When: Sunday night, July 8th, 2012 Where: The North Shore of Lake Tahoe
I knew that Derek was the one for me from day one, and the feeling must have been mutual, because we started talking about marriage right from the start. Still, I was surprised when he started inquiring about my ring preferences, only three months into our relationship. Now, while most little girls grow up dreaming of their big day, and have their engagement ring picked out by the time they're 12, I had no clue what I wanted. And to this, Derek said, "How am I supposed to know, if you don't? You'd better get on that." And so the search began... It didn't take me long to find a ring I absolutely loved, and I was eager to give Derek all the information he could possibly need in order to get it on my finger. Quickly. Perhaps one of Derek's most endearing qualities is his inability to tell a lie, and so I knew the very day he put a deposit on the ring because he fumbled with an explanation for where he had been that day, and finally confessed to being at the jeweler. So I waited. Not so patiently. Sometime in early Summer, Derek let slip that he would have the ring by Fall, which eased my eagerness. So, in July, when we decided to spend a couple days in Lake Tahoe, a proposal was the farthest thing from my mind. Although the lake was beautiful, we spent the day fighting holiday traffic, a leaking kayak, and lack of sleep. By the time we made it through dinner, I was exhausted, and longing for bed. When Derek suggested a walk along the beach, I agreed, reluctantly. As we sat on the shore, the evening grew darker, and I wanted to head back. Derek stood and said, "Before we go..." and pulled something from his pocket. At the time, I was so confused. It had grown so dark that I could barely see, and when he knelt down, I kept thinking, "He can't be proposing... He doesn't have the ring yet!" But there he was, kneeling in the dark, on the pebbly beach of Lake Tahoe, holding the ring box upside down. Though he later told me that he had planned a speech, at the time he could only manage two words... "Will you?" It may have been the hardest question he's ever had to ask, but it was the easiest that I've ever had to answer. I can't wait to walk down that aisle, and marry my best friend.
Stacy and I had been talking marriage from early in our relationship. In fact, only a few short months in, I suggested that she figure out what kind of rings she liked, so I knew the one I picked would be one she loved. As I paid off the ring, I knew I wanted to plan something special for my proposal. We planned a trip to Tahoe to go kayaking, and I thought, what better place than beautiful Lake Tahoe?! So the Thursday before our trip, I stopped by the jeweler to make the last payment and pick up the ring. Apparently... that's not how it works. As my heart sunk, they told me it would be ready some time the following week. They could clearly see my disappointment, and were kind enough to put a rush order on it so I could have it by the next day. While Stacy was at work, I hurried back to the jeweler, picked up the ring, and very carefully hid it in my bag. On the last night of our quick trip to Tahoe, I finally mustered up my courage. All through dinner, I was a nervous mess. I was so sure that Stacy would notice, or that she would see the ring in my shorts pocket. Fitting a ring with the case and trying to hide it the whole evening is quite a feat of ninja-like stealth! After dinner, I suggested that we take a stroll along the water. Even though she was tired, Stacy reluctantly agreed. We walked along the pier across from our hotel and sat to enjoy the view. When the sun was set and it was starting to get dark, it was time to return to our room. The whole time my stomach was doing all kinds of Cirque du Soleil moves. I figured, it's now or never! I stood and said, "Before we leave..." *get down on one knee* *pull out ring box* *open it upside down* *hand shaking* *voice trembling* "...Will you?" I couldn't even get the whole sentence out, let alone the quick speech I had planned. She gasped and said, "Of course!" and the rest is history. By the way, there was something in my eye that night. It was probably some dust or something.
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