More in a Day…

This past weekend was the financial bloggers conference for just about everyone in PF blogosphere.  While it was the weekend of the financial bloggers conference for me, it was a few other things.  The first was that plans that had been months in the making would finally be executed, and the other would {hopefully} be that my life would get way more awesome.  As many of you know, I’ve got a girlfriend, H, and we’ve been dating for quite some time.  At first, she didnt want me to talk about her on the site, so I left her out or referred to her in some other fashion.  Once she decided she didnt mind being mentioned she was given a name for the blog and comes up more now.  Anyway, back to the story, and I’ll start from the beginning.


This spring was quite busy for the both of us.  I got a new job much closer to where I live and H did some traveling.  She went to Belize and Las Vegas with a friend.  I had finally gotten quite a bit of debt paid off and decided it was time to get busy planning the future.  Of course, since I wanted this all to be a surprise I had to act stealthily and tackle problems one at a time.  The first was to determine the size of a ring and then find some spare time to go buy it without her noticing.  For the first, I figured that I’d just swipe an old ring she already had and take that in and let the store do the rest.  For a while I paid attention to which rings she had on her finger, but that proved fruitless, so while she was traveling to Belize I got on her computer  and looked through more than 3,000 pictures from the last 3 years to see if there was any of her with a ring on.  After looking through them all I found a picture that was only a few weeks old (and would have gotten deleted if it were on my computer) that worked.It had her wearing a ring. I marked it in my memory and waited until a few days before she left for Vegas and I rifled through the jewelry box, found the ring, and hid it to make sure she didn’t take it along.  After that I simply went to the jewelry store and purchased what I wanted using her own ring as a size reference.  I did already have  a style and a budget set in mind, so that made things quick and relatively painless.  Unfortunately, I purchased at the top end of my budget and ended up going over because I paid a much higher sales tax than I’m used to paying (or that I personally think is necessary).  That concluded phase one.


Honestly not much happened here – there was quite a bit of planning and decisions, phone calls, and discussions with friends.  Nothing too much though.

The Day

So, as I mentioned, I went to the conference and decided that the Sunday after Fincon11 was over would be the day.  One of the reasons was because when we first started dating we had a really fun trip to Chicago so I figured it would be fun to go back and do the same things that we did that first trip.  So, my day started at around 1am at my buddies house, confirming tomorrow’s plans after a last minute change because the train didn’t run as late as I’d hoped.

I left early from the conference and hopped on the train at the station.  While I was at the conference, H was getting manicures with some friends and heading to an art show.  PS – totally stole the manicure idea from Ninja.  My buddy picked me up at the train station and we headed to the hotel where H and I would be spending the night in the loop (she thought we were staying with friends), and he gave me the ring.  I had forgotten how large the box was and I couldn’t put it in the pocket of my jeans, so I put it in the pocket of my jacket and zipped the pocket up (I was given some good advice by a friend. He said to not  be constantly checking my pocket to make sure it was still there.  Instead, I carried my jacket around as it was too warm anyway and occasionally brushed it against my leg to make sure I had not somewhere/somehow lost the largest single purchase I’ve ever made).  After this, my friend and I met H and his girlfriend and had a very late lunch.  After lunch my friends left to “run Sunday errands” (that I asked them to).   H wasnt sure why they didn’t want to hang out anymore, but they sent us on to the train to the loop.

H and I had a great afternoon strolling around Millennium/Grant Park area.  It was the first time I’d seen Buckingham fountain actually turned on, and the weather was perfect for it.  There was a guy making really gigantic bubbles with what looked like some string and 2 sticks, though unfortunately for me my phone was dying, and given all the communication I needed to make (and fake) at that point I suggested we go to a coffee shop for a sit down and some tea and orange juice.  I was able to charge my phone to almost full and we headed off to see the Bean and wander the park.  At this point my friend suggested we meet at the Hancock building for drinks before dinner (totally a ruse because they weren’t coming to dinner with us at all and I made reservations there about 6 weeks ago).  We went up the the 95th floor to “get drinks” and  I checked in and we were seated.

After arriving at a table for two when I had told her there would be four people there she asked why there were only two. I just said that I wanted to spend some time with her after being gone for so long.  That eased the question and after our white wine (H) and pumpkin manhattan (me) arrived, we ordered our dinner.  I kept talking about getting desert (even though I was so full and my stomach hurt the thought of it made me sick) because if she didn’t get desert my whole plan would come apart at the seams (though I do think the restaurant remedies this with a “complimentary dessert from the chef” or some nonsense).  After some prodding and a great dessert menu it was time.  She left for the restroom and the waiter confirmed plans with me. They brought out her plate first.  As he was setting it down, I got down on 1 knee and got the ring out of my pocket:

To say that she was shocked would probably be the understatement of the year.  After asking if it was a joke, she quickly accepted and put the ring on.  Unfortunately, it was too small!  I was 1/4 size off, so she forced it on for the time being and I told her we could take it to the store when we got back the next day and get it taken care of.  After dessert, I told her my friends were in the area at a nearby bar and wanted to have a beer before we left.

I had long ago arranged to get as many people here as possibly, but because of many different things I had a feeling it would be tough – it was, but I didn’t care.  As we walked in she saw a few of our friends, and finally her sister that had driven up for the day from Indiana.  She was very excited (to say the least) and we had a few beers and went back to the hotel.

One thing I can say is that although I don’t feel any different  I’m excited and can’t wait for the rest of my life to get here 🙂

Update: H edited this, and there were quite a few gasps and “I was wondering how you did that’s” when she was reading it.  Thanks for editing!

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31 thoughts on “More in a Day…”

  1. Congratulations! And what a perfect way to end an amazing weekend! Best of luck planning the wedding, but more importantly, prepping for marriage. A wedding is just one day compared to a lifetime of marriage.

    • Thanks cathy! I think you’re right, I’m already tired of wedding planning. H and I going to get married in the alley next to oscar the grouch.

      • Congratulations, dude! I just proposed to my girl in the beginning of September. I may have to post a blog about it. Flew down to the South and surprised her. Thankfully, she is doing 90% of the wedding planning. I feel bad for ya on that account.

  2. Awesome and congrats buddy! I am glad I was ignorantly a part of your engagement weekend. Hope to see you around this part of the country sometime soon.

  3. C0ngrats and a very nice surprise which is always key. I surprised my then-girlfriend as well. She went up to visit her sister at college for an overnight visit. She was big into scrapbooking at the time, so as soon as she left, I spent the next 24 hours and found the most creative genius I’ve ever had to create a scrapbook of our favorite memories. At the end I put something along the lines of ‘We can create more memories. All you have to do is…’ *flip page* ‘Say yes’ at which point I pulled out the ring.

    • Thanks beagle!
      I enjoyed planning the surprise, and yours sounds pretty nice too. Even though she wanted to get married, I had kept telling her “later” to make sure my surprise stayed a surprise.

  4. Congratulations, Jeff! I’m so happy for you and H. 🙂 May you both have a wonderful life together! (And what a great plan you executed! I love the syrup on the plate!)

  5. Man, I’ve heard so many great things about that conference, I can’t believe I didn’t make the time/money to go! We did so much travel this year already and spent a lot of money on various things I didn’t think I could justify it. 2012? I’ll have to work it in!

  6. Congratulations to you and best wishes to H! We’ve never met in person but I feel like I’d really like you if we do, so this is kind of like hearing a friend is getting married. 🙂 I am so happy for you and H! Looking forward to some posts about weddings & money from a guy’s perspective.

  7. Dude just now saw this post. Great call with the manicure. Probably the smartest thing you’ve ever done. Ever. Congrats bro, I’ll buy you a drink next time I see you…FinCon12?

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