You know all those cheesy holiday proposals that you seem to get bombarded with around the holiday season? Well, mine was one of those.
I can’t believe its been TWO years since it all went down. And I truly had no clue what was going to happen when I woke up on that Saturday morning. I knew Erik had asked for my family’s blessing and I knew it was a resounding YES but I had no idea what the proposal would be, when it would happen, or even what the ring would look like!
I’ve mentioned it a few times but you really have to believe me when I say Erik LOVES Christmas. His retirement goal is to be one of those Santa’s in the mall during the Holiday season. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. So, it was only fitting that he wanted to visit the National Christmas Center which is one of the, if not THE, largest Christmas exhibit. With Christmas displays and traditions dating from over 2,000 years ago to the present it’s no wonder that people from all walks of life and ages come to visit the little sleepy town it resides in.
So, the date was December 12, 2014 or in other words 12/13/14. That should have been my first clue that this would be an ideal day for Erik to propose because he’s really bad at remembering stuff so this is a pretty sure fire way he has no excuse to forget it. We woke up that morning, ate breakfast, hung out at the house for a bit, then we got dressed and headed out to our local mall to do some gift shopping for a good friend of ours who was stationed in Cambodia at the time to teach English. Dan, our friend overseas, was going to have his Mom visit him over the holiday so we decided to get Dan a few things and then meet up with his Mom to give her the gifts to take with her.
We had plans to visit the Christmas center after the mall but as things typically go for The Sheehans, Erik was running late. By the time we finished at the mall I knew we would never make it to the center, tour it, and be back in time for dinner with Dan’s Mom. It just wasn’t going to happen, we would have to visit the Christmas center another time. I told Erik and this and he was not about it. I remember it vividly, we were standing in the middle of the mall, I just broke the news to him that I didn’t want to go to the Christmas center, and we would never make it on time, and in response he stamped his foot on the ground like a two year old would during a temper tantrum, scrunched up his face, and said quite loudly, “I want to go to The National Christmas Center and I want to go NOW!” O boy, well that did it right there. I huffed myself up, pointed my finger at him and replied, “Fine! If you want to go then we’re leaving right now and you’re driving!” So we did. We left, in total silence. I was brewing, lemme tell you that. I made him text Dan’s Mom and ask her to push back dinner because of his inability to follow a schedule. I wasn’t going to be held accountable for this.
We drove in silence pretty much the whole way. About 3/4 of the way there we stopped at a gas station for a couple drinks because we were parched. It was there we broke our silence and finally kissed and made it. We finished the rest of the drive and before we went inside I apologized to him for my huffiness. While I was flipping through my purse and scrounging around the car trying to find whatever it was that I was trying to find I failed to notice that he slipped a ring box from his pocket to his pants, which I still didn’t notice the entire time we were in there. I was oblivious.
So, we went inside, he bought the tickets, and we started making our way through the museum. It’s really one of the coolest Christmas exhibits and if you ever have the opportunity to visit I highly suggest it. About halfway through the museum there’s an area set-up for pictures with Santa. It’s really very cool how they have it constructed and their Santa is legit. Erik beeeegged to have pictures taken with him. I looked around and saw that we were the oldest by like 20 years compared to everyone else who was standing in line. Erik was bouncing on the balls of his feet just as much as the five year old in front of him and the three year old behind us. it was adorable.
When it was finally our turn we were invited to join Santa by his sleigh. It was the coolest Santa I’ve ever encountered in my life. He was so charming and he didn’t have a care in the world that we were two young 20-somethings coming to get pictures with him. He asked us the typical Santa questions, “What do you want for Christmas?” I knew Erik was expecting me to say Vera Bradley but I didn’t want to give him the answer he expected so I said something along the lines of time with family. Well, don’t ya know I was supposed to say Vera Bradley to which a whole conversation would be carefully followed out based on that answer to lead me to the last big question. Of course I messed that up so Santa had to improvise. The conversation went this way and then that way and eventually got me to say that I wanted to share a home with Erik. Santa told me I couldn’t share a home with him until I had one thing. I hesitantly replied with, “A ring?” The conversation went on just a tad longer and as we were wrapping up to say goodbye to Santa Erik intercedes with one last question, “Santa, do you mind if I give her an early Christmas present?”
I want to be clear that my oblivious cloud still had not lifted at this point so I was very much in the dark about what any of this meant. It wasn’t until I saw Erik pull the box out of his pocket and hold it in front of me that it completely dawned on me what all of this meant and what was happening. Erik spoke the sweetest words to me and asked me the question I had been waiting to hear from him, “Will you make me the happiest boy in the world and marry me?”
Long story short, we all know my answer. And we were late to dinner with Dan’s Mom. #atleastigotthering
Check out the 360 Tour of The National Christmas Center by clicking HERE