Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year….a reflection

2011. What a year. With only a day and a half left for 2011, I decided to sit down and reflect on what a year it’s been.

I suppose I could say it was full of laughter and tears. Good news and bad. Success and disaster. Questions and answers. Growth in some things, deterioration in others. But really, what year can’t say all of those things?

But I know one thing is certain for 2011: It paved the way for a picture-perfect 2012.

Why?

Because I get to get married. And not just get married to anyone. I get to marry my best friend…my absolute nerdy soul mate. The journey to find him has all been worth it (tough, but worth it). Our road to engagement hasn’t always been easy…but we’re a better couple because of it.

But a lot of other memorable things happened in 2011 besides my awesome (and nerdy) engagement. For one, my sister and her husband are going to have a baby. I get to be an aunt. And Kevin and I are the godparents. That is just so cool. Words can’t describe how excited I am to meet her.

I got a new job. I got a new, better and more fulfilling job. I am happy. I finally love coming to work. Never thought I’d see the day I didn’t dread a Monday…and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

My parents upgraded to an iMac laptop computer. Words fail me there. Never thought I’d ever sell them on an Apple product. Go me! (And Kevin!)

On a less positive note, I did lose my final great-grandparent this year. My Grandma Pfeifer died back in November. She was 93. She was a wonderful, kind woman and we all miss her. Especially at the giant family Christmas party each Dec. 23. But I know she’s finally at peace…she gets to be with her husband and son again after nearly 30 years – and she gets to see her dad again, who was killed when she was a little girl. So as sad as we all were to see her go, we know she’s happier in heaven with the people she’s never really quit grieving for.

Now – on to less personable (be still awesome) events.

NASA Kepler scientists discovered the first “circumbinary” planet…which means scientists could use a Star Wars reference…circumbinary means a planet with two suns…just like Tatooine. Nerd radar off the charts yet? Good. They also discovered the first two known Earth-sized exoplanets; quadrupled the number of worlds known to exist beyond our own solar system; and discovered Kepler-22b – a planet similar to Earth, the closest discovered yet. What will 2012 bring? Hopefully lots more from NASA.

2011 brought a lot of excellent nerd movies to the big screens also. Some personal favorites of mine were X-Men: First Class, Captain America and Thor (Green Lantern was OK…). I was also a big fan of Sucker Punch. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it (though it did make the worst movies list in some people’s cases). I’m thinking 2012 will be just as good (if not better!) for nerd movies…Batman, Avengers, Spiderman, etc.

As for music – Incubus released a new album. That’s all I need say.

All in all, 2011 was great. God has been graciously kind to me, my family and my friends. I can only hope and pray 2012 will be the same.

XOXO
MJ

Friday, December 23, 2011

Engaged!

So. It’s finally happened. Kevin and I are engaged. It still seems so surreal…even though it’s been almost a week!

He proposed to me December 17 in the middle of Legend Comics on 52nd and Leavenworth. He wrote and drew a comic book about us, printed a handful of copies and had a few Legend employees (who were in on it) put it on the shelf for me to find.

Here's the full story of how he proposed. It's kind of long, story…so sorry in advance!

I work at OfficeMax on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Two Saturdays ago, we had planned on going Christmas shopping but just didn't get around to it because I had to finish stuff for my sisters baby shower. So we decided to go this past Saturday. He said he'd pick me up from work and we'd go eat lunch, then go shopping. So he gets there at about one and I'm running a little bit late with a customer. So finally I clock out, go change and we get in his car. I thought we were going up to Westroads to eat and then shop but he gets in the turn lane to go east on Dodge. I asked him where we were going and he said he wanted to stop at Legend Comics (on 52nd and Leavenworth) to get a few things before we go eat. He asked if that was OK (as if I would really care…I love Legend – and comic books). I do remember telling him that’s fine as long as we weren’t there for too long. I was hungry! I figured we’d try Chick-Fil-A in Midtown again because two Saturdays ago, the line was forever long when went and we've been meaning to go again. He said we wouldn’t be there too long…he just had to pick up a few things. Legend was right on the way so it didn’t strike me as odd…not that I would have found going to Legend to be odd. We frequent it quite often.

So we get there and park and we go walk in. We say hey to the people who own the place, who Kevin knows really well. Then we start looking around. I'm looking at Star Wars toys and a neon Ghostbusters sign (for $125!) and then was looking for this comic book called Fables that I really like. Meanwhile, he's standing by this shelf of new comics, just grinning at me. I was like, "What?" ...figuring he was just making fun of me because I like Fables or something. And then he goes, "Check this out" and kind of looks down and over to this comic book sitting there.

I glance at it and see that it says, "Ashlee and Kevin vs. the World." At first, honest to God, I thought in my head, "Well that's a huge coincidence." HAHAHA. I was just SO confused for a minute. Then I realized it was a comic book he had made! I mean – it looked so real! So I picked it up (again not thinking of this being in any way related to an engagement) and start reading it. I really just thought he had made a comic book about us and got it published and was just surprising me. I start reading and I slowly start realizing that it was way too personal to be a comic book for just anyone. Then I start thinking, "Oh my gosh...is this really happening?" I kind of started paying attention to him as I'm getting towards the end of the book and I noticed he was shaking ever so slightly and breathing heavily. He was nervous! Then I really knew what was happening!

I don't even remember the last few pages of the comic book as I was reading it there. I just got to the last page that said, "So I have one more question for you..." and it had this comic book character of him holding a little box in his hand. I turned to look at Kevin and he was down on one knee with the ring out and he asked me if I would marry him. Of course, I freaked out, said yes and gave him a huge hug and kiss! Then everyone in the store started clapping and cheering. Turns out the staff was in on it and they were taking photos! They even kept a copy of the comic book and are going to frame it with a picture of us and hang it up in the store. How perfect is that?





It was pretty amazing. And like I said – even though it’s been almost a week – I'm still on cloud nine. If someone would have told me that I'd walk into Legend Comics that day and then walk back out being engaged, I would have told them they were crazy! I was completely caught off guard and had absolutely no idea what was happening until it was literally happening. He did so good! What an awesome early Christmas present, eh?

We’re talking with our priest – Father Lewis – tomorrow and will get a date set then. We plan on getting married at St. Thomas More. We’ll let everyone know the date once we actually get it set! But we do have a date in mind. Now it’s time for planning! I have been dreaming of this time in my life for so long. But now that it’s here…it doesn’t matter as much as just being with Kevin. The fact that I get to be with him for the rest of my life…well that’s way better than any wedding we could ever plan. But I am looking forward to trying on dresses and picking colors, etc. (typical girly bride stuff…) As of right now, it seems so overwhelming…but in a good, exciting way.

Hopefully I can continue to blog regularly about the experience. I bet it would make for some interesting blogs. ;)

XOXO
MJ