Saturday, April 30, 2011

Meet my Bridesmaids: Part One

Happy Birthday, Lacey!!

I met Lacey the summer before I started 10th grade. We spent the summer pretending like we could play the guitar in her lawn, "camping" in the grass (also in her lawn), walking around on the beach and all around having a blast doing pretty much nothing but being together with Ms. Corynn. She moved to California and we lost touch for YEARS after that. Then, a few years after I had moved to California, I found her on myspace and realized she lived about 15 minutes down the 5 from me! We made plans to get together and I went to her house a week later. I was so nervous! You never know how it's going to turn out when you haven't seen someone in a long time that you were close to at one point. It can get awkward. Luckily, it wasn't! For the next year or so (until I moved back to Washington) we saw each other pretty much every day. We were able to reconnect and became so much closer than we had been before. She was there for me during the hardest part of my life so far. She has been my sounding board, my advocate, my best friend. We spent the year going shopping, snorkeling at the beach (okay, so that was only one time but it was so much fun it should be mentioned!), making crafts for the Encinitas Farmer's Market, telling secrets, using a long board to go sledding (lol)... I miss her almost every day! Luckily I can call her any time. She gives the best advice! I also had the chance to fall in love with her little boy, Ashland. I had the pleasure of babysitting him several times and now that Benjamin is getting to the same age Ash was when I left, he reminds me so much of that precious little boy! Who, I should mention, is growing into a beautiful big boy! Another reason I love Lacey so much is she taught me so much about what it means to be a great mama. I admire her in so many ways. Having a friend who inspires you is so priceless! I also should mention, her hubby Paul is an incredible musician! Check out The Paul Cannon Band and go see them live if you get the chance! You might even catch a glimpse of my Lacey!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Proposal

I LOVE telling this story and have lost track of the number of times I've told it. My poor co-workers have heard me re-tell it countless times! Josh and I had been talking about getting married for a while. We had talked about our hypothetical wedding, looked at engagement rings... he even took me to a jeweler to get sized for a ring. One night I came home from work to pick him up to go out for dinner. We weren't really doing anything special, just going out to Applebee's with Benjamin for a low-key celebration of one of our "month-iversaries". I showed up at the house with Ben in tow, ran inside to grab Josh and head out (the car was still running in the driveway!) and when I got inside, there was Josh, standing in the living room all dressed up in a suit and tie, dress shoes, the whole 9 yards. He had a little black box in his hand. I immediately freaked out and asked him what was going on. He got down on one knee and again, I asked him what was going on. He said he was tying his shoe. From there, the conversation went something like this:

"What's in the box?!"
"What box?"
"The one that was just in your hand that's right next to your foot!"
"Oh, that's nothing."
"No, REALLY- what's in the box?!"
"My cuff links"
"NO, REALLY, Josh- What's. In. The. Box?!?!"
"No, Really, Mel... it's my cuff links. I'm totally messing with you"
And he opened the box to reveal none other than... his cuff links.

If it hadn't been so funny, I would've roundhouse kicked him to the face.

About a month later we were in the car and he got this sly look on his face. He told me he got me something from the jewelry store that day that I had been really wanting but I couldn't have it until we got back to the house. I was ecstatic. We got home and he pulled out a bag from Gerald's Jewelers. I peeked in the bag and found... a jewelry cleaner. I looked at him. "PSSHT, Very funny, you got me again." He looked all excited and asked me if I was going to open the jewelry cleaner box. I asked him why, what was inside that I needed to open the box. "I think you need to open the box, you're going to like what's in there." So I opened the box and inside the box was... a jewelry cleaner. At this point, I started to cry. The first time was funny, but this time was not so humorous. He felt appropriately terrible and apologized profusely. I made him promise not to tease me anymore.

A few days later... we were watching a movie. And, like the old people we are, Josh asked me if I wanted to do a crossword. I was grouchy so I said no. A few minutes later, he asked me if I wanted to do a crossword. I was STILL grouchy so I said no again. About an hour later, he practically begged me to do the crossword puzzle so, begrudgingly, I gave in.

"OK, a 4 letter word for wild pig"

It took him about a second to say, "boar!"

I got about half way through penciling in the "O" before I saw my name in the puzzle. I looked a little closer and saw that question 44 down said "Melanie, will you marry me?" I just about crapped my pants. When I looked up, he had this...

I. WAS. SPEECHLESS. He had this whole sweet speech to go along with the proposal. Of course I started blubbering. All the while, Benjamin was in between us babbling and trying to steal the pencil in my hand. Finally, Josh said "It's a 3 letter word, for "Will you marry me?" Are you going to write in the answer?" So of course, I wrote in Yes. Cried some more, Benjamin laughed and it was all around a beautiful moment. I didn't expect his proposal would come at a time like that. I was grouchy, not wearing any makeup, in pajamas, dead tired... but he says he wouldn't have it any other way because I was caught completely off guard.

Further proof that I have the most AWESOME fiancee ever! Sorry, gals, he's all mines!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Love Of My Life...

Isn't he the dreamiest?

I met Josh last year. It wasn't love at first sight... it took a good 20 minutes or so before I totally fell for him, lol. I believe the precise moment was during our discussion of The Mountain Goats :) And here we are, about a year later and we're planning our wedding! So many times during the week I feel like I'll wake up at any moment because I can't believe I finally found the man that God had planned for me all along. He is the best partner I could ask for- we are similar in so many ways, which is awesome and our differences are equally wonderful because he's taught me so much (example- I'm not the best communicator; he is an excellent communicator and has really encouraged me in expressing my feelings instead of keeping everything bottled up). He is so thoughtful and kind, quite possibly the funniest person I've ever met, and an incredibly fantastic Daddy (just ask Benjamin!). My intention in starting this blog was not so much to just gush over Joshy, but to catalogue our adventures in starting our family together- which means you can expect posts from the wonderful man himself at some point.

The name of the blog, "The Other Side of an Ampersand" was Josh's idea. I have a diamond ampersand necklace that I used to wear all the time when we first started dating. He asked me about it once and I told him it was meaningful to me because it reminded me to not repeat an old mistake of losing my identity in a relationship and instead of being me, focusing on trying to change to please someone else and feeling like I became just the other side of an ampersand. I still have the necklace and I don't wear it as much but when I do, looking at it brings me so much joy because I am so thrilled to share an ampersand with Josh... who loves me exactly the way I am.