Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The proposal, in her words.

On June 2nd my whole world shifted. I woke up Mike's girlfriend, and went to sleep his fiancée. And don't let anyone tell you that doesn't change you - it does. And it's kind of awesome.

Mike's proposal was appropriately awkward (although it is a lovely tree, and now my favourite in the whole world). And while I was reeling after he slid the ring on my finger, he set up a camera and began snapping away. They are photos I will treasure for the rest of our lives. Gentlemen, bringing a camera on your proposal is an excellent idea.

mike, setting up our camera & me, crying.

As Mike hinted, the proposal wasn't entirely a surprise for me. We aren't exactly a "traditional" couple. In fact, we buck tradition often enough that both Mike's dad and my mum were surprised we even decided to get married, period! When we did decide to take the plunge it didn't make sense to make unilateral decisions about something so significant, and expensive. Plus we wanted to share as much of the experience as we could with our family and friends. No easy task when you live 5,000 kilometres away. So when we left Malta in May to visit Canada for a couple of months I knew that I would return there in July as Mike's fiancée. The daily anticipation was equal parts absolute torture and pure joy.

So much of our lives are online - this blog, we found our dogs online, our car, our apartments - that it was only appropriate that Mike would purchase a ring, which we helped each other chose, online too. Well, that and an oval solitaire is impossible to find in stores. Non-traditional? Sure. But we're building new traditions. And it worked (beautifully, I might add) for us.

On our seventh dating anniversary, I gave Mike a gift of a surprise date (or two) a month for a year. The dates are in sealed envelopes which Mike opens on pre-set dates. Some of them have contained tickets to plays, picnics, day trips, etc. His June envelope contained a half day of sea kayaking with East Coast Outfitters in a kayak built for two. Which turned out to be the perfect post-proposal activity. In the hours following his proposal, Mike and I were, for lack of better words, dumbfounded. We could hardly string a sentence together, let alone have an intelligent conversation (in fact, my mind went so completely blank during Mike's proposal that I had to have him repeat what he said a few times later so I could remember!) We needed quiet time to savour everything, and physical activity was the perfect remedy for our out-of-order brains. An afternoon on the sunny, calm, and picturesque Atlantic Ocean at Terrence Bay was just what we needed. As strange as it sounds, we would highly recommend sea kayaking (or a similar activity) to everyone getting engaged. Seriously, do it. There's no better place to dream about your life together than sitting on the ocean, rowing a boat together.

We had planned to test drive our cheap little waterproof ruggedized point-and-shoot while kayaking, so you'll notice that some of our photos have a funny, distorted quality to them (no, we didn't blur the photos intentionally - that's water on the lens). But they hold more memories than many others we have taken.

Tomorrow's post: how we told our families.

- Jess

Terrence Bay, Nova Scotia

a canadian goose


  1. You guys are awesome - I'm loving every stage of this story!

  2. Your ring is absolutely stunning! I LOVE it :) Love that you got the proposal on camera, like you said it will be wonderful to look back on these throughout the rest of your lives.

    Congrats again!


  3. I'm sitting at work reading this series of posts, with tears in my eyes. (like, literally). What a wonderful proposal story! It was so nice to hear about your experience, and to think back to my engagement. I'm so happy for you both :) Congratulations!!


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