Well, it was certainly a Christmas to remember! I have to post first about the most exciting part…

Rick proposed! Wow, talk about surreal for me. We have been talking seriously about getting engaged for awhile so it wasn’t a big surprise but I think you are never prepared for this moment.

The weekend with my family was good but as always, kind of stressful. For whatever reason, I always struggle when I’m home for the holidays. Anyway, was having one of “those moments” when we all went downstairs to open gifts.

I thought he might do it on Christmas but honestly, thought if he was going to over break, it would be before.

As we began my favorite part of Christmas — opening presents with the kids — I was just happy to be snapping photos and seeing their excitement. After a couple rounds, Rick handed me a box from him. I held it on my lap for a few minutes, not rushed. Finally, I said “Okay, I’m going to open this present from Rick!”

I had shaken it and it felt like clothes. I assumed he had gotten me some running clothes. He is a very thoughtful gift giver and I was excited to see what he picked out. I thought maybe it could be a ploy present but wasn’t sure — and honestly was okay with whatever it happened to be.

I opened it up and immediately saw that it was a pair of my old jeans that I had packed with me. I was like… “Um, are these are my jeans?” It was pretty funny and I was like, “oh ha ha.” And for a second, I really thought he was just being silly and probably had some other gift for me. 

Then, he stopped and pulled out a ring and said, “Well, here’s your real present.” And when I saw it, it was so surreal. I felt like I was in a dream. I couldn’t believe he was proposing and immediately tears came to my eyes. I wish someone had been filming because everything he said was kind of a blur. He said that he loved me and I made his life better, that I made him a better person. I think he said “will you marry me?” but it’s all so dreamlike! I was streaming tears and said “yes” and we put the ring on my finger.

Just next to us in the room, my whole family was watching. My sister was like, “you had Mom crying!” which is funny because my Mom almost never cries. My parents, sisters, grandparents and cousins were all watching and it was SO special that they were all there.

I know Rick doesn’t love being the center of attention so the fact that he planned it in front of everyone really means a lot to me. Obviously, my “bad mood” from before present opening evaporated!

It still feels surreal to be engaged to the man I love with all of my heart. It’s amazing what I’ve learned in the past 2.5 years about truly feeling the joy and pain with and for another person so deeply. I’ve learned what it means to put someone else first and truly try to understand when you don’t. Rick and I have both worked hard to overcome some differences and come out on top of them. Most of all, for the first time in my life, I feel loved for who I really am. While my family loves me, of course, Rick knows my personality up and down, inside and out in a way they never could. He gets all of me and he loves me despite the hard stuff.

Sometimes, my low self-esteem kicks in and it’s hard for me to believe that someone wants ME to spend the rest of their life with them.  The best thing is I can tell him exactly how I’m feeling and he knows exactly what to say to reassure me and make me feel better. There’s a couple of songs that I like to think represent us. One of them is Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up.”

When I look into your eyes
It’s like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
There’s so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
‘Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We’ve got a lot to learn
God knows we’re worth it
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake
For us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not, and who I am

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love… 
I love you, Rick. 

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