Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Biggest News of My Life from the Happiest Place on Earth

There have been just a few times in my life when news has been big enough to rock my world. I think this is the biggest news yet. A lot of people have probably been suspecting this for a while, but the time has come to spill the beans. The masses have been almost literally clamoring after all.

As most of you know, Julie and I have been dating officially for about six months now, but we've been kind of dating for over nine, though we've been in contact for over three years. Not long ago I decided that things were about to progress to the gloriously inevitable conclusion that I've been waiting for my entire life...

The graduation/roadtrip event was a big deal. It was kind of the time to think and observe (and talk to her dad...), and make some final decisions in my heart and mind. Everything felt right and things were right on track, so there was only one thing left to do.

I wanted to find the right ring. The Girl had some ideas for what she liked, though she wasn't really picky, and I had a pretty good feeling for what to look for. In the end, a custom design was the way to go...

28 May 2009, Disneyland, USA

I think the best way to go about the next part of this is to tell a story in photos (and for those interested, her report can be found here):

This baby was burning a hole in my pocket all day, just waiting for the right moment to emerge. I had Britney sneak a photo of it while Julie was riding the ladybug ride with Marissa.

She knew I was going to propose eventually, and even had an idea it might take place at Disneyland, but I had still been able to surround the trip with just the right amount of mystery. Disneyland seemed like it had to be the place in general, since (many of you may not know this) talking about Julie's first trip to Disneyland last summer was perhaps the main instigating incident to the development of our relationship as a couple. I was so pleased that she had taken my suggestions for her first visit so seriously, and that she had enjoyed her visit so much, since sometimes going to Disneyland for the first time as an adult isn't quite as exciting. She caught the magic instantly, and we talked for months after about how that was such a big factor in bringing us together, so I was pretty sure that had to be the place, especially since we had such a perfectly-timed trip to the west coast coming up. I had been asking around quietly for suggestions on how and where to propose at Disneyland, and I even went so far as to email into one of my Disney podcasts (they totally read my email on the show, I was so stoked). I received a lot of good ideas, and was really grateful for them all, but it was really hard to find just the right time and place. Then, early evening at the Wishing Well in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty Castle seemed the one meant to be. While her family were getting some dinner for the kids, I asked her to take a little walk with me. I just had to get that ring out of my pocket and onto her finger. The crowds cleared fairly well just in time for me to put my plan into action. She wasn't sure if I had been able to get a ring done in time, so I decided to capitalize on her uncertainty. I bought a souvenir Disneyland ring, sterling silver with diamond rhinestones set in a Mickey head and a star, and told her that I bought her a souvenir. I showed the decoy bauble to her and she liked it, but looked a little confused as to what finger it belonged on. I just couldn't stand to keep her in suspense for much longer, but mostly because I was way too excited to see her reaction. So, I went down on one knee...

... said some lovely words that I only thought about for a little while previously...

... produced the diamond...

... which earned me a li'l kiss...

...and she was so happy...

... which made me so happy!

(Some of these photos were part of a reenactment two days later, by the way, in case you were wondering why our clothes were different or something. Elise was only a little put out that I hadn't informed them of the when and where so they could covertly document the event in photographs, but we gladly played it out again a couple days later just for the paparazzi.)

I think she likes it!!!

I do believe we've found a new spot for a traditional Disneyland photo.


A few people stopped to ask if we had just become engaged and were so excited to share in the glow in which we were basking (they must have seen her admiring the ring and me admiring her finger in the ring), which was not merely due to the sparkle of the setting sun reflecting off the pond and the castle. And then we had a few people to inform. Now, some of the aftermath shots:

Telling Elise, Jeff and Britney the big news.

Elise is so excited her brother will finally wed and she will have a lovely new sister-in-law!

Britney is sad that she has no shiny bling of her own!

Sisters (and cousins) do as sisters (and cousins) should!

I'm pretty sure that Sarah wins the prize for best photograph-captured reaction. Priceless.

(Jeff was too overcome with emotion to be seen on camera.)

So there you have it. We promptly obtained some "Just engaged!" buttons from Guest Services and were treated to congratulations from Cast Members and guests alike for the next two glorious days. I've never been to Disneyland with a lover, and it made it easily the most fun I've ever had at the Happiest Place on Earth. So no, my proposal didn't involve costumed characters, chocolate glass slippers, fireworks (in truth, there were no fireworks that night) or an impromptu musical number down Main Street, but I think it happened the way it was supposed to. Subdued, intimate, personal, memorable, and just the right amount of magic. Really, proposing at Disneyland, you can hardly go wrong.

We're thinking about 15 August in the Mt. Timpanogos temple. Clear your calendars.

For those of you who know anything about my past, this is a huge deal to me for many reasons. I've been waiting to find my companion all my life, and I've finally found someone who complements and completes me in every way. What I lack, she's makes up, where I falter, she lifts me, and where I'm missing some pieces, she fills in the blanks. We're a team now. I can't think of anyone with whom I would rather spend eternity. I love you, baby!

P.S. We've been secretly engaged since 21 March. It's always been one of her life desires to be secretly engaged. Tricked you, suckas!


  1. Well, well, well. My big brother is getting married. To a girl I haven't even met yet. Good thing she meets everyone else's approval.

    But seriously, I am SO EXCITED for you guys!! Congrats a hundred times! I hope on everything that I can be there for the wedding, but someday I'll celebrate with you if I can't that day. Love you guys!

  2. So very awesome. This is just so... you guys look so... I think I might... ah, congrats!

  3. YAY hooray! "secret" engagement my foot. When is one truly "engaged?" That is my question. Anywho, YAY! And I'm so excited to take your pics! Think of some places . . .

  4. You and Julie getting MARRIED!??!

    Wait a minute...I love that idea.

    But seriously, we are so happy for you both. What an awesome story to tell, as you have done so well with pictures on this post. (Yes, Julie's sister's reaction is hilarious!) We love you, Julie! We're thrilled to have you as a sister.

    Oh, one funny thing. I wanted to leave a comment on this happy post and I accidentally clicked on the post below. Reading through the comments, I was astounded that after your big engagement news, all people were talking about was your new job! Ha.

  5. Silly Cami, one is truly "engaged" when the boy asks the girl to marry him and she says yes! Which happened on 21 March. Mwa ha ha!

    Emily, I can't wait for you to meet her, you're going to love her!

    P.S. Sarah is her sister-in-law, not her sister. I know, semantics, but just to clarify.

  6. Congratulations, Drew! That's awesome!

  7. Yeah, so I cried a little reading that. I'm a big baby! But, I am super happy for you. Nothin' like finding the right person to be with forever. Congrats, Little Drewseph.


  9. YAY! I can tell you that from the few emails I've exchanged with her, I feel that Julie is solid. I'm so excited for you!

  10. Yay! Mawwage is wot bwings us togevva today!

    Congrats, Drulie, you're going to love married life. It's awesome.

  11. Yay! Congrats to you both! I know you've been waiting on this AT LEAST since we studied birds in 5th grade! :D

  12. I knew your post was going to be better!

  13. Yay! I was grinning the whole time I read both of your posts. Thanks for sharing the story with all of us. :D Congrats on getting a great girl. Well done.

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  15. That post almost made me cry! I am so happy that you two found each other. You are so great together. Can't wait to see the ring when I get home. Thanks for sharing that wonderful moment in your life. Love you both!

  16. what a sexy couple! :) i love the secretly engaged part... suburb!

  17. I was so there. Well not exactly, but I was one land over just waiting for their exciting return!

  18. I was so there. Well not exactly, but I was one land over just waiting for their exciting return!