Sunday, August 04, 2013


Patrick had a plan. We had talked about rings and looked at them a bit, and he had talked to his dad about making one. And his amazing goldsmith dad did exactly that - he hand-carved a ring out of wax and had it cast, and then he and Patrick figured out a diamond to go into it. Once it was ready, Patrick called me and talked about coming out the first weekend in August. I was happily surprised - I had seen him just the week before at Rockygrass, but my friend Lori was getting married in Appleton and this way he could come with me. I picked him up in the airport in Milwaukee, we stayed at his parents (where he picked up the ring!), and Saturday we went to the wedding. Afterwards, we drove on up to Door County for a bit of camping and exploration. It was beautiful - we drove the car from one side of the peninsula to the other, and finally landed in Ellison Bay in a little city park. We had time to watch the sun set as Patrick had made dinner reservations for 8:00 at a place called the Wickman House. It had just been raining, so we walked around and once we figured it was dry enough to play a board game on Patrick's ipad he ran back to the car to get it. Only he got the ring! I was excited about some beautiful flowers growing in the park and turned away from them just as he approached and he grabbed me and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I looked at him and said, "Seriously?" and he said, "yes"... and we repeated that about 2-3 more times. Finally he said, "Yes, I'm serious!". I was like, "I know you're serious... but seriously??!". And then I said yes! It was just so crazy to get my brain around because I had known it might be happening but it felt so unreal. Getting engaged, getting married... those are things that everybody ELSE always seems to do. Were we really going to do this ourselves??!

We sat on a bench and watched the sunset, ipad game forgotten. Then we headed toward the Wickman house... and they had a BLUEGRASS band playing in the garden! We had time to listen (they were great fun, washboard and all!), and then wandered in and had the most amazing locally grown food. 

The next day we called family and friends to let them know all about it, and then it was time to head back to get Patrick on his plane. We DID have time to stop by a cherry orchard and had fun wandering around a bit before getting back on the road. All in all, it really was quite an engaging weekend.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Long distance muckety muck

So - long distance dating. Talk amongst yourselves.


I'm guessing you pretty much came to the same conclusion we did. Tough! How did we do it? We tried to travel one way or the other every 2-3 weeks. Both of us were grateful it was that often, but it still was just plain hard in many ways. Between visits we talked or face-timed, sent each other random pics of what was going on, played Ticket to Ride on our iPhones, and just did our best to stay in touch. We also had decided right away that either this was going to happen - or it wasn't - either way we wanted to know sooner rather than later. So we started going through a book of pre-marital questions. We would both write down answers separately to the questions, and then we would discuss them weekly - comparing answers and working through differences. I'm happy to report we agreed on EVERYTHING. (Hah - made ya look!). Seriously though, it was a good way to figure things out. We'd been friends for so long it was easy to overlook many things we didn't know about each other.

We definitely had a fabulous times on the weekends we were able to be together - hanging out with friends and family, catching the Rockygrass bluegrass festival, tromping in the mountains, playing in kayaks, and cooking yummy food.