Mark and I have known each other our whole lives. Our mothers knew each other growing up and by extension we grew up together. We have cottages right down the road from each other. So we spent most summers together. Being that he was my friend growing up I never had, or at least thought that I would have any feelings for him, romantically. My best friend, and one of my bridesmaids, used to always tease me saying that Mark and I would one day get married. This started from the time we were probably eight and continued right up to high school when we started dating officially.
This is a photo of myself(on the left), Mark, and my best friend. Who would have guessed that we would one day be getting married way back then.
We began dating in grade eleven but it only lasted a couple months. The funny thing is that as soon as we weren't a couple any longer we started acting more like one than we had before. We spent hours hanging out and talking on the phone. My friends would still tease me even then about marrying him but I would quickly shut them down saying that I would never marry him.
We ended up going to the same university and that is when things really started to fall into place. We went to a small Christian university that has a very high rate of student marriages. There was even a little joke saying, "a ring by spring or your money back". Mark and I had never talked about marriage and we definitely didn't want to be one of these students marriages. Mark had other plans for his career path and it didn't involve the school. So he left and I stayed. The next couple years had their fair share of ups and downs but we always managed to come out on top. The subject of marriage was talked about often but we never really knew when.
This past fall/winter we had a big discussion about the future. I was really curious as to when we might take the next step seeing as we had been dating for 6 years. Mark had been thinking about furthering his education in his line of work and was considering a school in London. After a long talk he told me that it probably wouldn't be for another couple of years. It was a bit of a hard pill to swallow at first just because so many of our friends were getting engaged and married but after a bit I was fine with it because I knew it would happen eventually.
About three weeks ago my family, along with one of my aunts and uncle and two of my cousins, took a trip to Florida. Mark was originally supposed to come but because of work he was unable to come. It was an absolute amazing trip. The whole time the weather was incredible so it was hard to go back to colder weather. We flew back to Portland ME, where it was pouring rain and freezing cold. We were supposed to stop at one of my favorite restaurants once we got to Bangor. However we got a text from my "uncle" who was actually Mark saying that the restaurant was packed because of mother's day weekend so we had to go to another one. The funny thing was that we had eaten at that same restaurant the night before in Florida
I had slept from Portland to Bangor so I was groggy when I woke up at the restaurant and not really happy that we had to eat at the same place two nights in a row. I was the last one to walk in the restaurant. When I got in my whole family was just standing inside the door and so was Mark's brother and cousin. I was shocked to see them there and his brother told me to go inside because Mark wanted to talk to me. I didn't suspect a thing because of the talk we had had and I though maybe we was down for work or something and just decided to meet us because we hadn't seen each other in a couple weeks.
I went to a booth at the back of the restaurant and he got up and gave me a kiss and then he told me he had a questions for me. That's when he got down on one knee and pulled out a small box with the most beautiful ring inside. I went into shock at this point. I couldn't even say anything, I just stood there in utter disbelief, shaking. Of course I said yes once I was able to speak. It was the most wonderful way to end a beautiful vacation with my family, and the most beautiful way to begin with starting a life with the man I love. When I asked Mark what had changed his mind about getting married now and not waiting, he told me that a few days before I left he woke up one morning thinking "what am I waiting for?", "This is a woman that I want to spend the rest of my life with and I don't want to waste another moment."
Something really special about our engagement was the first person we found out that Mark was going to propose to me, my cousin Matthew. Matthew is more like a brother to me and he is also Mark best friend and best man. He has been our biggest cheerleader throughout our whole relationship and he always talks about how great it will be when Mark will one day be officially part of his family. About a week before Mark proposed he got a call from Matthew, we is right now over in Afghanistan, serving in the military. He is so excited for us and it was really special for him to know first because he wasn't able to be there to see it happen.