The last four months brought many wonderful blessings, which I will forever be grateful for. Who would have thought that last August when I was all set to leave and teach in Korea for a year, that I would be back in one month’s time, supply teach at the school board of my choice, land a short 4 month 1/2 day job teaching at the school board with the same class everyday (LTO), and then a full day LTO (which lasted me until the end of the school year).
As if that rush of opportunity wasn’t enough, I also had an interview with York Region District School Board for a full time permanent job towards the end of June, and was later offered the job at a school close by that will start in Sept 2012 (the bonus is that it’s a school that I have worked at before, and teach a grade 3/4 class with a little French :)). For those of you familiar with the teaching industry, over the last several years, it has been tough finding permanent work in the field due to a surplus of teachers and declining enrolment. Lucky for me, I was able to secure something shortly after finishing teacher’s college which looking back was quite a risk, quitting my corporate job.
Then came mid July, and after 6.5 years of dating, Ben decided to propose and I said yes! (The exact date was on July 20th in case anyone was wondering :P). I have to admit the recent ride has been pretty nice. My goals from the past year have been achieved, and my wishes for the year 2012 have so far been granted. I could not be happier with how my 27th year has unfolded.
I feel as though I have won the life lottery! 🙂 With hard work, perseverance and optimism anything is possible. I thank every single one of my family and friends for their unconditional support. Though I don’t get to see each and everyone of them everyday, they have given me the security and sensitivity that I needed to take risks, explore and focus on what I was trying to do. So, from the bottom of my heart… THANK YOU!
Now, I know most people reading this probably want to know the “Proposal Story”. Let me just start with, whatever Ben has told you is an inaccurate account. He only wishes it happened that way. 😛
So rewind to Friday, July 20th, 2012. Probably like over a month ago, Ben had suggested that he take a day off to spend some time with me since the whole summer, every weekend was basically either helping friends with their weddings or attending a wedding. Sounded like a good plan to me! So he had taken the day off way in advance and we had talked about going to pick up an eye piece for his telescope (I was going to buy it for him for his birthday which is this coming Saturday.. so to me, everything made sense). So when he came to pick me up from the condo, he knocked on the door and walked in with a bag that we had seen before downtown near Kensington Market. He said he bought it for me to use on our upcoming trip to France and also as a ‘school bag’ for when I start teaching in the Fall. Everything still made sense. He told me open the bag and inside was a polaroid camera and some film. He knows I love Instagram, so in my mind, it still made sense that he got me a polaroid, to snap pictures all day!
OK fine, a guess a little part of me was thinking, what is with all the gifts??? It’s not my birthday….. then at the bottom of the bag was a mahogany square box. I gasped a little inside and didn’t take the box out. He told me to take it out.. but I did and then threw it back to him without sneaking a peak. I was feeling really shy and nervous for some reason and put my arm around his arm and hid my face behind him. He insisted I sit down, but I didn’t budge and just kept laughing, giggling, saying random things like.. “Imagine it was a pair of earrings inside and I’m getting freaked out for no reason?” He didn’t answer me but continued to ask me to sit down on the couch. lol
Finally, I obliged. Then he got down on one knee and opened the box in front of me and asked me to marry him. At this point I still did not look him in the face. lol I was shy and all I could think was… this is really happening…I tried to pick at the ring but he made me say yes before he took it out of the box and put it on my finger.. so of course, I said YES! 🙂
After some hugging and looking at my new pretty piece of jewelry, he said, “Pack your bags! We’re going on a overnight road trip.” For those who know me, I usually live my life with a plan. So definitely this unexpected trip caught me off guard and I was frantically packing away. lol He then pulled out a dress that he had bought me from BCBG that he said I could wear that night for dinner. It was very pretty, and perfect for the occasion! (white and long).
At this point I’m a bit overwhelmed already with all the presents and excited about our trip away. He called my grandmother in HK for me and told me to tell her the good news! Everything started to sink in.. I also called my mom to tell her the news and told her I’d be leaving town for a night for this surprise trip away and would see them on Sunday.
We then went to grab a bite before our drive. Meanwhile I’m texting and calling friends to let them know the good news :). I’m also using my new polaroid camera to snap pictures as our day progresses (Ben mentioned that he got the camera because he remembered I wanted to have our proposal documented, and though we were too frazzled during the actual ‘popping of the question’ to take any photos.. this was just as good :)). On our way, I realized we were headed to Niagara-On-the-Lake, one of my favourite places in Ontario. Last time we went was during the winter time, when we stayed at the Pillar and Post. It was such a great trip, so Ben I guess decided that we should come back. He turned into the Queens Landing Hotel and I was quite impressed. I was still talking on the phone mind you to my girlfriend and insisted that he let me finish the call before I went inside to check in. He continued to motion me to go inside so I kept chatting and walking.
Once inside, we walked through the restaurant towards the back patio, and in a flash, I saw the backs of his parents, my parents and his brother. I could not believe it. They were all there waiting for us to arrive. lol I immediately told my friend, “Umm.. I’ll call you back”… lol
It was a happy moment, and I couldn’t believe Ben had planned for them to stay and join in on the fun! He told me we said we wanted to bring our parents here eventually, and so he did. 🙂 Thank you to my parents and his brother for taking the day off, and to his parents for coming to join us! 😛 Too bad my brother is in HK and couldn’t come back to join us, but I’m glad we were able to share the happy moment with most of our families. For the rest of the day, we talked and walked around the streets of Niagara and got ready for dinner at Canary Restaurant inside Pillar and Post.
For dinner, I put on my new dress and realized I didn’t bring a necklace since it was a sweetheart neck line. As soon as I said it out loud, Ben said he had prepared a last surprise for me, a new pearl necklace to go with this and my other outfits. It was really just perfect. 🙂 We spent the rest of the evening hanging out at the pool/hot springs there after dinner and then spent the next day touring wineries before heading back to Toronto.
It was a great two days and the perfect proposal in my mind. He had everything planned and back up plans for his plans and I’m glad we can now look forward to the day we officially tie the knot! It has been an amazing month so far…. and in a couple days, we will be off to France and Switzerland for 10 days for an engagement honeymoon/pre-wedding-honeymoon. 😛