WHAT MATTERS MOST.
Hi! I know it's been a while since I've posted! Business has been busy and in the midst of it all, Jake and I got engaged!! Don't worry, details are below but more importantly, after chatting with a friend of mine, I realized I need to share this piece of our exciting news . . .
We grow up as young girls hearing things like, "the bigger the better", "diamonds are a girls best friend," or the more recently popular Beyoncé lyrics, "if you like it then you better put a ring on it". It's been engrained in our minds that the symbol of our partner's love and commitment is defined by material objects, diamond size or the act of proposing. Even more, from the earliest years of playing house and the character of "mommy", we are focused on how we are defined by our role in the home or who we are in relation to our husband or partner. As we shift our focus to school, career and dreams, we recognize that's not how it should be but we are still heavily vested in outward beauty, looks and material objects that we think define who we are. We aren't taught that commitment to one another (and ourselves) and an equal partnership knows no position and outlasts any material object—this is learned.
When Jake and I first started looking for rings in the fall of last year, we had acknowledge that getting engaged was not the default thing to do or the right thing to do, but what we wanted to do. We couldn't imagine growing, learning and experiencing life with anyone else. Jake was excited to start looking at rings, and admittedly by then, I was excited at the thought that a proposal might be coming soon! I think, like most women, especially those approaching or in their 30s, I was ready to start a life with someone and I knew that person was Jake. I thought about all the different ways I might be proposed to, how it would happen, and what the ring might look like. Wanting to make this a fun experience for both of us, we went to a handful of different jewelers together. We went from jeweler to jeweler learning about the four C's (carat, cut, clarity, and color) and trying on round, cushion, 4-prong vs. 6-prong, shoulders, no shoulders, halo, no halo, asscher, and emerald . . . The options were endless. But I kept going back to something classic every time. Butterflies would swirl in my stomach. "This is the one," I would whisper to Jake, "something like this." It was a gorgeous round solitaire that sat on a thin platinum band. One respected jeweler said to us, "They can either say to you, 'that's a beautiful ring’ or ‘that's a beautiful diamond'". I wanted the latter — classic and timeless. Nothing extra or anything that would take away from the stone that (I thought) represented his love and commitment.
You can easily get hung up on the ring and the proposal so we took a break from the process. It would happen when it was meant to and not when it's suppose to. Plus, I was focused on launching my business and together as a couple, we worked at keeping our lives balanced and "us" a priority.
On Friday, July 11th Jake and I had decided to grab a bite to eat at Mistral, an amazingly good, vibrant restaurant around the corner from where we live. I had just finished two great client meetings and it was a gorgeous summer night. We hadn't had a date night in a while so it was perfect. We sat at the bar, shared their popular flat bread pizza, an entrée, and a great time. On our walk home we decided to head to the rooftop and put up bistro lights Jake had just bought. I immediately changed into my hot pink yoga pants and my faithful, broken-in RunKeeper blue hoodie—the perfect look for rooftop work but Jake had something else in mind. He stayed dressed in his new navy and black pants, crisp white shirt, and his faithful wingtips passed down from his dad. I thought it was strange that he didn't change into his basketball shorts and a worn-in tee but he convinced me he was cool and comfortable in his handsome outfit. We started to drill, nail and carefully hang the lights as fast as we could without breaking a single bulb! We were finally on the last section when two neighbors unexpectedly joined us. Now that we were no longer alone, I opted for heading back down to our condo for the night. But again, Jake had something else in mind. While I head down stairs, he politely asked the guys if in about 45 minutes we could come back up and have the rooftop to ourselves. After hanging out in our place and almost getting ready to call it a night, Jake persisted on going back up to the roof. After all, it was a super moon that night and for those who don't know, we have been counting every full moon since we started dating, from moon number one in July of 2011. This evening was our 38th full moon so I thought, "if it makes him happy for us to go up there, we should do it" although I was secretly exhausted. We grabbed some blankets and made our way back up. "Where are the tea lights I bought?!" Jake asked with a slightly anxious tone. "We have the moon babe, we don't need tea lights!" I said. We laid under the big sky that night as he shared some heartfelt words. Then he told me he had a surprise for me and asked me to stand up. That's when I knew, it was happening! (Actually, it was more like, "is this really happening?!") Shaking and full of emotion, I was completely caught off guard. This incredibly amazing man before me was asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. Of course I shouted "yes!!!" without a doubt in my mind.
So when Jake proposed to me that night under the super moon with a gorgeous gold Ila & I eternity band (one that I had found at good in Beacon Hill while shopping with a girlfriend and instagrammed over a year and half ago) and not one of the classic diamond engagement rings we had been looking at, it took me a moment. But with Jake's incredibly thoughtful ways and unwavering commitment to us, I learned that "traditional" is not us at all.
Jake and I are creators, thinkers, doers and go-getters. We are entrepreneurs, innovators and risk-takers. And in our relationship, we are there for each other no matter the circumstances, hardships, successes and failures. He pushes me to look beyond the now and always work towards the bigger picture. And as his planning of the bistro lights, and this special anniversary night under the full moon were pieces of his perfect proposal, this ring is just a piece of his commitment to us. Our choice to spend the rest of lives together is not for the moment, the ring, the proposal or even showing it off once it's on your finger. And our love is not defined by size, cut or tradition. It is about recognizing that we have something that people search the world for. Our love is about us; what we can provide for each other emotionally, spiritually and physically; and the bigger picture.
Since we’ve announced our engagement, naturally I’ve been asked, "Can I see [the ring]?", "Where's the ring?", "Send pictures!", and it takes some people a moment but this is our way and I wouldn't want it any other way. Whether it's in reverse order or our order, a union is not about the material things that surround it but the choice to be faithful and committed to one another. It's a beautiful thing and I couldn't be more secure and confident about our love and enthusiasm about starting our lives together. And from this point on, we promise to continue to challenge each other to be the best individuals we can, looking past materials things and be simply grateful.
Over-the-moon and happily engaged,
K & J
My instagram from over a year and a half ago . . . He took notice :)