The day he popped the question.

Exactly 2 years ago today Carl popped the question, presented me with a gorgeous diamond ring and asked me to be his wife. Even now that we're married, each year on this day I take a minute to thank my lucky stars that I met such a wonderful man who loves me to the moon and back and asked me to share my life with him. Without my handsome English boy my days would be so sad and lacklustre. He's the peanut butter to my jelly, the maple syrup to my pancake and the ranch dressing to my pizza. I love him more than anyone in the world and I'm so excited to continue our crazy adventure together.

Soon after our engagement I took a minute out of the hectic excitement in order to write about our special day, making sure to include every single detail. I still read this whenever I'm feeling nostalgic and every time I smile from ear to ear as the giddy excitement bubbles up inside me. Our love story is unique and special, and I'm so glad that I took the time to document my newly engaged excitement, another chapter in our book, because had I not I wouldn't be able to  share it with all of you now, or our children someday. 

So ladies and gentlemen, I give you mine and Carl's engagement story - written by an obnoxiously giddy Amanda, exactly two years ago today. Please enjoy.

Yesterday, May 2nd 2010, after nearly 7 years of dating, my amazing boyfriend surprised me with a weekend away to our favorite hotel and FINALLY asked me to marry him. We'd discussed for nearly two years the possibility of getting married, and although I knew full well the day would come sometime in the future, I have to admit I bawled like a little child the minute he handed me that little box. It was the most amazing feeling I've experienced yet and I'll always remember that day until I die. I'm grinning from ear to ear as I type! :)

As I'm sure my craptastic memory will prevent me from remembering the special details of this day, I'm attempting to preserve them here, in all of their ooey-gooey glory, by retelling the story of our engagement day. Let the puppy-love mumbo jumbo flow Amanda, just let it all out now...and don't you worry, you'll thank the annoyingly frivolous girl you are now for writing this yucky love stuff in years to come when the old and boring you can't even remember what you ate for dinner the night before, let alone your marriage proposal. Let those fingers do the talking, don't leave anything out...

It was a normal Sunday morning, really. Carl and I were spending the weekend at his parents, and had gone for a walk around the village in an attempt to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather. I (being the camera happy person I am) snapped pictures of cherry blossoms and daffodils, while Carl jammed away to the music coming from the earphones that are permanently cemented inside his ears. Once we got back from our walk, Carl headed to our bedroom while I sat in the living room with Mama Lynne enjoying a cup of tea as the opening credits of Bride Wars danced across the screen. As the minutes passed, I found myself sitting there watching Emma open her fortune cookie full of bling-bling all the while secretly holding a pity party inside my head. The voices in my mind were screaming things along the line of: Awwww! Her ring is gorgeous, look at her blissfully screaming down the phone to Liv. I wonder when I get to do that? What the HELL is Carl waiting for?! We've been together 7 years for crying out loud. SEVEN YEARS!!! Emma didn't have to wait that long...I mean I know it's Hollywood here, but this is bullcrap. I've been with Carl longer than almost all of my friends back home have been with their partners and 80% of them are married already and expecting a baby! I'm gonna kill him. He won't ever get to propose because I'm gonna bury him in the back yard first. Cheeky bugger. SEVEN YEARS!!!! 

At the time I didn't think anything of my future mother-in-laws weird behavior, but looking back know it's blatantly obvious she was up to something. About 30 minutes into the film I noticed she was glued to her phone, texting like a mad woman (Lynne is SO not a text crazy type of woman, people. In fact, she often ends up fuming at the phone as it hardly ever does as she want's it to). She got up and headed out of the living room, then came back again and hastily announced she had to go to the shops, but to continue the movie as she'd be back soon. And with that, Lynne headed down the stairs and out the front door... leaving me alone to contemplate my attack on Carl as Liv tried on her stunning Vera Wang wedding gown. 

About an hour later, I could hear fast footsteps outside which were immediately followed by the opening of the front door, Lynne hurrying up the stairs and into the hallway where she excitedly announced the following: "Carl and Manda, how would you feel about going to Southport to stay at the Scarisbrick tonight? I've just been talking with little Anna, and she had 2 rooms booked for her and her family, but there's been a bit of a family problem so they're not able to go now. And it's too late for Anna to cancel the rooms, she's been charged for them already and doesn't want them to go to waste. She's invited us to go and stay there, would you be able to go? If you can we have to pack quickly. Garry said he'll take us! "

The Scarisbrick hotel is a favorite among Carl and his family. There have been multiple Anderson family event's there over the years, including Carl's 21st birthday, Christmas gatherings etc. The Scarisbrick Hotel especially holds a special place in my heart as it's one of the first places I stayed when I landed in England after meeting Mama Lynne and Papa Garry for the first time. It's also the hotel where Carl and I have spent previous anniversaries and Valentine's days. I love it because of the memories, but also because it's so typically English, and they serve THE BEST scrambled eggs for breakfast. With all of that said, it goes without saying that I didn't need much convincing. Carl also agreed that he'd be okay to go and we all knew Lynne would happily go to that hotel in the middle of a blizzard if she could, so with everyone in agreement we frantically began packing for an impromptu night away. However, the whole time I crammed things into my bag I had little Anna (one of Lynne's good friends and possibly the nicest and most caring person ever) on my mind, and many times I asked Lynne if she was okay. She hadn't elaborated on what the sudden problems with Anna's family were, but I didn't want to stick my nose where it didn't belong, so I took her word that she was okay and instead looked forward to a cocktail from Maloney's Cocktail Bar that night and scrambled eggs the next morning. 

When we arrived at the hotel, we checked into Anna's pre-booked rooms (which at the time I noticed were under the name Anderson, but I'd assumed Anna had phoned up and had the names changed) and agree'd we'd meet at 6 o'clock for cocktails before our dinner reservations at 7:30. As it was only 2:30 when we arrived, Carl and I had the rest of the afternoon to relax in our room and prepare for the evening. We lazed on the bed with the tv on in the background. After seeing my Facebook status announcing my excitement at a last minute weekend away, my good friend Ciara sent me excited texts as she was convinced Carl had brought me to the hotel in order to propose. Although I paused for a moment and the thought "Holy Crap! Maybe she's right!" ran through my mind, I immediately snapped out of it, reminded myself that the only reason we were there was because poor Anna was having family problems, and quickly shot down any hope of getting engaged. I sent Ciara a txt back convincing her she was mistaken, and dragged myself off the comfy king size bed in order to begin the beautification process for cocktails and dinner. As we'd left last minute and I hadn't packed a fancy dress to wear, I decided I'd need to spiff myself up with some good hair and glamorous make-up so took a seat at the vanity mirror and began primping. It was at this point in the evening that I noticed Carl seemed to be slightly irritated by my girly regiment...

Carl: "Why don't you go get ready in the bathroom?"
Me: "Because I don't want to. I can sit on the bench here and do my make up and hair."
Carl: "Well, can't you do your hair and make-up in the bathroom too?"
Me: "Umm...no. There's no plug in for my hair straightener in the bathroom and I need a mirror to see my hair when I do it otherwise I'll burn my ears. Plus, I can sit if I do it here, and the floor in there is freezing. Why are you so obsessed with me going in the bathroom? Are you trying to gross me out because you've farted in there or something? Because that's gross, not funny."
Carl: No! Urgh. Right, well I'm going into Mum's room to help with Dad's phone. It's having problems.

At that Carl headed out the door and over one room to his parents. During the good 5 minutes he was gone I had finished caking on my dramatic glamorous make-up, and was in the process of letting my mascara dry when I heard our door open again. This time when I looked up in the mirror I noticed Carl was walking towards me with a big sparkly silver box and a grin on his face. Being the putz that I am, I still hadn't cottoned on to the fact that this was the moment I'd been waiting so long for. Instead, I turned around and excitedly said "Ooooh what's this?!"Carl handed me the box and said "just open it." As I lifted the cover and dug through the purple shredded tissue paper I spotted a glimpse of the tiny red velvet box at the bottom. It was then that I began to shake and the tears gushed down my face. "Carl, what's this?" I said as I held the perfect little box in my hand. Shaking uncontrollably, I opened it and saw through cloudy tear-filled eyes the very same gorgeous princess cut diamond ring I had ooh'd and aaah'd over in the jewellers window just 3 months before. After bawling for a good 2 minutes with my face in my hands (at this point looking like a drag queen caught in a rain storm...you should have SEEN my make-up!) I laughed and said "Baby, you have to ask me to marry you!" Sporting his adorable shy and slightly embarrassed facial expression that I love, Carl asked me if I would marry him, I yelled yes and we kissed. It was just at that moment we heard knocking at our door and Lynne came hurrying in the room with a big beautiful bouquet of flowers saying "Ooooh let me see! Let me see! I've had my ear up against the wall in our room the entire time trying to listen! Garry was playing a game on his bloody phone and I kept telling him to shhhh because I couldn't hear! Haha!" As I shared with my future mother and father-in-law my lovely engagement ring they shared with me their craftiness in helping make this happen. Little Anna and her family were, in fact, perfectly okay...and later that evening we would discover that they were staying in the same hotel on a different floor that very same night (seriously, what are the odds!?!?) Lynne had left me watching Bride Wars that afternoon in order to collect the ring from the jewellers for Carl, and the crafty lot had planned everything. I also learned that in being the stubborn turd that I am and by refusing to go into the bathroom to do my make-up, I had ruined Carl's plan to be on his knee with my bouquet of flowers and ring when I came out (hence his irritation. Hahaha!)

As we were away in a hotel and my BlackBerry downright refused to make international calls, I had to resort to sending the text "I'm Engaged!!!!" to my sister in hopes that she would soon pass along the news and my family would ring me (I later found out that when Sonya got the text she actually misread it. She and Mom laugh hysterically about this because at the time Sonya received the message they were in the kitchen preparing dinner together. Sonya wrinkled her nose up and announced "Mandy just sent me a text that says 'I'm in England'....well duh, we know she's in England!!" With that, she set her phone down and continued with dinner until she received another text from me, this time a picture of my ring. It wasn't until that point she realized how much her reading abilities had let her down, and started screaming "Holy shit! It said she's engaged!" Hahahahaha! Love it. My sister is a bonehead and I wouldn't have it any other way). After announcing the news and sharing pictures with all of our friends and family (Facebook comes in super handy when your friends and family are all the way across the Atlantic Ocean) I took a moment to sort out my raccoon eyes, blow my dribbling nose (attractive, eh?) and settle into the fact that I was an engaged woman. HALLELUJAH! We quickly headed down for our cocktails and dinner reservations (Carl's White Russian's went down a little too quickly and all throughout dinner he laughed and asked "Is it reeeeally hot in here, or is it just me?") Soon after our appetizers my phone rang and I hurried to answer it as the word "Home!" lit up the screen. On the other end was my Mom and Dad who excitedly wished us congratulations. Instantly Mom asked for the details, and I laughed mid-sentence as I noticed the shakiness in her voice. "Mom, are you crying?!?" I asked, to which she replied...."maybe..." sniffled and laughed. I quickly explained how sneaky Carl and his parents had been, how wonderful the proposal was and how sparkly my ring looked. As I said goodbye to Mom and Dad (reassuring them I would call again once we'd got back home) the small congratulatory cake Lynne and Garry had ordered from the restaurant was lighting up the dining room with its massive sparkler as it was carried towards us. The rest of the evening Carl and I kissed a lot, enjoyed good food and drink with good company, and soaked up every last bit of our special night. It was better than I could have hoped for, and to top it all off, I got my favorite scrambled eggs the very next morning.

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that the older I get, the more I develop OCD... and even now...a daunting 37(ish) months to go...I feel the need to get organized and bust out my wedding file. No, I haven't made that up. There really is a wedding file. There have been countless girlfriends and family members who have compared me to Monica on F.R.I.E.N.D.S lately, and I'm beginning to worry as I see the resemblance myself. It's seriously uncanny. About 5 months ago, when I was not even yet engaged,  I put together "The Wedding Book." I sat down with Bride Wars on in the background sectioning off purple and gold embellished page dividers titled "The Dress, The Venue, Bridesmaids, Flowers, Photography" etc. The delusional weirdo that I am must have looked like a little kid in a candy shop with my bridal magazines engulfing the bed as I clipped out floral arrangements and wedding gowns. (Please tell me there are others out there who've gone as overboard as I did...even before they were engaged? haha! Should I be worried? Do I need to seek professional help? Yep. I probably do.) And even then as I sat with a naked ring finger in my fairyland obsession with weddings, my Carl was supportive and would tell me I'm cute. What an absolute keeper! 

We're not getting married for another 3 years (due to relocating from England back to my little Vermont town) but I'm so excited to find inspiration in my surroundings and begin turning those day dreams of a beautiful wedding into a reality. I've read articles and blogs where brides said the beginning point of their planning process was when they first saw that perfect pair of shoes that inspired everything from there on out...or a beautiful venue that they knew was the one as soon as they set foot inside... Well, I can honestly say that due to our circumstances I've yet to have such an experience and I'm pretty sure I wont be that lucky. I know the wedding is still MILES away, but Mom is wise and she's encouraged me to enjoy this experience I've been dreaming of and soak up every second of it. I'm so unbelievably excited, happy and thankful. Here's to our dream wedding, here's to celebrating our love, here's to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson. Hurry up 2013, I'm already sick of waiting.


So this post is to you, Carl, my handsome hubby, as a thank-you for loving me like you do. I'm so glad you popped the question 2 years ago today, because had you not I wouldn't be as happy as I am now.

Elephant Shoes,
Your Bean Bean xoxoxox


  1. This is the stuff that fairytales are made of!!! Not that I expected anything less :-) And even though the romance of all of this gave me chills, the part I love best is when Carl is trying to convince you to go to the bathroom and you are like, Um no...there is no plug for my straightener and I need so see so I don't burn my ears. Haha! Oh and the best line in that conversation, "Why are you so obsessed with me going in the bathroom? Are you trying to gross me out because you've farted in there or something? Because that's gross, not funny." Hahahaha!! That is SO something Eric and I would say to Eric (and it is totally something he would do).

    Sorry...didn't mean to focus just on the humor with all the sweet stuff in here too. But that just gave me the BEST laugh this morning. You two are so real and CLEARLY in love with each other. That is just too rare these days. Thanks for sharing this sweet post honey :-) xoxo

  2. Okay...do you feel better now? I have like FIVE freaking grammar errors in those two small paragraphs! Ri-freaking-diculous. See...all English majors make type-os :-)


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