Big news y’all!
We are making it official!
And I am so excited to share our engagement story with you!
Dan and I have been dating for over 4 years, and everyone and their mother kept asking when we were going to tie the knot. We didn’t want to rush it though. This is our timeline, not anyone else’s. Also, marriage is a BIG commitment, and in a blended family it is HUGE. I love Dan and my stepbabies with my whole heart. Which is why I would never want to see them hurt. They’ve already been through one divorce, and I wanted to be as secure as I could that they wouldn’t have to go through another one. (I mean, I know life happens and we can’t control everything though.) Dan and I wanted to make certain that we were in this thing for real and forever before making the leap. (Did you know that the statistics for the divorce of second marriages is like twice as high as that of first marriages?!? Ugh.) I know how hard a divorce can be on all parties involved, even those not immediately involved, and we want to avoid that if at all possible.
Now to the good stuff!
We try to take the kids on at least one vacation while they are with us during the summer. We typically go to the beach, but this summer my family decided to go to St Louis. We were all in St Louis (minus my dad and brother.) doing all of the things! We took the kids to Grant’s Farm which was AMAZING! It’s a FREE park on the Anheuser Busch property! (you pay for parking, food, and very small fees for animal feed.) The kids got to bottle feed goats, feed cows and bird, ride a camel, and the grown ups got two free beers! Lol We visited the arch. We went to Six Flags and rode the roller coasters and water slides. We went to the Magic House, which was truly magical for the kiddos! We seriously could have spent days here. They had so many learning activities, a construction zone with a rideable dozer (Noah’s favorite), an art area to paint (Farrah’s favorite), an area to learn about the judicial system and congress, a science center with fossils and microscopes, an engineering center where you could build your own airplanes, and an entire child sized city with a vet clinic, a fishing pond, a mechanic shop, a grocery store, a pizzeria, and so much more! I am honestly not even describing half of the things this place offered. It was so amazing, and the best part is that it is free for veterans and family! However, my favorite part of the vacation of our visit to the Jewel Box.
We left The Magic House and began our drive to the Jewel Box. I was under the impression that this was a choice of my sister’s, which is why we had to leave The Magic House early. I wasn’t entirely thrilled to leave the Magic House, but I do love some pretty scenery. The Jewel Box is a huge greenhouse with a beautiful pond out front in the middle of a park.
We get to the park, and it was hot. I mean like muggy, sweaty, red face hot. We walk and walk, and I cannot understand where everyone is trying to go. It seemed sort of like they all had this destination in mind, but I was just along for the ride. Turns out, they didn’t really know how to get to the Jewel Box in the park. They hadn’t been there yet either, so I guess they were almost as lost as I was! lol
We find the Jewel Box and make our way over.
It was closed. Bummer!
However, we decided to make the best of it and enjoy the beauty that surrounded us.
I am lagging behind, looking at the plants and the pond, just enjoying the place. My mom is hurrying me to take pictures with the family. We all make our way to the front of the pond to take pictures. We get a few with the kids, and then Dan asks to take some with just me. I was pretty stoked cause he isn’t typically all about the pictures. So we take a few pictures then I go to walk away.
As I’m walking away he yells at me, “Hey, butthole!”
I turn around to scold him, and I see him reaching in his pocket.
I can’t really remember everything he said, because I was just in shock and mesmerized. We had talked about marriage. We had picked out rings that I liked. I knew it was coming, but somehow I didn’t expect it at all.
He got down on one knee, and my heart stopped. I was somewhere between tears of joy and smiling so big it hurt my mouth. I couldn’t believe this moment I had been waiting for was finally happening!
However, I do remember saying, “Shut up!” In the middle of his heartfelt spiel. Like typical me to ruin a sentimental moment. But he told me that he loves me and he asked me to spend forever with him, and of course I said yes. I couldn’t believe that the man of my dreams asked me to be his wife.
(Let’s bring it to blended family terms for a second. At this moment it didn’t matter that I wouldn’t be his first wife. It didn’t matter that he had asked someone else first. That thought had never crossed my mind. In fact, not once thinking back on that moment has that thought occurred to me until I started writing this. Sometimes in a blended family, you have to let the past go and live in the moment. This was a perfect moment for me. I wouldn’t let anything like jealousy or insecurity taint it.)
Farrah was so enamored with my ring, and Noah was tearing up. He is so sweet! Both of them just hugged onto me and Dan. I am so glad that Dan made sure they were there for this.
It was so nice to have family there for this big moment, and I am so thankful that the kids got to be a part of it. I hope it is something they remember forever.
I am so happy to call Dan my fiance’, and I am so excited to call this blended family mine. I am so in love with him, I am so in love with my ring, and I am so in love with the future our family holds.
Love your family, love yourself, and live your happiest life.