"I think we need to talk about expectations..."
A story of our relationship, engagement, wedding, and more.
Sam & Anna 2012.
We’ve had a couple of crazy busy wedding weekends. Well, crazy isn’t the right word. Awesome is better.
First weekend (Aug. 27) = Wedding dress shopping with my future mother-in-law and maid of honor. There was a significant amount of personal drama leading up to the shopping day. Plans changed, work that week was tough, but Jenn (the MOH who forces me to put on my big girl panties and deal with things) and Lou Ann (who is an absolute blessing and more of a friend than MIL) made the day incredible. We started in McPherson at Kari Lynn’s Bridal—a little shop I found at the Wichita Bridal Fair.
The store’s fashion show at the fair was amazing. So good, in fact, that I felt compelled to find the booth and let them know how impressed I was. I met the owner and just had a feeling that I would find my dress at her store. I was right. It’s not fancy schmancy, no mimosas in the dressing room. But the consultants really listened. And McPherson is adorable.
Second weekend (Sept. 3) = Selecting a wedding photographer. There were tears involved (good ones) and ice cream (from Glace…super bonus). The decision was easy:
To say that we’re excited to work with Josh and Jenny is an understatement. They are just great people, and we love great people. Check out their website and blog, and you’ll see why we’re pumped. WE. CANNOT. WAIT!
These two weekends have inspired me to find more joy in wedding planning. I’ve been stressed and emotional, but it’s big girl panty time. I love Sam, he’s amazing, I’m blessed, and we’re going to keep adventuring. THAT’S what matters. :-)
I’ll have more on dress shopping later. We’re less than nine months away!
Via @theknot on Twitter.
Better yet, help with recruitment while planning a wedding…and training for a half marathon…and buying a new house…and being one month into a new job… (Don’t let this fool you—Anna loves each of these things)
Well, we’ve been absent from the blog for a bit—and for good reason. In the past four weeks, Anna resigned from her job, packed up her apartment, and moved to Wichita.
We knew the move was coming, but it all happened a bit faster than we had anticipated. She starts work at her new firm on Monday and has been spending the past week learning how to get around Wichita. And catching up on wedding planning.
For those of you keeping score at home, this is the first time we have lived in the same city since college. And we weren’t dating then. The good news is that we kinda get along and sort of like each other, so being in the same place seems to be working out just fine. :-)
Sam’s parents have graciously allowed us to take up residence in their home while we start BUILDING a home. We are SUPER excited about building a house and are so blessed to have parents/in-laws who are willing to put up with us, our stuff, and our cats for a few months while we get the house taken care of.
Happy sigh. The most stressful part of this whole thing is over. We’re loving Wichita!
After the run and picnic, Sam and I toured one of my absolute favorite places in Kansas City—the World War I Museum. Seriously, if you haven’t been there, you should go. Granted, I’m a bit of a war history nut (*nerd alert*) but this place is just fascinating. I could spend hours at each of the exhibits, watching all of the video features…sigh.
Sam knows this about me. Not everyone is aware of just how much of a war nerd I am, but Sam has witnessed my day long Band of Brothers marathons, my predisposition to watch any and all war documentaries regardless of whatever else might be on TV, how excited I get when someone asks a question that allows me to talk about World War II…I can’t help it. This all worked out perfectly for Sam. I got so wrapped up in the museum and pointing out my favorite exhibits to him that, for a moment, I stopped thinking about a proposal.
After almost three hours in the museum, we decided to venture outdoors to see the remaining attractions, namely the tower where you can get the best view of downtown and midtown Kansas City. The only problem was that during our time indoors, the weather outside had deteriorated. The mild spring day had become a wet, cold, windy day. Sam, who is just a little more relaxed and even-keeled than I am, was furious. “WHAT IS UP WITH THIS WEATHER! WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAVE TO DO THIS! GRUMBLEGRUMBLEGRUMBLE!” To which I said, “Uh, you never complain about the weather. What is up with you?” I offered to skip the tower and other outdoor features, but we figured that since we were there and since we were already pretty wet (read, my hair was already totally ruined), we might as well go up in the tower.
We stepped into the elevator, and I saw Sam mess with the small fifth pocket of his jeans. I thought that was strange, but didn’t want to say anything since he was already so grumpy about the weather. We went up in the tower, tried to peer through the fog to see the buildings, and then walked around to the other side. After our lap, I asked if Sam was ready to go. He got a little nervous, and started to reach into his pocket.
At that moment, in my head, I started telling myself to be elegant and poised. Think beauty. Grace. Engagement. Glamour.
At that moment, my body screamed, “Get awkward!!!!! Start laughing uncontrolably! Distort face!”
My body won. Sam got on one knee while I giggled and snorted. I heard him say “I have loved you for more than five years…” Then I became really focused on two things—one, he had my right hand, not my left hand, and two, I was holding the camera and HAD to start taking pictures. I swiftly switched hands and pulled out the camera and started snapping away while Sam pulled out the ring and asked the big question.
Of course, I said “YES!” The other tourists on the tower let us have our moment. I decided we needed to take ridiculous pictures. We did. We were soaked and my hair was a mess, but it didn’t matter.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect moment.
Because every venue we love is outside. Sam and I, along with my longtime friend Jenn, spent the weekend checking out ceremony and reception locations in Lawrence. According to my work-issued pedometer, I took more than 26K steps on Saturday. We promise that our guests won’t have to do quite as much maneuvering.
Some top moments from the weekend: 1. Meeting Evan Williams, caterer extraordinaire. And her two dogs.
Pretending to walk down the aisle.
Seeing Sam’s reactions to the spaces.
Discovering the Big 6 Room and Potter’s Pavilion.
Spending a beautiful day in Lawrence with two people I love and respect.
We’re close to making some decisions and are VERY excited about the possibilities! Stay tuned!
On the morning of Saturday, May 28, I woke up at 5 a.m. in order to get ready for a 15K race in St. Joseph, Missouri. To my surprise, Sam agreed to come with me. We’re rather similar in terms of likes, dislikes, habits, beliefs, values, etc. But the one great difference between the two of us is that I am definitely a morning person. I’m up by 5 almost every morning. Sleeping in on the weekends to me means waking up at 7. Sam, on the other hand, stays up much later than I can. And waking up before 6? There has to be something in it for him to get him up that early.
I was a little curious as to why Sam would be willing to come with me to St. Joe that early in the morning, but I had bribed him with promises of coffee and breakfast, so I thought that was his motivation. We were on the road to St. Joe by 6.
Once we arrived at the starting line, Sam helped me with my pre-race prep. I typically race alone, so it was really special to have someone to help me get pumped up before the start. With a gulp of water and a quick kiss, I dashed to the starting line for a grueling 9.3 mile run while Sam took the car to the finish line.
The race was tough. I excel in hilly races, but the cliffs of St. Joe about did me in. I was struggling as I approached the finish, but then I saw Sam and heard him cheering for me. I got a second boost of energy and sprinted the final feet to the finish. It made the whole race for me—there’s nothing like having someone cheering you on!
On the way home from St. Joe, we stopped at Green Acres to pick up items for a picnic lunch—turkey sandwich for sam, beet salad for me. Falafel chips, grapes, pop chips, and a snickerdoodle cookie to split finished the meal. Then we drove back to my apartment so that I could shower, change, and get ready to spend the afternoon at Liberty Memorial.
I knew that as soon as we went ring shopping, it would happen. I would go from normal Anna to highly paranoid, inquisitive Anna who would wear extra makeup every day until Sam proposed just in case I needed to be “picture-ready.”
And happen it did. I spent the entire month of May dressed to the nines with manicured nails, lip gloss, and more concealer than I’d like to admit. There were a few times during the month when I thought he might propose, but I had a strong feeling Sam was looking at Memorial Day weekend.
We had talked about a few things we wanted to do in Kansas City that we either hadn’t ever done or hadn’t done in a long time. We decided that trips to the Nelson Atkins and World War I Museum/Liberty Memorial would happen in May. During our planning, I suggested that we go to the Nelson Atkins on Saturday and then hit the museum on a Sunday. Sam chimed in with this: “The museum isn’t open on Sundays. I called…”
DING DING DING!!! Who calls to check on hours? You call when you are arranging something/planning something/preparing to ask your long-time girlfriend to marry you!
In addition, Sam was making all of these random trips on weekdays. I called to ask if he wanted to meet for lunch. No, he said, I have an appointment at noon and won’t be back until 8. What? OK, well, what about dinner? Um, er, no…things to do… Two of these random outings occurred during the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend.
Sam knew that I was on his trail. He tried to throw me off by suggesting dinner on Saturday, May 28—his treat—at Waldo Pizza. He thought I would never consider Sam proposing on a day when we were eating pizza. Wrong.
With all my spidey senses tingling, Sam and I decided to meet up at Blanc Burgers & Bottles on the Plaza for dinner on Friday, May 27. I had a long week of work, I had just come from the gym, and I was maybe a little annoying/crazed/neurotic. During dinner I kept needling—where were you this week? Where did you go? Who did you see? You must have gone out of town. No other reason you would be gone so long. What are we going to do on Saturday? What time are we going to do it?
Finally, an exasperated Sam put both hands down on the table, looked me straight in the eye and said, “I think we need to talk about expectations here.”
“Look, I’m trying to get this all figured out. It’s going to happen, but not right now. You need to give me some time to work on things, so just relax.”
In my mind I heard: “You are insane and scary. I need some time to figure out whether or not we should even be together because, seriously Anna, you are being strange.”
Clearly, Sam did not understand the amount of effort I was putting forth. Not only was I working, volunteering, and exercising, I WAS COORDINATING OUTFITS. WEARING MAKE-UP. DOING ALL THE THINGS!!!
Hmmph. Arms crossed. Glare directed squarely across the table. Spidey sense turned off. According to Sam, I said all of two words the rest of the evening.
With thoughts of impending engagement put aside, I began to focus on the 15K I had the next morning as well as the amount of time I would save by not wearing lip gloss. With one sentence, Sam effectively got me off of his back and off the trail.