I decided to share my proposal story with you for two reasons.
1. It is just too cute not to share.
2. This is something I want to never, ever forget. Down to every last detail. (So bear with me because it gets long.) Although right now I remember it like it was yesterday, that doesn’t mean I will years from now.
So let me fill you in on some details before I jump into the story. Chadd had already had the ring for about three months before he proposed. We looked at rings together, narrowed it down to two, and then I went shopping elsewhere while he bought the ring. So I knew he had it, but didn’t know which one he picked and didn’t know how/when he planned to propose. There had to be some element of surprise! Not too long after he got the ring, he had taken my dad out to dinner to ask for his daughters hand in marriage. Many hours (and drinks!) later, Chadd returned home happy as could be. 🙂
Something else you should know about Chadd and I. We don’t belong in the city. We belong out in the country. And plan to live there. (Someday…*sigh*.) But until then, we pack up our bags and head up north for long weekends as much as possible. And that is exactly what we did Labor Day weekend 2014.
We had my nephew’s birthday party that Saturday so we got a late start on our weekend up north but still managed to make the best of it. Obviously. This time we decided to go camping in Hayward, WI. (Side note: I’ve never been to Hayward before this but Chadd was there on several family vacations so he knew his way around the campground and lakes.) We finally arrived to the campground around 11pm. Let me tell ya, trying to setup a tent in pitch black and trying to be quiet is not an easy task. But we managed.
We woke up early Sunday morning hoping to make full use of our only full day we’d be there. We rented a fishing boat for the day from the campground. So we packed up some drinks, snacks, sunscreen and fishing equipment and off we went. The weather this day was perfect. And I mean PERFECT. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The sun was shining, not a cloud in sight. The perfect amount of breeze. Not too hot, not too cold. Perfect is an understatement.
After a couple hours of fishing, we decided to head over to another lake that was connected to the one we were on. This lake had lots of islands on it. We went to the first island we came up on. After circling it many times, we finally found a decent spot to tie the boat up to a tree and get out to walk around. I could tell Chadd was looking for something specific but he wasn’t saying much, no matter how many questions I asked. We walked around this whole island and as we were almost back to the boat he says “nope, this isn’t it. Let’s go to a different one.” I was beyond confused since I had no clue what he was looking for. Keep in mind, I had no clue he even brought the ring with him. See, Chadd decided to torture me and leave the ring box out at home for me to look at every day. And if you know me even just a little, you know that’s something I’d normally tear open the first chance I got. But with all the self-control in the world, I didn’t look. This still kind of surprises me to this day. But because I knew where the ring was, I checked before we left to see if he grabbed it, and last I checked the box was still there. So I didn’t think he had brought it.
Anyways, we got to the second island. Tied up the boat again, got off and we saw picnic tables and a fire pit right away. Chadd said “yup, this is the island.” We had the island to ourselves. As we got closer, I noticed the two picnic tables were covered in carvings from previous visitors. So I insisted we carve our names in them also. We used the best thing we could find, broken beer bottles. Chadd had the idea that I carve something on one table, and he’d carve something on the other. But no peeking until we were all done. And that’s exactly what we did.
Apparently my creative juices weren’t flowing that day because all I carved was “KATE & CHADD 2014”. Lame, I know. I was done wayyyy before Chadd was so I ended up walking around the island and sitting on a rock by the water waiting for him to finish up. He took a couple breaks in between carving his and checked mine out. He didn’t seem too impressed. But why would he? Mine sucked. He finally called me over once he was done. He was sitting on the tabletop and wouldn’t move. Which I thought was a little weird. Then he showed me “his carving.” K + C in a heart. Not even that big. My reaction? “Aw. Cute. But why the hell did that take you so long?” He ignored my impatient bitchy-ness and we started walking back to the boat. He then says “okay let’s go back and look at my real carving.” Spoiler alert: this is when the magic happens!
We get back to the picnic table and there it is. Like the heavens shining down on it. It was all I could see.
I turned around just as fast as I had read it and exclaimed “YESSS!!!” while throwing my arms around his neck, squeezing the bajesus out of him and smothering him in kisses. He hugs and kisses me back, starts laughing then says “you didn’t even give me a chance to get down on my knee!” He then continued to get down on one knee and asked the million dollar question “Kate, will you marry me?” and again I screamed “YESSS!!!” he put the ring on my finger and I brought him back up to me and smothered him in kisses again. I stared at the ring and said “holy shit it’s fucking huge! And gorgeous! Omg!” I couldn’t believe it. I was officially engaged to be married to my best friend. I have a cheesy smile on my face now just typing this, just like I did in that moment.
He explained that the first carving he showed me was someone else’s. He just carved over it to make it look fresh. He apologized for not having a photographer (I was one of those girlfriends that bluntly told him I’d like photos of this event…I don’t hold back.) saying there was no one hiding in the trees. I told him I didn’t care. I didn’t want one anymore. That moment was so perfect. In the middle of the lake on an island, just us two, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. We took some photos of the carving and I even got him to take a selfie with me. That’s big news if you know Chadd.
The whole boat ride back to the campground I couldn’t stop staring at it. My hand felt 100 pounds heavier. It was SO sparkly. SO beautiful. I kept looking back at Chadd with a huge smile, and kept saying “we’re engaged!!” It was all so surreal. Chadd couldn’t have done it any better.
Of course, I wanted to tell the world right away. The first (and only) phone call I made was to my dad. I barely had any cell service at the campground but managed to hold a call long enough to tell him the amazing news. Unfortunately, I couldn’t send any pictures to him because of the cell service. But who cares, he had already seen it when Chadd took him out to dinner. Since I couldn’t send pictures to anyone yet, I just told anyone who’d listen at the campground. I told the bartender and everyone at the bar when I went to go buy us some ice. A man at the bar told me he proposed at the same campground 20+ years ago and he and his wife were there again on vacation. This made me so happy to hear. Apparently the word got around because we ended up not having to pay for our campsite or the boat rental, it was on them. HOW. FRICKIN’. SWEET. I wrote them a thank you note and told them we definitely plan to come back. Maybe Labor Day weekend 2015 we’ll go back. 🙂
And that my friends, is how we got engaged. The rest is history. Now we’re living our happily ever after. ❤