OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY
I’ll tell you right now, the whole story is nothing like what you’re expecting or what you’ve seen on social media. Our engagement story is filled with the deepest love and heartache all at once. This past week has been, by far, the most insane experience of my life… multiplied by ten.
The universe works in the most mysterious ways. I’ve always been a very spiritual person and even more so now as my life has been forever changed this year, specifically on November 9th, 2018. I was unsure of how I was going to share this story, or if I was going to share it at all but now that my head is clear I can properly explain the magic of last week.
Let me start from the beginning…
A few years ago, Sergio took me to Antigua, Guatemala for my birthday. It quickly became (and still is) my favorite place in the entire world. Knowing that, Sergio planned a weekend getaway for my birthday this year to the same place as my gift.
We arrived to a beautiful suite with an in-home spa, champagne and a weekend full of romantic surprises. He was pulling out all the stops to make this a weekend to remember for the rest of our lives, regardless of the soon-to-be engagement (which of course, I didn’t know about).
The first day we were exhausted, so we slept through the afternoon, finished up some loose ends at work and went for a casual walk around the city before dinner. One of my favorite things about Antigua is the rich, authentic culture. There are stunning, dilapidated buildings, ancient ruins and secret gardens hidden behind the doors along the streets. It brings me so much peace just writing about it.
The city is completely unassuming. If you happened to end up there and just drove down the street you might think it didn’t look like anything special. Boring even. However, back when the city was built, the property tax was based on the frontage of the property, not the total land size. So, landowners made the entrances as small as possible (literally a wooden door only). The same size door that opens up to a cafe can open up to HUGE pieces of land. You can’t see anything from the front. There is something so romantic about the mystery & why I fell in love with this place.
Back to the story…
We walked the along the streets and I was fixated on my obsession with crumbling walls and gardens. I probably mentioned it twenty times that day. The next day I woke up at 5am but couldn’t fall back asleep so I lit a fire, made some coffee and got a bunch of work done before Sergio woke up. He had the ENTIRE day planned, starting at breakfast at 9:30am. Which I found to be odd considering we literally sleep until noon on trips. I had a feeling once or twice that this could be the engagement weekend but I kept talking myself out of it. He is always very thoughtful and romantic so this wasn’t too far out of the ordinary.
Sergio woke up a bit later than me, we got ready and headed to breakfast. I was giving him SUCH a hard time about his outfit choice, which makes sense later. The weather was predicted to be 85 degrees that day and he walks out wearing a long sleeve shirt, a down feather vest and a scarf. He also runs like 10 degrees warmer than me at any given moment so I was looking at him like he was completely insane and tried to convince him to change a few times before we left. We got to breakfast, which was at our friends insanely gorgeous home.
On a funny note, (I’m sure Sergio will be mortified that I’m sharing) when we were sitting on the terrace for breakfast and he took off his winter layers, he had one of the largest sweat marks I’ve ever seen. He was sweating so badly, I wanted to call him out for the 20th time about his poor outfit choice but I decided to give it a rest. It was so funny, I was just shaking my head.
In retrospect, all of his odd behaviors that day and even moments leading up all began to make sense. Little things like wanting to finish his cold coffee (which he hates & really had me scratching my head) to making me walk on a specific side of the sidewalk on our way to the ruins that day.
After breakfast he had planned for us to go visit some city ruins, which he knows I love. Right as we are about to walk up, he takes off his scarf and wraps it around my eyes (scarf behavior, now making sense). As we walk up, I start laughing hysterically over the fact that he made me walk in front of him blind folded for better photos and I was screaming that he was a bad seeing eye person because he needed to be in front guiding me. Needless to say, I look like a double chinned zombie with my hands out in front of me during the first set of photos (we had a full re-do). When I finally controlled my laughter, he lead me down a small set of stairs (I thought I was in a cave this whole time - great scarf!)
He walked me down a little further and when he took off the scarf, he was on his knee with the ring out (which he had to hide in the vest because of the zippers). He was already crying by the time “will you marry me” came out of his mouth and, of course, I started crying hysterically. I got down on my knees and we didn’t really say anything but just cry out of joy together for a few minutes. It wasn’t until we finally got through that first moment that I was able to stand up and see the beautiful setup.
It was beyond anything I could have ever imaged. He created a setting of my dreams, LITERALLY. Ancient ruins, surrounded by greenery with candles. I’ve painted that picture a million times to him, about how it’s my favorite thing in the world.
After that, Sergio had me sit on the couch and read a card that he wrote me, 13 reasons he wants to marry me. I start tearing up just thinking about it still. We popped some champagne, took some photos and really enjoyed each other and the moment. When we were finished with our drinks, we hurried out for the next surprise.
A car pulled up and when we got in, Sergio told me that we needed to head back to the hotel and pack our bags for the airport. In my mind, I thought we were about to embark on some crazy romantic adventure. Before I could finish my thought, he said to me, “we have to go home, mama died”. I was in complete disbelief. I probably said “what?” 5 times because I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. There were more tears, but this time the tears were complete sadness.
As we were driving back to the hotel to pack our bags, he explained to me that his sister had called early that morning and he woke up to the news of his mother passing. I was so confused, he knew this entire time and I missed it? He went the entire day holding it in… for me. So that I could have the perfect moment I’ve been waiting for my entire life. My future husband did something so selfless, something I couldn’t have done if I were in his shoes. He’s always thinking of me and my happiness before anything else. He didn’t go through the day in that sort of pain because he felt like he had to or thought I wouldn’t understand, he knew I would have dropped everything to go home so he held it together, for us.
I’ve never been filled with so much joy and sadness all at once. It’s hard to explain, but the terrible loss we suffered didn’t take a single bit of excitement away from our engagement. We’ve been through so much together, many ups and downs, but this was different. It was such a humbling moment where we became even closer as a family.
I always thought I’d feel differently when I was engaged, as if I’d feel like a different person the second I got that ring. Even sitting there in the beautiful ruins, I was the happiest I’d ever been but I felt exactly the same. I remember thinking that specifically. As I was starring at my ring, the next biggest thing on my to-do list was to plan a wedding. My priorities changed in an instant. All of that is beautiful and meaningful but it’s such a short moment in a lifetime spent with someone. It really makes you consider what is truly important and for me that is the family I’m going to build with Sergio and cherishing all of those REAL moments before and after the wedding.
The week to follow (last week) was heartbreaking. The loss was sudden and unexpected but we have so many blessings ahead of us and she’ll always be here with our growing family. This was a really personal post, but I wanted to share because life is crazy and this is real. It didn’t seem fair to only share the rainbows and butterflies.
If there is one lesson I was reassured of, it’s this…
I can’t control situations beyond my grasp, the unexpected, the actions of others. Life (and death) will happen around me but I CAN control how I react to these challenges and I can control who I surround myself with. In my relationship, never settling for anything less than what I need (everyone’s needs are different) in a partner improves the way I navigate around life’s curve balls. It’s a lesson that should be applied to all aspects of life outside of romance and an important one.
This story was long and crazy but there is a part two to this coming soon, so stay tuned!