Chris told me a few days ago that he wanted his date this week (we alternate day nights) to be spent at the zoo this morning, so we got up and headed downtown first thing. On our way into the city, we were aware of the chance for storms & rain, so we made the decision to change our plan and do something indoors instead. I suggested the Newseum (little did I know this would throw off the entire day)and we got there right when it opened at 9am.
It was so nice to be there early when it wasn’t busy and it almost felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. Chris had never been, and although I have been a few times, news and media are always evolving, so it was all new stuff to me.
After spending a little over an hour at the museum, we headed back to the car where I expected that we’d either have an early lunch or head home. But, when we got back to the car, Chris announced that he wanted to go to the National Museum of American History. I’m not going to lie. I didn’t want to go. I dug in my heels, I whined and moaned and I was a complete beast about the entire idea (sometimes I can be…um…stubborn). But then, Chris said he had never been so I felt like a jerk, shut my mouth and we made our way inside. (He was stalling, but more about that later)
While we were in the museum, we decided to make lunch reservations at Old Ebbit Grill nearby. We finished the museum about 30 minutes ahead of our reservation, so I suggested to Chris that we see if we could be seated earlier. I was so hot and tired of walking around and desperately wanted some AC and a drink, but Chris had other plans. We drug me to the White House and upon arriving he said “okay, lets walk back.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By the time we actually sat down to eat, I gulped down 4 glasses of water and prayed to the gods that I wouldn’t burst into flames. Luckily we cooled off just in time to enjoy some delicious burgers. After we finished eating, Chris asked me if I wanted dessert or coffee which I found to be odd (it turns out, he was still stalling).
We made our way back to the car when Chris said that he wanted to go to Gravelly Point. Gravelly Point is my favorite place…..ever. It’s where Chris and I ended up on our first date (and had our first kiss), and it’s also a place where we’ve celebrated anniversaries or just spent time together. I love it and I would never say no to hanging out at Gravelly Point. I didn’t suspect anything was up, either. Even when Chris said “I want to take you to Gravelly Point because you’ve been such a trooper in the heat and going to the museums and everything.” Now that I look back, I can totally see that was just part of his master plan.
So, we get to the park and about halfway down the path, Chris tell me he “forgot something in the car.” I thought to myself that it was odd that he would forget anything since I had the camera and that’s usually all we take. But whatever, I was busy watching planes and just said, “okay.”
After I took the above picture, I turned around and saw Chris making his way toward me from the parking lot. He was carrying something that I couldn’t quite make out, but as he got closer, I saw it was a package about 7×9 and wrapped in pink paper with cupcakes all over it.
“Uhhhh, what is that,” I asked.
“Something for you to open in a minute,” he responded.
“What is it? What is it?” I asked again.
“You’ll see in a second,” he laughed.
We started walking down the path and made our way closer to the Potomac. We walked through a softball game and bunch of people playing cornhole and then we stopped. Chris handed me the package and said, “I want you to open this, but you have to take your sunglasses off.” “Why,” I challenged him (I am seriously difficult). “Just do it, please,” he responded.
So, I took my sunglasses off, and I started to rip into the package. It was a picture frame, face down. As I turned it over, it was a picture of Chris sitting in the exact spot that we were standing, (he had gone a few days before to prep and scout the area) holding a poster board that read, “This spot will change our lives.”
As soon as I read the poster in the picture, I knew what was about to happen, and I had a reaction I never thought I’d have. I turned around, I started walking in circles and just started saying “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.” Poor Chris was on bended knee and had to reach for me and say “get over here.” I was stunned and in awe of the moment. He did such a wonderful job with his speech and told me that I was his best friend, that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and that he couldn’t imagine his life without me. Then, he said, “Natalie Brown, will you marry me?” Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel!!! When he opened the ring box, I couldn’t even process it because I was so overwhelmed with emotion. I just wanted to throw my arms around him and couldn’t do it fast enough. We were hugging and crying and having our moment, and then we hear this big applause and turn around and the softball and corn hole people are all cheering and clapping. I was completely surprised by everything and even more surprised that we now had an audience!
Thennnnnnnn, I turn around, and I see these two guys with big cameras headed over to us. I’m thinking “who are these people and why are they coming this way?” Turns out, Chris had two photographers planted to capture the entire moment from two different angles!! (When we didn’t go to the zoo, our morning went a lot faster than Chris anticipated, hence all of the earlier stalling!) His sister, Lindsay is huge into photography and she pulled some big strings to get some of her friends to take the pictures (THANK YOU LINDSAY, KEVIN, SCOTT AND SAMER!!!!). One of the photographers, Scott, even had a cooler with champagne so we could have an instant celebration. I was losing my mind at this point – I have never ever been happier in my entire life.
Once we calmed down a little bit, Chris told me that he had setup a celebration with our parents and his sister & her husband and that we were headed to his parents house. So thoughtful! We got to his parents house and they had setup a whole party which was so awesome! We had a big dinner, another champagne toast, cake and even a family picture.
When we got home from the celebration and finished up some more phone calls, Chris brought me the list of things he had written down that he wanted to include in his proposal which I thought was so sweet. I love how much thought and effort he put into this entire day, but this piece of paper, seeing everything written down was just so special to me.
And the ring. Oh my god, the ring. Remember when I said I couldn’t process it when he opened the box? Literally, my brain could not process it. I saw a flash of sparkle, but I just could not comprehend that it was mine! It’s been a few hours now and I can finally process it (thank god), and it’s beautiful. So much more than I could have ever imagined.
The amazing thing is that the diamond is actually Chris’ mom’s original diamond. The diamond was put into a new setting, so it’s a mixture of old and new, which I love. I also love that it’s a family diamond because it gives it so much sentimental value and meaning. He did such a great job picking it out – I couldn’t have picked anything better myself.
This has been the best day of my life and I am so grateful for everything that everyone has done to make it happen. I feel so lucky to have people care so much about us who are willing to go above and beyond to have made this day so special.
And to Chris, my fiance…you absolutely made my wildest dreams come true today. You are my sunshine, the love of my life, and I can not wait to marry you. I love you so much more than I can ever put into words, and I can’t wait to be your wife.
Tomorrow I am planning on posting an additional blog with all of the details of how Chris created such an amazing day. All of the behind the scenes stuff is just too great to not share.