Thursday, February 23, 2012

"I'm in love, I'm in love, and I don't care who knows it!"

So I guess everyone wants to know all about how it happened, and by it I mean how we got engaged!

Yes, it's official, I'm engaged to marry my best friend, the love of my life!

Want to hear the story?  I'm sure I won't get sick of telling this one....

Even though we have talked [seriously] about getting married since the night of our first kiss, I had no idea when it would ever really happen or when we'd get engaged.  I know he'd been giving bigger hints since arriving in 2012 but I still didn't have a clue as to what he was actually planning.  He started meeting up with practically every one of my close friends, and much to my chagrin everyone (including my family) new about the secret plans well before I did, and held it over my head.  I mean, I knew it was close, but all this sneaky-sneak was just ridiculous.  He started throwing me off, fake proposing, throwing around timelines, etc. for the past couple weeks, but I wasn't falling for it.  He even told me, flat out, it was going to be on March 8th.  But what kind of person tells you the actual date?  In all honesty I thought it would be on Leap Day (the rare 29th of February).

I knew he wouldn't do it on Valentine's day, that was too cliche.  But then things started getting pretty weird around the Post house starting on the 13th.  I was suspicious, but I played it cool... just ask my mom, or Joy, or any of the people involved in my expanding collection of flowers and love notes.

By my ever-expanding bouquet, I mean how 1 flower turned into 8.  I tried to keep them separate and I tried not to gush too much online about the phenomenon that was taking place, but...

On Monday, upon returning from work, I received a red rose...
On Tuesday, though we didn't celebrate Valentine's much, I received purple orchids and jewelry...
On Wednesday, two ski-masked bandits (possibly Ben Huntsinger and Andy Turner) dropped off another rose, and a sweet card...
On Thursday, I was serenaded from outside my window by Travis Gilley (accompanied by Nathan Murphy) before receiving a yellow lily and card...
On Friday, while working away behind the counter at Starbucks, Deb dropped off a pink gerber daisy and another love note...
On Saturday, I was visited by Amy Green and Kacie Downing who just happened to drop off an orange lily and yet another wonderful papyrus card...

All of my cards were so sweet; they all had a different trait about me that he loves, and on the other side he would write a part of "our story," starting with the first time he ever laid eyes on me.

On Sunday I was expecting something in the morning when he picked me up for church, but he was empty-handed.  Oh well, I thought.  We did have plans for dinner that night, and I was told to dress fancy because we were celebratin!

(Remember this?)

With a white rose (and card) in hand, James picked me up for our fancy dinner and we went to one of our absolute favorites--the Melting Pot.  Don't get me wrong, it was delicious as ever, but I was nervous, I was trying to play it cool, my stomach was in knots and I could hardly keep food down.  I kept passing it off as being really really full, but the truth is there was just so much adrenaline coursing through my veins I wanted to be anywhere but cramped in a romantic little booth eating expensive fondue.  And it didn't help that he was super smiley and giddy--that was like sealing the deal (or so I thought).

If I'm honest, I'll just say I was fully expecting it to be that night.  I was expecting it to be after dinner or something, but nothing happened at all.  Driving home on 405, it fully dawned on me that it wasn't happening.  We came home and passed out on my bed within minutes--due to massive food comas--and then he left!  I got up, took a shower and overanalyzed it in my mind... I couldn't believe it.  I had spent all day getting worked up about this to no avail!  Now I was stumped.

By Monday I was over it. Or at least I tried to be.
I got up and the weight of disappointment from the day before came flooding back.  I struggled to get ready for class, and then rushed off to take my first exam of the semester, and face yet another busy Monday.  At some point in the morning, when I had a few free minutes, I caught myself and realized how ridiculous I was being.  I prayed about it and moved on, no longer disappointed but thoroughly confused and back at square one.  When I got home from class I worked on some homework while watching a movie, and to my surprise James texted me telling me not to eat because he had something planned for dinner since his Monday night Bible study was cancelled.  I ran to the bathroom to curl my hair, but then continued with my movie, trying to stay calm and open-minded...  ;]

The long-story-short is that it happened that night.  We went to George's Greek Cafe and retraced the steps of our first date, getting funnel cakes and walking down on the boardwalk at the Pike.  He was SO calm and collected, he really had me thinking this was just another date night.  But when we veered off our path and he started shaking, I knew it was coming.  He gave me a sweet, sweet speech (which I don't remember anymore, since I was just a little excited when I was taking it in), got down on his knee, fished the box out of his sock (apparently he knew I'd be scanning his pocket for bulges, haha) and then excitedly popped the question.  Immediately after I said yes, Debbie and Travis sprang out of the bushes, cameras in hand.  (I'm really glad that there was someone there to capture the moment, I'm sure I will always look back on these pictures fondly!)

After the proposal we returned to James' apartment to a bunch of our friends, with champagne at the ready, for celebrations.  When we were tired he brought me home to my house, and like a true 21st century couple we sat on my bed, laptop open, watching all of our comments and notifications stream in on Facebook.  (For someone who has not had cable TV in 8 months, this was amazing entertainment.)

Can I just say, my fiancĂ© has the BEST taste, and this is the most beautiful ring I've ever seen?  When he opened the box my eyes probably doubled in size; I couldn't stop staring, and I couldn't believe that it was mine!  It sparkles from every angle!

Now, the planning and crazyness commences, and even though I already feel like it's impossible to get everything done, I know it isn't, and that it will all be worth it.

Thank you to EVERYONE who has supported us and loved us along the way, and for all the congratulations we've received! It means the world to us, and we couldn't be happier!!  :]

And that's the story of how my life began to change forever.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentines

I almost forgot today was Valentine's Day--oh wait, that's a lie.  I feel like there is a LOT more Valentine's hype this year than in years previous, but maybe that's just me.

Today I had to open at Starbs, 5-1, but my manager made me a special Valentine's day treat to come in to--what a way to start a shift!  Our store also made/copied 100 signed Valentine's cards for all of our regulars, and it was so nice to be able to connect and meet them all as I passed them out today.  So much love in the Starbucks family!!

What are my big plans for tonight, you ask?  Well... due to pending work and class schedules, Jamanda Valentine's Day has been postponed till tomorrow, but beyond that, I really do not know.  James has been inaccessible more often than not these past few weeks, sometimes under the guise of "Valentine's planning," so I guess I'll find out the truth in that tomorrow night...

"Take away love, and our earth is a tomb."  
--Robert Browning

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Best Superbowl Weekend

Superbowl weekend has come and gone, but it sure was great.  On Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to go to Disneyland with James' closest friends (and their girlfriend) courtesy of Andy and Lauren who are able to get people in for free because they work there.  We were there for almost 11 hours and couldn't even make it till World of Color because we were so beat.

James, Me, Stephanie, Ben, Brooke, Greg, Andy, Lauren

After the parks we went to Stacked, where Brooke works--also possibly one of the tastiest restaurants I've been to in a long time, and you get to order on an iPad!  If you haven't been to Stacked it's a great meal (there are deals at Happy Hour so it's affordable) and it's such a fun atmosphere, brought to you by the same people who brought you BJ's Pizza.

On Sunday we all went to The Fold, to the disc golf course (my first time in MONTHS, I've missed it!), and then to watch the Super Bowl! It was a pretty bland match-up, but if we were favoring one team over the other I suppose it was the Giants, so in turn it was a good day.

Ben had been waiting for this day for quite a while because he made his own brewed beer (I think he started around Christmas time) and it coincidentally was "ready" as of Sunday.  Already a little nervous that it would be gross, he was very happy when it exceeded everyone's expectations and wasn't too bad at all.  I thought it tasted a lot like a Hefeweizen.

After the game we spent the evening in the jacuzzi and all of the boys reminisced on their uhh.. golden years?  I don't really know what to call them, but there were a lot of great stories recounted.  The whole weekend was so enjoyable, it's hard to go back to school today (maybe because I am still exhausted).  

My first shift at Starbucks starts tomorrow, bright and early! I am trying to stay positive about 5am shifts, but I feel like I've been here before.  Maybe I will actually be able to go to sleep early so that I am in a better mood tomorrow morning... 

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me by surrounding me with so many great people and opportunities!