I was lost. How does one propose well? Should I ask her father for her hand? It's HER hand, after all, she can do with it as she pleases.
So I emailed her friend with some big questions. Should I do this? How should I do this? What should I do? What is stuff? Sweet merciful crap, help me? And she did help me. She had great suggestions and they all sounded so easy and uncomplicated. Just do something that's special to you guys. And definitely get her dad's blessing.
I found a way to sneak around secretly to ring shop. I looked for months. I agonized. But when I found it, I knew. Okay, ring handled.
I pitched the idea of spending a romantic weekend in a cabin. Since we'd done this before, I hoped it wouldn't raise too much suspicion. We looked for cabins together and found the perfect spot; a "Honeymoon Cabin" in the Smokeys with real privacy and a killer view.
Then to talk to her dad. Yes, I probably should've done this sooner in the process. I was running out of time as the cabin quickly approached, but I hadn't found an opportunity to talk in-person. I was going to have to do this over the phone. So I called him at work one day... and he didn't recognize me. Funny, I think he thought some client was asking to marry his daughter for a split-second. He was wonderfully gracious, as always, and made me feel like a part of his family.
The cabin was beautiful. I sort of planned to get her in the door then drop to one knee immediately, but things never go exactly as planned. We hadn't eaten dinner and somebody (*cough* her *cough*) was getting the hangries. So I made us dinner, which she loved but then immediately fell asleep.
The next day, I tried to get her into the hot tub. Onto the porch. Out on a walk. Somewhere, anywhere beautiful, picturesque, and memorable. But it was the middle of December, so it was all too cold. After several failed attempts, I decided that being curled up together reading books on the couch was beautiful and picturesque... or at least very "us", which is what her friend had recommended.
I went to my backpack, dug out the carefully hidden ring box, came back to the couch, mumbled for what seemed like hours until I found the right words, then dropped a whole load of romance. She said yes before I could finish talking.
But she didn't cry. At least, not until I told her I'd already talked to her dad. Then came the waterworks. She said I was the bravest man alive and I graciously accepted the title, since I remember how scary it was making that call.
The rest of our weekend was wonderful. We finally made it into that hot tub, in between reading by the fire. The rest, as they say, is history.
Daniel asked if I was interested in a weekend in the Smokies, since we had missed our regular Smokies trip in the fall he wanted a makeup. I was nervous that a mountain top might not be so easy to reach in December, but he assured me we would be fine, and we booked the cabin.
After the long drive to the cabin Daniel made me an amazing dinner, and I fell asleep on the couch. Romantic, I know. The following morning Daniel & I made breakfast together then read our books (I was reading "Hamilton" and Daniel was reading "Ready Player One"). Daniel tried to convince me to read on the porch with the lovely view, but it was chilly.
After what I suppose was several failed attempts, Daniel mumbled something about the right time and walked across the room, I kept my nose in my book. The next thing I knew, not only had we won the Revolution (Hamilton reference), but Daniel was down on one knee. I didn't let him get the ring box in front of him before I wrapped my arms around him and said, "YES".