sitting in front of me. The fact that he was taking me on a romantic horse and carriage ride did not send up any warning flags--that is just a sweet thing Matt would plan for me, regardless of the occasion.

There we were, cloppin along Main Street, and I was happy as a clam, ordering Matt to take pictures of all the surroundings and at the same time trying to update my Facebook status so everyone would know I was on a horse and carriage ride and would be jealous. Before I could post anything, Matt said "let me take a picture of you," to which I promptly obeyed, because in my head I was thinking it would make a great Facebook profile picture. Then Matt began to put the camera away and said "okay that's the last one." I immediately assumed the camera was dead, because the battery light had been blinking at me all night. Instead, Matt said "that's the last picture of you as a single lady," and he began to get down on one knee.

I immediately start sobbing, saying "are you serious?!? are you serious??!?" Matt said "you make me the happiest man alive," and whatever else he wanted to say he couldn't, because he started to get choked up. At this point, tears were pouring down my face, all I could do was nod my  head and stab my finger at him.

The whole event was completely unexpected. I was so convinced he would propose in December, I didn't even bring my phone tree home with me (yes, I made a phone tree of all the important people who needed to be informed once it all went down, don't judge). It was absolutely perfect. Apparently, Matt had purchased the ring a few weeks beforehand, and decided he could not wait until the New York trip. That turned out to be a good thing, because the New York trip fell through in the end. In fact, another surprising thing about the engagement was that he was able to keep it a secret. Like I said, he cannot contain surprises. I'm pretty sure I received almost all of my Christmas presents in the weeks leading up to Christmas, because he couldn't wait that long to give me my gifts. It's just one of the many things I love about Matt Thomas.

And just in case you were curious, he did ask my parents for their blessing, and they said no. Yikes! No, I'm JK kidding, JK kidding.

Now that you know all about The Story, we can finally get into the business of wedding planning. Please get ready because I have so many spectacular ideas to share, it will probably blow your mind.

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