You & Me

I don’t even know how to start this post because my brain is floating around on cloud nine with Walker’s, but we are over-the-moon excited to share that we got engaged on Saturday! It’s not often that you get to say that a day was, hands down, the best day you have ever had in your life to date, but Saturday was that day for us. I still cannot even process how amazing it is or how amazing I feel, but I am just going to grab on to Walker’s hand, hold on for dear life, and enjoy every second of this amazing ride!

But I suppose I should start at the beginning. It is crazy that the “beginning” of the engagement story was only about 48 hours ago, but it has been such an amazing whirlwind of beautiful memories that it seems like a million years ago… and also like it has all only been as long as the blink of an eye!

We woke up on Saturday morning, just like any ordinary Saturday, drinking coffee, chatting, playing on the internet, enjoying the backyard, waking up slowly, and pouting about how hot it was going to get in the apartment that day. Walker had told me on Thursday that he had gotten me a present that was going to be delivered on Saturday, but I didn’t think much of it since we always buy each other little fun surprises. However, in retrospect, I probably should have thought it was odd that he began obsessively tracking the package and checking the door all of Saturday morning but I honestly didn’t really pay much notice to it. We’re always odd, so this was no different! ;) When the package arrived around 10:30-10:45, he whisked it away into another room while I was watching a silly cooking show, completely unaware he was seeing the ring for the first time. When he came back into the room, he said, “Okay, well, I am going to hop into the shower so why don’t you go ahead and pack.” I was confused (had we officially decided to escape the heat at the beach? Did I miss something?), so I asked, “What? Pack for what?” to which he replied, “Solvang! We’re going to wine country! Surprise!!!!” What followed was a lot of shouting, squealing, and jumping!

After packing up and getting dressed for the day (We always get a little dolled-up for wine country so I set out a few of dresses and Walker helped me by picking out his favorite: the yellow one!), we grabbed our bags/dog and hopped into the car. On our way up, we stopped at In N Out for an amazing pre-wine-country lunch to line our bellies. This is why I am marrying Walker: he knows that any day that starts with In N Out’s special spread is going to be romantic and wonderful. ;)

After a couple hours of driving, we arrived, checked into our hotel, dumped our stuff, and immediately got back in the car to take the short 4-minute drive down the road to our favorite vineyard, Shoestring. The very first trip we ever took as a couple was to wine country, and we fell in love with this small husband & wife vineyard right away. It became our spot every time we have gone back to the area, as it contains so many memories of happy times. Since everything that is truly wonderful about our relationship is always at its best while we are on our romantic wine country weekend getaways, Shoestring really has come to symbolize so much more than a great vineyard; it somehow has always felt like it was a representation of the best of what Walker & I have together. I know that sounds odd, but I’m sure that you and your significant other have one of those “special places,” too! Wine country was the first place we ever vacationed together, the first place we said “I love you,” the place where we have taken some of our favorite friends and family… and somehow Shoestring has come to embody all of that for us.Engagement16_Shoestring_660

Anyway, I digress. My point of all of that was that this vineyard is really special for us, and we were a mere four minutes away from what was going to become our best visit yet. What happened next was nothing short of unbelievable. Sometimes the universe is so funny! As we got into the car, a song on Walker’s RANDOM SHUFFLING iPod was in it’s first line or two. In retrospect, he must have been shocked that this little piece of technology chose to play this sing when it did. But he hid it well, simply starting it over and telling me to listen to how beautiful the song is. I am going to embed the song so you can hear it for yourself, but you are going to want to stop reading and listen to the adorable lyrics. You have to picture hearing it for the first time as you are driving through beautiful countryside on your way to one of your favorite places in the world. Enjoy…

Love Story – Harry Nilsson

How incredible is that song?! It is so much about spending a life together with someone ’til death do us part. I could go on and on about it, but just imagine how crazy it is that the iPod chose to play that as we drove to the place where Walker would ask me to spend my life with him. I’m choked up just typing about it! In fact, I didn’t know at the time, but I guess Walker was having a hard time keeping it together by the time the song ended and we were pulling into the vineyard’s gates. I don’t know how he did it, considering what he was about to do!

Okay, everyone stop crying and let’s drink some wine for a minute. ;) We sat down outdoors in some gorgeous Adirondack chairs (since we had the pup!), enjoying a tasting of Shoestring’s six wines. The weather and lighting on the vineyard were like something out of a fairytale. Mother Nature was obviously supportive of our union, because she brought out all the stops! Pure blue sky, golden sun with visible rays shining everywhere, cool and dramatic light breeze… I swear it was magical out there. As we sipped our wines, Walker was a bit quiet, but I just figured he was relaxed and enjoying the moment like I was.

Here is my then-boyfriend-now-fiance bringing one of our tastings!

Here is my then-boyfriend-now-fiance bringing one of our tastings!

So happy and he hasn't even proposed yet!

So happy and he hasn’t even proposed yet!

When we finished our tasting, we got a glass of our favorite ones (Merlot for him, Syrah for me) and spent the next couple of minutes sipping each other’s wine, contemplating which one was really the best (I still don’t know… they are both so good!). Then Walker suggested we take a walk with our wine through the vineyard. We held hands (and Bo’s leash!) and strolled through the stunning scenery, chatting and laughing. We stopped to take pictures of some beautiful sunflowers before wandering over to the grapes.Engagement3_Sunflower_660

Once we had gotten towards the back of the vineyard, I unknowingly gave Walker the best lead-in line ever.

I was just taking it all in and said, “I literally don’t think I could be any happier than I am right now.”

Walker smiled and said, “Really? That’s a big statement! Are you sure you couldn’t be any happier?”

“Nope. I’m so incredibly happy. This is the happiest.”

“Well, maybe this will make you even happier…”

Before I could process what was happening, I saw him put down his wine glass and start to get down on one knee. As soon as I realized what was going on, I began crying and shaking immediately! I looked around like, “Oh my god! Oh my god. It’s happening. What do I do with my wine glass?” I looked over at Bo, who just sat on the ground like he totally knew what was going on. By the time I managed to put down my wine glass and turn around, Walker was down on one knee with a ring box in his hand. He opened it up (blinding the whole world with that sparkly rock!) and asked, “Will you marry me?”

Through a bunch of overjoyed sobs, I said YES and mumbled a bunch of nonsensical sounds while I squeezed him with all of my might! We hugged and kissed and hugged and kissed and laughed and cried and hugged and kissed. :)

Then, he said, “Put on the ring!” to which I laughed and replied, “That’s your job!” He laughed and said, “Oh yeah! Good thing you’re here to remind me how this is done! You’re shaking!” as he slipped the stunning ring on my finger. I laughed and cried some more, spewing compliments at the perfect ring.

I said yes! You can literally see Walker's reflection in the tears in my eyes! :)

I said yes! You can literally see Walker’s reflection in the tears in my eyes! :)

The view from our engagement spot in the grass, under the trees!

The view from our engagement spot in the grass, under the trees!

Then we exchanged some private, incredibly heartfelt words about how excited we were to spend our lives together. I want to keep those to myself so I can have them forever in my heart, knowing he is the only other person in the world with that memory.

I had to stop writing for a minute… I couldn’t see the screen through all of my happy tears! But I have regained my composure….

What followed afterwards was a full recap of the ring and engagement planning over the rest of our walk: who already knew it was happening, how he had called my dad the day prior to get his blessing (which he did, of course!), how he had designed the ring especially for me with our friend’s aunt who is a jewelry designer, how he has been planning it for ages and knew right away that he wanted to propose at Shoestring, how he had been making a lot of not-so-subtle comments over the past few weeks out of excitement that I had failed to piece together (“psychological warfare!”), and about how I was indeed happier than I was before. Much happier!

After we got back to the front yard of the vineyard, we sat in our chairs and looked at each other, beaming and overwhelmed with excitement, like “Okay, what next? What do we do now?” Since we had barely touched our glasses of wine since the proposal, I suggested that we just sit and enjoy the rest of our wine before we made any phone calls. So we did. We sipped and laughed and (I cried some more and) talked and really let the moment sink in. We enjoyed every one of those minutes. That was the best glass of wine I have ever had… because I shared it with the love of my life in what is (for now) the happiest moment in our lives.

Oooooh baby!

Oooooh baby! Designed just for me by my man!

 

How stunning is the engraving on the sides of the band?

How stunning is the engraving on the sides of the band?

Once we finished the glass, we decided to grab a second before the vineyard closed up for the day. We were the only ones left with the owner, so when we told her what had just happened (she was the first to know haha!), she poured us the biggest glass of wine you’ve ever seen, refused to take our money for any of the tastings or glasses for the day, cried a little, and told us that we can sit and enjoy for as long as we want (and just to leave the glasses by the door when we were done). It was so incredibly sweet of her! She honked and waved, shouting “Congratulations!!” as she drove away. We spent the next hour or so there, drinking our wine and calling our families with our amazing news, all while enjoying our own private vineyard!Engagement7_TwoWineGlasses_660

 

Taking it all in before we leave!

Taking it all in before we leave!

We even snapped a few amazing photos with my camera's self timer before getting in the car!

We even snapped a few amazing photos with my camera’s self timer before getting in the car!

Engagement11_Kissing_660

A series of unsuccessful awesome attempts at capturing a shot of our little family!

A series of unsuccessful awesome attempts at capturing a shot of our little family!

Engagement13_Family2_660 Engagement14_Family3_660 Engagement15_Family4_660

Sparkling in the sun! :)

Sparkling in the sun! :)

As we drove away, I snapped one last picture of our engagement spot, which was tucked away among the trees!

As we drove away, I snapped one last picture of our engagement spot, which was tucked away among the trees back there!

We headed back to the hotel, making a few more calls to grandparents and a couple family members, though we quickly lost steam and decided that they could all wait until tomorrow to hear the news. We wanted to enjoy each other’s company and start talking about wedding stuff! So we got ready and headed over to our favorite steak house of all time, The Hitching Post, for a celebratory meal. Since it was a long wait, we painlessly filled the time talking about wedding stuff and calling another couple of people. The meal was amazing… two filet mignions, a free glass of champagne, and more happiness than I could consume! ;) We bought a bottle of wine to take back to the hotel and the waitress even threw in two complimentary wine glasses as a congratulations gift! We got back to the hotel and talked the night away, just absolutely revelling in the events of the day and the prospect of the ones to come!

Since then, we’ve enjoyed sharing the news with the rest of our friends and family. We’ve enjoyed using the word “fiance” way too often. We’ve enjoyed listening to love songs as possible first dance songs (though the song above is going to be a tough one to beat!). We’ve enjoyed sharing wedding ideas and plans. But most of all, we’ve enjoyed each other and the overwhelming gratefulness we feel for finding one another.

Saturday was the first day of the rest of our lives. Yes, the wedding will be an incredibly fun celebration, but I am more excited to spend the rest of my life and grow old with this man.

Walker: You & me, baby.



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42 Responses to "You & Me"

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  1. Brandon S

    August 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Congrats Ms. Erika! Sounds like we’ll be planning weddings together :D And champagne next time we’re together (Fall Market at the PDC maybe?)

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      Thank you so much, Brandon! So exciting! Belated congrats on getting engaged also. I think a glass, no bottle, of champagne is necessary ASAP! I will look into the fall market at the PDC and I will also be at Design Camp again in October! :)

      Reply
  2. Ash @ HumberHomeProject

    August 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    ahhh I got all goosebumpy and teary just reading this! So adorable. This sounds like something out of a freakin’ romantic movie!! Way to go, Walker! :D
    Congratulations again, Erika! Enjoy every second of being engaged, because it goes by way too fast! ♥♥♥
    I love that you two have a special spot like this. Seriously, this whole story is just too good to be true! So happy for you two! :) (well, and Bo, too!)

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Awwwww thanks Ashley! Doesn’t it?! I seriously was like someone pinch me because this can’t be real. It’s too awesome! ;)

      I already am enjoying every second! I can’t stop beaming from ear to ear!

      Now the spot is even more special, too! So cool!

      And thank you again! The three of us are a happy little family right now! :) oxoxoxoxox

      Reply
  3. Jerry Wright

    August 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    So Happy for you both!! xoxo

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Thanks so much, Jerry! I miss you! xoxoxox

      Reply
  4. Bob Pierino

    August 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I loved reading about your exciting news! That was such a great song to go along with the story and the beautiful pics. We are so happy for the both of you.

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you so much, Bob!! I love you guys so much and can’t wait to see you in a few weeks.

      P.S. I am going to need you to bring your best moves to the dance floor for my wedding, just like you did for Laura’s! :)

      Reply
  5. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication

    August 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Oh my goodness! That story is absolutely amazing! All of these pictures are stunning and that ring is even more stunning! Congratulations!! So excited for you!! :D

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Thank youuuuuuuuu!! I am so so so excited too! I am on cloud nine and nothing has really started sinking in yet! I am just overjoyed that Walker and I get to start officially planning our life together! :)

      Reply
  6. Casey @ Waffling

    August 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    AAAAAAAHHH!! CONGRATS!!

    what a beautiful story! And he is a smart man for making sure you were all dressed up and in a beautiful location ;)

    also, love that song. I dont know why you would consider anything else!

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Thanks so much Casey!! Xoxoxoox It really was a beautiful day!

      Haha this is so funny but I was reading Walker all of these amazing comments and when we got to yours, he was like, “Yeah, the way you worded it kind of sounded like I told you what to wear.” Haha I didn’t really notice the wording was a little odd, so I offered to change it and he was laughed and said, “No, no, no, it’s fine.” But I did anyway because I know he started feeling weird about it! Haha ;)

      So needless to say, he picked his favorite of the dresses I set out, so in that sense, yes he made sure I looked nice for our engagement day! However, the place was so stunning I could have been wearing a brown paper bag and the atmosphere would have made me look like a million bucks! ;)

      I KNOW!! I keep listening to it over and over. I’m not sure it can be beat! :)

      Reply
  7. Mom

    August 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    This is beautifully written sweetie……from your beautiful heart. What a perfect place to start your lives together (and the wine is great too!) I am proud to have Walker as my son-in-law….couldn’t have done any better. We love you both to the moon and back….figured we had to since you two were still somewhere over it! ❤❤❤❤❤

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 7:57 am

      Thank you so much, Mom! We really are over the moon and we love you guys so so so much! I know Walker is so excited to be a part of our family too (how could he not! You guys are the best!!). We found us a good one, huh?!

      I’ll call you tonight so we can actually chat! LOVE YOU SO MUCH! xxoxxo

      Reply
    • Susan

      August 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks for sharing your lovely daughter with us, and for making Walker feel so welcome. We are looking forward to meeting the rest of our new family!

      Reply
      • Erika

        August 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm

        Awwww I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of both families and bring everyone together into one big happy family! I can’t wait for everyone to meet! I love you all so much and I know we are going to have a blast planning and celebrating the start of our future together! Hugs and kisses! <3

        Reply
  8. Ainhoa@ALittleBite

    August 20, 2013 at 4:20 am

    This is such a great story!! Congrats again, you both look so, so happy. Can’t wait to hear details about the wedding :)

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Thank you so much, Ainhoa! We really are both over the moon with happiness!! We haven’t planned many details yet but I will definitely be posting about them when we have! ;)

      Reply
  9. Cindy P

    August 20, 2013 at 5:18 am

    Oh yay! I’m so glad to hear this story! It is so sweet and wonderful!!! What an absolutely perfect way for the two of you to begin forever together! =D And I’m so glad that Bo was there with you. I bet that made it even more perfect!

    I can’t wait to read/hear about your wedding planning process and see just how gorgeous your wedding will be (cause I know it will be!!). Have you guys decided when you’re going to get married yet? Will it be there in CA or will you have a destination (to you) wedding in NY? Ah! I’m just so excited for you! I love weddings! I’m helping a friend plan hers right now and so I’m all in wedding excitement mode myself. =)

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 7:45 am

      Thank you so much Cindy!! It really was the best official way to start forever… I am still feel like it was a dream! :) And yes, Walker knew that we would both want Bo there, which made it even more special! :)

      Thank youuuu! We haven’t planned anything quite yet, since we are toying with either New York or Nebraska (or even California), where our families are fun, sometime next year. We will keep you guys posted!! SO FUN! I can’t wait to recruit my friends for help! ;)

      Reply
  10. John @ Our Home from Scratch

    August 20, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Congrats!! Great story!

    High five from me to your fiance. You know, guy stuff.

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Thanks so much, John! I will pass on the manly high five!! ;)

      Reply
  11. karen pierino

    August 20, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Sheesh erika, you officially made me cry at work! So so so happy for you and walker. What a great job he did with all of it! You’ve got a keeper :-)

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 7:47 am

      Awwww thanks so much, Karen! We are so so so excited too! He made our official start to our lives together so memorable. I think I’ll hang on to him! ;)

      Xoxoxoox miss you!!

      Reply
  12. Kristen

    August 20, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Congratulations, again!! That was a beautiful engagement story (I may or may not have teared up at my desk…). And that ring! Walker did good :)

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 7:49 am

      Awwww thanks so much Kristen! It was a truly beautiful day! I seriously cry every time I read this again or listen to that song haha!

      I KNOW, right?! I think I’ll keep him around! ;)

      Reply
  13. Melanie

    August 20, 2013 at 6:18 am

    That is one gorgeous rock! I’m so happy for you. All of our group of bloggers are now married/engaged. I think the best was saved for last! Awesome job, Walker!

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 7:52 am

      Awwwww thank you so much Melanie! We are so happy too! AND I KNOW! We’re all hitched or getting hitched! SO exciting! I wish we lived closer so we could do nerdy, girly wedding stuff together! :)

      You are so sweet to say that, but I think any couple that is committing to spend their lives together is the “best!” ;) xoxoxox

      Reply
  14. Ashley

    August 20, 2013 at 8:08 am

    What an amazing engagement story! And you’ve documented it so well. You guys are seriously the sweetest.

    Your ring is amazingly gorgeous! Love the shape of the diamond.

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you so much Ashley! I really wanted to get it down in writing before I forgot any details!

      THANKS! ME TOOOOOOOO!! I love it. And I love that he designed it especially for me, knowing my style, but without any of my help! He’s good!

      Reply
  15. Christine @ Casa

    August 20, 2013 at 8:43 am

    This was beautiful!! I loved every detail and it really did seem like the universe was coming together perfectly to make this magical! Congrats to you both! You seem ridiculously happy which makes me ridiculously happy for you guys! Love that Bo was included too!

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you Christine! I really can’t believe that the universe was so kind to us! We are both ridiculously happy and Bo is just ALWAYS happily along for the ride! Our little family is becoming official! :) xoxox

      Reply
  16. kristen

    August 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Erika this is beautiful. You and Walker are 2 of my absolute favorite people.. James and I are beyond happy for you 2!! We can’t wait to celebrate your engagment, your love, and to sit on that porch when we all grow old! Love you both! ♥

    Reply
    • Erika

      August 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks so much love! We love you guys too and can’t wait to celebrate with you! See you on the porch! xoxoxoxoxoxxoxo <3

      Reply
  17. Amy

    August 29, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Wow, crying over here! What a beautiful story. So heartfelt. Thank you for sharing. Congratulations, you guys!

    Walker: Great job on the ring! Wowza!!

    Reply
    • Erika

      September 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks so much Amy! It was a really incredible day!

      I know, RIGHT?! He’s good! ;)

      Reply
  18. Vicki

    September 11, 2013 at 5:25 am

    WOW WOW WOW….so happy for you guys! What a perfect way to get engaged, aaaand WOW to the ring, so gorgeous. Sending all my best thoughts your way x

    Reply
    • Erika

      September 23, 2013 at 8:48 am

      Thanks so much, Vicki! We are so excited! You are so sweet! :)

      Reply
  19. Kristen Davison

    October 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Little late to the game I see! Congratulations Erika! The engagement story and future bride were so beautiful! I wish you both the best and am excited to see any planning & wedding pictures you post!

    Reply
    • Erika

      October 13, 2013 at 9:55 am

      Thank you so much, Kristen!! You are so sweet! We are very excited to get the plans together. I hope all is well! xoxo :)

      Reply
  20. Brandi

    October 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Such a sweet story. Congratulations to you and your hubby-to-be. You must be so excited. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness.

    Reply
    • Erika

      October 13, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Hello Brandi and welcome! Thank you so much! You are so sweet! We are beyond excited about planning our life together (and the party to kick things off!). :)

      Reply

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