As I’ve said in my recent posts, when I decided I wanted to get back into blogging regularly, there were a few key reasons why. One of them being that I wanted to create a place to log the most memorable moments and try to bottle up every emotion that came with them in hopes of reading them in the future and feeling the same magic that I did in that moment.
Today’s post is about just that – the most memorable day of 2017 & my life thus far:
The day we got engaged.
Quick recap: Zack and I had been talking about getting engaged sometime within 2017 but I had absolutely zero idea when that would be. We had looked at rings for fun a few times, and he definitely had a good idea of what I liked, but there were almost zero signs that it would be anytime before the end of the year. In April, right before we left on our trip, Zack and I were at dinner when he told me that he didn’t want me to expect a proposal any time sooner than Christmas. He told me that he was waiting for “something to happen” before he could do it and that he had a plan in the works for the end of the year. I didn’t believe him in my head (lol) but nodded and smiled when he told me that. Then, two days before we left for Italy, my Dad said to me, “I’m surprised Zack hasn’t come to talk to me yet. I mean, I would’ve thought he’d propose in Italy”. My Dad is funny, but not one to play along with a joke / lie , especially if it was about his daughter getting engaged. So when HE told me Zack hadn’t asked for his permission yet, I knew in my heart of hearts it wasn’t happening, and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t crush me a little. 😂🤷🏻♀️
Before The Trip
We were waiting to board our plane at LAX and still had some time to kill so Zack went to get food at Panda Express. After he finished eating, he asked me to open his fortune cookie, so I did. I opened it and saw this:
I stared at the fortune, stared at him, and then said, “are you proposing to me right now?” as we stood in front of a vending machine and women restroom. Lol. He snatched the fortune out of my hand and said he wasn’t proposing until later in the year but that it would’ve been cool to use the cookie. Ha!
Hindsight — we look back on this fortune now (which we kept) and still trip out because it totally did foreshadow me saying YES just a few days later!!
We had been traveling Italy for 4 days in Florence (you can read all about our trip to Italy by clicking here) before we arrived in Cinque Terre, a beachy / coastal town on the side of a mountain that’s just about as gorgeous as it gets.
The night before Zack proposed, he asked me if I’d want to wake up tomorrow morning around 6 AM to catch the sunrise and get some pictures of us on the GoPro. This was weird to me for 2 reasons:
1. Because Zack will sleep in until 3pm if given the opportunity, and
2. because he hates taking pictures!!
But, I wasn’t gonna question it! I’m always down for the photo-op. 😂
So, we decided to get out and take a walk to the look out point high above the town. I was in yoga pants, a sweater, no make up, & a messy bun on my head. I was ready to walk out the door when I realized Zack was dressed… kinda nice? He was in a button-down shirt, nice pants & dressy shoes. He grabbed a SUIT JACKET (didn’t even know he packed that) out of the closet and asked me, “jacket or no jacket?”. Our conversation after that went something like this..
“Um… no jacket. But why are you so dressed up?” I said.
“Well, I was kinda hoping we could take some nice pictures of us. Don’t you want to?”
“Yeah, sure, but how dressy…? The nicest thing I brought was a beachy jumpsuit,” I said. “I’ll just stay in sweats! You look nice, though.” (I imagine Zack wanted to SHAKE ME by this point for not wanting to get dressed up for once in my life.) He blurts out,
“Do you really like the way you look right now?” …………. How was I supposed to answer?
“Jeez!” I laughed. “I’ll go change I guess!” I came back out in the jumpsuit and made a comment about my hair being in a bun, to which he said,
“I mean, if you like it like that…” …. (how I did not take offense to this is still beyond me!)
Almost feeling like I should just put a brown paper bag over my head at this point, I turned on my curling iron and threw the quickest little wave in my hair. I WASN’T EVEN ABOUT to ask about me not wearing make-up or else might flip out on him if he says another wrong thing. lol. Again, not thinking too much of the situation, I put on some concealer, a flew flicks of mascara and called it good. I walked out of the bathroom to him fully ready sitting at the table. He grabbed his phone, his GoPro & backpack and off we went – lookin dressed and ready for a photoshoot at 6:00 AM 😂
We walked all the way up to this gorgeous lookout point on the edge of the mountain. We were up there for a little, taking in the view and talking as we waited for the sun to break through the clouds. Zack put his arms around me and started talking about how special the trip was for us, how memorable it was, and how much he loved me. He often says random sweet little comments like this, so again, I didn’t think much of it. I was standing on the edge of the look outpoint staring out at the ocean when he said,
“Let me get a picture of you looking out like that. I’m gonna go set up my GoPro and phone”.
I stayed facing outward as he set up the cameras. I distinctly remember looking down on the town and thinking what a perfect place this would be to get engaged. BUT I knew there was just no way he was going to propose in Italy if my DAD said he wasn’t going to. I was staring out at the ocean when all of a sudden, things kind of started to click. Why in the world would Zack want to see the sunrise on a cloudy morning, all dressed up, and have the cameras angled at me from a perfect location!? Literally, the very moment this thought shot across my mind, I heard Zack’s voice from behind me say,
“Turn around, babe. Is the camera okay where I have it?”
I turned around and saw him on one knee, holding a box containing my ring. With the biggest smile on his face and a shaking voice he asked me to marry him and before I could say a word, I covered my face, literally almost fell to my knees, and started to SOB. He pulled my hand in closer to him as I was barely able to whimper out a “yes”. As he started to put the ring on my finger I said suddenly,
“DID YOU ASK MY DAD?!” he laughed.
“2 months ago”.
I think we must’ve hugged and laughed and cried for five minutes straight. “Holy cow, WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!” is all we kept saying. Just then, the sun started to come out. The entire town was still asleep with the exception of two other tourists who just happened to walk up to the view point right after I said yes. They stopped and congratulated us and asked if they could take some pictures. So grateful they did because I will treasure them forever!!
We called our family from the top of the mountain and then friends when we got back into town. The whole morning was just full of tears and screams from my friends and so much love pouring in from our families. After a couple hours, we put our phones away and went cliff diving in the town over, Riomagorre. We waited the entire day to post the news on social media and that was probably the best decision we could have made. In a world where we sometimes get more caught up in capturing and sharing than actually living in the moment itself, not posting it was the perfect way to just let it sink into our hearts even more and savor the day. Ironically though, when we got internet at dinner that night & decided to post it, our wifi completely gave out and neither one of us were able to after MANY failed attempts. So we gave up and I just took pics of my ring instead until we had better internet! 😂
When we came back from Italy, we were bombarded by love and congratulations. I came home to a house full of decorations, desserts, and surprises from some of my closest girlfriends, and my sweet sister who had already planned an engagement party for us + our friends. It was, and still has been, such a sweet, sweet season. I have always imagined that when we would get engaged, that it would be the most love I have ever felt from Zack. Never did I consider that it would also be the most love I’ve ever felt from everyone in our lives as well. This is a day I will never forget and a feeling I will always remember. We are now a little more than 5 months out from getting married and I simply cannot wait for that day to be here and to be Zack’s wife forever.
To becoming a Keahey!
*** Our story is also available at https://howheasked.com/toni-and-zack/ ❤️