My 26th birthday was one for the books, to say the least.
No matter what, I always seem to wake up before my alarm clock on my birthday, purely out of excitement for the day. This year was no different, and I checked my phone to find it littered with red ball notifications for calls and texts from families and friends. After talking with my dad, brother, and stepbrother, I finally rolled out of bed around 7:30 and found a card out on our kitchen counter.
I had taken the day off, but Jonas was at work, so I texted him and asked if I was supposed to open the card. He texted me back immediately and gave me the green light to read it. Along with a sweet birthday message, he also included a schedule for my afternoon/evening. He really is beyond incredible (as were the pugs).
Since I had until 4 PM, I spent the majority of the day working on Quarter-Life Living (and launching it to the world - yay!), working out, running to Sephora, and talking and texting with friends/family before finally getting ready. For some reason I really wanted to rewatch some Girls episodes, so I had that on while I did my hair and make up in the living room. Around 3:45, I packed up my dress and heels that I was planning to wear for dinner (since the salt cave treatment suggested I wear comfy clothes and white socks), and hit the road for the nail salon.
Even though it was a gloomy day, it only drizzled a few times, which was far better than originally forecasted. I didn't even mind though, since it is hard to not be on cloud nine on your birthday (especially when you have it off from work). At the nail salon, the women immediately began asking details about the day and all three of them were CONVINCED I was getting engaged. I didn't want to psyche myself out, since Jonas is truly just very sweet and always does nice gestures - not even just for my birthday. Their insistence did start to make me wonder though, and they pointed out that he probably sent me to get pampered so he could get our apartment set up.
Once I was done with my manicure and pedicure, I ran out to my car to head to the salt cave. At that point, it was drizzling, so I probably looked like a complete lunatic running down the street with my pants rolled up and those flimsy nail salon flip flops on. Suffice it to say, I was pretty chilled by the time I got to the Five Star Salt Cave Spa. The woman there guided me into the cave, then helped me recline and put a blanket over me. As I lay there, taking in the incredible ambiance of the cave, I really started to wonder if we were getting engaged. I told myself that even if we weren't, I was so happy and so grateful to have Jonas. If he was proposing, then I was over the moon, but even if he wasn't, he still is such a wonderful and caring boyfriend to make my birthday that special. These thoughts eventually led to me crying, all the while shivering because I was still so chilled, as the only other person in the cave started snoring. Thank goodness she fell asleep, because otherwise I am sure I looked bonkers.
Just as promised, Jonas picked me up at 7 PM. Since it was still raining, I called to ask if he could grab my clothes and shoes out of my car for me to change into. When he walked up to the door, I noticed he was still in his work clothes and had his work badge on, meaning he came straight from work, which means the nail salon ladies were wrong and he wasn't at the apartment getting everything ready. Cool - it probably wasn't happening then.
We set off for dinner at restaurant here in Denver called Linger. The dinner was fantastic, and Jonas seemed completely calm and normal as always, and we enjoyed every minute. As things were winding down, he said something like "I don't have anything planned for dessert, so we could grab something here or next door at Little Man, and I feel badly but I do have to do a little more work tonight to prepare for being out of the office for our trip, so I was thinking we could just head home and relax." Obviously, I would not pass up on a birthday dessert, so we feasted on Linger's Italian "Coffee" & Doughnuts dish, then headed home.
On the drive, he was playing 107.5 - which for most of you means nothing, but to Denverites you probably know it as the most popular hip hop station in the metro area. Yeeeaahhhh there was no way we were getting engaged tonight (truly one of my thoughts). When we made it back to the apartment, he walked ahead of me and opened the door. It was pitch black, but the TV was on, which was weird because I absolutely shut it off. Then it clicked. Jonas grabbed the remote and pressed play and a photo slideshow started playing. Not only did he commemorate our near 3 years together, but he also synced it to four of our favorite songs that all have unique meaning and memories. I was obviously crying like crazy, and I could feel Jonas' heart beating a million miles per hour. At one point, I literally said, "please tell me you are proposing or else I am going to die." (He has psyched me out a few times before, and this one would have been too much for my sappy heart). He didn't answer, but I kind of sensed it was happening. The slideshow ended with the statement "join me outside."
"Unfortunately, the weather isn't exactly cooperating, so join me in the living room," Jonas said, flipping on the light to reveal a bunch of orchids, a bottle of my favorite wine, and homemade cupcakes on our end table. We went and sat down, and both of us were smiling, I was still crying, and then Jonas told me to grab one of the cupcakes and look underneath it. I did, and found a chocolate from Tivol, a jewelry store in KC. Meanwhile, Mr. Stealth reached behind me and pulled up the blinds, which made me immediately turn around to look. Out on our balcony, there was a light box....
"Rachel, will you marry me."
I turned back to face him, and he got down on one knee. I'm seriously crying again as I type this up. It was such a beautiful and indescribable moment, and I will cherish it forever. Once he asked, I dove at him and kissed and hugged him about a million times before finally putting on the [absolutely stunning and perfect] ring that he had picked out. We sat there in awe, laughing, crying, hugging, staring at the ring, laughing some more, kissing, until we decided we wanted to share the news with our parents.
It was the best birthday of my life, and I thank my lucky stars every day that this universe decided to have our paths cross on May 30, 2014.
P.S. You'll have to excuse my E.T. hands in the first pic. I can't help it that I'm obsessed with my ring.