It was February 13th, 2012 and Bobby picked me up from the train like he does every other day. He had texted me "How you doin baby?" and I responded "Fandidlitastic!", a bit uncharacteristic for me... He thought I knew. We discussed dinner plans on the ride home. I thought fish and rice, he suggested chicken. Normal night, nothing special. He dropped me off to get the mail, offered to bring in my backpack, and went to park the car. Inside the front door, he asked to take my coat. I remember that being a bit weird, but okay...
Then as I started up the stairs, I see this wide red ribbon. Lots of rose petals. All leading into the bedroom. Once inside the bedroom door, romantic lyrics were printed out and stuck to the walls. The ribbon and rose petals continued in here, leading to my jewelry box - 3 dozen roses surrounded the jewelry box. He told me to open it. It was empty (he even moved my other jewelry out), but as I turned, he was down on one knee. He pulled the ring box from under the bed. I started tearing up and shaking. I couldn't get past the shock to focus on what he was saying! He said he loved me from the moment we met. He asked me to marry him. I SAID YES! Then he put the ring on my finger and I then threw my arms around him. We hugged, we kissed.
Now he tells me we have 7:15 reservations at Coopers Hawk. He said we would enjoy a nice dinner, then call our parents, then post on Facebook. When we arrived at the restaurant, we couldn't find a parking spot so he said we would valet. We pulled up to the front, but the valet was missing so he started driving back to find a spot. I did complain wondering why he couldn't drop me off at the door. We started back down another aisle, when I spotted an empty space at the end... As we got closer, I noticed my parents' car! Found out later Bobby had seen my dad in the window and that was the reason he didn't drop me off at the door! His parents were already there too, at our table. I was thrilled that they were all there to share in this special day!
The following day, he sent not one, but two bouquets of flowers to me at work, on Valentine's Day. And I got to show off my ring. :)
I know it sounds a little cliché, but I knew I was going to marry Andi Janka since our very first date. After 3 wonderful years together, I knew it was right time to "put a ring on it". I started looking for engagement rings in January of 2012 and was able to find one with the help of my brother since he had recently gone through the process. The ring arrived just two weeks before Valentine's Day 2012. While I knew Andi wasn't expecting it, I just couldn't bear the thought of having her go through Valentine's Day without my proposal.
Getting engaged on Valentine's Day is way too cheesy.... But what is genius? Getting engaged on the day BEFORE Valentine's Day! Even though I was pretty vocal about V-Day proposals, I knew she might have had a thought that I just could possibly propose on Valentine's Day. But she'd NEVER expect it on the day before. So the plan was hatched and February 13th, 2012 was the day.
I figured out the when, but what about the how? I didn't feel doing it in a restaurant was the right move. We didn't have many favorite places we visit where I could easily spring it on her. I decided doing it at our apartment would be best and achieve the most surprise.
I took a half day from work and headed home to run a couple errands before I prepared the apartment. I was nervous, only because I wanted everything to be perfect. I even went and turned off GPS on my iPhone just in case she might look up where I was!
I stopped at Michael’s to pick up some silk rose petals, a long spool of red ribbon and some construction paper. I stopped at Jewel for some flowers and I was set for action.
We both love music, so I thought printing out some lyrics that were meaningful and hanging them up on the wall leading into the bedroom was a great idea. I got those printed out and hung up.
Next came the ribbon. Our cat Bailey would have loved to witness me laying down the ribbon and would do his best to make sure it wouldn't stay the same way as I left it. I also knew that putting him near silk rose petals was not a smart idea. I set him up a comfy spot in the bathroom and apologized that he'd have to sit this one out!
I started with the ribbon on the middle of the stairs just around the corner from the landing so she couldn't see it right when she walked in the door. I brought it up all the way across the apartment, to the bedroom and into her jewelry box. I thought it would be perfect if I emptied the top of her jewelry box completely and left her wondering what the heck was going on!! I also setup the three dozen roses in two vases on either side of her jewelry box to set the scene.
Finally, it was time for the silk rose petals. As I started dropping them up the stairs along the path to the bedroom, I knew there was no turning back now....It would be impossible to pick these up in a hurry if something went wrong!! I rushed to get everything done, and ended up with time to spare before I had to pick Andi up from the train. So I had nothing left to do but lie on the couch nervous, hoping she would love everything.
While I was just about to pick her up from the train station, one of her texts alerted me that she might know something was up...but I knew she couldn't have. She arrived and we headed back home. We talked about dinner and I did my best to act completely normal, discussing some various options we could make. Everything was fine until we got home and I offered to help her take her coat off downstairs. She sensed something was strange....
She started up the stairs and once around the corner immediately noticed the ribbon and all the rose petals. My heart was racing a bit at that point a so I don't remember exactly what she said. She continued walking up the stairs and moved forward into the bedroom and saw all the lyrics on the walls. She followed the ribbon straight to her jewelry box.
She opened it up and was a little shocked when it was empty! She turned around only to see me down on one knee. I had grabbed the ring out from under the bed where I precisely hid it and made my proposal.
"Andi, I've loved you from our very first date. I can't imagine my life without you, and honestly, I wouldn't want to. You've made me the happiest man in the world ever since, and I would love nothing more than to spend the rest of my life doing my best to make you just as happy. Will you marry me?"
She started to tear up as I spoke and when I finished she was quick to respond with a big "YES!"
We hugged, kissed, and talked about how happy we both were! Phase one was complete.
Phase Two was dinner. I told her we were just going to go out and have a nice dinner and enjoy this time together alone. Afterwards we could alert the masses! Little did she know that I already had reservations scheduled with both our parents at one of our favorite restaurants, Cooper's Hawk Restaurant & Winery.
We got to the restaurant and I figured I would valet. We sat there for 30 seconds or so and no one was coming. I then saw Andi's dad through the window! Not wanting to end the surprise just yet, I bolted and said we'd just park and walk. They were busy. We went up and down a couple rows but couldn’t find any open spots. Finally we found one of the only spots left in the back... directly next to... Andi's parents car... And the gig was up. Andi saw the license plate and knew her parents were there. I chuckled and confirmed and she was excited I planned this out and we got to see our parents on our special night.
We had a lovely dinner to kick off our engagement. Both our parents couldn't have been happier, and we toasted to our new life together. We had delicious wine, food, and got to hear marriage stories from our waitress.
Of course, an engagement in our new world of the Internet would not be complete without posting it to Facebook. We updated our status which kicked off a barrage of phone calls from all our family and friends. We then had to pick up all those silk rose petals before we could let Bailey out of the bathroom. It ended up being the perfect night!
Finally, I had ordered more flowers from two different places to be delivered to her at work the next day. Andi was ecstatic when she received them and it was certainly the icing on the cake!
While proposing is definitely a nerve-racking experience, in the end it's all completely worth it and I wouldn't have done anything different! (Plus I knew she would say yes!)