Monday, October 31, 2011

Halls history.

Two years ago today I was in New York City with Jendar and Becca Lou Who, marching in a rainy parade and dancing in a teeny apartment. One year ago today I was with my little lion nephew in Los Angeles, passing out candy to other little treaters. This year today I am in Vienna (Austria) with Spencer, and just this morning we moved into our very first home together.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall feelings.

It always makes me miss Boston, and equinox celebrations, and Katie Baratta. This year it makes me wish I read books this summer, which I didn't. It also makes me wish I were in school, which I am--but only kind of. Only independent study with a professor who is in Switzerland when I am in Austria. Thankfully that independent study is of my own choosing, and so is on Kierkegaard, my love forever. I would also like to be eating spaghetti squash on a daily, or near daily basis with my lovely sister-in-law/friend in California, like I did last year. She recently sent me a picture of our favorite meal, and it filled me with a heart yearning I cannot explain. I miss (and don't miss) that particular fall for other reasons. We went on walks every day. We carved pumpkins. I always appreciate the crisp cold air of fall, the changing leaves, and abundance of fresh apples. On that front Vienna has been kind to me. Today I made a pie.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Once upon a time I promised to write more about my proposal.

Once upon a time, I started writing about it, but then failed to finish, because hey, I was planning a wedding and was very busy.

The original title was "We are getting married," and the body went something like this:

We are. August 20th, 2011 in Salt Lake.

As soon as we pulled into the campground after the long biking day in Oregon, Spencer announced, "I found me a wife!" I thought it was funny, but it turns out he wasn't joking. We left the group and walked to a nearby black sand beach. We chased seagulls, danced to the Shout out Louds from my ipod's speaker, took pictures, and talked. The night before he had asked me how sure I was about marrying him and I answered a percentage that was very high, but not quite 100%. Overlooking the Pacific, I asked him if he was that same percentage sure about marrying me. He said, "If I were just (that) sure, would I do this?" And he got on his knees right there on the beach and asked me to marry him. I thought he was kidding. Not very nice kidding, but kidding. When I finally realized that he was serious, I nodded slowly, then said yes. An emphatic yes. He then made me promise not to tell a soul until he got my father's blessing, after remarking that he did it in the wrong order.

We got back to California a few days later, then took off to Utah a few days after that. a) so I could attend a philosophy conference I wanted to attend, and b) so he could talk to my father in person. Those days of being half engaged were Hard (with a capitol H). If I was getting married I wanted to tell the world. And also start planning. Maybe especially start planning as we knew it would be expedited...Spencer had dinner with my father on a Friday, and asked him for my hand in marriage on the car ride home. My dad said yes. Or rather gave some sort of fist pump in the air. (Cheesy and true--my dad Loves Spencer. And fist pumps.)

Spencer didn't (re)ask me to marry him until Monday. That morning we had a crepe brunch in Salt Lake with his sisters and one brother-in-law. We had plans to reconvene with them at dinner time, but were going on a bike ride in between. Spencer wouldn't tell me where we were riding. "Just around." The bikes we rode were mountain bikes--so another kind of bike I hadn't ridden before. And while the gear principle was the same, the gears were in a different location on the bike and different in other ways. I never got good at riding that bike. Every hill made me grumpy.

We ended up at Salt Lake Public Library. Spencer led me to the children's area, where he sat down at a computer and typed in The Little Prince. He wrote down the call number, turned to me and said, "You look like a librarian. Can you help me find this book?" At first I couldn't, because it wasn't there. But we went upstairs and found the one copy left in the entire library. It was large print. We went back to the kid area, book in hand, and read it out loud in a space that looks like an attic. When we finished, he turned the pages back, and reread a passage to me. He told me that he loved me, and that that part reminded him of me. I was crying a little bit by this point (the happy kind of crying), and thought for sure that he was going to propose to me then. Instead, he announced, "Okay, let's go to dinner now."

We rode on. And on. And on. And it was not the way we came. I was grumpy again from mountain bike riding. And tired. And hot. And thirsty. I asked him how much further. "The next turn." "There is no next turn." (There wasn't. There was only a park, straight ahead of us.) He insisted that there was. We rode into the park and he told me that it was called Memory Grove, and that he used to run cross country there. We sat at a bench, "so we could rest."

He began telling me things he loved about me. While I don't remember all of them (or even very many of them), the ones I do remember go, "I love you because you're beautiful, but that's not my favorite thing about you." "I love you because you're smart, but that's not my favorite thing about you," until the last one: "I love you because you're mine, and that's my favorite thing about you." At this point I was most definitely crying again, those very happy kind of tears. And at this point Spencer asked me to get a lens out of his camera case. I was smart enough to suspect what would really be waiting, but I was too teary eyed to be able to open the case alone. He helped me. There I found a light turquoise Tiffany's box, and in that box I found a smaller box. A black one. And in that black, leather box, I found a ring. My dream ring.

He proposed again, and I said yes again--this time with certainty that he was not kidding.

I asked him what we would say when we got to his sister's house that evening for dinner, and he said she wouldn't be there. I was confused. He answered, "It's just for us. They made it just for us." And they did. It was a lovely candlelit dinner, with many delicious courses and homemade apple pie. Afterward we slow danced to the same songs we danced to on the beach (which happen to not be slow songs), and I kept saying silly things like, "You're getting married!" "We're getting married!" "We're marrying each other!" But my very favorite part came, when during these moments, Spencer said, "Let's just look at each other and smile." And we did. For many, many moments we just stood there smiling.