Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our Love Story (Part 3--the Finale!)

Part 1 and Part 2. This one is longer than the other two, but I promise a lot of it is pictures. ;)

As I mentioned before, we never had a "determine the relationship" conversation. One reason was that
, a few days after our first date, Keith sent me an email telling me how he felt about me. Whatever doubts I might have still had about his intentions were completely swept away. 

I still had two months before moving to Pittsburgh. But Keith and I talked every day—on the phone, on Gchat, via email. (In fact, I kind of wonder how much work he got done at his computer in those days!) And sometimes he surprised me in other ways. Such as driving 45 minutes to surprise me at my work and give me a book he’d found in our favorite used bookstore. Or the time when, knowing that I had to get up for an early Mass because of my work schedule, he showed up on my front porch at 5am (way before I even woke up, because he didn’t know how early I had to leave) with fresh scones and a thermos of tea for breakfast. And once we went hiking at Todd Sanctuary but it started pouring rain, so we took shelter on the porch of a cabin and waltzed there, just the two of us, in the middle of the woods.

Long story short, this guy swept me off my feet entirely.

Then I moved to the city.

That's when I told him I loved him. (He'd already told me.) And we had lots of adventures together. And Facebook documented them. 

Barn dance, 2009. Same patio as the picture in this post. 
Around Christmas. I always coveted his blue teakettle but never bought one for myself just in case we got married someday. ;)
Visiting California, May 2010
Picnicking with friends. Right before I dumped a glass of red wine all over my vintage dress.
We had a couple of conversations at various times about dating, engagement, and marriage. I made it clear that in my humble opinion, all things being equal (and especially if you were out of college like we were), once you’d been dating someone for two years you should know whether or not you were going to get married. And he agreed. I was pleased about that. 

When Keith and I had been together about a year, my cousin and dear friend Theresa started dating a nice young man, Danny. The four of us got together with our families and everyone got to meet everyone else and it was lots of fun. (Little did we know that they both had rings at that time. It was pretty funny in retrospect.) Then, a month or so later … Danny proposed to Theresa. I was so happy for them, but also …? Really, really jealous! 

Now, there were little things here and there that caught my attention. For example, on one summer date Keith asked me to pay because he’d forgotten his credit card was maxed out. And I wondered, now, what would be so expensive that he would use up all his credit? Hmmmm? Could it possibly be ... a ring??

Because at this point I knew I wanted to marry Keith. Okay, I said to myself, two years. If he hasn’t proposed by our two year anniversary, then I will bring it up myself. But then Theresa got engaged ...So okay, I amended, if he doesn’t propose this year, then I will bring it up in January.

I asked my mom and friend Stephanie to pray to St. Therese for me, and resolved to pray a novena that started on her feast day (October 1st) and ended on my birthday (October 5t). This particular novena was one that asked her to send a rose as a sign your request will be granted.

On the morning of my birthday, Keith showed up bringing me breakfast … and a rose plant.

I am so, so sad because bugs killed this plant a few months ago. 
I hadn’t even completed the prayers for that day yet! But you better believe I did. 

It turns out Keith had met my dad for coffee that very morning and asked his permission to marry me. Later that night he threw me a surprise birthday party in my own apartment (this guy threw me two surprise parties in as many years! He is really good at keeping secrets), and my parents were there. And I have NO IDEA how my mom managed to keep it in. I am seriously impressed. Looking back perhaps I can remember a special glow in her smile, but I really didn’t suspect a thing. 

I never made this my profile picture, but I really should have.
Two days later (Thursday) Keith asked if we could go hiking that weekend. Somewhere out of the city, he said. When he asked, I got this incredibly strong feeling that he was going to propose on that hike. But I immediately scolded myself away from believing it. If I went on this hike expecting a proposal and then it didn’t come, how disappointing would that be? 

We didn’t decide on a time or place that night, and the next night (Friday) we hung out with his friend John. Literally as he was walking out the door at 11pm I asked, Um, hiking? Tomorrow? No? He stopped. “Ohhhhhh, right. Um … let’s just do Todd Sanctuary, okay?” Like it was the only place he could think of off the top of his head. 

See? He had almost forgotten the hike altogether. There couldn't possibly be a proposal in the works. 

Keith was VERY late picking me up the next morning. As in, I knit an entire hat waiting for him. (It was a baby hat. But still.) (Btw, that hat ended up being too small for its intended recipient, and Michael wore it this winter!) 

Finally he arrived, we made the hour-long drive, and we hiked to the cabin where we’d once danced in the rain. This day was dry and sunny; but Keith took my hand, and we began to dance, there in the middle of the woods once more, just the two of us. 

And that is when the music started. 

A waltz playing in the middle of the woods. 

Keith says my face was one of pure panic. Who the HECK is out here with us, playing MUSIC? It took me a second to realize … wait. We are waltzing, and waltz music just started playing, and Keith is just sort of taking it in stride. Is this what I think it is? 

He twirled me to the edge of the porch, where we peered around the corner to see his friend John behind the cabin, manning the speakers and accompanying L’Valse d’Amelie on the glockenspiel. 

After that dance ended, the Blue Danube started. We waltzed to the other end of the porch to be met by a shower of balloons. 

By that point, our dancing had gotten really clumsy. We were both pretty nervous. At some point, Keith stopped, stood and looked at me, and then got on one knee and pulled out the ring and … 

Well, I said yes. :) 

And then we told John he could come out from hiding. 

And then we drove to my parents, who took lots of pictures. 

Not sure how my birthday sombrero ended up in this picture.
Keith designed the ring himself. Sometimes people post pictures of vintage engagement rings on Pinterest, and you know what? Mine is prettier than all of them. We designed our wedding rings to match it. 

(I have to include this picture of us at the Barn Dance in 2010, because we're sitting in the same spot as the picture from my first post long before we even dated. Only a lot closer.)

Nine months later: 

And nine months after that:


  1. Such a sweet story, it was fun getting to know you a little bit more. Sounds like the two of you were meant to be together :)

  2. cute! You just reminded me about a novena that was critical in my "love story" as well...I'll have to remember to mention it when I get around to my last installment :-)