New Years will always be special to me even if I don't stay up past midnight or watch the ball drop in NY or see family to ring in the new year. One of the most momentous occasions that a girl can experience happened to me just after midnight January 1, 1993. (Now for those of you with dirty minds, get them out of the gutter - and pull mine out while you are at it please) The Shooter asked me to marry him that night/morning!
We'd only been dating for just over 2 months but here we are 20 years and five kids later and still going strong. (Married for 18 1/2 years as of Christmas day 2012).
Would I have gotten married that day? Oh heck yeah, and after all we were living in the Vegas area so that would just have been too easy! But The Shooter had promised his mother that he wouldn't get married until he finished college. So began our long engagement - it was okay though because we were bad kids and moved in together ;).
In all actuality, the engagement went by quickly because we had to finish school and the semester before the wedding was spent with him student teaching and me trying to figure out what in the heck I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It was around this time that I made the definite decision to stay as far away from my degree field of Public Relations as possible.
Of course, when you need to slow things down to make sure you get everything done, especially something as large and momentous as a wedding, it never works out that way. I remember wondering how the heck I was going to get clear across town to pick up the invitations with our busy schedules. I thought for sure I was going to have to buy blank cards and do the invites myself on our old Mac computer. But you know, things always seem to have a way of working out. The shooter and I were timing a track meet at the school he student taught at and there was a delay so we were able to run and grab the invites and be back in time to help with the big race. For some reason this is one of my most vivid memories of the engagement. Maybe because the invitations, all printed and pretty, are just so definitive of the celebration about to happen.
Another of the more vivid memories involves the dress. You know over the years you look at bridal magazines (or online nowadays) and you find the perfect dress, you know THE DRESS. Well, my mother in law and I went out in search of that dress, trying on many different varieties along the way. I remember finally finding it in my size and trying it on...and crying when it just was not as pretty as the picture and did not look the least bit good on me or the girl in the next dressing room who was trying one on too. IT WAS HIDEOUS!!! Thank goodness for my MIL's friend who was a seamstress, she offered to make a dress for me. The best decision I ever made (aside from saying yes to The Shooter, hehe).
Now that I think about it, ordering the invitations was pretty exciting too. We walked into the Tuxedo rental store (This was one thing I really couldn't care less about) and low and behold they had a deal that if we ordered enough tuxedo's we could get our invites for free. Boy did we take them up on that deal quick. A boring trip to look at suits turned into the fun of pouring over albums of available invitations. I was in heaven because as most of you know I love all things paper and pen, etc. Their selection was outstanding for being free and we found gorgeous invites and announcements.
Another thing I loved about the engagement/wedding planning was that a lot of it was just so easy which allowed us more time to just enjoy each other. The venue, the minister, the photographer and the reception were all pretty much taken care of by MIL, her friends, and her boss at the church she worked at. It was smooth sailing!
So, did we have a good engagement? Yes I would say we did and it didn't really seem like it lasted that long. I have many great memories, you know, all of the normal stuff like watching my dress take shape, picking out the food and almost passing out at the final dress fitting ;). We even managed to accomplish a lot in that year and a half. I decided to try to start my own business, The Shooter graduated from college and we had succeeded in planning a wedding that would be absolutely wonderful. (Kudo's to my mother in law because she helped plan and pay for everything) I guess you could say we had an engagement worth celebrating!
To celebrate the anniversary of our engagement every year at New Years, I don't have to do something special to commemorate it as long as I remember it and smile. Through 20 years of good, bad and ugly in a relationship and having a family, I have always remembered and smiled. I guess that says something about my relationship. . . I am happy. A mere six months later we were on to our next adventure - Step one was 9 months, step two is going on 18 years now. :)
Until next time. . . Happy New Year!!! And remember, not everything needs to be "celebrated". A simple smile is all that is needed to remember and commemorate days that are important to you.