A few weeks ago, just after moving into our new house, I proposed to Jon! And he said yes :)
And I thought that the best way to give you an authentic rundown of the event would be to hear it from the man himself. I asked him to answer some questions about it last week, and I have to say, receiving his responses in an email days later was about the sweetest midday surprise ever.
PS: In case you aren't familiar with the Reader's Digest version of our history, you can learn a little more here: Is timing everything?
So, without further ado, I'm turning it over to Jon!
How did you get proposed to?
I woke up on the second or third day in our new home next to Sarah on what was going to be an exciting day of kitchen cabinet installation. Working against a deadline, I woke up knowing there was just about enough time in the day to finish so that our countertops could get their final measurement, ensuring their installation before the end of December (and avoiding a month delay). It was a nose-to-the-grindstone sort of day. The cabinet I chose to work on first was one that required a little additional effort beyond the normal squaring, leveling and installing. I’d have to also install an exhaust duct, and electrical and gas lines, and that takes some time, and a lot of me kneeling, and standing, and walking around and around the cabinet that was sitting, for most of the day, right in the middle of the room. Unbeknownst to me, Sarah had cleverly placed a wooden box at the base of the cabinet early in the morning. So there I am, working and walking around the cabinet with its prize in the middle for hours, which must have seemed to Sarah, in hindsight, like an eternity. Alas, now I’m getting closer to destiny, but first, a trip to Home Depot. Sarah obliged to go on the trip with me… and looking back she really didn’t let out even a peep to clue me in on what I would stumble upon when we returned. After another bit of time, I stood over the cabinet as Sarah looked on from the stairs. I picked up the box, which blended in well with the base of the cupboard. As I lifted it, the box opened up at the hinge, revealing a beautiful watch. I asked, What’s this? You got me a watch? For What?! A note, which had fallen out, landed face down on the cabinet base. I picked it up and turned it around, and then flipped it over. It said: Will you marry me?
What were you thinking/feeling when Sarah was proposing to you?
I was so surprised. Truly. I rarely get surprised like this--I like to think I am pretty in tune with what’s to come, but man… she got me! In the moment, there was an explosion of feelings and thoughts, as you can imagine. Most overwhelmingly, my feeling was deep happiness and a rush of warmth. Sarah’s always been one of the warmest people I know, and sometimes it occurs to me, as it did in those moments, how incredibly lucky I am to be the recipient of all that warmth. My continued thinking of how much she and I make sense, and how much the world makes sense to me with her, became that much more concrete in that moment… I was floored.
What are you most excited about?
Sarah and I have so much in common, and we travel so well together. I can think of nobody I'd rather travel around with, and as a cornerstone of our memory-building activities we have, I so look forward to learning about the world and ourselves with her.
And I am so fond of the setting for this engagement memory, as it is undoubtedly the setting for what I am most excited about: starting a family. With so many things in my life, I rely on my ability to visualize the potential within a building or a room, as I have done with my restaurants. I think I have been successful in clearly seeing through a vision because I am able to totally trust in myself, the concept, and those around me. Visions come to me on the regular of mine and Sarah's future together. I trust Sarah, and my vision for us growing in this home is something I couldn’t be more excited about.
Did you ever think you’d be the one saying yes?
No. I'll admit that in my head, once or twice, I thought to myself… ‘wouldn’t it be nice if she did.’ But I truly had such a great understanding of our path, of the whys and hows of the position we were in, that I just hadn’t put myself there. I had been scheming over the last few months about how I would ‘do the deed,’ (again) and anyway, I am so glad I am the one to say yes. I so appreciate it. While I know that Sarah’s gesture was for me, I like to think that, in some way, it was her intention to help those friends and family of ours that don’t have the intimate understanding that we have of our situation to reconcile and better understand our relationship. I can’t express to anyone how much I respect her courage in proposing to me.
What would be your ideal way of tying the knot?
ELOPE! I’d love to have an extremely small ceremony, and I’d love moms and dads and brothers and sisters to be around, either at the ceremony or ready to ‘receive’ us at a nearby restaurant or something for a small celebration. One of our favorite things to do as a couple is to entertain, and I’d love to work that into a big party, with no expectations, maybe even a destination weekend, close enough where all of our friends and family can join us on the lake (or river :) ) for cooking and eating and music and fun!
Any advice for the newly engaged?
Manage your expectations and maintain perspective and stick to the things that got you there. We’re living in a world of comparisons and a skewed kind of self awareness, and I think that is a recipe for an extremely stressful process of getting to the point of getting married. While getting married is obviously a big deal, on paper, and in the minds of many (as it should be), I am more in the camp of what it means to be someone's person, and to have that person in return. This is a concept of relationships that Sarah has helped me form, and I think she has formed from listening to and observing her mother who also refers to having her true partner. (Hello, Bill.) Sarah’s my person first, and I love to be hers… that’s all I need. But you better bet your ass I'm also going to be the best husband I can be, too.
Any regrets about the way it's all gone down?
Absolutely none. Part of what makes you ready for marriage, partnership, even friendship is knowing yourself first. Our path has helped me recognize who I am. For me, for Sarah, and for those around me. I think it’s made me better, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Thanks, Jon :)