Doug and I met way, way back in 2000 as freshmen at Illinois College. Since our college was tiny (only 1000 people) we hung out with a lot of the same people (that's my code for saying I dated this roommate for three years-oops!).
So, we were friends in college. Then Doug went off to study engineering at the University of Illinois, and I stayed back at IC to finish up my BA, but he visited often and we were still friends. Then, I graduated and moved to El Paso, IL (not TX), and he was still at Champaign, and we were still in touch-ish. Then I went to U of I for library science just as he left for Boston.
Then things get serious!
I love basketball, so after the Illinois games, I would call Doug and we'd go over the game and other events of the day. And after basketball season, we just kept talking every couple weeks. Then, our good friends Nick and Tara got married, and that's kinda when things started to change.
So, this is 2006 at Nick and Tara Adam's Wedding. It was a great wedding, by the way. Be sorry you missed it! Anyway, that's Sam in the pic with Doug and I. You remember Sam from Pub and Putt. Anyway, look how young we all were! And I looked prettier earlier in the night. There was some serious dancing at this wedding, so I got quite the workout.
So, in 2006, we were still friends, but maybe a little more than friends. Then, I get a job in the Chicago suburbs and Doug is still living in Boston but we still talk every couple weeks. Then we have New Year's Eve.
I'm a little embarrassed to put this out there, but this is how it went down folks! NYE 2007 was the real turning point, but I still lived around Chicago and he still lived in Boston and I was in denial that I was in love with my college friend.
Then, Doug got a job transfer back to Chicago in January or February of 2007. He would be moving back that summer. And when he did, that was it. We were dating. It really was that simple. Once we landed in the same time zone, we knew.
From there, we just dated, spent a ton of time together, had a lot of fun hanging out in the city and being all adorable around each other. I was totally smitten. And in May 2008, I went to his apartment and found a big packet of information from Jared Jewelers. We talked about getting married, but always in abstract terms and suddenly it wasn't abstract anymore.
So, here's the kinda weird part. In late July 2008, Doug came down to my parent's house to ask my dad for permission to marry me. I knew all this was happening, but my dad goes to bed pretty early some nights and when he was going to bed Doug asked it he would sit back down for a second and talk to him. Basically, he asked my parents permission to marry me right in front of me, but it was kinda great. It's like he proposed to me twice! After some tearful hugs and such, they agreed and we were good to go.
Then came 08-08-08. Did you know that's a lucky day in Chinese culture? It was the opening of the Beijing Olympics, but I didn't care at all about that. I had helped Doug pick out a gorgeous ring a couple weeks earlier, and we had tickets to a Vanessa Carlton Concert and a really great evening planned. I go to Doug's apartment to meet him for the train ride into Chicago. I am giddy! I know what's going to happen and I couldn't be more excited. But while we're on the train, he says "Oh yeah, you need to give me your ring size so I can have your engagement ring sized when I buy it." No-he hadn't bought the ring yet. We weren't getting engaged, and I was ticked. I pouted. Full-on grump mood and nothing was changing my mind.
We get to the train station in Chicago and hail a cab because Doug wanted to go to Buckingham Fountain before dinner. Let me just say that I have had many wonderful cab rides in Chicago, but this was the worst ever. I actually started saying the Lord's Prayer when I thought we were going to hit a garage truck at 40 miles per hour. And about two or three blocks away from Grant Park, Doug stopped the cabbie and got us out of the death trap.
We walk up to Buckingham Fountain, which is really beautiful, so I might have smiled, when Doug says, "let's make a wish" and hands me a penny. Now, I kinda thought that was weird. Who carries pennies? But I chucked my penny and made a wish (that Doug would propose, of course) and I was so excited that it actually went in the fountain that I could barely process what came next. Doug on one knee, with my ring asking me to marry him. It was adorable and perfect and of course I yelled "You tricked me!" and started crying. But that didn't really answer his question. I probably mumbled a yes while putting on the ring and crying and hugging and kissing him. I might have also hit him for tricking me, I don't really remember. But here's the result!
And four years later we are married and happy and super blessed! This nerdy little engineer found his equally nerdy librarian and we've lived happily ever after with only a few snafus along the way. But snafus make for good stories, so whatever.
That's it-that's our engagement story, and our whole meeting-dating story. Now you know!
Do you celebrate engagement day, or were you tricked by a sneaky boyfriend? Everyone loves a good engagement story, right?