So, I didn’t run the Tar Heel 10 Miler on Saturday. Instead, this happened on Friday and a 5:30am wakeup call didn’t sound so fun.
Yep, we got engaged and it was a COMPLETE surprise. I’m an oversharer by nature and really want to have the story documented somewhere, so let me start at the beginning.
Chip and I have been together for a little over 7 and a half years. We went to rival high schools, but I guess you could consider us high school sweethearts. Over the years, we have talked about getting engaged and married a lot. In fact, I was pretty sure we would get engaged this year, but it wasn’t on my radar yet. He graduates next May, then I do in December, so we thought it made the most sense to get married sometime later in 2018. I thought that the absolute earliest he might propose would be July or August, so I was completely caught off guard on Friday.
So, Friday. I went to school and work and let me tell you it was HOT outside. Chip and I had plans to eat dinner with my sister (Sarah Beth or SB) and her fiancé (Cody) at Mellow Mushroom in Durham. I had been texting them about how gross it was outside and how I wasn’t sure if I could shower before dinner, and apparently Sarah Beth and Chip were trying to delay in the hopes that I would have time to. I totally did not. See above photo with ponytail and no makeup.
The Mellow Mushroom there is at the lower end of the American Tobacco Campus. If you’ve never been, here’s a picture to show you what it’s like. There is a lot of green space with businesses and restaurants on either side. We went there for a date for our 6th year dating anniversary, and it’s just beautiful! First of all, Chip parked on the opposite end of the campus. I didn’t think anything of it, but he got an earful from me about how I didn’t want to walk any more before the 10 miler. I’m a peach. So we eat dinner, say “See ya in a minute” to SB and Cody, and start walking up the sidewalk back to our car. The plan was to go to the rooftop of The Durham Hotel to grab a drink with them.
Instead of walking on the same side as earlier, Chip started to split off and go to the right side. I said, “What are you doing, our car is on this side?” And he was like “There’s a crowd over there, just walk over here.” I was like, “Well, we could just walk around them!” Anyway, I realized he was not crossing back over so I caught up with him. We walked up the stairs and got to the area you can see in our pictures, and I totally jokingly was like, “What, are you gonna propose? Is the ring right here?” And hit his pocket AND IT WAS THE RING BUT I HAD NO IDEA. Omg, he thought I felt it. But even if I had, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it because I thought there was absolutely no way this was an engagement. Like I said, we talk about it a lot, so it wasn’t weird for us to joke about it.
His response was “Oh, do you think I’m pulling a Jim?” For those non-Office fans out there, Jim would always tease Pam and pretend like he was about to propose. Like, he would get down on one knee and look really serious and then just tie his shoe. That is 100% what I thought was happening. I started to get embarrassed, like why is he pretending to propose to me when I know it will be so many more months away? That’s so mean! I realize this doesn’t make much sense now, but I really thought he was just joking around. We get closer to the grassy area and he said to walk over there with him. I kept saying “No, please stop, why are you pretending?” He literally had to drag me onto the grassy spot! LOL, I’m so sorry Chip. My sister and Cody were following behind and they were getting a kick out of this. I was thinking oh my gosh he is going to pretend propose then we are going to walk away and I’m going to be so sad, even though I knew it wasn’t happening.
Finally he stops walking, turns to me and says he loves me and some other sweet stuff. I still thought it was a joke. He seemed really nervous, but I still was like there is no way he is proposing right now. He got down on one knee and my response was “This is not real.” I kept saying that a lot and he was like “Yes it is, this is happening!” So then he opened the box and I saw my dream ring, the ring I thought there was no way he had yet. I said yes and was in complete shock! My sister took a video (don’t know how to post it here) and you can see right when he gets the ring out I turn around. I was like surely if this is real, my family is hiding or maybe Ashton Kutcher is here to tell me I got Punk’d.
Surely enough, out came Chip’s brother Brock and my sister and Cody. Brock was there while we were eating to kick people off the lawn! It was so great- everyone that was there knew there was about to be a proposal, so they all clapped for us. My sister was so excited that all her pictures were blurry, but a stranger came up and said she was watching and got some pictures, including the one above. Chip told me he had decided on the location a month ago, and kept driving over to see what time the lights came on, pick out the perfect spot, and make a back up rain plan. He thought of everything!
Wow, this is getting long. So we all freak out and take pictures, and I asked where my parents were. I knew they had to be in town. SB said, “At the rooftop bar!” We drove over and all my closest friends, my parents, and Chip’s parents were there! Chip had been scheming to get everyone there, including 2 of my best friends from Charlotte and one from PHILLY!
We spent the rest of the night there and it was a blast. At one point, I had to make a decision about running the Tar Heel 10 Miler. On one hand, I felt bad to back out because all my family and Anna (my roommate) had paid the race fees and trained to run 10 miles. They said if I ran it, they would too, but they didn’t care at all. On the other hand, it was our engagement night and I wanted to enjoy all of my friends and family without worrying about a race. So that’s what I did! There’s always next year, right!?
I’m still on cloud 9. It feels a little more real now, and I’m so excited to marry Chip and start our life together. Well, I guess we already have because we have been together forever, but y’all know what I mean! Thank you to all my friends and family who made this weekend so special. I will definitely never forget it. And thank you to you all here for letting me share our story!