08 July 2010

The Ring

Tuesday night was a night that changed our lives forever!  Most of you all know that I recently gave Emily an engagement ring, but most of you don't know the story. So here it is.

For several months now, I've been planning on giving Emily a ring.  After much research and consulting with close friends and family, I found the ring I wanted to give her.  Words cannot express my gratitude to my father for giving me his mother's engagement ring to give to Emily.  I never met my grandmother (she died before I was born), but I was lucky to enjoy 17 years with my Grandpa.  And just knowing he gave his wife that ring makes it that much more special.  I will be forever grateful to Dad for giving us this ring.  It has changed everything. So thank you Dad Kelly. I love you so much!

After my parents planned to give me the ring, I decided it would be respectful to contact Emily's parents and tell them my plans.  I spoke with her mom and told her I was giving Emily a ring, told her what it was for, and where it was coming from. After that conversation, I felt confident in my decision to give Emily this ring.   We had the love and support from our friends and family and it was time for me to show her my commitment. 

We recently went home to WI and while we were in Rhinelander, Dad had taken the ring to get appraised at a jeweler. We picked it up and I've had it with me ever since.  Once we got back to FL, I really couldn't wait much longer to give the ring to Emily.  It was burning a hole in my pocket and I had to give it to her.

I decided Tuesday 6 July was the day.  It was a random, spontaneous day and she wouldn't have suspected anything.  I had been thinking for months about what I wanted to do, how I wanted to do it, and what I wanted to say.  So I chose something that wasn't too out of character for me.  Something simple and sweet.

I had written Emily a letter a while ago with what I wanted to say, so I took Tuesday afternoon to perfect it.  I then sent Emily a text message saying: "Your mission if you choose to accept it: Dinner with me tonight on Hollywood Beach".  Immediately she responds: "Are you paying?" I had to laugh. She would ask that! She assumed we'd be going out to eat when all along I was planning a beach picnic.

Then I called the flower shop down the road and asked if they had sunflowers in stock (in Southern FL, they sell out immediately) and as luck would have it, they had some left! They are Em's favorite flower so I got a small bouquet and brought it home.  I whipped up some raw veggie and cheese kabobs along with some sliced strawberries, wine, and beer and packed a cooler and waited impatiently for her to get home!  When I saw her getting out of her car, my heart was pounding in my chest and I was extremely nervous (which if any of you really know me, I don't get nervous about much).

When Emily got home, I told her I had a surprise for her.  She was surprised with the flowers (which she loved) and I told her we'd be going to the beach for a picnic.  When she asked why (which I knew she would), I told her we were having a picnic since we didn't get to celebrate the 4th of July since we were in airports and on planes all day.  And of course she believed it.

The weather at the beach could not have been more perfect.  It was a beautiful evening despite being hazy and overcast, but at least the hot sun wasn't beating down on us.  The water was calm, the breeze was cool and there weren't many people at the beach.  So we ate the kabobs and strawberries and drank our alcohol, just relaxing at the beach.  We were talking about what we did at work that day and then I said "You know what else I did at work today? I wrote you a letter." She proceeded to call me a dork but read it anyway.

The letter basically said how I believe every decision I've ever made has led me to her.  That I love her and will always support and encourage her.  How she has made me be a better person and how grateful I am that she's in my life.  How she is the best part of me.  And to top it off, I wrote "In the words of Kelly Clarkson: My Life Would Suck Without You".  Emily loved the letter and appreciated it but at the same time, she still had no idea what this hooplah was all about.

I then told her I had something else for her.  She grinned and was in disbelief that I had one more thing to give her.  I pulled the ring box out of my pocket and gave it to her.  She said "What is it?" I told her to open it (which she had a hard time figuring out the antique ring box) but when she got it open, she took out the ring and asked again "what is it?"

I then explained to her that it was my grandmother's engagement ring and I was giving it to her as a sign of my commitment.  She stared in awe at it and partial disbelief so I said "before you say anything, I just want you to know I have spoken with both our parents and I would not have given you this ring if I didn't feel confident that we had their support".  I told her about the conversations I had with my family, her family, and our friends and she burst into tears.

My heart sank.  She was crying and I thought I had ruined everything! I knelt on the sand by her and hugged her, asking her if the tears were good or bad tears.  Turns out, they were happy tears.  She looked at the ring again and I told her I loved her and asked her if she'd marry me someday, somewhere, somehow.  She laughed through her tears and said yes! 

It was a long few months planning and researching, but it paid off in the end.  The evening was awesome and she said she couldn't have asked for anything more.  Emily thought it was perfect and she is absolutely in love with the ring (except it doesn't fit! Kelly women have small hands!)

So that's the story! We sincerely apologize that we didn't/couldn't call everyone to tell them the same exact story. We basically only had time to talk to immediate family and after we put it on FB, the phone calls started pouring in!  It has been overwhelming and we've been busy the past few days! Using the Internet is truly the best way to spread news fast!

For those of you who have asked or are wondering, no, we do not have any current "wedding" plans for numerous reasons.
1. We cannot legally get married in our state, or approximately 44 other states for that matter.
2. We do not have the savings/money for any ceremony just yet.
3. We are fine with having a long "engagement" and whenever we do decide to start making plans, we will let everyone know.  It would be more of a commitment ceremony than anything.

Thank you for all your kind words and congrats for us! Your unconditional love and support means the world to us and we definitely could not have made it through the past 4 years without certain amazing people (you know who you are) pushing us and encouraging us to stay strong and never give up.  We have faced adversity and negativity but we refuse to stop trying! Our relationship has been the easy part; the outside factors have been the difficult part to face and deal with, but it is all worth it. Being with Emily is fun, exciting, and it just comes naturally.  We have a great, strong, and loving relationship and the love and support we've gotten and the things we've faced and accomplished over the past years have only made us better people. I can't imagine my life without Emily and I am forever thankful she has changed my life for the better in so many ways. We honestly couldn't be happier and couldn't ask for more!

Emily, your "yes" has made me the happiest woman in the world. I will love you forever.

Made by Lena