Tuesday, November 12, 2013

THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE

Forgive me if I have any typos in this post. I am wearing a gorgeous diamond ring that I can't stop looking at so I may get distracted and mistype. Yep, you heard me right... I'M ENGAGED!!!!!!!


It's so new that it doesn't even feel real. I am going to tell you the entire, long, beautiful story, so if that's more than you bargained for, feel free to just scroll down and look at the pictures. They're pretty good too. :)

My friends and family know how much Josh means to me but for those of you who weren't aware let me start with a few facts:

The Truth:
1. I had NO IDEA this was coming.
2. I was totally surprised.
3. I cried through practically the entire engagement (read: night).
4. I never really believed that I could be this happy.
5. I am so very blessed. I cannot thank God enough for working a miracle on my heart and in my life. This is exactly as it is supposed to be. This is perfect. And I am SO HAPPY.

Ok, let's start at the very beginning.

The Back Story (Abridged)
About a month or so ago, Josh and I got letters in the mail from The Little Theatre of Alexandria (LTA). I've done three shows with LTA and this is where Josh and I met while doing a production of Oliver! in October 2010.

The letter was from our friend Rachel, who produced Oliver! and heads the marketing department at the theatre. Let's just say the letter made me super excited - LTA was doing a focus group on the evening of November 10th with a few select participants to discuss the direction of the theatre next season. The gist was, they wanted me to come to the theatre, have a catered dinner, and discuss what shows LTA should do in the coming years to ensure it was staying current and artistically sound. It was right up my alley. I RSVP'd yes, crossed it off my to-do list, put it on my calendar, and threw out the letter.

A month went by and I didn’t think much of the focus group event. Josh brought it up a couple of times but it was always in passing. I continued to go about my life, go to work and eat delicious food. Business as usual.

The Big Day
Sunday, November 10th came and it seemed like any other day. We went to church, ran some errands, I got the new iPhone, and we watched some TV while we ate a late breakfast. I had a bunch of things to do in the afternoon and evening and Josh was going to watch football with his dad, so he left and I rushed to get ready. I’m usually behind and Sunday was no exception.

For this next part, I want to be careful to paint this mental picture so it's accurate. Picture me, standing on a chair in my hall closet, running late and trying to find an iPhone case that I bought a few months ago (read: buried somewhere). I was stressed and rummaging. Additionally, since I had just gotten the phone and didn’t have a case on it, I was keeping it in the box at all times (read: thank goodness I’m a girl and carry a purse so my phone in a box wasn’t as awkward as it could have been). As I was deep into the closet, my box phone started ringing (it was Josh). As I balanced on the chair, I took the box out of my purse, took the lid off the box and put the box with the phone (on speaker) sitting in it on the shelf in the closet while I continued to rummage.

The conversation went a little like this (note: I am fussy and Josh is super sweet in this conversation. Also, my cursing has been edited. Whoops.):

M: Hi. What is it? I'm running late and I can't talk right now.
J: Hi honey, I just got a text from Rachel and she said since LTA is catering dinner tonight that we probably shouldn't wear jeans.
M: What? Are you freaking kidding me?
J: It's ok just we--
M: (interrupting) Honey, no. I’m already wearing jeans. This is ridiculous. I can't believe how unprofessional this is. They didn’t put anything about a dress code in the letter.
J: Take a deep breath. I know you’re stressed. Can you just grab a dress and you can change later?
M: I don't want to wear a dress!

I will spare you the rest of this conversation because it's embarrassing for me how hilariously upset I got about jeans. I eventually I grabbed a dress, got in the car, and called Josh to apologize for being so upset at him when he didn't do anything wrong.

That afternoon, dress in tow, I went to see my mom, went to see my Grandpa (where I put on the rando dress I grabbed and my make-up), and went to have drinks with my friend Maria before the meeting at LTA.

After we finished dinner / drinks and I walked back to my car to put my leftovers in it (I had only eaten half a sandwich because I knew LTA was catering dinner) and then continued walking the few blocks to the theatre.

About thirty seconds before walking into the door I had this thought: "What if this is all a big joke and Josh is proposing?" NO JOKE! I have no idea why this popped into my mind when it did but then (because I had been thinking this thought every time something romantic happened for the past few months) I thought, "No Maureen. It's a meeting. He said he needed more time. Six months to a year."

Right as I walked up to the door, I had one last thought of, "Well if the door is locked I will know something is up and maybe is Josh proposing." Again, I should emphasize, I don't know where these thoughts even came from. They were completely out of the blue!

But I walked right up to the door of the theatre and it was open. So, I went inside to get to my meeting. Or so I thought…

The Proposal
When I walked into the building Rachel was standing in the lobby. She gave me a big hug, said she was running a bit late, and told me to head into the main theatre and that we would get started in a second.

I opened the doors from the lobby and stepped into the theatre. It was completely empty. No people, no noise, no nothing. The house lights were out. The stage was lit. There were candles in mason jars lining the aisle in front of me. And I knew. I knew what was happening. I immediately burst into tears.

To try to explain what I was feeling is almost impossible. I was so caught off guard that I didn't know what I was feeling. My adrenaline started racing, I was crying and I just wanted to see Josh. But he wasn't anywhere that I could see.

Right at the entrance where I was standing was a music stand with a letter on it. It said "Read me. Use this flashlight." So I picked up the flashlight and read the letter from Josh. In it, he reassured me that everything was ok and that it was ok that I was probably crying and overwhelmed. He told me to take a deep breath, that he loved me, and that when I was ready to walk down to the front row. There was something for me to watch. He also had a pack of tissues there for me. Let's just say, I needed those.

I eventually gathered myself and walked to the front row of the theatre. I took off my coat and scarf so that I wouldn't look like a homeless woman and sat in a seat in the front row that said, "Sit here". Next to the seat was an iPad and headphones with instructions on what to do next. So I sat and watched the short film Josh had made for me about our life together.

There were clips and pictures of us meeting, us becoming friends, and us dating. I cried and laughed through the whole thing. It’s hard to describe so I want to share it with you here!


Also, during the entire proposal our friend Traci was photographing everything. I've worked with Traci before and Josh hired her to capture the event. Because he is perfect.


When the film finished, I looked up and Josh was standing on stage in front of me. At this point I started to cry harder. Josh said something like, "Honey, it's ok. Come here," and brought me on stage with him. This is where it all gets a little fuzzier because I was shaking so much. Josh was starting to cry and his hands were shaking. He told me he loved me and that he wanted to take care of me, spend his life with me and make me happy even when it was hard. Because we know it will be tough sometimes and that’s ok because he wants to do it with me.

Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.


He was so cute. He started to go down on his right knee and then switched to his left. When he looked up at me I couldn't see the ring or his shaking hands or anything except his beautiful face.

I said, "yes!", cried more (typical!), he put the ring on my finger, we kissed, took pictures, kissed some more and drank champagne on the stage. Where we met. Three years ago.

It was perfect.


The State of Shock
After we started to calm down I cried on Rachel and Traci for a bit and kept talking about how shocked I was and how grateful I am for Josh in my life. Then we packed up the candles and the champagne and the flowers, dropped them off in my car and then Josh told me he had made dinner reservations for us at Columbia Firehouse.

This little pub is where Josh and I used to go almost every night after rehearsals for Oliver! When we were first getting to know each other and becoming friends, we would sit in their booths and share some beer and fries and talk for hours.

It was perfect that he wanted to go there so we headed over. When he opened the door for me and I walked in some of our parents and some friends who live in the area were there screaming congratulations. I burst into tears all over again (are you sensing a trend?).

I. Am. So. Blessed.

The rest of the night was spent drinking champagne, hugging loved ones who who were there, calling loved ones who were at home and generally squealing and staring at my beautiful ring (which Josh designed himself).

And when we finally left, he called me his fiancée for the first time and I couldn't help but laugh with how excited that makes me and how surreal it sounds.

Life is not a fairytale. I will be the first to tell you that. Sometimes things happen to us that hurt or test or challenge.

Life is better than a fairytale. Because life is real. I can reach out and touch Josh's face. He is really in my life. I would go through the entire prologue of hurts and tests and challenges again just to get to this moment. This perfect, real moment that we will share for the rest of our lives. 

I am marrying the man I love. And I am so excited to savor each and every moment of our journey together.


And because I can't stop staring at it, here's one more of the ring. You know, just for good measure. :)

53 comments

  1. Beautiful engagement you two! Congratulations!!

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  2. Congratulations lovely lady! Super happy for you. Adorable story too.

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  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE. So honored to be a part of the surprise!!

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  4. Best wishes and love to you and Joshua - Merrie Morrison

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  5. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

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  6. I am so happy for both of you and I love you both very much. LET'S CELEBRATE!!!

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  7. Congratulations!!! What a wonderful proposal story! I definetely wiped away some tears reading!

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  8. This is such a lovely love story. Congratulations! I can feel the love you two have for one another oozing out this post :)

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  9. Michael J. Baker Jr.November 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    A truly beautiful love story. God bless you both. Josh, I know good producers, but you are an amazing producer. The perfect show, with superlative reviews, that runs forever. Simply beautiful.

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  10. Stephanie @Shades of Color ArtNovember 12, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    OMG!!!!! This whole post made me cry!!!!! I want to hug Josh! This was genius and you look very happy! Congratulations to you both!! :D

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  11. Congrats!!! That's super exciting!

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  12. What a beautiful engagement. Josh, you have such a tender heart and the talent to make such a wonderful love story to be forever with Maureen and you. What a beginning! Welcome to the family, we're just delighted!

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  13. Rebecca Richardson McIntyreNovember 12, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Maureen, Beth sent me this link and I LOVED the story and the video and the pictures....it all made my eyes tear up!!!! I am so very happy for you both and am anxious to some day meet this amazing Josh who gets an A+ for proposal planning!!!! God Bless you both in your life's journey together!

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  14. Beautiful Mo! So happy for you two :)

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  15. Congratulationssss!!!! This is such a beautiful, wonderful story and I'm so happy for you!

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  16. Amazing!!!! So happy for you both!!!

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  17. Thank you for sharing such an intimate time of your lives as you begin "wonderful one times one."
    I cried when I watched the video. I loved the pilot and look forward to the long run version! May God bless and keep you always and hold you in the palm of His hand. So, now to reality: do you need a wedding planner? I'm your person!! Love and hugs,XOXOXO -- Momma Ro

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  18. Congratulations, Maureen & Josh! I'm so happy for you both.

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  19. AHHHHH CONGRATS!!!! Beth sent mom the link who then sent it to me.. I'm so happy for you!! I was crying during the video- it was the definition of a perfect proposal. The pictures are gorgeous and you look stunning. I can't wait to hear more about everything the next time I see you guys. So much love and many blessings to you!

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  20. Congratulations! So happy for you two! What a beautiful, touching, personal proposal story. And that ring is gorgeous! :)


    Best,
    Danielle
    http://awriterinlove.blogspot.com

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  21. What an awesome story - I had trouble reading it because I was crying through most of it. Both of you are very blessed - congratulations and God bless you!!! Virginia Lacey

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  22. Thanks Rosa, I couldn't have asked for a better man. Or a more thoughtful proposal. He totally out did himself!

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  23. Thank you Traci and thank you even more for the amazing pictures. :)

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  24. Thank you Merrie! I know the Goldmans are very excited to help us plan. :)

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  25. HAHA celebration is a must. Me calming down is a must first. I'm still in shock!

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  26. Aww Andrea thank you. I'm still crying daily if it makes you feel better haha!

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  27. Thank you Caitlin. I will also let you in on a little secret... this epic novel of a post was originally twice as long. I wanted to write down EVERY DETAIL so I wouldn't forget. I saved that version but Josh helped me edit down. haha. Whoops.

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  28. Thank you Mike! You were there when we first met and I will always always cherish Oliver!

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  29. Girl, you have no idea how surprised I was. So amazing!
    Let's get together soon so you CAN hug Josh. :)

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  30. I'm so glad you're excited Aunt Nancy because I'm still on cloud 9! Can you believe he planned that whole thing? So well executed and so thoughtful.

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  31. Hi Becky! Thank you so much for the warm wishes. Josh and I will be back in Iowa for Julia's graduation over Memorial Day. You will get to meet him then for sure!

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  32. Thank you Liz! I'm still in shock but it's pretty amazing how happy I am. :)

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  33. Thank you Emily! We are pretty happy too. I think Josh is certainly also relieved to be done planning that amazing surprise haha.

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  34. Thanks so much Momma Ro! I'm sure we will have many many stories to share in the full-length feature of our lives. Glad to be able to share it with you.

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  35. Thank you Rachel! Can't wait to see you in May!

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  36. Thanks Danielle. Josh and I never went ring shopping together and I never really gave him an idea of what I wanted because I didn't know. And it is perfect! I could not have imagined a more perfect ring. And it means so much to me that he designed it himself. :)

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  37. Thank you so much Virginia! And thanks for keeping LTA going. It's such a special place to us.

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  38. CONGRATULATIONS, MAUREEN!!!!! Oh my gosh, I cried my eyes out reading this entire blog post!! I should post a picture of all the kleenex I've used lol. This is an incredibly thoughtful engagement story from beginning to end and I couldn't think of anything more perfect for someone who is equally creative, curious, spontaneous, and insightful as you. Again, congrats to both you and Josh. I wish you endless blessings in your future marriage. Enjoy this new beginning just as much as you cherished the beginning of your dating life with Josh. I'm sure it is an exciting time! Hugs, Monica

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  39. MO-LINE!!!!!! This had me in tears through the whole thing, I'm so incredibly happy for you. You deserve joy, happiness, and true love more than anyone. Enjoy these engaged blissful days, they are THE BEST!!!! Also be careful driving. Right after we got engaged I accidentally drove the wrong way to work and ended up being late- ridiculous. Head in the clouds. SO SO thrilled for you sister from another mister, LOVE YOU!

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  40. So happy for both of you. Thanks for sharing your special engagement story.

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  41. Congrats! What a beautiful engagement and love story - thank you for sharing it with your readers!

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  42. Monica THANK YOU SO MUCH. I teared up again just reading your note. I am so happy and though we are starting the planning process still in shock. I will email you and we can catch up soon. I had drinks with Jessie last week and we were both chatting about how much we missed you! Hope all is well!

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  43. Thanks Courtney! You are so sweet and I am hoping you might be back near VA for some of the winter holidays so I can see you in person and hear all about YOUR wedding! :)

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  44. Thank you Annie! LTA will always be such a special place for us!

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  45. Thank you Marie! I was so joyful I just HAD to share it with everyone. I think it's important to share happy stories just as much as I also share complaints haha.

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  46. I KNOW! I need to hear all about your wedding! I have no doubts that it was amazing. ;)

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