Since we went to New Orleans a few weeks ago and are currently living it up in Florida visiting my brother and his girlfriend, Dan and I decided we were just going to exchange Christmas stockings this year and skip "actual" gifts. So, I filled Dan's stocking with a cd, a pair of slippers, a Chipotle giftcard and a few other random things... and mine sat empty for the days leading up to Christmas (which I can assure you I was none too thrilled about). On Christmas Eve, we spent the day running last minute errands, wrapping presents, cooking and baking treats for that evening at my gramma's, and packing for Florida (we left Christmas Day). On top of everything else, I also spent the day asking Dan continuously when we were going to exchange our stockings, and he finally told me we could before leaving for my gramma's.
Promptly at 6:00, I rushed down the stairs dressed and ready to go and announced that we should do our little exchange. We sat down on the couch, Dan said he wanted to go first, and the conversation to follow went like this -
Dan - "Ok, so you can't be mad at me, because I didn't really get you a lot"
Me - "Ok..."
Dan - "So, I have 3 questions for you. First - do you love me?"
Me - "Um, yes... of course"
Dan - "Do you REALLY love me?"
Me - "Yes..."
Dan - "Well, then I would like to ask you - will you marry me?"
It happened! We're engaged!!
In true Kelly form, I sat stunned, jaw dropped, and unable to speak through the tears until I finally choked out a "YES!"
Dan insisted on going through the totally subpar stuff in his stocking before following me out the door to rush to see my family. At my gramma's, I made sure to call Manda over first to see my ring, and she, my mom and gramma followed quickly with the tears. I basically cried every time I showed one of my relatives, and flat out bawled like a baby when I talked to my dad and brother on the phone. Seeing as Facebook practically runs the world, I had a REALLY hard time not posting my changed relationship status immediately - but the Lawler clan still had no idea we were engaged (!!!), and wouldn't know until we saw them in the morning on Christmas day.
We headed to the Lawler's in the morning with me still in pajamas and fighting a new cold, and Dan insisted that I keep my ring off and hidden until the perfect moment... which to my disappointment didn't happen for HOURS after we got there. Finally, when everyone was seated to open presents, I slipped my ring on, Dan said he had something to tell them, then he looked at me and I held up my hand. Through all of this (and the night before at my gramma's), I LOVED seeing everyone's faces as they realized what I was showing them :). Lots of hugs and congrats later, we were able to start making phone calls to more friends and making the news completely public. While it's an interesting change of pace to have so much attention centered on myself, I'm definitely feeling a TON of love from friends and family and am thrilled to begin planning our big day!
I found out later that Dan bought the ring in New Orleans, which is really huge to me since that's essentially where our relationship started a little over 4 years ago. I also found out that he carried the ring around for most of our New Orleans trip waiting for the perfect moment to propose and I kept messing it up! There was an evening he was trying to initiate us taking a walk alone and I insisted on inviting Nikki and Ryan along, and there was another evening we went to an event and he thought about it on our walk over - but I was freezing and whining about my uncomfortable heels (I KNEW I should have invested in a good pair of black pumps before our trip) :). Regardless, I'm glad he waited as it was absolutely perfect getting to see all of our family members within a day of our engagement on Christmas Eve.
I'm sure nobody is surprised that I'm already itching to start a wedding blog, so I will likely do so in an effort to organize my ideas and avoid overflowing this blog with wedding talk - I'll be sure to post the link here when I get it going. We're already tossing around dates for late Summer 2011, which is a little nerve racking since that seems REALLY close, but seeing as I've been dreaming about my wedding and saving inspiration images for years, I'm hoping I can get it all together! (I also have a super crafty mom and awesome girlfriends/relatives who have already made me promise I will call them to help with all the DIY projects I'm thinking about).
To anyone reading this that has squealed with me, cried with me, and jumped up and down in excitement with me already - thank you for your already overwhelming support. It's a blessing to be able to share such a special time with so many people that we love! I hope everyone's holiday season was as wonderful as ours, and here's to a happy new year and an exciting 2011!