On August 7th, J and I celebrated our 7th year anniversary. Or at least, we were supposed to but one of his closest friends from high school was having a destination bachelor party that weekend and wouldn't budge on the date. Figuring we'd have more anniversaries and knowing I'd want some understanding if the roles were reversed, I pitched a fit and demanded 7 days of celebration when he came back to make up for the missed day.

I was partially kidding (like 99% kidding. I was fine with just going out to dinner) but he liked the idea and agreed. Starting that Monday, we had celebrations each day. Monday was a breakfast-for-dinner celebration. Tuesday, he surprised me with flowers and a candlelit dinner. Wednesday we were supposed to go to the park but J got food poisoning. Thursday, we went to our favorite park.Friday we went to see a special light exhibit at the museum. I found out later he was going to propose there but was thwarted by a 3rd person who ran into the exhibit at the last minute! 

Not pictured: Thursday pajama party 
When we got out, we drove to lunch and passed these beautiful gardens. He suggested we go out after lunch and I agreed despite it being about 1000 degrees outside. We ate at a place with gigantic portions sizes and accidentally ordered way too much food. We laughed and ate as much as we could before admitting defeat and driving over to the gardens.

Centennial Gardens
As soon as we got there, I knew something was up. He was being weirdly quiet and rushing us through some of the most beautiful parts of the garden. I followed along at his pace and we headed towards the hill that was sort of the centerpiece of the gardens. I'm going to interject here and remind ya'll it was A THOUSAND DEGREES out and the last thing I wanted to do was walk round and round to the top of the hill but J insisted so I said, "Fine."

He held my hand (despite the weather) and we talked about how the past 7 years had been for us. We stopped at every waterfall along the way to cool off and looked out over the gardens. When we got to the top, there was only another pair of friends there and they left as soon as we got there. I sat on the front bench and looked out at the gardens. He tried to squeeze next to me but there really wasn't space for 2. We took a picture and then he got up. He told me I should move to another bench that had '100 years' engraved on it. In the 2 seconds it took me to sit down, he had knelt down and pulled out the ring box. He was sweating bullets, was uncharacteristically flustered and barely got out "Ally, will you marry me?" without a stutter.

I always thought I'd know how I'd react in this kind of situation but apparently, I don't really know myself. Instead of answering, I grabbed his head and stared at him. I don't know for how long but eventually he said, "Is that a yes?"

I nodded, he put the ring on my finger and I grabbed his head again because I couldn't stop staring at him. I know other people cry but I think I was in complete and total shock. As we walked back down the hill, I held his hand and let it sink in. By the time we were in the car, I was in full out maelstrom-of-emotion mode. There's really not a single word I can use to describe it. I was excited and nervous and jittery and elated and joyous and shocked and I cycled between all of those on a pretty quick basis. On the way home, we jammed out to a soundtrack of 90's Nelly.

Needless to say, it was perfect and kind of a relief to have it done! I was so nervous the weeks leading up to it. Since then, everything feels right and I can't really remember what I was so nervous about. Maybe it was the anticipation.

Bahhhhhhhh. Now comes all of the planning things (It's really amazing how quickly people start asking you about the wedding) and everything seems daunting. I keep reminding myself that it's one step at a time.