On Friday, August 24th around 10:30 p.m., Russell asked me to marry him. I, of course, said yes. I wish I could remember and write all the details but when I look back on that night, it was jam-packed with so many little details, big emotions, and endless excitement. It's impossible to capture it in words.
It started off on what seemed to be a regular Friday. Only this Friday was our two year anniversary so I already knew it was a special day. Russell and I usually message each other when we're at work but that day, Russell said he had to sign off instant messaging 'cause he had "a lot of meetings." Little did I know he took a half day so he could set up this:
Lanterns, candles, and about 50 yellow daisies.
I only have a picture of the setting at night (and it was more beautiful in person). The lights, the water, and everything, really, was so beautiful. Russell told me all the funny side-comments and encouragements he would get from random joggers and passerbys while he was busy setting up the flowers and lanterns. He even set up a "Do Not Touch—Proposing Tonight" sign on the grass until our friend Zach came by and sat on the blanket for a few hours while Russell and I ate dinner at a restaurant. I didn't know this until later but I guess Russell texted Zach when we were leaving the restaurant, and it was Zach who turned on all the candles and lanterns before we got there.
Russ picked me up around 7 p.m. wearing a nice new dark gray suit and carrying 14 roses. Not a bouquet of 12 roses—but 14 roses because my favorite number is 14. He's a bit quirky like that.
On the way to the restaurant, we ate some macarons I bought from Fashion Island during my lunch break. I wanted us to be fancy on our two years so we had fancy snacks:
12 'Lette Macarons
We were about one hour early for our reservation so we just sat in his Jeep and ate macarons. I kept bugging Russell about my present but he kept his lips sealed. I wanted hints but he gave none.
The restaurant was fancy and nice. We ate at Mastro's Ocean Club restaurant where I had mahi mahi and Russell had a steak. We followed it with their signature warm butter cake with homemade whipped cream. Everything was so delicious and thinking about the food is making my mouth water again. I definitely would recommend this place (ok, I'm a bit biased). I almost felt like I was going to throw up afterwards 'cause I was so full. I need to remind myself not to eat that much.
Since the restaurant was right across the beach, I wanted to go close to the ocean afterwards. However, Russell was very insistant on getting back to Irvine to open our anniversary presents. I finally agreed and we drove down to Woodbridge Lake. Woodbridge Lake is pretty special to us since we spend a lot of time there just walking around or sitting on benches or the grass just talking.
When we got there, Russell opened his present in the car (I got him a bunch of clothes). For mines, he wanted us to walk down to the lake. He pulled out a gift bag from behind my seat and we began walking towards the water. As we got closer, I saw lanterns on the trees which I pointed out to Russell. He just nodded and went, "Oh, hmm."
A floating lantern on the water. Russell took care of little details.
As we got closer to the lights, Russell all of a sudden began leading me towards the middle of all the lights. At this point, I already knew something was up and I couldn't speak. When we were in the middle, standing on the blanket, Russell reached into the gift bag and pulled out a notebook. He began reading a poem he wrote. I am so thankful that he wrote down what he was going to say because I didn't hear any of it. I kept looking at him, at the lights, at all the flowers, and I couldn't think.
After reading the poem, he reached into the bag and pulled out a little box. It was then that he knelt down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
It was all so beautiful.
I cried. I looked at the ring. I looked at Russell. Apparently, I didn't say yes although I thought I did. My brain was thinking so many thoughts, most of which was "oh my gosh yes" that I actually forgot to say yes out loud. Nevertheless, I got that ring on my finger.
Me talking to my mom on the phone and showing my ring.
Even now as I write this story three days later, my heart starts beating fast every time I think back on that night. I have to look at my finger every once in a while to remind myself that it really did happen and that Russell and I will be getting married. Married! This is only the beginning. I'm excited for the rest.