Sparkly and Bright


We're engaged!

As surreal as it feels to be able to type that, I'm happy to share that it's true. And the way it all went down was better than I ever could have imagined.

On Christmas morning, Ryan shot out of bed at like 5:30am and told me he had to go get his coat out of his car. Then he was gone for 30 minutes. 

Honestly? The ridiculousness of this didn't even faze me. Especially since we had spent the night before at my dad's house for Christmas Eve and neither Ryan nor my dad was acting weird, something I was positive that both of them would be doing if Ryan had been about to propose.

Which is why I was shocked to (eventually) learn that that morning, only 8 hours later, they were out on the beach in front of our house together: Ryan writing a giant "Bri will you marry me?" sign in the sand and my dad snapping pics. 

Apparently, these two have better poker faces than I give them credit for...

When Ryan came back into the house, I was still in bed, lights still off, scrolling through my phone, and ready to drift back to sleep. He walked into the bedroom, turned the lights on and told me there was a "crazy sandcastle nativity scene" on the beach that I had to see before it got washed away by high tide. 

That was the only time I got suspicious. So I got out of bed, clipped the nails on my left hand, brushed my teeth, wrapped a blanket around me and let him take my hand and lead me to the beach. 

At the start of winter in OB, bulldozers come and create a giant, long berm separating the beach from the ocean to protect against crazy winter waves. As Ryan led me to the ocean, I couldn't see anything beyond the berm. He walked me up to the top of the berm and told me to look down, which is when I saw the sign in the sand. 

And then he got down on one knee. 

I always swore that whenever and however this happened, I would try my hardest to stay present and in the moment and lock it into my memory forever. But it was so hard. 

I remember some things very clearly. Like I remember his eyes looking really, really blue and bright when he looked up and asked me to marry him because the light from the sunrise was hitting them perfectly. I remember the ring literally glowing when he opened the box (which I soon confirmed I wasn't imagining because there was a built-in light in the box). I remember saying yes and grabbing the ring to put it on like a spaz before he could do it for me. And that's it. Everything else was kind of an insanely wonderful blur.

Soon after, my dad popped out from behind the berm snapping photos and I couldn't believe it. We spent the next 15 minutes or so taking pictures and then headed back to the house to tell the dogs and bring them out for a few photos. 

Also? I couldn't stop taking photos of my ring against all the sunrise colors in the ocean. The photos don't quite do it justice, but Ryan picked an absolutely perfect ring. In the past, we've had several drunk conversations about what kind of ring I wanted (meaning: I got drunk and said "Hey, look at these rings I like!") over the years, but I was still surprised when Ryan gave me the ring of my dreams: a thin rose gold band and a sparkly, very bright white diamond.

All I'd wanted was something simple, dainty, sparkly and bright. And he nailed it.

Eventually we headed out into OB to get coffee and try to snag a picture by the neighborhood Christmas tree with our two very uncooperative dogs.

Walking around town that morning was an extension of the fuzzy dream that started back on the beach. Nothing.... not even the crazy bum screaming that he had a "murderous rage in his heart" or the moment that Banjo peed on Brewer's face or the cold could pull me out of it. I was the happiest I've been in a long time, but also, the most in disbelief.

It was a perfect morning and a perfect proposal and the perfect ring from the most perfect person for me. 

That being said, I'll close this post with something that I feel is important to say: 

Over the six years we've been together, whenever I read or saw or heard about someone else's engagement news, especially through the filter of Instagram, I was often overcome with jealousy and occasionally depression. This is a super embarrassing and shameful, but very real fact about me. 

Except now I know. I know what you don't see in the gorgeous photos of a proposal is the time and the work and the tough parts that it takes for those two people to come to the really huge decision of deciding to spend the rest of their lives together. We romanticize the engagement without acknowledging the romance of the partnership and commitment that starts years before a ring enters the picture. 

I always sort of knew this would be true, but now I know that the engagement isn't the most romantic part of our story to date, it was the constant decision to commit to each other over the years, through all the good times and the uncertain times and the tough times that it took to get to this point. 

So I share our proposal story and photos here not to brag, but to celebrate that and to share this beautiful moment as I share all my beautiful moments on this blog. And if it makes you feel like I used to when I saw other people get engaged, I get it. But know that this perfect morning was made possible by a lot of less than perfect days, when both of us probably never thought this day would ever be possible. 

Now? I get to spend the rest of my life with this amazing human. 

...and this ring which is really, really sparkly. ;)