Our Engagement Story [Part 1]

Because David prompted me, as well as because I'm feeling nostalgic and also trying to while away the hours until Baby G gets here, I thought now would be a great time to write down our engagement story for alllll the internet to read.

I am going to give you a fair warning/disclaimer: it is long. And by long, I mean it takes 15-20 minutes to tell in person, so with all the extra things I'm going to add in by blogging it, this might take 2-3 blog posts. We'll see where the spirit takes me, and I'll try to link them all together somehow without leaving enormous cliffhangers.


not engaged here even though my hand looks like it...awk-sauce...
I think the entire "story of us" deserves a separate post (or twelve), but I have to give you a leeetle bit of background before jumping into this "let's get married" thing.

David and I met at the Newman Center the weekend before our freshman year started. He doesn't remember a whole lot of the meeting, but I do. It's a doozy, let's just put it that way. (Again, a story for another time. I'll get to it eventually.) So by the time we were juniors, even though we'd only been dating since our sophomore year, we felt like we knew each other really well and were ready for that next step.

The summer David proposed to me, I was working for a publishing company and doing some traveling to Quebec, Canada. I speak marginal French, which was more than all the rest of the company, so they sent me to fumble through customer relations and make lots of visits. It was at the same time very exciting to be getting paid to travel, but also made me extremely homesick - and exhausted.

My trips usually lasted from a Sunday afternoon through a Friday afternoon, depending on where in Quebec me and my partner were going, and what flights were available. The week before David proposed was a LONG one - we had to leave early that Sunday because flights were all goofy, and our flight out of Montreal was at 5:00 a.m., which meant I was up on Friday at like 3:00 in the morning until much, much later that night.

Quebec was pretty stinkin' beautiful, though.
That week of traveling was a really rough one for me emotionally. I was homesick, tired, and just ready to be back in the States. We worked 12-15 hour days for a week solid, so I was beat. David and I luckily got to Skype/talk on the phone pretty much every night, and all week he kept telling me he had an amazing date planned for me on Friday night when I got back. It's one of the few things that got me through the week, looking forward to that date.

Of course now he claims he didn't say that, because he didn't want to give me any hints that he was going to propose, but he lies. He totally said it. Multiple times, I might add.

Another background: we had had plenty of talks about the future at this point, and both of us were certain we were going to end up together. But, David had me convinced he wasn't going to propose until things were a little more lined up for our future together - he had convinced me he wasn't going to propose at LEAST until Thanksgiving or Christmas of that year. So that made for an extra bit of surprise - which is also why I wasn't thinking proposal at all when he mentioned this great date we were going to have.

Beautiful Catholic churches like this EVERYWHERE in Quebec. It's totally unfair, really.
So. I got up at 3:00 that Friday morning, spent all day traveling, and went into the office for a couple of hours (talk about terrible work policy - no matter when your flight is on Fridays, they make you come into the office til 4:00 p.m.! worst!). The details get a little fuzzy here, but somehow I got home (David may have picked me up from work?) and I went to get ready for the date.

Then David came to pick me up, surprising me with flowers in the front seat when I climbed into his car. We drove to our favorite restaurant, Lazlo's (a fantastic brewery in Lincoln, if you're ever here and need a place to eat), where we immediately were seated and somehow our food just magically appeared.

us at Lazlo's 1-2 years earlier
David claims I didn't remark on this, and just immediately started eating. I can't really remember being surprised by the fact that our food just appeared, which was probably due to my lack of sleep the night before - or maybe I was just starving so I immediately started eating. Apparently he was a little disappointed that his work to get my favorite food ordered and ready for us when we arrived went unnoticed. Whoops. (Sorry honey!)

We had a nice dinner together. He ordered me my favorite burger (guacamole, fried onions, and provolone cheese) and we even splurged and got drinks (pop for me since I wasn't 21 yet), which was a big deal for us. I spent most of the time talking about my week in Quebec, and showing him pictures on my phone of the different weird things about Quebec - including the fact that they sell milk in bags?! Proof:

I'm sorry, but quick sidebar: what in the actual heck? Why do they sell liquids that are pretty gross if you spill them in flexible, moving bags?!? How do you store the things in your fridge? How do you pour it out of there?!? I will never understand. Ever.

Back to the story.

David says he had a hard time concentrating on my stories because he was thinking about what he was going to do later. I don't blame him, and to be honest he seemed like he was listening and participating well enough that I didn't notice so...once again, sleep deprivation is not a good thing for me.

We finished dinner and drove to my favorite dessert place in Lincoln, Dairy Sweet. It's this adorable by-the-road ice cream and slushy (slushie?) store, family owned, and deliciously cheap. It's wonderful.

best pic I could find online of their cute oldfashioned sign
Then David announced we were heading back to Avila, the house I lived in with 5 other girls that year (named under the patronage of St. Teresa of Avila). I was openly upset about this, because he'd been claiming all week that we were going to have this amazing date. It was only like 8:00 at this point, and while this had been a fun date, I was not exactly seeing "amazing" yet, and I didn't want to just go home and watch TV or something boring like that.

I think I pouted the whole way to Avila. Again, sorry David. I can be pretty mean sometimes.

When we got to Avila, he had me climb into my truck (a '91 Toyota Pickup, if you're curious) and close my eyes while he put some things in the back end. Whew, the date wasn't ending! I was relieved. And I felt a little bad for getting mad at him, but not that bad because he could have just told me it wasn't over. whatevs.

We then drove to his house, and I had to sit in the truck with my eyes closed for what seemed like an ETERNITY while he got a bunch of stuff and put it in the back end. When we got there originally, he offered to have me go inside and hang out for a bit, but I was thinking he'd grab one or two things and we'd be off, so I didn't see the point. 15 minutes later, still sitting in the truck with my eyes closed, I was a little mad at myself for not taking him up on his offer.

Lesson learned from this engagement story: Hannah, just go with the flow. (I'm still learning.)

He got all the stuff situated, and we hit the road. He wouldn't tell me where we were going, and he didn't want me to see the stuff in the back end, so we ended up driving about 20 minutes outside Lincoln, me with my eyes closed the entire time.

I spent the drive telling him more stories from the week, generally talking his ear off, and he claims he really heard like 0% of this stuff because he was worried about the ring falling out of the back end. It was in his backpack which he somehow managed to stick in the back end but couldn't see with the rear view mirror. I don't blame him for being nervous - and because my eyes were closed, I couldn't tell he wasn't really paying attention. (We are good at communicating, no?)

We finally arrived at our destination...and that's where I'll leave you for this post. Stay tuned for part 2!


  1. So much suspense!! Can't wait to hear the rest of the story.
    PS. In all of Canada the milk used to be sold in Bags, everyone had special pitchers that they used to pour the milk. Weird but it worked and I'm sure you can still get it that way some places. Exhibit a. http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/do-americans-seriously-not-have-milk-in-bags.124904748/page-2


Post a Comment

I love reading & replying to comments! Check your email for a response if you have your email linked to your profile, otherwise check back right here.