Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our Story, Part XIII: You Can Guess What Happened Next

Exactly 6 years ago today, I traveled down to Virginia Beach with Jon's parents and his sister, brother-in-law and neice who were in visiting from Israel.  It was a long, cramped drive.  So I was relieved when Jon suggested a walk on the beach as soon as we arrived... just the two of us.  Looking back, that should have seemed odd. He hadn't seen his family in a long time, you'd think he'd want to catch up a little.  But apparently I was in la-la land and just excited about some one-on-one time with my man.  The beach was right across the street, so I started heading for the dune path when Jon stopped me and said we were getting in the car instead and driving down to another beach.  This should have really had me confused, but again, I was just a girl in love with a boy that clearly wanted some alone time with me.  So we drove a few miles down the road to Fort Story and the Cape Henry Lighthouses.

Jon's first beach house that he shared with 4 other Coasties. i.e. "not a love nest"  We loved the neighborhood so much that two years later we moved into the "Beach Nest" which was located right down the street!
And then we went for a walk down the beach and talked about nothing really important.  In fact, I remember thinking he must have been really tired or distracted or something because conversation was just not flowing.  The beach was pretty though.  There were large mounds of rocks every few hundred feet, beautiful sand dunes, and two gorgeous lighthouses in the backdrop.

Now this is the part where Jon would say "the clouds parted, a ray of light shone down and a mist blew in off the sea."  I don't remember any of that, but I do remember standing there at the water's edge, looking out at the sea with my honey and him turning to me and saying, "Janine, will you marry me?"

And that was it.  He didn't get down on one knee, he didn't lead up to it, and I didn't see him holding a ring so at first I thought maybe he was just making more casual conversation.  And then he brought up his hand, which had, again unbeknownst to me, been fumbling in his pocket for most of our walk, and held out a sparkling diamond.  My gorgeous, hand-picked by my hubby, to die-for ring. 

And I said "Yes!"

Jon picked this one because the scrolls on each side of the diamond reminded him of ocean waves.

Now I consider myself a pretty intuitive person, and occasionally a bit of a snoop.  It's hard to get surprises past me.  But I did not see this coming.  I really thought that if we got engaged, it wouldn't be for another 6 months or so.  And I'm so glad he was able to pull it off, because I got my true surprise, *gasp* can't-believe-this-just-happened, Barbie moment.

August 21, 2005
Got back to his house and everyone already knew.  I can't believe I missed all the obvious signs.  I really wasn't expecting it this weekend.  Even more crazy - he picked the ring out when he was home in June!  And he called and asked for my parents permission in July!!  I can't believe everyone kept it a secret!!

Just back from "the beach walk."

We were so, incredibly happy!  Definitely one of the best days of my life.  I couldn't wait to start planning our wedding and discussing our future together now that it was no longer off-limits.  And the ring!  I was so conscious of it.  I know it's just an object but nothing describes how a girl feels about her engagement ring when she first wears it.  I was the giddiest, proudest, fiancee in the world!

August 21, 2005
I dreamed everyone wanted to see my ring and it was really stressful.  Then I woke up and just stared at it.  It's so gorgeous!

The visit went fast.  Jon still had to go into work the next day so we stopped by his boat for a quick tour.  I love the Coastie life, but let's be honest, those sailors just aren't into wedding plans and engagement rings.  I was eager to get back home where people were really interested in all the romantic details! 

August 22, 2005
Can't say I like the boat too much.  Definitely glad I'll be the one staying home.  It's cramped and every little space is filled with something or other a - a little overwhelming.  But now I can picture him at work.  He introduced me as his fiancee all day, it was so strange.  It's a title I'll need to live up to.

Day 2 of being engaged, pure bliss!
Thankfully I got my wish when we headed up to Williamsburg to visit Jon's aunt and uncle and family.  I got plenty of "ring-gushing" and congratulatory hugs there.

Jon and I rode up to Williamsburg together and it was so much fun.  I could ride for hours in the car with him.  And someday I will.

From there it was time to head home. 

Saying goodbye wasn't too bad.  I only had a few tears in my eyes.  But we did have to do it with everyone else around, and that's not special.

I immediately set to work scoping out churches and reception halls in our area and creating a wedding budget.  Within a few days we settled on the July 15 for the BIG DAY.  We knew it'd be hot and sticky, and that meant 11 months of waiting, but we had to work around 3 different deployments that coming year.  The biggest, a 3-month patrol in the Mediterranean, which would take place April through June.  It was going to be a long year!

Jon was fully-immersed in his new job and about to head out for a few weeks of training.  My summer had officially ended and I was packing up my car for my final semester at college.  I had taken as many credits as I could the previous spring, to catch up from a semester abroad, and then later found out I that if I took a summer class and another full load in the fall, I could graduate a semester early. Now there wasn't any rush to finish school. But since a lot of my friends had graduated the semester before, since I was a committed girl to a guy living several states away, and more importantly, since I wanted to save myself several thousand dollars in tuition, I took a summer class at a local State university. Therefore, I would officially be receiving my Bachelor's in December ... and, except for July 15 and the week after, the rest of my life was a huge blank canvas. Then again, I had no idea how much this simple decision to save some money would impact our future plans!

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