It’s hard to know where to begin this post because emotionally, Eli and I were engaged long before he proposed. Having kids from previous marriages expedited the seriousness of our relationship from a very early stage. At about 6 months in, when we introduced our kids to one another, I knew for a fact that I would marry Eli one day. If I didn’t feel confidently about it, the introduction would have never happened.
From June 2017 when we met, to December 2017 when we made the decision to bring our families together, I would ask myself daily if he was “the one.” Instead of thinking about where our next date would be, I was thinking about where we would be 5 years in the future. Was this the guy? Would I put money on it? More importantly, would I put my children’s emotional well-being on it? One thing I knew when I got divorced is that I was not going to introduce a man to my kids unless I was 100% sure about him. I know what a revolving door of casual partners can do to a child’s sense of security and ability to form attachments. The day I introduced my kids to Eli, in my heart, I knew it was forever.
Anyway, back to the proposal… We started a shared Pinterest board called, “Take 2,” and both added wedding things on it from time to time. Over the last year I had added a few engagement rings and we did some brief window shopping here and there. One day, in March of this year, we officially went ring shopping. I tried some things on and made comments about what features of each ring that I liked. I knew what I wanted, but couldn’t find anything like it, not online or in stores. While I was commenting on each ring, Eli was listening intently but not saying much.
A few weeks later, I sent him a picture of a ring that was pretty close to what I wanted. He replied telling me that he didn’t need anymore pictures because he designed my ring and it was already being made. I was a little surprised and immediately felt a strange uneasiness. “What if I didn’t like it?” I thought. It’s one thing to dislike a random piece of jewelry; it’s a whole different story to dislike an engagement ring designed by the person I love. Realistically, no matter what the ring looked like, I would love it because I love him, and it was so special that he was designing it especially for me.
Now that I knew the ring was being made, the timing question popped into my head at least a dozen times a day. I would ask Eli for a rough estimate of when he would be proposing, he always said, “Sometime within the next year.” A perfectly vague response. So I waited, I daydreamed, and I waited some more. Although I had been married before, there was no real proposal; we just kind of decided that we would get married and then we got married. So this time, knowing that a proposal was coming was really exciting! How would he do it? Who would be there? What would he say? What would I say? (Just kidding about that last one 😉 Obviously my answer was going to be “YES!”)
I checked in with Eli every week or two to see if I could get anymore detail about the ring or the proposal plan. Eli’s favorite answer was, “It’s in the works.” I absolutely love surprising people, but I am not the best surprise-ee. I like to have a plan, know the plan backwards and forwards, and carry it out. The problem was that this was not my plan, and I couldn’t even know the plan. A little stressful, but that is also what made it so exciting.
Fast forward a few months… We had a big family trip up to the Russian River for Memorial Day Weekend. Eli’s entire family was going and we would have W, P, L and Z! A few days before the trip, I asked him if he was going to propose during our weekend getaway. He told me that the ring wasn’t ready yet so not to expect any miracles. I whole-heartedly believed him and didn’t think about the possibility again.
On the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, Eli’s family had a big bbq planned. We were celebrating birthdays and anniversaries so everyone would be gathering at his sister’s AirBnB. We were hanging around our cabin before heading to the bbq, and of course I had to mention to Eli one last time how special it would be if he proposed in front of his whole family. “Are you suuuure you aren’t asking me today?” I asked him. He said, “Nope! The ring isn’t quite ready yet.” I sighed and moved on, knowing that the ring was still under construction. In hindsight, I would NOT have asked him that morning. Poor guy was so nervous and I’m sure my prodding didn’t make it any easier on him. I honestly thought it would be months before he proposed. I did not mean to put that kind of pressure on him!
We got to the bbq and still nothing suspicious, no one acting weird, everything was normal. The kids were having a blast and I got to relax spending time with Eli’s wonderful family. Hours went by, lunch was over, a few people were taking afternoon naps, and I was sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table, helping Eli’s sisters and brother with a puzzle… It was a perfect afternoon.
All of the sudden I could hear Eli’s voice above everyone else’s. He was getting people to gather around (hmm, that’s strange). Then I heard him say, “Over the last few years, you may have gotten to know a special someone…” In that moment, I was still sitting on the floor, he was standing a few feet behind me, everyone was looking at us, and to make things even more awkward – I was wearing denim on denim.
I slowly stood up and turned to face him. At this point, several cameras were rolling and I knew exactly what was happening. HE WAS PROPOSING! I stared into his eyes and watched his mouth move. I knew I was waiting for something that sounded like a question so that I could say my word. In true Eli form, he gently asked, “Megan, would you consider spending the rest of your life with me?”
Would I consider it?! YES!
Everyone cheered. I hugged Eli and looked down at the 4 little humans gathering around our legs. Our kids. Not only did they get to witness the proposal, but they were right by our sides. I somehow got through hugging 3 out of 4 of the kids without shedding a single tear. And then there was Penelope. She jumped up and down with her hands raised high in the air and cried (possibly her first ever) happy tears. I knelt down to hug her and with tears in her eyes she said, “I am so happy.” Ugh… the sweetest, most genuine happiness. Let the waterworks begin. She hugged me so tight and I lost it. The love in the room that day cannot be expressed with words, only felt each time share the memory. Hugs, hugs, and more hugs. Tears all around. So. Much. Love.
Oh, and the ring? After things settled down a bit, I got to admire it. It was unique and beautiful. Every detail that I casually mentioned to Eli had been captured and put into the ring I had dreamt about. He totally nailed it.
So, I bet you are wondering if I’ve changed my mind about the whole “no wedding” thing… We’ll see 🙂