Starfish and rings and running oh my

Sunday was a quiet day. The morning was spent lounging and chatting (and ring fondling), until we decided we needed to get out of the house and shake the dust of the city off. We drove up to Egmont and walked the rather gentle path over to Skookumchuck Narrows. They really are cool: you can hear the rushing of the tidal waters through the narrows from quite a distance. It looks just like a bit of rapid on a river, since the further shore is really quite close — except, of course, that it is ocean.

We got to wander down the forest paths hand-in-hand being goofy and silly and all in-lovey. Then we ate granola bars and watched the bore, then we poked purple starfish (which are hard! really, not all soft like they look), then I got bored (of the bore…heh) and started back early. Even though I was only walking on my own for some 20 minutes, I realized how much I am used to walking with Steve, being all — well, being us.

The walk, however, was a good cardio workout, which is good training for the West Coast Trail. After we decided to do the WCT, back in early May, I told Steve that I didn’t want to be proposed to on the Trail, when I would be stinky and perhaps wet and unhappy. Little did I know that Steve had decided then to leave the ring at his parents to propose upon our return (when we’d be clean and dry and, presumably, happy). I’m glad he didn’t do that, for three reasons… first, because I’m impatient, and wouldn’t want to wait; second, because I would always wonder if I passed some kind of test on the WCT which made him decide to propose and thirdly, because… if I’m wet and unhappy (and whiny) I might not pass the test 🙁

Anyhoo, now that the first week of OMG-ness has (mostly) worn off, I’ve been thinking more in focus about wedding stuff. I’ve had ideas about my wedding for years, like most women, but now that the reality is here, I’m finding out what I ‘really actually for real’ want.

I had initially thought of a rustic, organic wedding, with little lavender plants and cedar saplings as favours/table decorations on top of cedar boughs. Then I started thinking of how I could get my rustic decor a little more sparkly, by adding some tealights in clear glass votives… then I realized that I Really Wanted a sparkly wedding with rustic/organic touches. Now I’m putting (theoretically) cedar boughs, lavender and red roses in glass vases on runners of red crepe paper with tealights in glass votives… then I read some website that had all white linen & china with with fruit bowls… stupid internet! Oh well, this is why I have ten months, right?

Speaking of ten months… I don’t have any “in ten months I want to weigh 110lb” expectations, but I am pleased that we are getting out and getting exercised… being with someone forever reminds me that I should take better care of myself, so that I am better able to take care of my *husband* and, eventually, children. To better train for the WCT, and for life in general, part of my wedding planning is fitness training… which is why I took up running. Today. Yes, really, today. Steve is a runner from way back, though he hasn’t done much (ok, any) since we got together, so he knows how to do it right. We went to Cliff Gilker Park and ran (and walked) along the trails, which is my favorite way to run (and walk). Angel, our (nee my) dog, was O Happy Day to have two (two!) walks in one day, and… well, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Actually, it wasn’t bad at all. It was actually quite nice. We went for 20 or so minutes, and ran some and walked some and ran some more. Next training day is Thursday (wish me luck).

On the upside, my ring is getting sized tomorrow! I take it in at 9am and pick it up by 5pm… Findlayson’s Goldsmiths have kindly offered to rush my sizing so that I can have it asap. A woman in my office recommended them, and they are over a week faster than the other place that called me back, so easy decision. And one more thing off the list.

List… hmmm, there’s something on that list… Crap! I forgot to book the hall for the Friday night! Tomorrow, I swear.

Here is a purple starfish, just begging to be poked:

SEVEN rocks, no less!

So today was ring-shopping day. Since Steve totally blew his engagement timeline (personally, I think it’s cuter’n heck that he couldn’t wait to ask me), he didn’t have a ring in-hand to propose with.

We decided to walk onto the boat — the ferry that leads to the mainland — and bus downtown to check out some supposedly-legendary sale at the Bay. After some espresso-fortification, we headed into the infamous Hudson’s Bay Company to look for a ring. And basically found nothing.

Next stop, Metrotown Centre, the largest mall in BC, where a co-worker had recommended Ben Moss. Once in Metrotown, we basically drifted from jewellery store to jewellery store looking at and trying on.

Since we are determined to not go into debt for our wedding, including the ring, we were very up-front that we had a small budget. Some salespeople looked on our declaration as a challenge to find their most-on-sale rings for us to look at; others looked at it as a challenge to get us to go into debt: “no payments to 2007”, “we do have layaway”, and “come on, it’s the most important ring you’ll buy.” Whatever. Out of the ten or so stores we visited, we got exactly one ‘congratulations’.

After the end of a long day and one all-you-can-eat-sushi lunch, we had narrowed the field to two… ok four. At one of the early stores, we saw a princess cut ‘green quartz’ solitaire with diamonds on the shoulders that was nice (but I might have been sick of it in 40 years), a small but brilliant diamond solitaire with a lovely simple setting (which I was afraid I would break, as I’m not very gentle with my hands), a princess cut blue topaz with two tiny diamonds (which was an important $25 over our budget) and an unusual, organic design peppered with seven tiny diamonds (which can’t really be worn with a wedding band). Since we aren’t traditional anyway (ok, not capital-T traditional), we opted for the organic shape.

I have ten months to decide if I want a wedding band also, in which case I’ll move it up a finger or to my right hand. I can’t wait to wear it! but I have to wait at least until it’s sized… and Steve thought I was impatient before! We hadn’t been in the house five minutes before I had left voicemails for every jeweller in town. Ok, there’s only three. But still!

Here is the lovely thing:

So.. that’s one thing crossed off the list. And two more added: get ring resized and add to insurance policy. So far, I have booked the hall (yay me! except that I forgot to book it for decorating or rehearsal time… must remedy that on Monday) and… that’s it. I booked the hall — Chaster House, a heritage house right on the ocean in Bonniebrook — the day after Steve proposed. I guess it was weighing on my mind, eh?

Most of the magazines & websites I’ve read say this is the time to finalize location (done!), finalize budget (I need to know more prices before I can do this), finalize guest list (ha! not even close), and start trying on dresses (God help me). We’ve asked our people of honour and brides/grooms people: Rita as MoH, [the person Steve apparently hasn’t asked yet] as BM (heh), Alex and Lisa as attendants. We’ve told the parents (and that’s two funny stories for later) and told all our friends.

It seems like a lot to do some ten months in advance, and from what I’ve heard, It’s Not Going To Get Any Better.

Darling, have you ever been to Vegas?

O dearly beloved…

“My beloved is mine, and I am his.”

:from “The Song Of Solomon”

Ok, I’m not religious, but I AM an English major, and that line has always captivated some part of whatever passes for my romantic soul. I hope you all appreciate that I am resisting the urge to get all messy & mushy here, so instead I’ll relate (in a matter of fact sort of way) the events leading up to this blog.

Ok, maybe not. I’ll probably get all mushy over the wonderful and fragile contingency that caused Steve & I to meet last fall, so I’ll cut right to the chase: the proposal. Steve & I have been dating since October 21, 2006. Yes, I know that’s not very long, but we were all love-at-first-sight-y, so this was pretty inevitable since day — three? four? We’ve been living together in the charming little town of Gibsons, British Columbia, since February 1, 2006. Also not very long. I know.

Steve has been nothing but candid with me that he did see me as his potential life partner, so you’d think all that “does he like me That Way” anxiety would be averted… and it kind of was. To be immediately replaced with the “so we’re in love and it’s obviously forever so why the heck doesn’t he ask me” variety of anxiety. What can I say? I’m an Aries. I’m impatient.

We had gone as far as deciding that getting married next year would be best in order to leave lots of time to have a family… then that May would be a good month to get married in… to deciding the Victoria Day long weekend would be the best day to have the wedding on (for ease of relative travel). We even decided to hike the West Coast Trail this summer instead of next in order to use all my holidays for weddding-ing and honeymoon-ing. You can see why I was getting impatient? That hall needed to be booked already!

Several several weeks ago, Steve told me his engagement time-line was early fall. I crossed my fingers that we could still get a hall that late in the year, but stuffed my impatience into some metaphysical closet and set down to enjoy the summer.

It was funny, then, to be having a lazy Sunday morning, cuddled up and talking about the impending visit of our evil landlady (the landcow) and having Steve comment that, “if she buys us out of our lease, that would practically pay for our wedding!” I was in the middle of commenting that I was much less impatient about getting engaged than a few weeks ago, when “will you marry me?” appeared above my head. I immediately propped myself up and looked straight at him. Several choice phrases came to mind, but I settled on “is this a for-real proposal?” After thanking me for utterly ruining the mood, he asked me again.

“Of course.”

Here we are in early days.