A Month and a Day.

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I spent some time reading about other people’s engagement stories, including one of my favorite bloggers engagement story, and I felt compelled to come back and write a little bit about my own engagement. Indeed, at a month and a day until we finally become wife and husband, it’s a good time to look back at it all.

Mark and I had been dating for a year and a month when we got engaged. I was basically a baby at 20 years old (and had just gotten my license the day before!) when I asked him to marry me. Yep – I asked him!

I was raised to ask for what I want, because the answer is always no if you don’t ask. I’ve taken that to heart at everything I do, be it scholarship money, raises, job inquiries, or services. So, if I wanted to spend my life with this guy who proved to be an AMAZING person over those past 13 months, why the hell not just ask him? I’m pretty sure if I waited for him… I’d still be waiting. Not for his lack of wanting commitment (clearly he said yes), but I think he would’ve just waited even though we just celebrated being together for four years in June.

And it just happens to be a Nephew woman kind of thing as my mom asked my dad to marry her back in 1982!

So what would compel a 20 something to ask her boyfriend of 13 months for his hand in marriage?

After being together just 7 months, Mark stepped up his game and proved just the kind of person he is, the kind of heart he has. My mother died unexpectedly in January, and he was with me (he had spent the night at my house) when we found my mom. He took care of my sister to the best of his ability in the first couple of hysteric hours while I dealt with it all. Doctors, hospital administrators, funeral home directors, EMT’s, 911 dispatch, and calling family members and friends, letting them know what had happened. My inconsolable sister was in his care, as much as he could (and after only really knowing her for about 6 months, this was incredible to me).

This man takes care of the people he loves, and he did everything he possibly could for a very long time after that whole ordeal to console me. He never made a cringing face at probably one of the ugliest cries on the planet (of course, one that only I can produce). Bless his soul, he is not a merry person if he’s gotten very little sleep, but he woke up with me multiple times at night if it was one of those nights without complaint.

And in the months following, when grieving is especially difficult, he watched me fumble trying to put my life together again, never once sneering. To be real, I made choices involving the estates that I might regret a little now. I got fall-on-the-floor-and-not-move-again drunk (not proud of this). And he never got nasty with me when I got especially nasty with him and my sisters around the holidays (grief is a funny bitch, let me tell you).

I was sure I wanted to marry him from the months following this whole ordeal. After all, as I was putting my life together again, he was being built into it as well.

Finally, we went for our first vacation together in Ithaca, NY – one of my favorite places in the world. And on the 24th of July, under the stars at this beautiful B&B on Lake Cayuga, I asked, “What would you say if I asked you to marry me?” (So I skirted around actually just coming out with the question – I chalk it up to being a 20-year old baby!)

After that, we planned on getting married after I graduated from undergraduate. Then things got delayed when I announced plans for graduate school. And earlier this year we planned for that October 2014 wedding. After a lot of talk and budgeting, we realized that a big fancy wedding just wasn’t for us. The show that is a wedding spectacular felt like what we thought we had to do, instead of what we wanted to do.

And here we are, four years together, a three-year engagement as of tomorrow, and finally getting married next month (on the 24th! I’m a sucker for patterns).

Before meeting Mark, I thought I’d be that single, career-focused woman (no negative connotation but my career was always a priority) who didn’t get married until her 30’s. I’d be the anomaly that didn’t have kids (if at all) until late 40’s. And now, I’ll be married two months shy of my 24th birthday and I can’t wait to have kids.

Here’s to having a more unpredictable life that I ever imagined having in my short few years on this earth. And to many more, hopefully the unpredictable surprises to come will be more positive than anything. I’ve had enough of the sad surprises that my heart can handle for quite a few years.

Holy shit. I’m getting married.

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