It’s pretty safe to say that Saturday night (June 30, 2012) was the best day of my life EVER! It still hasn’t really sunk in yet even though I’ve told the story to my family and friends over and over again! I’m just so incredibly happy that there are hardly any words to describe the feeling!
Warning: there will be many exclamation points throughout this post. I just can’t help myself!!
It all started Thursday afternoon when Kevin was at work and I received a text from him saying a guy at work needed a day off so he switched shifts and had Saturday evening off (total lie – he was the one that did the switching). He proceeded to ask if I wanted to go out to dinner to celebrate being in Des Moines … of course I said yes! I never turn a dinner down. 🙂 We were trying to decide where to go and one of us said P.F. Changs because that was the first restaurant we went to when we moved here. We were living in a hotel for a couple of weeks when we first moved to the area and P.F. Changs was right by our hotel so we ate there out of convenience. I really never thought “he’s going to propose Saturday night!” because I mean, we were going to P.F. Changs … it’s not like it’s a ridiculously fancy place (no offense to Changs).
Saturday was completely normal … Kevin took a two hour nap on the couch and I assembled invitations for Katie’s bachelorette party in between playing with Gracie and cleaning up around the apartment. We casually discussed what time we should eat and decided 6 p.m. sounded good, so we got ready. The only time I ever thought something was strange was when Kevin asked me what shoes he should wear. If you know Kevin, you know the last thing he cares about is what he’s wearing – especially shoes! I was just like, “Who cares?! We’re going out to dinner at P.F. Changs…just throw on your sandals.” So he did.
The ride to dinner and our entire meal was perfectly normal. We didn’t order wine/beer (just water) or dessert and we even had a coupon for a free appetizer. If Kevin would have ordered a bottle of wine, suggested splitting a dessert or even opted to not use the coupon, I would have been more suspicious but our dinner was completely normal! After he paid the bill, we had plans to go to the mall nearby to grab more flip flops at Old Navy (it was $1 sale day!).
Kevin suggested walking near the pond at the Jordan Creek Amphitheater on our way to the mall and I happily agreed because it was beautiful outside! Last year at this time, Kevin and I watched fireworks and listened to a live band at that exact spot for July 4th … that was our very first “Des Moines” thing that we did together (you can read about that night here).
We were reminiscing about how we couldn’t believe we had been in Des Moines for a whole year and how happy we were. Kevin then said some amazingly sweet and special things and got down on one knee (!!!!!!!), pulled out the most beautiful and perfect ring I’ve ever seen and asked, “Gabby, will you marry me?”
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so big in my life. I (of course) said “yes!” and we hugged and kissed and it was just wonderful.
Just when I was ready to whip out my camera and take it all in, Kevin hurried me to the car and said he had a surprise for me at Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop (a local restaurant/bar). I had NO idea what that surprise was (I mean, he just proposed! You can’t have a surprise better than that!) but I was giddy as ever so I agreed and basically ran to the car with excitement.
On our drive over, I was dying to call my parents/his family but Kevin told me to wait until we got there. I kept trying to figure out why he wanted me to wait, and I just assumed Kevin asked our friends Jess and Chris to go out for celebratory drinks and they were there waiting. He said we were running behind, so I just thought we would walk in, say hi to them and go outside to call our families. For a very split second, upon pulling into the parking lot, I quickly scanned for my parent’s van, but I didn’t see it and quickly dismissed the fact that there’s no way my family would be there…that would just be crazy!
So we walked in and the first thing I saw was my dad.
And then I saw my mom.
And then I saw a bunch of familiar faces.
And then I bawled like a baby. I mean bawled.
Here’s a video (doesn’t do it justice at all).
KEVIN INVITED MY FAMILY, HIS FAMILY AND ALL OF OUR BEST FRIENDS. Can you believe that? CAN YOU BELIEVE HIM?!
My parents and brother came from St. Louis. Kevin’s mom and sister came from Cincinnati. Kevin’s aunt and cousin came from Indiana. Mine and Kevin’s best friends Danny and Sara (who we JUST were camping with last weekend) came from Cincinnati. Kevin’s roommates, George and Matt from college came from South Dakota and Milwaukee. My roommate from college, Jacki, came from Wyoming. Brian, Kevin’s fraternity brother came from Chicago. My Kappa sisters came from Chicago and Davenport. Katie
came flew in from Arizona (Arizona!). And Jess and Chris were also there (so I was half right)! I couldn’t believe it.
I was so surprised!!!!!
We are blessed. Truly, truly blessed.
So I cried for the first hour I was there. Hugging people, kissing people, saying “I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU ARE HERE!” over and over and over again. And I kept looking over at Kevin just amazed at how wonderful he is and how lucky I am to be engaged to him.
I can’t describe the feeling of walking into that bar, but I hope I never forget it because it just warms my heart seeing all of their faces just moments after one of my happiest moments of my life.
I almost forgot I was wearing my beautiful ring at one point because I was crying so much!
“YOU GUYS ARE ALL HERE?!”
And then I calmed down and we took pictures. 🙂
Amazed. And so happy.
Everyone keeps asking if I knew it was coming…
Back in March, Kevin and I casually looked at a rings at a few local places in Des Moines just to get ideas. Neither of us knew much about diamonds or what we liked, so we thought it would be best to go look. We had a fantastic experience looking and I absolutely fell in love with one of the settings, but also liked a few others. We left happy. 🙂
Leading up to this weekend, I had no idea it was going to happen then. Like I said before, Saturday was completely normal! I was so surprised by the engagement that I was literally speechless. I kept stuttering when trying to talk to Kevin! And when we got to Wellman’s, I was so surprised that I was beyond delusional and I acutally thought for a second that we were in Chicago after seeing all of our Valpo friends. That’s how surprised I was … I was going crazy!
I just cannot believe how many of our family members and friends knew. My family knew since the week after my brother’s graduation. Or that wedding I went to Memorial Day weekend? ALL my friends, including the bride, knew. Or when we went camping with Danny and Sara last weekend? Yeeeep. They knew they whole time. I even hung out with Jess and Chris the day before our engagement and we watched 27 Dresses (!!)…not a peep about it.
I was wondering why my friends didn’t drink so much when I saw them – they didn’t want it to slip! 😉 So friends – thank you so much for keeping it a secret, especially when I talked about weddings/engagements as often as I did! 🙂
So now for the ring!! I’ve debated putting it up on Facebook because I don’t know if that’s the “appropriate” thing to do. I’ve gone back and forth a bunch, but I guess it’s no different than sending someone a text, email or even showing it in person!
Like I said before, we both fell in love with the setting, but Kevin picked out the diamond completely on his own. He knew I liked something unique, so he picked out a beautiful asscher cut that looks flawless. It’s surrounded by two side baguettes (that I think are so unique and pretty!) seated on a halo with a few diamonds around the band. Like I said, obsessed.
I have a hard time driving because I keep staring at it and typing is basically a joke because I get distracted every five words. 🙂
And the last question we have been getting is about when we’ll get married. To be completely honest, we have no idea! Kevin has been planning this amazing engagement and surprise engagement party for two months…poor guy needs a break!
One thing that I really want to do throughout our engagement is remember the reason why we’re engaged. We’re getting married not just to throw a party, or see our family and friends (although those are great perks!), but to become husband and wife. I think that’s so special and I don’t want the meaning of getting married to get lost in little details like cake, dresses, flowers and more!
Ahhhhh I still cannot believe it! We’re soaking in all of the love and congratulatory wishes from our loved ones and we could not be happier. Thank you all so much (especially those who traveled all the way here) – it means more than you’ll ever know!
(Also, thank you Katie for the video and Melissa/Katie for the pictures! I didn’t take a single picture all night so I love that you guys sent me yours. 🙂 )