Surprising the Unsurprisable

One year ago today Matthew asked me my most favorite of questions- to be his wife! Of course I said yes and the rest is history but what better way to celebrate than to share our engagement story and tell you how this guy surprised the most unsurprisable girl!


Let me first tell you that I hate surprises. If I catch wind of something going on under my nose, I will do everything in my power to find out what it is. Unfortunately for Matt, this means that I have ruined a few of his romantic gestures by “snooping”. He and I both knew that if he wanted to pull off this engagement, he would have to be very careful. (he may have created a fake email account to be in contact with the jewelers just so I wouldn’t take a peek at his messages!)

By the time fall rolled around, I knew there was a proposal coming. We had talked about it so often that I knew it had to be happening soon enough. My best guess was that Matt had planned his proposal when both our families would be together celebrating Thanksgiving on Pender Island. It was a sealed guess, what better opportunity, I thought. Just two and a half weeks prior to our trip to the island, I came home after a long day at school to three envelopes lying against my pillow. Each envelope was dated, the first for September 23rd, the next for October 9th and the final envelope dated for October 25th. Naturally, I cheated and opened all three envelopes at once. Each one contained a gift card for a manicure. I squealed with excitement knowing that Matthew thought I wanted my nails freshly done for when I got engaged. At that point I was dead set on the special event happening on Pender, seeing as the second envelope was dated for the day before we were to leave. I excitedly counted down the days, two weeks I thought, just two more weeks until I am a fiance. Matt knew what I had been assuming, he worked his magic to ensure that I kept on thinking that it was to happen on Pender. Man did I marry a smart man. The next day, I went for the booked manicure, September 23rd. I thought nothing of it. I had no clue that I would be getting engaged the next day!

Matt and I had planned to head downtown that bright, sunny Saturday. When we aren’t sure what to do with ourselves in Vancouver, we famously head to Science World. So, we spent the morning roaming around the zoo that is Telus World of Science, checking out world’s most boring exhibit on atoms and neutrons. Though I thought Matt was in his wheelhouse, he obviously had something a little more important on his mind. We weaved through the tourists, read about bugs and played the static electricity games. We made the most out of our time there before we headed to Chipotle for lunch. It was at lunch where Matt headed off to the washroom for awhile (and no, it was not because of the burritos). He headed to the back of the restaurant to call his mom, asking her to text him about picking up some muffins at Stomping Grounds Coffee Shop in Osprey Village on his way home. When Matt came back from the washrooms he explained to me that we needed to pick up some muffins for his mom at the said coffee house in Pitt Meadows. I thought it was a slightly strange request, but I really didn’t get caught up on it.

We shopped for a bit in Pacific Center and then called it quits for the day. We headed back to the suburbs, all while jamming to an album Matt had made with all of my favorite songs. About a forty minute drive later, we parked our car at the coffee shop. I had a great day with my boyfriend and was finishing things off with a Chai Tea Latte. Just after ordering my drink, I slipped into the washroom. When I came back, the shop owner handed me my fall drink and told us that the muffins we were picking up were going to be a couple of minutes. Matt gestured that kill the time by walking along the riverfront. Poor Matt, I told him I was getting kind of tired and would rather just sit down for a bit. With all of his enthusiasm, he really encouraged me to walk a little further down the trail with him. I’m sure glad a couple tired legs didn’t stop me.

We walked just a quick minute and paused when we arrived at one of Osprey Village’s wharfs. Hung by twine across the entrance to the wharf was a handwritten reserved sign. Matthew suggested we take a look as to what was beyond the sign. My inner rule follower denied his request, I wasn’t about to get myself in trouble! He pushed a little harder and I caved, apparently, I am not that great at following the rules. We walked in and right away I noticed pictures hung evenly across the wooden fencing around the wharf. I think I even said out loud “there must have been a wedding today” since Osprey Village is famous for holding weddings on these large docks. I looked a little closer and noticed my face in one of the pictures. I was so overwhelmed, and so unaware of what was happening. I looked back at Matt, who had waited behind me, he was smiling one of the happiest smiles I’ve seen. He nodded to the fence and so I timidly walked around,  scanning each picture. Underneath every photo hung a little card. Matt had written down a memory under each photo to represent all the times we’ve spent together. When I reached the end of the photo line, there was a final picture, one I didn’t recognize. There was a beautiful picture of the very wharf we were standing on, underneath it he wrote: “the memory you have been waiting for”.

To be honest with you, this part was a haze. I was so rattled. I turned to see my romantic, thoughtful man standing in the center of the platforms. He reached forth his hand, and I walked towards him, butterfly stomach and all. I am thankful he caught this part on camera because I can barely remember a word he said to me. I just could not believe what was happening, what was finally happening. My mind was dancing and my heart was racing as he got down on one knee. He used my full name and asked my most favorite of questions. In a heartbeat, I said YES and a nearby crowd of people cheered the moment we kissed. I was one teary, joy-filled fiance that evening. We spent some time taking pictures and sitting on the wharf together as an engaged couple. I asked a thousand questions, I couldn’t believe he pulled it off! We headed back to his parent’s house where my family and his gathered for dinner. It was another great surprise to have everyone there to celebrate. The night consisted of phoning everyone I knew, champagne, celebratory cake and the one I love. It was one of my most special memories that I will hold onto forever. I wouldn’t go back and change that day for the world, in my mind, it was perfect.

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