So, there's that. And now for the story....
I've been keeping a secret from you guys. A secret that started when I visited Pat in Denver at the beginning of March. And it wasn't really a secret like, ohmygosh something is happening -- but more like, this is a gushy boyfriend thing that I would typically keep to myself.
[Sometimes, as much as I love my life with Pat and want to tell everyone how great he is, there are certain things I think are just for us, you know? And I thought this would be one of those things.]
But now that I know how the story ends, it's not really something I can keep to myself.
So. Back to the beginning of March. I visited Pat in Denver, where he was seven weeks into a 12-week internship. We hiked, ate some good food, watched the Jayhawks lose a basketball game, and just enjoyed being together. And I also pestered him a little bit about my upcoming birthday on March 22.
But he said he already had a present for me and that I would get it Monday morning before I flew back to Kansas. (!!!)
I'm not good at waiting, so I'm sure I asked him just a few times if I could have it early. And he said no. But Monday morning, he retrieved a box.
I could tell he'd made the box himself. It was about three inches tall, eight inches square, and not very heavy. And he told me I couldn't open it till my birthday.
Remember that whole not good at waiting thing?
So, I flew back to Kansas, really only knowing that whatever was in the box, it would withstand the rigors of air travel and wouldn't get me in trouble going through security.
In the next few weeks, I pestered Pat about what was in the box and asked for hints. I learned enough to know it would be several things and that I wasn't allowed to open them all at once. [This kid and all his rules.] I started to think it would be something to open each day until he got back [still another two weeks or so away].
And then he told me it had to do with a shape used in the Olympics.
I told him, "You're trying to make me think it's something that it's not." But I got no further clues.
Three weeks later, I was home in Missouri for my birthday and I finally got to open my box. Inside, I found a chain link of a bajillion papers, like the kind you make at Christmas. The instructions said that each day, I was allowed to open one ring by separating it from the chain and unfolding it. And there were WAY more than just for two weeks until he got back.
I was kind of pissed because all the first one said was Happy Birthday. REALLY? I WAITED THREE WEEKS FOR THAT? and then I had to wait a whole day more to open the next. Silly rules.
But I played by the rules and for two months, I opened a note from my favorite human every morning.
And many nights I asked him if I could just open the rest, but he never let me. Rude.
Here are some we selected to share with you all. :)
The very last ring on the chain was dated May 22 -- and on the outside it said, "Open me on top of a volcano."
See, we had plans to climb Mt. St. Helens in Washington -- our graduation gift from Pat's dad. We had been planning on this trip forever, and Pat bought the climbing permits way back in February, so he knew what day the trip would be.
I brought the last few rings in the chain with me to Oregon after graduation. [I actually forgot them and had to turn around on the way to the airport and go back for them...]
And I carried the last ring all the way to the flippin top of Mt. St. Helens. [YOU GUYS. that climb was so hard.]
And we got to the top and I didn't want to bring it up. I wanted him to bring it up.
But I'm bad at waiting. So I asked him if I could open my last note yet.
I opened it..........
and it was blank.
So I said, "It's blank!"
And he said, "Oh. Shoot. I gave you the wrong ring -- I had two, I must have put the wrong one on. Here..."
and he dug around in his giant backpack for a minute and then pulled out a pretty, sparkly, perfect engagement ring.
We're getting married!