The Proposal

When Andrew and I moved to Chicago in May 2011, we promised ourselves we would visit DC once a year no matter what. While we love Chicago, we both really miss the District and especially our close friends who live there. In the three years he lived there and the four years I lived there, we made some of the most amazing memories and dearest friends. This year we planned the trip to be November 8 - 11 due to availability and cheap flights.

AKA I had NO idea this was coming......although, I will admit, I kind of hoped it would; I'm a girl about to go on a trip with her boyfriend of three years, you know?!?! Of course I wanted it to happen! Although we never spoke of it, I thought it would be fitting for him to propose in the city where we met and I kept talking myself out of it as we made our trip plans. In my mind a proposal was at least another year away. 

We arrived Thursday night and stayed with our friend Justin. He greeted us warmly with treats, drinks, laughter, and music. It felt like a vacation!!

On Friday morning we slept in and took our time getting ready. I have a planner mindset so I wanted to go go go all day with a schedule, but he kept being chill and just told me to "go with the flow" and relax; we earned a vacation, so let's enjoy it! He wanted me to not make any plans and just tell our friends to contact us. He wanted to hit our favorite DC spots all day without much of an agenda. It made me anxious since I like to at least have a loose plan, but little did I know that he had plenty of plans in store!

We started off at one of our favorite brunch spots, Belga Cafe. Following brunch we headed over to the zoo from the Cleveland Park Metro Stop. I used to live in Cleveland Park and LOVE that neighborhood. After dating a few months we went to the zoo to visit the panda exhibit. It was such a fun day, so the zoo holds a special place in our DC memories.

While we were at the zoo on Friday I thought it was weird that Andrew kept on his winter coat the whole time since it was pretty hot and because we did a lot of walking. Also, his hands were in his pockets the whole time. Hmmm...shoulda known, right???

After the zoo we walked down through Woodley Park and hopped on the Metro to Dupont Circle. We went to visit a couple co-workers from my first job in DC at the law firm.

After that I kind of wanted to go back to the Hill! It was happy hour, after all! Andrew, on the other hand, was insistent on going to Georgetown. I wanted to go to Georgetown on Saturday with some of my classmates. I didn't get why he wanted to go to Georgetown, but figured he wanted to see it at night and also figured he didn't really want to go on Saturday so he could watch football.

On we trekked to campus! The sun was about to set, so we decided to watch it on the Car Barn roof. I "studied" out there a lot as a grad student, so I was really happy to see it at sunset. Then we walked through campus.

I thought it was weird how Andrew was bummed that the tower on Healy wasn't lit, but I knew he really likes that building since it looks like Hogwarts. I also thought it was weird that he wanted to go to the Bookstore. I didn't need anything from the bookstore and didn't have the money to spend on a new shirt, but I wanted some new pens, so I figured why not.

After the bookstore and pens in hand, his boss called and he had to step away for a moment. I was hoping everything was OK, but since we took the day off I totally understood.

Then he suggested visiting the chapel behind Healy Hall since we stopped there during our first week of dating. 

Time Out: one week after our first date I was "studying" on the roof of the Car Barn. Andrew sweetly asked me when he could see me again. Swooning, I offered to hang out in Georgetown after he got off work. He worked across the bridge from campus so he met me on the roof of the Car Barn and I gave him a tour of campus. We stopped at the chapel courtyard at the end of the tour because it's my favorite spot on campus. It's secluded, quiet, and so romantic.

Time In: once we left the bookstore and walked out to the chapel courtyard, it was secluded, quiet, and so romantic.

Then he stopped me as we were walking and said the sweetest words anyone could ever hear.
Of course I said...ok I kind of screamed...YES!!!!

I was in such disbelief! I just couldn't believe it! It happened! We were engaged! 

And then it really registered: I heard snapping throughout the proposal...

...he hired a photographer!

Oh, his boss on the phone? Not his boss. It was the photographer. She was running late. Obviously I had no idea.

Once we both stopped shaking and snapping pictures around the chapel and Healy, we hopped in a cab! The plan was to meet Justin at Pour House for happy hour. We met at Pour House, so I thought it was a fitting location to celebrate!

On the LONG cab ride through town during a Friday rush hour NO ONE answered their phones! Seriously! My parents, his parents, my sister, my brother and sister-in-law were all not answering!!! I immediately called Callie and thankfully she answered! She knew it was happening so was expecting a call, that sassy, sneaky best friend that she is! 

By the time we got to the Pour House I had yet to tell my parents. I left funny messages on their home and cell phones: "Really?!?! Answer your phone!" Click. Redial.

We got out of the cab and Justin greeted us at the door. The photographer snapped a few pictures, I told the bouncer we just got engaged (of course I told everyone. The cab driver also said congrats.), and went to walk upstairs...which I also thought was weird since it was just the three of us and we met on the first floor.

Andrew stopped me on the way up for a quick smooch and I didn't think anything of it except that he was being cute as always.

When I turned to face upstairs I saw Megan and Andy, my best friends from grad school, holding a Steelers jersey saying "Mrs. Somyak" on the back with the number 9 for November 9, the day of our proposal. A split second later I turned and saw all of the friends I had emailed to say we were in town...

...and then...

...I saw his parents...

...and my parents!!!!!

Andrew orchestrated a surprise engagement party!!!!

I was in SHOCK.

So many people came!

So there you have it! We're engaged and thrilled!

I can't believe everything Andrew did to make the proposal so special. He took me to my favorite places in DC and involved family and friends. My parents drove that morning from Ohio (they've known since September. He asked their permission when we went to visit for Homecoming). His parents flew in from Austin (they've known for over a year. The ring is an heirloom)!! My friends dropped any plans to be there for the surprise. Megan and Andy and Justin helped Andrew make it all happen.

Needless to say, I am so blessed. I could not have asked for a more perfect man for me and a more perfect proposal. I don't know how he knew that I dreamed family and friends would be involved, but he knew. He knows me so well. I love him so very very much. I thank the good Lord every day that we met and fell in love.

Well done, Andrew!! I can't freaking wait to call you my husband! Fiance will do for now :)

Mary is awesome so I proposed.