I’ve told the story out loud to so many people. It’s finally time to put it into words. Here’s how Patrick pulled off the most perfect proposal and engagement surprise!
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to pick my own schedule for the last couple of months. In early March, Patrick told me one of his college friends was going to be in town for work and that he was planning an early dinner with him on Friday, March 24th. He said I shouldn’t pick up a job that day because he wanted me to meet his friend. Sure thing. Why would I question taking a day off on a Friday!
It was no secret to my friends that I was becoming suspicious of an engagement. Through context clues, I knew he had the ring. One Friday afternoon in February, Patrick said he had to run an errand after work. I didn’t think much of it, until later that night he was telling me how he thought we should hang out in the Rice Village area more often. Going on and on about how many nice stores and restaurants are in that area. This sounds harmless.
Except I knew Ryan, a friend of ours who proposed last spring, got his beautiful engagement ring from a store in Rice Village. And if Patrick was buying a ring, he was going to be taking Ryan’s advice on where to go. I was right.
I was certain Patrick was then planning to propose when we went home to see his family in early March. After that didn’t pan out, I decided I would stop guessing. And just let it happen/slowly come to terms with the idea that maybe he had changed his mind! Because of that decision, some major giveaways went unnoticed leading up to the proposal:
- Patrick randomly asked me to go running on a Thursday after work. We usually don’t run together, so it was a little odd that he was so enthusiastic about slowing down to my speed. This was a literal “test run” for Friday’s proposal run.
- My mom told me to get a manicure on Friday. I didn’t.
- We had no plans that weekend. Just to relax. That never happens!
- I wanted to go to Wills Hills (a running club) on Friday morning. I even told Heather I would run extra miles with her afterwards. When I told Patrick my game plan, he pulled the “it would really mean a lot to me if you waited for me to go for a run….” card. So I did.
- His hand was really sweaty and he wasn’t saying anything when we started running. Usually I talk more, but still.
So on Friday, we set out from our apartment to Buffalo Bayou Park, which is about a half mile away. Once we got to the park, we turned right for our usual route. Passing the Dandelion Fountain (no clue what the real name is, but it does look like a dandelion). When all of a sudden…
Patrick stops running. My heart starts beating faster, even though I stopped too. He is smiling at me and pulls me a little closer. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I think I had an emotional blackout, because the rest of our exchange is super blurry in my memory. All I know for sure is that I said, “of course!” And we kissed and hugged and were just happy.
After spending a few minutes taking in the moment, I asked him if we should keep running. I mean, I didn’t get my run in that day and we had only gone about 3/4 of a mile so far. He told me that we had to hurry home to get ready because Heather had made a dinner reservation and we were all going to go out to dinner to celebrate.
Yay, I thought! We walked back to the apartment, though it felt more like floating. On our way back I felt like I was slowly coming back to a clear conscious. I started asking more questions. Did he tell my parents? Did he tell his family? Do our friends know?
Patrick told our families the day before, but told me he didn’t tell anyone else. He said he thought it would be more fun to tell everyone in our own way, together. And I believed it!
We got back to our apartment and when I opened the door, I saw a transformed room filled with our closest friends. Surprise! Heather, Kathleen and Deb had the place decorated to perfection. Patrick’s friends had drove in from Austin. One had to fly in from Pittsburgh the day before. There was so much thought and detail that went into this surprise. And I had no idea!
*Did I mention Deb used to be a wedding photographer? Lucky us. She snapped all these awesome pictures to document the party.
We FaceTimed our parents. Then various other family members. We sipped some bubbly and indulged in our favorite Sprinkles cupcakes while we got ready for the night. We topped off the perfect day by going to a group dinner at Down House in the Heights and then hitting the bars for some celebratory drinks.
As a couple, we both love to run and we love to spend time along the paths of Buffalo Bayou Park. I can’t imagine a more perfect spot for our engagement to happen. And to go ahead and answer the question that comes after you tell anyone you’re engaged. Yes, we set a date. 11/18/2017. Let the wedding planning begin!