Chilli Shares the Story of Her Proposal

It happened again. I forgot my engagement anniversary. When I came down to the kitchen this morning, my husband had left a note on my travel coffee mug. Of course he did. He always remembers. I love that he takes a moment to remind me of that milestone in our relationship. I focus more on celebrating our wedding anniversary...but the day we got engaged was pretty special too. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Don and I had been living together and I knew we would eventually get married. He had just started a new job after 8-months of unemployment. During those eight months both our mothers passed away. We had leaned on each other to get through one of the darkest chapter of our lives. Getting engaged wasn't exactly a priority.

Unbeknownst to me, Don had been secretly meeting with my uncle (he's a custom jeweler) to design a ring. He had also asked my Dad for my hand. And...he had been waiting for the perfect setting to propose. His inspiration came from Groupon. We bought tickets for a 3-hour kayaking tour along the Potomac. It was a hazy, hot and humid day. We had a blast seeing the city we were both born in from a different perspective. Afterwards, I remember being sore and smelly. I couldn't wait to get home and take a shower. Don, on the other hand, had other plans. He wanted us to drive to the National Mall and walk around. I reluctantly agreed as we got back in the car.

We parked our car and started walking towards the Capitol. Don seemed distracted...and that's when I knew something was up. My heart started racing. We were still wearing our sweaty clothes from the kayaking trip. I glanced at his short pockets...and noticed something that could have been a ring box. Or was it? Was I imagining it? I tried to focus on something else as we walked...and before I could say anything, Don stopped walking. He faced me...and dropped to one knee. I started "craffing" (crying and laughing at the same time) even before he spoke. I listened to his sweet speech...and said YES as soon as he asked. I heard cheering in the distance. A group of tourists saw what was happening and started clapping. I remember asking a tourist to take our picture. It was I had to find someone else to do it.

Don later told me he wanted to propose on the Mall because he and I are both DC natives...and the backdrop of the Monument and Capitol seemed fitting. And maybe THAT'S why he likes commemorating that day every year with a note. He planned the entire event by himself. From picking out the ring, to asking my Dad, to figuring out the logistics of when/where he would pop the was all HIM.

So...yes, I feel a little guilty that I didn't remember today was our engagement anniversary...but I will NEVER FORGET the details of the day itself. It was perfect.