I’ll Be Happy When I Make You Mine {Our Engagement}


Do you see that ring nestled in the rose?  Do you see roses?  Yes?  Well, I didn’t three years ago when Nathan was attempting to propose.


Nathan and I, along with his two sisters, went ring shopping at the beginning of January ’10.  We had a great time and I tried on all sorts of rings at something like 5 different stores.  Nathan ended up going shopping again a week later with his mom, which is when they found the ring he ended up buying.  From the start he loved the marquee cut, and I wanted a wedding band that wrapped around the engagement ring, since I have short fingers and not a lot of room for two rings to be stacked.

I knew he had the ring for about a month, and I was sure EVERY TIME I saw him for a whole month that THIS was when we were going to get engaged.  Yes, it was a lot of pressure for me to have great clothes, hair and makeup for a whole month when I was sure that THIS had to be the night, and everybody was going to be taking pictures, etc.

Three weeks went by and I was jumpy the whole time.  My friend would check my hand every time we had a class together, and we would wonder what in the world was taking him so long.  Even Valentine’s Day came and went, and we weren’t engaged.  (Actually, he meant to propose on Valentine’s, but he forgot the ring at his apartment when he came home for the weekend!)

So, a week after Valentine’s Day, it was Saturday, and I was on my way home from college for the weekend.  I slept in a little, ran some errands, and got home around lunch time.  I even actually thought, “Ooooh, maybe Nathan will be there when I get home and he will surprise me!”  But when I pulled in the driveway, his car wasn’t there, so I didn’t think anything more about it.


I went in the house with my cello and my bags.  I sat down at the kitchen island and chatted with my parents and little siblings.  My mom was really  adamant that I needed to go put my stuff away because it was right in the doorway, which I thought was weird, but she was just trying to get me to go to my bedroom.  I went back to my bedroom and put it away.  I noticed that there was a laptop sitting on a chest in my room and it was playing Jack Johnson music.  I glanced at it and decided my sister must have borrowed my grandpa’s laptop, because it was the same brand as the one he had.  I left the room and went back to the kitchen to eat lunch.

My parents didn’t seem any different from usual, but I found out that they were really worried about what was going on…did I reject Nathan or something?  You see, the laptop was Nathan’s, it was playing one of our favorite Jack Johnson songs, and I didn’t look at it long enough to see that there was a slideshow of pictures of us together playing.  I totally missed the roses sitting on my bed, and the ring sitting inside.

I got a call from Nathan right about when I was going to eat lunch.  He was acting really weird, and doing everything he could to get me to go back to my room again.  “Surely,” he must have been thinking, “she can’t miss it twice!”  He finally convinced me that I should go play him a song on cello, since he knew my cello was in my room.  I thought this was a very strange request, and I was not at all excited to do it, but he wouldn’t relent.

I went into my room to get my cello, and before I could miss it again, Nathan stepped out of the adjacent bedroom.  I couldn’t figure out what he was doing there until all of the sudden, I noticed the flowers, the music and the laptop slideshow.  I still didn’t see the ring in the flowers- I’m not making this up- Nathan had to pick it up and show me before he got down on one knee and proposed.



All You Need Is Love {Our Valentine’s Day}


We love Valentine’s Day in this house!  I know it’s kind of a made-up holiday, but hey, a day to remind the people you love how special they are sounds like a good idea to me!  We traditionally start our Valentines morning with a special breakfast.  Every year that we’ve been married the time this breakfast has to start gets earlier and earlier.  I guess that means we’re growing up.  I set my alarm for 5:30 to make this breakfast since Nathan’s out the door by 6:50, but let’s be real, I actually got up at 5:55.


It’s not exactly a “pretty” breakfast, but it’s exactly what Nathan loves, and that’s the point, right?  He calls pancakes, waffles, French toast and muffins “a waste”.  I think he means, “it has no meat”.  So, we had breakfast burritos.  These are so easy, I pulled them together in about 10 minutes.  I browned and drained a roll of sausage, then scrambled 6 eggs and cooked them on low with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, a splash of milk and a chopped tomato.  I had the idea to add the tomato at the last minute, but since we didn’t have one, I just picked out all the diced tomatoes from a salad leftover from the night before.  Very classy.  When that was all done, I just rolled about 1/4 cup of filling up like a burrito in the tortilla.  I think there was enough filling for about 8 burritos.

Pink Valentines Roses

I came home from teaching last night about 9 pm to find these beautiful pale pink roses and a long handwritten note from Nathan.  I cleared off the usual coffee table decorations to make room for the flowers so I can look at them this afternoon when I have students at home.

Pink Valentine Roses


On a different note, I enjoyed shopping my closet this week to pair together some new outfits from stuff I already own.  Shannon at Our Storybook Blog calls these sorts of posts “Modest Frugal Fashion”.  I couldn’t name it better!

I like to dress up to teach my students, and by “dress up”, I mean look put together.  I wear dark jeans, a nice shirt or sweater and cute shoes most of the time.  I teach little kids in their homes, so while I enjoy showing them respect by dressing up a little, more formal clothes aren’t always practical or necessary.  In the summertime, I go almost exclusively to dresses and skirts, which I love. With cold Illinois winters, I sometimes have trouble pulling together dresses this time of year.  And even though I like feeling a little more dressed up, I’m too cheap  to go out and buy lots of new things we have to stick to our budget and be grown up so we have money for boring things like electricity and insurance and an emergency fund.

Thus, shopping in my own closet.  I think this outfit turned out pretty well.  Please excuse the Myspace-style photos of myself.

Frugal Fashion

(Real Life Remodeling: That bin of clothes in the background is my “closet” right now while our real closets are out of commission.)

Dress: TJ Max, 3 years ago.  I’ve had it a long time, but hardly worn it.  I bought it in the summer (it’s sleeveless), but it never really worked as a summer dress.  I like it this way much better.

Sweater: Target (they still have them, in lots of colors) for $19.99

Belt: Several years ago at Maurices

Leopard Flats: Target in January, on clearance for $7

Frugal Fashion