Or actually, I said “Are you being serious??!” then I think I managed to half utter “Yes!!” while laughing and crying, of course! But let’s go back to the beginning first, because, as you can see, I have something to tell you!
Friday was a mad day to end a mad week for me. In the run up to Christmas, we’re super busy at work as we run a lot on a monthly basis, meaning I have to do a month’s worth of work for December in 3 weeks. I’d also gone and got myself repetitive strain injury in my wrist and missed a good couple of days of work because of that so I was even busier. We had our Brownies Christmas party that week, I’d written all my Christmas cards and wrapped presents, had written loads of blog posts and edited lots of photos for reviews that needed to be live before Christmas, and had worked through every single lunch break. My head was also spinning with the busy weekend I had ahead too with 3 Christmas dinners including my work Christmas party, a trip to the Turkish Baths and seeing various friends and family. So Friday night was a welcome break for me!
We’d invited our friends Charley and Frankie round for a pre-Christmas dinner and present swapping on Friday evening, but I also first had to write a last minute press release for my dad on the topic of award winning mince pies and send it out to local press, then I had our hairdresser Kellie coming round to do my hair too, so I wanted to wash it so it was all ready to go – all within the space of finishing work and before Charley and Frankie came round! PLUS, I was sat working on the press release, alone in the house (before Ben got home) when the front door banged open, a man walked in and shouted something undecipherable, then slammed the door. I completely froze, making sure he was gone, before running to lock it. We think it might have been next door’s plumber wandering into the wrong house, but still, terrifying! So just setting the scene for what a manic week and day I’d had in the run up to all this!
Ben and I have talked a lot about getting engaged and married – we’ve been together nearly 9 years now and, as you can imagine, we’ve had a lot of hints (many stronger than hints!) from friends and family about getting engaged. I had ideal situations in my head for how and when he would propose ranging from the crazy ludicrous (all-dancing and singing in a Disney park – which Ben would hate!) to a being at home alone – all of which I would love because it’s us. I knew that he wouldn’t do it somewhere crowded or make a massive deal out of it because both of us hate being the centre of attention (might not seem that way for me, but in real life, with real people around, I can be a nervous wreck at the best of times!), so I knew it would be something small, intimate and very us. And it was…
So Charley and Frankie came round for dinner. Our evenings in with them are some of my favourites; we eat really good food (this time it was smoked salmon and gravadlax to start, then lamb with all the trimmings including a red wine gravy and the best roast potatoes ever), we have awesome conversation and we play board games – what more could you want from a good evening with friends?! That evening, we’d also swapped Christmas presents (yoga kit for me – wait to see it!) and laughed about a pair of knickers that we’d hung on the Christmas tree.
The whole proposal part is actually a little confusing – we all have different stories of it! It all began as Ben and Frankie went into the kitchen to prepare dessert – a giant chocolate bomb cake. According to Frankie, we were all joking about getting married before; according to Ben, we weren’t talking about it at all; according to me, I don’t remember the joking started until he went into the kitchen, from where I heard him shout: “Sian, will you marry me?” He’s done this jokingly before to annoy me, and my response has always been: “Not unless you’re holding a ring!” Then we heard footsteps going upstairs and back down again. Charley and I, still in the living room, discussing bras probably (at least, according to the boys!) turned to each other wondering what was going on. Then Ben burst into the living room, flinging the door open (not quite, he would have knocked the Christmas tree over, but it sounds better, right ;D), got straight down on one knee between the Christmas tree and fireplace where I was standing and asked if I would marry him, holding the open ring box in his hand!
And of course, my answer was “Are you being serious??” His fault for joking so many times!! But when I actually looked at him and he said it again, as Charley was pushing Frankie out the room saying “Get out, get OUT!!”, I realised he was being completely serious. And…I said yes!! Well, what else would I have said?! I was crying and couldn’t believe it, Charley was hiding outside the door silently screaming, Frankie was grinning and apparently Ben was even emotional and crying according to Charley – I was too busy trying to believe what had happened to notice!
(Yes, we had to remove the knickers from the tree before taking these photos!)
Like I said, we’ve talked quite a bit about getting engaged – one of his plans had apparently been to attach the ring to Belle’s tail and send her in with it while we were at home by ourselves which would have been brilliant and SO perfect, except Belle would have attacked it and run away 😀 In the end, he decided he wanted to do it while our best friends were round so that we could celebrate with them (but not too many people so that it wasn’t special to us), on a night in that was exactly what we enjoy and in our own home that we’ve been getting so perfect, including brand new sofas that had arrived that day. And I’m so glad he did! Nowhere in the world is as special to us as our own home that we’ve been working so hard on (apart from maybe, just maybe, Disney) – it symbolises us and our little family of 4 (I’m including the cats), something that we’ve put all the effort of the last few years of our relationship into and is filled with everything we’ve worked so hard to get.
Then we took pictures – because, of course we did! I was wearing no make up and I’d stripped off my Christmas jumper because the house was boiling, but I’m so glad Charley grabbed the camera and started snapping photos that we have of the evening now. They’re dotted throughout the post and were literally spur of the moment 😀 I LOVE these ones with Charley and Frankie:
After all the screaming, crying, exciting and confusion, we, of course, settled down with our pudding, a bottle of champagne (where did that appear from?! I’ve just realised now!) and our favourite board game. It was pretty much perfect.
And onto the ring! Ben and I had actually secretly looked at rings together a while ago. We’d seen some in the York Antiques Centre that I liked, but we both felt that none of them were right for me or for us. We wanted something that was unique and unusual, and definitely one that was dainty as I don’t wear or suit oversized jewellery. So we turned to the internet and picked out a few together. It turns out that my ring (MY RING! I can’t stop saying it!!) was one of those: it’s a raw uncut (and apparently non-conflict!) diamond from Israel in a 14K yellow gold setting in a design of leaves around the stone. Ben chose the stone himself from a few and had the ring custom made for me, even in a half size seeing as I’m awkward! I’ve never wanted a standard diamond ring, so the fact that it’s a raw diamond is so awesome. I love it SO much and can’t stop staring at it!!
So keep your eyes peeled for more – there will be much more to come from me now in terms of wedding planning, eek! I’ve even made a new Wedding category for the blog now – I still, nearly a week later, can’t believe that it’s actually real!!