The Bright Spot

Let’s start with something that some of you already know about and/or have been waiting for me to post for a long [LONG] time:

We’re engaged!

I tear up just typing it. It happened Saturday night  (August 1) in Lafayette Park in front of the White House. The set-up: We had dinner. Afterward, D convinced me to meet our friends who were a few blocks away having a drink. We decided to walk.

I started rambling about how much I liked DC as a city and how I’ll always have fond memories of being here with D. As we approached the park, we joked about holding hands and I made a crack about whether he’d be affectionate during our wedding in 2012.

Moments later he was on one knee in the middle of the dimly lit sidewalk, holding out a ring. I cried; he cried. We cried and cried. And apparently I was only yelling “YES!” in my head, because he had to prod me for the answer.

Can you believe it? I can’t. Total surprise.

We moved shakily to a nearby park bench,  and I heard all the great stories of D asking my dad (during his visit in May), going through ring designs and keeping everything under wraps. I cried all my make-up off. We called our parents who were very happy to hear the news.

And I suppose that brings us to another piece of news that isn’t quite as happy.

As teary as I get telling people that D and I are starting a marriage, I’m equally as teary to report that my parents are ending theirs. They recently told us of their plans to separate, divorce and sell our house in Iowa.

While it doesn’t exactly ease the hurt and fear of what life is going to be like with my parents apart, I find temporary relief in hearing that this is an amicable split and that they’ll remain friends. I also feel really blessed to have all four of my grandparents here to seek advice and confide in. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had about love and relationships in the last 10 days, but I sure am thankful for rollover minutes.

Amazingly, I have friends whose parents split up late in marriage—including friends whose parents, like mine, called it quits as they were planning their own wedding—and I’m encouraged by the fact that all of these people (and families) have come out on the other side of this OK.

At the very least, I’m hopeful that our wedding will provide a bright spot during  an otherwise difficult time, and that it will give us reason to stay close and communicate often. It has already made me feel closer to and stronger for D, and think more about what I want our marriage to be.

Man. What a week. I can’t remember the last time I had such a sea change of emotion in such a short period of time. I imagine this will continue as both of these events play out. But right now I’m trying to focus on the happy and do whatever I can to help out my family.

To close, I would like to ask that those of you who know me personally and share my hometown to be respectful of what I’ve shared. I’m aware that this blog is not the anonymous sanctuary it used to be, but it’s still where I dump feelings and details about my life*. Sing our engagement from the rooftops if you wish, but keep in mind that any other news you share could affect me, my parents and my younger brother.

Oh. And please be happy for all of us. I have faith that we’ll all end up where we need to be.

*Don’t worry. Expo will not be overrun with wedding stuff. We’ll put that on a different domain, TBD.

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