Paper and Knots {bridal diary} Part 1 – The proposal!

Lisa GrovesPaper and Knots (Bridal Diary), Personal

Paper and KnotsOk, it’s been a while since I posted on the blog – life and epic amounts of work took care of that! However, recently something happened that’s led to me having conversations with myself in the back of my head. They’re somewhat distracting so I thought I’d write them down to share with you and (fingers crossed) clear all the ‘voices’ in my head!

Yep, it sounds like I’ve gone totally bonkers but I think that’s the initial after-effect of GETTING ENGAGED! Me, engaged. I still can’t quite believe it even when I write it down. But I’m happy – like REALLY happy! Tell me this smug feeling sticks around forever :)

To document my path to marriage I’ve decided to create a little series called ‘Paper and Knots’ – it will be my notebook (Paper) of fab finds and musings leading up to tying the ‘Knot’ (see what I did there!). I’m hoping that by sharing my experiences and nuggets of information along the way, I can help make the planning easier for any interested brides-to-be (or at least let them know that someone else found the process just as daunting). Failing that, let’s just call it therapy!

12182454_10156194594940305_3310539043554414563_oWell, gushy stuff aside (just for the moment) let’s start from the beginning. The proposal. Was it expected? Errm, yes and no. I’ve been with Chris over 5 years and we’ve lived together for 3 of them, so as time went on and we found out we bumble along together pretty well, marriage was something we always thought would happen. Eventually. However ‘eventually’ in Chris’ head (being a stereotypical guy) was probably later than my ‘eventually! But being traditional (and stubborn) I always wanted him to be the one that proposed. As more time passed, every holiday would result in friends and family immediately checking my finger for a sign of the possible ‘question being popped’ and questions about when I thought the big event would happen. If I’m totally honest, after a while (and even though you totally know the questions are coming from a good place), I started dreading the interrogations as they only serve to bring home the fact that he hadn’t asked me to marry him yet. And why not – what’s wrong with me, I’m sure I’m a nice person?! Honestly, if I ever do the same, please feel free to kick me in the shins! “Don’t ever propose on holiday”, I said, “They all expect it. Oh and whilst we’re talking about it, never propose in public – I’d die of embarrassment”. We joked about ‘the jokes’ and carried on as we were.


Then along comes California. 3 weeks away, just us. Amazing. We had made loads of plans to fly and drive around the state, stopping in LA, Vegas, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and a tonne of other places in-between. We flew into LA and a couple of days later it was my birthday. Chris took me out for a very swanky dinner at The Penthouse Restaurant at The Huntley, having already presented me with a beautiful fancy handbag – I remember thinking there’s no way he’ll have bought a ring after that little beauty! But that was fine, I truly never thought it would happen on a holiday anyway (that was an expensive decoy Chris, hee hee)!

Lisa BdayThe days passed and we’ve worked-out on Muscle Beach (if you don’t know we train together 3 times a week and Calisthenics is our thing, so there’s always a bit of love for the bars from the both of us!), we’d hiked the heights of Yosemite, cycled the Golden Gate Bridge, tasted wines in Sonoma and flew in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon (first time in a chopper for me – totally loved it!). We were coming to the end of our holiday and with only a few days to go, the holiday blues were beginning to kick in. We’d hired a car and had been making our way down the Pacific Coast Highway (amazing drive if you’ve never done it), staying at various places along the way. We’d spent the night in Santa Barbara and had a 4 hour drive to San Diego ahead of us – we were stopping there for our last two nights in the Golden State before reluctantly returning home.

Muscle beach12028824_10156188902965305_1946718293514701576_oyosemite and sonoma12140167_10156172642605305_8931972821877683966_o12080252_10156176064325305_9151428318467719813_o As we approach LA, Chris mentions that he’s dying for the loo and suggests we have a stop at Santa Monica beach – where we’d started our trip a few weeks earlier. With me not looking too convinced he (half) jokes we could go back to Muscle Beach and have a last mess around on the bars. As much as I loved the place, I just wanted to get to our final destination and make the most of the time we had left there.

After convincing me he was about to burst, we made the stop. We pulled into the car park by the pier – “That’ll be $12 sir” said the dude at the gate. “$12 for a pi*s and a pull up” I said “let’s just park somewhere else”. But Chris seemed absolutely fine with cost (thinking about it, my suspicions should have started here!).

He then suggests we go for lunch to make it worth the stop. We sit down for a sandwich at a cute little cafe opposite our old hotel ‘Joan’s On Third‘ (where I cannot for the life of me remove a poppy seed from my teeth) and then afterwards we head back towards the beach. By this point I really wanted to just get going as we still had a good few hours of driving ahead. Chris is less keen – “Umm why don’t we go back to the beach and we can do a farewell pull-up pic for Frankie (our PT) and say goodbye to Santa Monica”. Fine, back we go and Chris jumps on the bar (look how happy it made him!)
12028743_10156194593535305_4328613407138452836_oWith our farewells to the beach over (so I thought), I suggested we walk under the pier which was a short cut to the car park – nope, “let’s walk back past the shops in case we need to get anything” Chris told me – the only shops were a couple of ‘tat’ stores and some cafes so I didn’t see the point. He was definitely acting a bit weird, but Chris sometimes gets a bit sentimental about places so I figured he was just delaying saying goodbye to the beautiful scene and followed on. However, as we got to the edge of the beach he stopped in his tracks and just looked to be taking it all in, until he shuffled me back a few steps onto the beach and said “just stand there”.

Well now he’d gone from acting a little weird to outright odd.  And then, there it was – he dropped to one knee, in the sand (IN PUBLIC!). I was so shocked I didn’t even know if it was real. “You’re not actually doing this now” I joked? “You ARE doing this now” I said with rising panic and poor old Chris, who’d gone tongue-tied (very unusual for him!) suddenly said “So this is where we started our little California adventure and this is where I’d like us to start our next big adventure – will you marry me”! Cue background groups of passers-by gathering round, clapping, and shouts of “SAY YES, SAY YES” – a second prompt from Chris “Is that a yes?”. The whole thing was crazy surreal and most definitely unexpected but of course I said YES! Bless him, Chris was so nervous he’d forgotten to take the ring out of the box so I had to remind him that he actually had to put it on my finger :)

After a few moments of shaking and getting whopped and clapped by our impromptu crowd, we took a moment to sit together, let it all sink in and Chris got to tell me everything he had wanted to say – and this is absolutely the part I’ll treasure the most.

12038621_10156194594830305_7712286535415859269_oI had no idea of the pressure he was feeling to create the ‘perfect proposal’. He told me about the times and ways that he’d planned to do it (even on this holiday) but that there was always something ‘not quite right’. I guess it doesn’t help matters that I work in the wedding industry, and get to see all these ‘spectacular’ proposals all the time. As we were there on the beach, he said it no longer mattered that everything wasn’t ‘perfect’ because what was perfect was that at that moment it felt absolutely right and he just wanted to blurt it all out and ask me there and then! And you know what… traveling scruffs on, hair scraped back (I never tie my hair back you may notice!) and poppy seed still in teeth, it was perfect. It was perfect because I felt nothing but pure love and emotion as he sat there and told me all the reasons he wanted to marry me (I told you the gushy stuff would be back) and we could both see just how much we meant to each other and how excited we were to be taking the next step together. PLUS, hello, we got engaged on the original Muscle Beach, that’s pretty damn awesome for two callisthenic fans!

12030555_10156194593720305_6552373707043982723_o12183922_10156194594445305_2264723234026075046_oChris proposed with a gorgeous emerald ring from his mother that she very kindly wanted to pass through the family. They had decided it was going to be a ‘placeholder’ ring and Chris told me that he’d already spoken with a jeweller about a ring he wanted me to have as my forever ring – but with him being a cautious character at times (and me occasionally being fussy) he thought it would be nice if we decided on the engagement ring together.

I’ve waffled on quite a lot so far (I told you lots to empty out of my head) so I’ll cover the rings in my next post, of which by then I should have my new one :)

Until next time, lots of love and beaming smiles!

Lisa xx