So I promised a post about Nicaragua, But we have to interrupt this post for a special announcement:
MIKE AND I ARE ENGAGED!!!
Yup, you read that correctly!! Mike and I flew to Spokane for Christmas and on Christmas Eve at my house (after my parents went to bed), Mike got down on one knee in front of the Christmas tree to propose. I said, YES!!! Of course.
Engagement Story: Mike and I talked about each writing down our side of the story and having a "his and her" version, then trying to combine them for a complete story, but as we've both been very busy, I'm just going to put my side down here for all to read. I'm sure I'll miss something.
WARNING: If you're not into details, stop reading here and just look at the final pictures. This is my detailed version of the entire story.
Not sure how far back the engagement story begins, but I'll start with some serious ring shopping on December 1. We had gone a few times, but I never knew if he was completely serious, so I never decided on the one ring I wanted. At the December visit, we were told that any customizing would take at least 4 weeks, so I had it in my mind that any proposal would occur after the New Year (or on New Year's). About a week before Christmas, Mike accepted my invitation to come home with me for Christmas to Spokane. He hadn't been before and I really wanted to share Christmas at home with him. We had some struggles getting there (major flight delays), but we finally made it after extra lay overs and lost bags.
While at home, my dad kept asking me if Mike needed to talk to him. I rolled my eyes and answered every time, "Dad, I don't know!" I really wanted Mike to ask my dad for permission, but since I just didn't know, I wasn't about to ask Mike about it. At one point, I came downstairs and both were talking and sort of stopped when I came into the room. I thought maybe they had just had "the conversation." A few hours later, my dad again asked me if Mike was going to talk to him. Now since my dad isn't one to purposely lead me astray, I figured Mike really hadn't asked. Well that was Christmas Eve and the day was winding down. We enjoyed a nice dinner and then watched a movie about the birth of the Savior with my parents. I wanted to go change into sweats, but Mike insisted I stay put and when I started to fall asleep during the movie, (remember, it's 3 hours earlier in Washington and I had just been flying for 9+ hours) Mike kept nudging me and telling me to stay awake. Finally, the movie ended and my parents headed to bed. It was shortly before midnight.
After Mom and Dad went to bed, Mike said he had a surprise for me and told me to wait on the couch and close my eyes. Of course, immediately my thoughts turned to a potential proposal and in the same moment, I began talking myself out of it; saying things like, "he hasn't had time to get a ring." "he hasn't talked to my dad yet." "he only decided to come to Spokane this week, there's no way he planned a proposal." Needless to say, I talked myself out of it and was NOT expecting it.
Eventually, Mike let me open my eyes and come into the living room with the Christmas Tree. He explained that there was an ornament hidden in the tree and he wanted me to find it. Once I found it, he had a surprise for me. I excitedly looked and looked, but wasn't having much luck. Mike gave me a hint and told me to look for "O Holy Night." After a few more minutes, I found a beautiful wood carved St. Nicholas ornament, with "O Holy Night" carved underneath a manager scene at the base of the ornament. Funny thing, my mom decorated the tree all in white, crystal, and glass ornaments, and the Santa ornament was red. Must have been really excited to miss that. We oohed and ahhed at the ornament for a few minutes and as Mike was explaining why he had chosen that particular ornament (we both love and collect nativity scenes), he said, "I think this should be one of our traditions." Our, I thought...my ears totally perked up. (Mike will say he saw the expression change in my face after he said that, though he didn't plan out the words before hand).
After we looked at the ornament, Mike handed me a present as promised and told me to open it. The gift was a beautiful wooden jewelry box. The box was a Willow Tree design that included a picture of a husband and wife on the front and inside the words, "In love's Embrace." At that moment, I knew what Mike was doing. He then said to me, "Brea, you can't have a jewelry box without some jewelry to go with it." The next thing I know, Mike reaches behind him and gets down on one knee. As he gets down, I keep repeating, "Are you serious? Are you serious?" Yes, even though I realized what was happening, I still didn't quite believe it. I had wondered how I would react, and I guess now I know. As he's kneeling down, he simply states my full name and asks me to marry him. Immediately, I say, YES, of course I will marry you!" Then I grab his shoulders and tell him to stand up because I can't hug him kneeling down. After a few minutes of shock, disbelief, and complete joy, I stop suddenly and say, "wait, I didn't even look at the ring, I want to see it!" He had it in the box, open the whole time, but I got so caught up in the moment, I barely looked. So let it be known that I was way more excited about Mike than the ring. And I love the ring!
It was the most perfect and best Christmas of my life. Completely magical. I am beyond excited to marry Michael B. Squires and it has all been worth the wait. We are both so happy and excited.
Wedding details are still being worked out, but we're planning for April 20, 2013 in Utah.