In the early afternoon of Christmas Day, Dave got down on one knee and proposed and professed his love for me...
...while wearing elf-themed pajamas.
Ever since we began dating in 2014, our relationship has been far from ordinary. We took a cross-country vacation after dating for less than three months. We endured a long-distance relationship for a year as I ventured off to Chicago to chase a dream. We work through our issues, support one another, and strive to make each day better than the last.
Earlier in April 2017, we had walked from our apartment to the Capital Square for the first Dane County Farmer's Market of the year. In the weeks leading up to the event, we chatted about getting engaged and wanting to spend the rest of our lives together. Talk of ring shopping began and we slowly made our way to Goodman's Jewelers on State Street. We initially walked past the jeweler and strolled down State Street biding our time until we went in, both with timid hearts. Although we both knew we had wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, were we really ready to make a financial commitment such as purchasing an engagement ring?
As we browsed the selection, I knew I wanted something simple and Dave followed suit by picking out the entire ring on his own, while I stood idly by. Once the decision to purchase the ring was made, I ran outside the shop to call my mom and say, "I think we might get engaged?"
Eight months pass. Over the Christmas holiday, Dave had been acting secretive, something he has done every single year since we began dating. As we left his parent's house around noon Christmas Day, he ran inside to supposedly tell his family that he appreciated how they gave them their ice scraper during a time when we needed one that morning. However, as I know now, he was telling his family how he had anticipated proposing in a few short hours.
Our car ride home was normal, and when we got back to our apartment, I began tweaking our apartment to feel as it had every other Christmas Day. We changed into our ill-fitting elf pajamas from Target and prepared for a quiet afternoon for the two of us. I turned on our yule log fireplace via Netflix, lit a few pine-scented candles, and poured holiday-flavored iced coffee as I finished hiding a few of Dave's last gifts within the Christmas tree. When it was his turn to prepare for the exchange of gifts, I was expecting him to write out a last-minute card. However, he was busy hiding his cell phone above our cupboards to record my reaction to his upcoming surprise.
My first gift from Dave was a pint glass from the Great Dane -- the location where we officially met and began dating. The second gift was a coffee mug that was an inside joke between the two of us. As I opened the coffee mug, he asked me to look inside. Finding nothing but the cleaning instructions, I turned my head up to ask Dave what I was to find and saw a ring box in his hand along with him moving to be on one knee. As I began crying, I shook my head in the affirmative and said, "Absolutely yes."
As the proposal was at the beginning of our exchange of gifts, we finished opening up what was under the tree before we began the long task of calling our family and close friends to tell them the news.