Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rings and Things

Well, it's certainly been a while since I updated my blog. I've thought about it often, but haven't had the motivation to get consistent about it... until now.  

It's been a busy year full of excitement, but nothing that really sparked me to get back onto my blog, until I got engaged last Friday, October 25.  Not one to leave any details behind, I quickly began my wedding planning, and thought it might be neat to document the excitement, hopefully-not-too-much-stress, and fun of planning my own wedding, as well as the other worthwhile happenings along the way.

So, if I'm going to start blogging about my wedding plans, I should probably start at the beginning... and I mean the beginning. :) 

Kenny and I met and started dating our senior year of high school.  We went to rival schools and met through a mutual friend.

On our way to Skyline High School's prom in 2006.
After some changes in decisions, we both ended up in Spokane for college, and decided to try to stick out the high school-to-college transition in our relationship.  

At the Davenport Hoel in Spokane before running Bloomsday.
We lived in Spokane for about four years, during which I ended up transferring schools, and we graduated together in 2010.

Graduation photos in the backyard at Kenny's college house.
After graduation, we moved back to Seattle for post-college life and work.  

This past summer, we got a puppy.

This past summer, we went to four weddings.  He caught 3 garters.  I caught 4 bouquets...

Now, the details.  From my end of the story, I have to start at last Thursday, the 24th of October.   I am in a team-teaching position this year, so my friend Quinn and I share three classrooms and fifty kids that we teach all. at. once.  It's amazing.  That Thursday, Quinn was acting particularly strange- there was something she wasn't telling me.  I, being the worry wart that I am, was concerned that I had done something or that something bad had happened, but that concern quickly turned to irritation when Quinn gave me an unconvincing smile and said, "No, everything's fine."  I knew it wasn't, and I felt hurt that she wouldn't tell me what the issue was.  Things just felt strange all day on Thursday, but I couldn't put my finger on it!

Fast-forward to Friday.  I was sick with a terrible cold and contemplated staying home for the day, but just didn't have the heart to do that to Quinn.  I went to school and things felt a bit more "normal" with her. Great.  During second recess at the end of the day, Natalie, our principal, called me down to her office to chat.  I headed down, and as she closed the door behind me, she asked if things had been feeling a little "strange" lately.  I told her that they had, and she admitted that she had a confession.  Quinn had wanted to hide it, but just wasn't a good enough secret-keeper.  "One of your students entered you and Quinn into a radio contest for a teacher of the week deal," Natalie confessed.  "Your name got drawn, and you get a surprise party, along with a gift card and some other small things."  It was all making sense.  Natalie informed me that they had wanted to do the surprise, but it was just too logistically difficult.  "After all," she laughed, "It would be pretty hard to sneak my giant camera down to your classroom if I didn't tell you about the party."  

Natalie and I had to wait in her office for 15 minutes while they prepared the party.  During this time, I told Natalie, in detail, how hard it is to surprise me, due to my keen observation skills.  I told her all about how I surprised Kenny with our trip to Denver last summer.  After some time, Natalie called down to our classrooms, got the "okay" from Quinn, and, as Natalie grabbed her giant camera, we headed down to the surprise party.  Just before we got to the door, Natalie whispered to me, "Remember- act surprised!"  I laughed, suddenly feeling nervous about my ability to feign a look of shock, and headed inside.

We had to walk through a center room to get to the classroom where all fifty of my students, along with several camera-yielding teachers, were standing.  Each student held a rose, and I was momentarily impressed by the detail in this radio contest surprise party.  This impression was fleeting; as soon as I gained my bearings in front of the class, Kenny came walking in behind me, dressed up and looking as sharp as ever.

I started to back up and asked if he was there to learn some math...  nope.  In what's now a haze of a memory, he got down on a knee, said something [really- I was in SHOCK- I don't remember what he said, and neither does he], and asked me to marry him as the students buzzed excitedly.  I cannot believe I didn't cry- I am the biggest cryer I know - but I was in so much shock, it really didn't hit me even until the next day on my way to a haircut!

Of course, I was somehow able to get a "yes" out of my blissfully shocked state, and a celebration followed.  Quinn made 50+ cupcakes: chocolate frosting plus peppermint patties (my favorite) on top, each decorated with heart- and diamond-shaped die cuts.  It was so sweet and fun to get to celebrate with our whole class.  The kids were so excited, and loved getting to talk with Kenny.  We all got to laugh about my irritation with Quinn the previous day, and she kindly emphasized that it was all worth it.  :)  

A special aspect of the day was that it was Kenny's birthday, so after school, we went home and got ready for an already-planned dinner at his parents house with his family, my family, and a close friend of ours.   They all knew what the day had in store, so it was great to get to celebrate with all of them.  We had an amazing dinner and drinks, Kenny opened birthday gifts, and we got our first wedding planning books- yay!  

Jason (one of Kenny's -and my- best friends since high school), me, Ken, and Courtney (Kenny's sister)

An amazing first day of our engagement.  Needless to say, I'm glad I didn't stay home sick on Friday... :)