We'd had the trip planned for weeks, and we were counting down the days that our feet would land on the warm sand. We had the best ride down, singing and dancing and talking about our 4 beach days that lay ahead. Free from work and the daily grind. Watching the sun set as we got closer and closer to our final destination.
We arrived late that night after a long ride and a trip to the grocery store, and we shared a bottle of white wine while T put up with a two hour finale of Grey's Anatomy and the numerous texts that ensued as a result of the shooting in Seattle Grace. We were exhausted, and he ended up sleeping through most of it, and I remember looking down at him sleeping on my lap thinking how lucky I was to have met such an amazing person.
The following morning sometime around 5 AM I woke up to T rushing into my room insisting that we head to the beach immediately. T gets up early every morning on beach trips to go surfing, so I wasn't surprised at the time just confused on why he insisted on me getting up at such an ungodly hour too. He said that baby turtles were hatching on the beach and that I had to come and see. Turtles are one of my favorite animals, and I have always wanted to see those little baby turtle legs awkwardly waddling to the ocean.
Therefore, I hopped out of bed and threw on jean shorts and an Appalachian t-shirt, and we were off.
As we were driving down to the beach, me half asleep, T was going on and on about the size of the Mama turtle, how the babies were well on there way, etc. I had that surreal feeling you get when you're awoken suddenly and unexpectedly and it was chilly and I was regretting my clothing choice.
This whole time he had me hurrying around like a mad woman so we wouldn't miss it, and right when he parked the golf cart he grabbed my hand and had me run with him across the board walk to the beach. It was still a bit dark out and the sun was beginning to peek up from the horizon. Once our feet finally hit the sand, I looked over and saw candles everywhere. Some were around a big blanket and some made our initials...
All of these pictures were taken after the fact, but when I saw everything it was all lit up and so magical. When we first started to approach the blanket I was confused and kept saying, "Where are the turtles, where are the babies???". I even thought the candles (before I saw the ones in our initials of course) were there to lead the babies to sea since the blanket was far off from where we entered from the board walk...
He finally had to break the news that there weren't any turtles and, then he asked me to sit down on the blanket. He was so cute - last time we had been at the beach we took a blanket out at night and I got eaten up by sand fleas, so he was sure to lay down a few layers. After I sat down, he handed me a red photo album...
I then began to look through each page with photos from all of our wonderful times together with sweet little captions with them. I took my time looking through taking a moment to really reflect on our precious time together. As I approached the end there was a caption that said, "But there's one thing that we haven't done...
It gets really blurry from hear since a flood of emotion completely took over, but I started with the half laugh/half cry and he had me stand up while he got down on one knee with the ring and proposed with the most beautiful speech that I can honestly barely remember. All I know is that I shouted yes, and that was hands down the best moment of my entire life. I was going to spend the rest of my life with the most wonderful person I could ever imagine.
We spent the next hour hugging and kissing, talking about our past together, our future together. I remember it so vividly and I will strive to keep that memory fresh in my mind forever. He told me all about the five months that he spent designing my ring from scratch, going in after hours to the jewelry store for extra planning with Kerry Catherine to make sure every detail was "me", picking out the diamond and knowing it was the one the minute he spotted it, eating lots and lots of spaghetti and selling his drum set so that he could have my ring paid off before he gave it to me so it would truly be all mine and coming up with the hatching turtle idea only just before he walked in the house to wake me up. His inspiration came from the turtle we dodged on the way down to the beach apparently, and it's a good thing he thought of it because I can't think of one other reason why I would get up at 5 AM on vacation. But boy am I glad I did. I was truly 100% surprised and that made it even better.
I then headed back to the house to call all my friends and family to tell them, and T went surfing!
I will never forget calling my closest friends and family and hearing their reactions; tears, screams and kind words. Then T and I made our favorite breakfast, cheesy eggs and orange cinnamon rolls. They remind me of that morning every time I eat them now which I love. It was also so cool that day, there was a wedding ceremony on the beach and that got us super excited about planning ours.
T had one more surprise for me that night; he took me out for a nice dinner at the White Oak River Bistro and we sat outside overlooking the sound.
And it was so funny, there was a rehearsal going on the lawn below us during dinner.
The timing of everything was just perfect and by the end of dinner, these pictures summed up our feelings perfectly...
I had energy through the roof, and poor T was completely emotionally drained and exhausted from the whole ordeal. I love these pictures.
After we ate a delicious Italian meal, we went out and sat on the dock and talked for what must have been an hour or more.
Our view from the dock of the restaurant
We replayed everything from the day, and it was so awesome to get to enjoy my engagement day from sunrise to sunset. I am the luckiest girl in the world.
I got engaged to the absolute love of my life at sunrise on May 21, 2010 and we will be getting married and then celebrating with all of our friends and family at sunset on May 21, 2011. This has been one heck of a year. I love you T!