Where does one begin when writing the most epic post of their lives. I mean, seriously. Buckle up.
Eric has always had a flair for the dramatic. He is the guy that talks in weird voices and/or sings more than exercising his normal voice, has everyone cheering for him at wedding dances when he comes as MY GUEST,…the guy that will dedicate a song to me in front of hundreds of people at a performance…that I wasn’t even able to go to.
Mister Eric Frank and I have been together for 6 years. YUP. We met in the halls of Medway high…and were friends who took Drama class together for two years. It wasn’t until after high school that Eric decided he wanted to ask me out. Via MSN. (We won’t go there.) I have always been very careful with dating…and so I um,…didn’t let him call me his girlfriend for um,…a matter of months. LOL. Worst girl EVER. The point is that I wanted to be sure-sure-sure of how I felt about him. :) Less than a year later, Eric zoomed off to school 2.5 hours away. For 4+ years, we did long distance. Looking back, we feel pretty lucky…because we were so sure about each other at such a young age…going to separate universities still allowed us to grow up and develop on our own. :)
Whew. Okay breathe, Richelle. You won’t see it as you read, but I will be taking multiple breaks to wipe my tears (my face has become a tap.) and calm my pounding heart…to look at my hand and remember that I get to keep this. And maybe a call to Eric to confirm that the past few days weren’t made up nonsense & I don’t need to be embarrassed for being half way through a proposal post. And it’ll probably end with a glass of wine. But you won’t see all that.
I came home from Boston after shooting a beautiful engagement session there. Eric was finally coming home for Christmas holidays. We were so excited to see each other and just relax as we’d been traveling so much and the past few months have been so busy. E suggested we go out to dinner on Tuesday night before I went to meet my girlfriend downtown for drinks. “Anywhere you wanna go?” “Mmm nope! You pick! I’m just hungry!” So we drove downtown for an early dinner; when we were almost about to find a parking spot, E said, I have a surprise – I canceled your plans for later and I’m taking you to see a show at the Grand Theatre. I was SO excited! I absolutely positively LOVE surprises and when he plans random things. I did a few air punches and Eric pulled over in front of the theatre asking me to run in and grab the tickets so we’d have them early. I hopped out onto the sidewalk (giving myself a mental high five that I’d worn my heels and a peacoat. #win.) and ran in to the Box Office where I asked for tickets under Mistaaa Eric Frank (yes, I actually said Mistaaa because I’m apparently obnoxious. Regretted it immediately.). I was given an envelope and a receipt and skipped back out to the car. Eric suavely asked where we were sitting – so I flipped open the big envelope, hoping for balcony seats, where instead I found tickets with Eric’s handwriting on them. Puzzled, I read the following…”I don’t know if you remember,…but this is where we had our first date…6 years ago…To see Beauty and the Beast together.” I looked at him, still so confused…he smiled, flipped it over for me where it continued…”Let’s keep walking memory lane…to where we first held hands.” This is the part where no one believes me that I didn’t know what was happening. You have to understand something first. Remember how I said E has a flair for the dramatic? Well, this isn’t the first time he’s written down a fun date adventure for me. So it wasn’t a total curveball for me! I was just SO excited for a SCAVENGER HUNT! YUS!
From there he took me to the first place we held hands, Victoria Park. Before walking into the park, he bought me Starbucks. Now this was the ONLY thing that seemed weird to me that night…I have a relationship with Starbucks. A serious and intimate relationship with Starbucks. Eric is just jealous and rolls his eyes when I make him order a Venti no whip espresso. So this was a “say what?” moment when he directed me to that beautiful mermaid sign before Victoria Park. When we were walking, E asked me if I wanted some Lemon Loaf (favsie.), I said no…to which he said “You sure?”. I then grabbed that bag, excited for my next clue…there was another ticket inside the Starbucks bag they’d given us…onto the place we first kissed. I tried to not let my furrowed brow and way-too-slow memory be too obvious when Eric pushed me and said “you don’t remember DO YOU!” Wooooops. Onto Eric’s parents house we went (we were in high school, okay.). When we arrived his mom excitedly asked us to check out the Christmas lights they’d put on the house this year before we took off our shoes! Again, we always go look and stare at them, not a curveball!!! Once we gazed at the gorgeous house,…E said he thought she put some up to the side of the house this year. They have a gorgeous country home…so this means everything was PITCH black out and I kept asking if there was an animal that was about to freak me out. He led me towards a tree where I ran up to find another ticket pegged to a big beautiful tree. The ticket from our very first date, to Beauty and the Beast, 6 years ago. *melt. As Eric stood behind me, I took the ticket off the tree – suddenly it went from being pitch black to standing under a tree full of hundreds of little white lights. My heart stopped. Because my heart FINALLY told me what was happening. I spun around to find handsome Eric standing in front of me, holding a ring box. And grinning ear to ear. Hands-to-face-oh-my-gosh-oh-my-gosh-oh-my-gosh-oh-my-gosh-oh-my-gosh-crying-oh-my-gosh-crying-more-crying-me-trying-to-run-away-crying.
Eric got down on one knee, said the words you didn’t even know you’ve always wanted to hear about how “he” felt about me, and asked, “Richelle, Will you marry me?”…
I dove into his arms. He held me up. Once he confirmed I said yes (LOL) we hugged and cried and screamed…and as I’m standing in his arms….the most gorgeous fireworks went off. FIRE. WORKS. Another thing you need to understand…is that I LOVE FIREWORKS. I don’t really speak when we go to see them because I’m so mesmerized…if we see some going off somewhere else in the city, I NEED TO BE THERE. So the fact that he went to the effort of pulling together exactly what I was feeling in my heart and painting it on the night sky…was pretty much the the first moment that confirmed the best decision of my life…two minutes earlier.
I love him.
After the stars in our eyes cleared for a second, Eric said there was someone who wants to see me – Jerrica (my little sister/best friend/robin to my batman) comes BOUNDING out of the darkness and squeezes us tight. We popped champagne with E’s parents where he told me he had got my mom to round everyone up in my family…and they were all waiting for us at my big sister’s house. Only my parents knew, so we were still able to have our moment of hearing Eric scream I PROPOSED TO RICHELLE!!!! WE’RE ENGAGED!!!!
I love him so much.
He puts my phone in places I can’t reach, he lifts me up against my will whenever he wants to just to inconvenience me by placing me down in another room, and he’ll tell me he bought me something UH-MAZING but won’t tell me what it is for MONTHS. But for some darn reason, he is without-a-doubt, 150%, totes…the love of my life. He makes life SO much more exciting. Even when I wanna kill him…I’m laughing.
I’ll end with the embarrassing story of the other night; one of my best friends in the whole world, Angela, slept over two nights after we got engaged. She’ll never let me live this down. At about 5am…I woke us BOTH UP by sitting up on my elbows and saying in my sleep…’I'm just so happy.’ I woke up .25 seconds later to find her laughing her head off at me. After I punched her, I fell back asleep to my apparently sweet slumber.
Even though I was asleep and it was probably followed by me floating on a sparkly cloud down the aisle…it came from the bottom of my heart, and I truly madly deeply have never been SO blissfully happy. We’ve known forever that we were “each others”…but he was the first to say, it just feels SO different…that this ring he chose & I dreamed about looked different, so much better than we imagined on my hand than it did during it’s months of process.
I’m praying for a magical year ahead and I’m so grateful for being surrounded by so many amazing & LOVING people. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!