10 Years Engaged

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cesar Chavez Day will always be special to RJ and I. Not that we can particularly relate to the injustices suffered by migrant farmer works (although we do admire Chavez's great achievements in social justice, and the new movie about him looks awesome) but because Cesar Chavez Day 2004 is the day we got engaged.

Ten years ago yesterday! CRAZY! It seems like a lifetime ago and yet when I realize we've already been together a decade I can honestly say that I look forward to decades more.

Coincidentally we were in our "engagement territory" so to speak just last week. Ten years ago RJ popped the big question early in the morning at Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park off Highway One. Later that day we had lunch at Ragged Point at this exact table >>>

engagement lunch table ten years later
Last week we made a sentimental stop to our table to grab coffees and we ask Landon to snap a pic. 

Our engagement story is a good one. Since we were California students we had the day off - I remember is was a Wednesday that year - and RJ made plans for us to surf with friends at a new break off Highway One.

He picked me up early in the morning (we were supposedly meeting our friends at the break) in his green Toyota Celica. We swung by Starbucks for two Venti Iced Carmel Macciatos (times have changed - now he drinks straight espresso and I order an americano...age has made us so boring, and healthy) and headed for the beach. 

Driving Highway One is our "thing". Our first hang-out alone was a drive up the coast, we traveled that windy road frequently to get-away from school while his mom was dying and during the tough times after her passing, our first backpacking trip was up there, and he taught me to fish rivers with him in a small creek up in the Los Padres National Forest. 

That sunny Wednesday we were driving up Highway One headed to an area near Julia Pfieffer. Honestly, I was a bit suspicious since we had been talking about engagement, but RJ was smart and had our friends call my cell to tell me that they were already at the surf break and would meet us in the water.  The phone call threw me off and I spent the next hour or so trying not to be disappointed I wasn't getting a ring but instead be excited about our fun day ahead. 

Then, RJ suddenly pulled into the Julia Pfieffer parking lot and I just knew.

We had gotten there early enough no one else was around. He grabbed a backpack and we walked to the waterfall overlook holding hands and smiling and trying to act casual. Sitting down he pulled a box from the backpack and handed it to me. The box was full of momentos. Small tokens and trinkets he had been saving our entire dating relationship. Together we sorted through movie stubs, concert tickets, restaurant menus, photos, cards and letters, etc. laughing and kissing. At the bottom of the box there was a small Bible imprinted with my first name and his last - a diamond ring tied to the ribbon bookmark that rested on our favorite verse.

He told me he loved me.

It was the very first time I heard him say those three special words. 

Early in our dating relationship I asked him not to tell me he loved me until he was ready to be committed to me forever. Boys had ripped my heart to shreds in the past with those three words and I didn't want to hear them again until the man who uttered them truly meant them with al his heart. I only wanted to hear them from a man who loved me enough to spend the rest of his life with me.

He did the knee thing and asked the question. Of course, I said yes. We cried and laughed and kissed some more. 

We spent the rest of the day playing in Big Sur. Surfing, having lunch, hiking, admiring my ring, planning and dreaming. 

Finally we headed back to town where RJ had a party full of friends waiting for us eager to celebrate. 

Five months later we got married. 

Engagement Day
Chesar Chavez Day 2004

I'm so glad I said YES.


Unknown said...

Oh, I love this.

I also told Zeke not to tell me that he loved me. In fact, I was (slightly) overdramatic back then, and I told him, "There are rules to date me. #1- You can't tell me you love me unless you're going to marry me. #2- I will not have sex with you before marriage, so never pressure me. #3- Don't lie to me. Ever."

We also go back to the place (more generally- haven't been back to the EXACT place, although that would be so great!) every year. I think it's fun to think back to how different things were then, and how much we've grown!

Jessica G. said...

I love this post and can't believe how baby faced the two of you looked! Did you know that Ian proposed to me with a bible with his last name on it as well? I still use that bible today and cherish it so much.

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