Rules of Engagement

Do you know what tomorrow is?? 

Tax Day?

Well, yeah…

Flashback Friday?

Uh huh, but…

The day after, three years ago, when The Candace got engaged?

YES!!  Even though you’re busy and have other things to do and think about, I’m going to tell you about that day.

Hubs had been working on a business venture in California from January through early April 2008.  It was a long and lonely Minnesotan winter without him.  When his stint in Silicon Valley ended, he flew back home and we only had ONE day to get settled before flying out west for a short snowboarding trip.  I wanted to take the day off to spend it relaxing with the Mister I had been missing…and finish up the taxes I hadn’t started yet…

Turns out, Hubs (then, the Boy Toy) had already gotten his taxes taken care of like a responsible adult.  Even worse, instead of doing my taxes, I spent that precious day running around like a frantic idiot in the freezing cold rain, trying to hammer out a slew of last minutes errands before we had to head out to catch our flight.  My stress-o-meter was totally in the red.  And the fact that this was all self induced was completely infuriating.

Needless to say, I started off this little vaca on the cranky side.  Oh, and it didn’t help matters that a month earlier I had spontaneously decided to chop off eight inches of my hair and dye it brown (you guys!  BROWN!), a choice I sincerely regretted.  To say I looked (and felt) like an old washed out hag was an understatement.  Also, the lonely winter did nothing to improve my waistline, so yeah.  What I’m trying to say is that I was a tax-delinquent hot mess.

We flew into Denver, met up with my good friend Kari who helped me file an extension.  I mailed two fat checks to the government to make sure I was covered until I could get the specifics ironed out.  After shrugging that hairy monkey off my back, I finally relaxed and had myself a mighty favorable time.  How I love the mountains!  We spent an incredible day snowboarding with Kari and then she graciously let us stay the night at her beautiful condo nestled along the base of Keystone (our favorite ski resort) when she had to head back to work.

Unbeknown to me, Hubs had masterminded a proposal plan – a plan that was about to go down in flames…

First, let’s break for a picture.

Wow, huh?

Hubs was hoping to finish off our last day of snowboarding with a romantic evening in Keystone’s picturesque village.  It’s a darling place – bustling with restaurants and shops.  Unfortunately, we were a day too late (because it was the tail end of ski season) and it was closed.  Drat.

Also, because of my unfortunate hair situation, I was feeling reminiscent of a yeti and just wanted to hit up a place where we could wear jeans and enjoy some cheap food.  Another drat.

We decided to eat in Breckenridge.  It’s not quaint like Keystone.  In fact, it’s  a sprawling busy strip and we walked for what seemed like *forever* before we settled on a place to eat.   While we were restaurant hunting, Hubs was trying to find a secluded and scenic spot (THE spot) to get a picture (and deliver a bling-y surprise!).  Being the helpful hungry monster I was, I suggested a few stupid places – like next to a bronze eagle cemented in the sidewalk.  “There, we got a picture by a faux eagle, for the love of God can we eat now???”  Drat?

(The picture turned out so ridiculous that I deleted it later…)

And with that, Hubs plan of proposing (and talk excitedly about our future over dinner) completely fizzled.  A dinner proposal was not an option because I am a shy hermit and would have passed out if he would have popped the question with other people staring.  He was running out of time.

After gorging myself like a beast at dinner (drat) and heading back to the condo, Hubs suggested an evening walk to settle our bloated tums.  I said no.  I said I was cold.  I said I was tired.  He persisted and I reluctantly agreed but as he headed out down the way, I quietly turned around and bolted for the condo (he had to chase me down).  After some convincing, I said I would walk but only THREE minutes out and THREE minutes back.  It was actually a super gorgeous and quiet night (since it was a weekday) and I decided that I didn’t mind the walk after all.  So, we kept going.  Hubs kept trying to find a place for a picture (oh great, here we go again) and let me just sum it up and say, it was harder to find than you might think.

After much failed picture taking prospects and shenanigans (like getting stuck up to his shoulders in snow), we finished up the chilly jaunt on the path right outside the condo.

Time had run out.

So, Hubs just started talking.  Oblivious, I interrupted – TWICE.

He had to tell me to stop heckling and let him finish.  When he got down on bended knee, it hit me.  HOLY CRAP HE’S PROPOSING EVEN THOUGH I HAVE AWFUL HAIR (shudder) AND INCOMPLETE TAXES (slaps forehead)!  I was sincerely shocked out of my gourd.  Once I uncrossed my eyes, I replied with a very eloquent ” HECK YES, I WILL!!”

Let’s pause for a bling shot.

Oooh, shiny.

The next day, we snapped a picture at “the spot” and spent the rest of that sunny Tax Day touring Boulder and trying to recover from the previous night’s proposal.

Had I known my life would change in an instant on this trip, I would have been apt to take more pictures.  But, I didn’t.  I just wasn’t prepared.

So, that’s part of the reason why we decided to revisit Colorado this week.  Not to recreate old memories – but to make new ones and document them this time.  This will always be a very special place for me, for us, because it’s where we agreed to become a team.  A forever team.  It was truly the best decision of my life.

Now that this story has bored you out of your skull and turned me into a sappy schmuck, I’ll just leave it at that.  But before I bust, I’ll share you with some words of wisdom (or just words) to handle anything life throws at you.  Here, these are my Rules of Engagement.

Rules of engagement: Don’t heckle (it’s poor form) and get your taxes done on time.  I have a great tax guy now and if I’m being honest, I think you should pay him to do yours too.

That’s it.

P.S. (As if this post wasn’t long enough).  To say everything from that moment on was a dreamy wonderful wedding fairytale with an infinite happily ever after is an absurd lie.  I almost crapped my pants because I was so scared of getting married.

The end, thank you for wasting your time.

14 thoughts on “Rules of Engagement

    • Thank you! It was *weird* to be back in CO at that very same spot 3 years later as an old married couple! When can we eat cheese at your house again?

  1. Very sweet engagement story. And it’s ok to be sappy sometimes. When you find yourself a nice lad to live your happily ever after with it’s only natural that you will want to declare your undying love for him every now and then. I was never much of a lovey dovey girl…until I became Jesse’s Girl….and now its just gross how much in love with him I am. Hope your time in Colorado has provided you with lots of fun memories! And make sure to blog all about it. 😉

  2. Tax guy, huh? Hmmm…I’ll remember that next year. Thanks for the story – it actually sounded a lot like mine (minus all the wonderful scenery you had). I was grumpy, hungry and hot. Not a good time to propose to a woman. :) Here we are 15 years later….

  3. Ah, such fond memories of finally building up the courage to propose, only to be blocked/heckled at every turn. I guess the moral is that love requires patience and persistence. I got a good one, so I’m glad I stuck with it!

    I was hoping for some other engagement stories in the comments. Anyone?

  4. I think Bob and I were at Paxson Lake, south of Fairbanks. We had been fishing all day and were sleeping in the back of a pickup truck under a sheet of Vis-Queen. Since it was June, it was light all night long and the plastic gave our faces kind of a ghoulish cast. Hard to be romantic with fish guts as the permeating odor in the love nest. love mamap

  5. Cheers to you too and congrats! Nick and I got engaged at this same time, maybe a week before you on a hike above the med (which sounds normal but we are not really hikers, even though I want us to be) and he also had tried to find the spot but we were interrupted by odd German tourist, my hunger and need to try some limoncello, and a train….but, alas, he did it! 😉 Happy Love, loves!

    • Ha, it was fun to read about your engagement adventures – especially the nutty encounter with a German tourist! I’m secretly thankful that people’s engagements are not this impeccable fairytale but rather a just a normal slice of life with some shiny bling to boot! :) Happy Love back!

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