The holidays now remind me of that decision to spend our life together, so I thought I'd share the story of that night with you in honor of our one-year engagiversary.
We were going to be in Chicago on Christmas Eve because we couldn't afford to fly home, so I knew if I was going to do it on Christmas, it would have to be there. But at that point, I still didn't know Chicago very well, and I couldn't think of anywhere to do it that would be really special. We both disliked the idea of proposing in a crowded room, but outside in the middle of winter didn't seem like an appealing option either.
I decided the best choice would be to ask in our apartment, but I wanted it to be special, so I covered the apartment in candles. I even taped tea lights to our tree (and let me tell you, that was nerve-wracking).
It's hard to tell, but the really bright lights are real candles.
I also made a Christmas love song playlist to play while when he came in and while I was asking.
Of course, I had to get Daniel out of the house so that I could set up, but that turned out fine because as a habitual procrastinator, he had waited until that day to finish his Christmas shopping. He spent the whole afternoon running around getting things for the cutest Christmas present for me, one that rivaled (and probably beat) my proposal: he got me 12 presents of Christmas and wrote and performed a song for them set to (you guessed it) "The 12 Days of Christmas." It was really freaking adorable.
Since we had been engaged before, I had already gotten him an engagement ring, so this time around, I made one for him. I wrote down a bunch of things that had been an issue for our relationship (having to move to Chicago, wanting to live in different places, his love-bordering-on-obsession for gaming) and then wrote things that I liked about them (our favorite Chicago pub, my intense love for food in Berkeley, our rousing games of Munchkin). Then, I folded the paper up into the shape of a ring, like a money ring. It wasn't easy, and I had to follow the online tutorial about 7 times before I got it to work, but I finally had something passable. Daniel is a huge Lord of the Rings fan, so I got one of my friends who taught Elvish as a language to write "Will you marry me?" in Elvish for me, and I used an online translator to write it in Elvish script instead of English characters (poorly).
Daniel's family always opens one present on Christmas Eve, so I wrapped his ring up nicely, and I wrapped my engagement ring as well for him to give to me.
Then I got dressed up and waited.
And waited and waited.
And called to find out where he was.
Finally, he came home and told me not to look while he brought in presents.
I told him to leave them in the hallway and opened the door holding the wrapped ring.
I took him under the Christmas tree and had him open it. Then I told him how sorry I was that I had broken it off and that I loved him and knew I wanted to be with him.
And then I popped the question.
He said, "Yes."
Then I opened my ring, and there was much happiness.
Aaaaand then I dragged him off to the dinner reservations I didn't want to be late for on top of the Hancock Tower, the second tallest building in the country.
Obviously, the food was really expensive, and I really couldn't afford it at the time, but I'm really glad I did it anyway because we had a great view, even better because I had said in my reservation that I'd be proposing that night, and it was a great way to celebrate together despite the food being underwhelming.
It was a great night, and I'll never forget how happy we were knowing forever was coming.
My favorite Christmas present that year was this sled.
Well, that's my (preferred) engagement story. What's yours?