Countdown to 5 years: 27 days

We “only” dated for about 7ish months before we got engaged, and we were only engaged about a month before we got married.

I’d say we knew pretty much by 2 months into dating that we had found our person, and wanted to get married. We’re the marrying kind, and homebodies to boot. We didn’t want or need to really “rush” things, but we also both agreed that getting actually married was important to us – so why delay?

Since Alan was in school and I was working, we decided (again) to go our own way and buy my engagement ring together. We went to a couple of different jewelers, and found just the right stone and had it set. While we bought the ring together, the rest was a mystery – Alan would pick it up at an unknown time, and plan how he wanted to “propose”. Even though we knew we wanted to get married (and that I’d say yes!) he still wanted to ask me that question and make it special.

[Note: I still have no idea when he actually picked up the ring, but he told me afterwards that he “hid” the ring in his nightstand… not very secret, but since I’m not a snooper – it worked!]
It was mid-June, and Alan scheduled a hike for the two of us… at Saguaro Lake. A little excitement started to build up, because clearly this place was SPECIAL for us… so maybe something SPECIAL would happen!

We followed the same trail – with the intention of stopping at the same lagoon. Alas – a boat had docked there for the afternoon, and all privacy and quiet was shattered. We had to turn around, and to be honest – I was OVER it. The day was HOT. I was HUNGRY. I figured we should just turn around and give it up, but Alan was (not surprisingly) determined to find us a place on the lake to rest.

He had seen an un-scouted offshoot of the trail as we hiked earlier, and he encouraged me to keep going. Amazingly, this new location was even better than the original – there was a palo verde tree to provide a bit of shade, and a sandy “beach” area that gently sloped into the water.

We unpacked our bags, had some water and snacks, and sat for a moment to enjoy the scenery and the cool water.

[As a side note, I’ve always been an empathic person (a word I didn’t even know about until a couple of years ago). I’m highly sensitive to other people’s emotions and moods, and those moods can easily influence mine.]

I knew right away that something was up. Alan was quiet. Fidgety. Not his normal self – the vibe was all weird. Then… it all made sense. He pulled the ring out, and asked me to marry him.

Of course, of course, of course!!!

I was so darn excited, and said yes.

We started to hike out, because I was SO excited I needed to share with my parents – if not now, then as soon as humanely possible. I ambushed a couple of other hikers on the way out and asked them to take our (hot, sweaty, but so-in-love) picture. First picture as an engaged couple!

Alan was a great sport and totally understood my urgency and drove us right away to my parent’s house. We announced our exciting news and celebrated and then realized – it’s Father’s Day! Happy Father’s Day, Dad! :)

So there it is – our engagement story. Special, personal, perfect – for us.

[One final side note: I have to poke fun at myself, because as soon as I saw the ring for real, I knew that the setting I chose – that I was SO dead set on – was all wrong for the stone. I told Alan on the drive to my parent’s house that we’d have to go back to the jeweler and get it reset. Ha! Just goes to show you that things aren’t always what they seem!]


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