I Will Remember This Summer Forever

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As we embark on summer here at Your Beautiful Story, we think back to the memories of our favorite season. While there are so many great memories that come from the all the summers over the years, there's one imparticular I'll never forget.

The wait felt like forever. I had been with my boyfriend, Ryan, for almost two years, but I felt so sure about him it felt more like twenty. We had talked about getting engaged, but I wasn't sure when it would happen. After literally crying to my friends and family that I thought the day would never come, the summer arrived and there was hope. That's what I love about summer: the warm weather seems to bring anticipation and love no matter where you are in life.

Ryan told me we were going away for our anniversary and although the possibility of getting engaged crossed my mind, I didn't let it saturate my thoughts for too long, scared I would jinx it. He said to pack a bag for the weekend and bring all things necessary for a short get-a-way. We drove south down the PCH and ended up at Terranea, a beautiful resort over the cliffs of the ocean in Palos Verdes. Ryan told me it was too early to check in so we left our bags in the car and headed to lunch overlooking the sea at Nelson's. He ordered a bottle of champagne, but that was par for the course for us and I didn't think anything too exuberant about it.

We left lunch to head back to the car and walked along the resort's path overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We saw a wedding ceremony site being set up with flowers and dozens of gold chairs. I commented how beautiful it would be to get married in a spot like this. Ryan pulled me aside onto the grass and we looked out over the ocean. He started talking about how our love started, what his hopes and dreams for our future were and how he couldn't imagine his life without me. He was always sweet like that and I didn't realize what was happening until he got down on one knee. I was shocked as I never expected to get engaged in the middle of the day. He continued to talk about our future together and how excited he was to grow our family. He pulled out the most gorgeous engagement ring I had ever seen and asked me to marry him. Nodding and blinking through tears, I couldn't form words until he said, "You have to say yes before I can put it on your finger," and I exclaimed, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Ryan spun me back around to face the water and said he had one more surprise, "By the way, we're not staying here... we're staying there," and he pointed across the ocean to Catalina Island.

We got someone to take our picture and then headed to an outdoor bar area to call my parents. He explained he had to propose midday because they were heading out on a cruise to Alaska and the boat was going to depart any minute. He and my dad had planned when we would call, but I was able to surprise my mom who had no idea. I'll never forget hearing her catch her breath after I said, "Mom, guess what? I'm engaged!" and then the tears started flowing on each end of the phone.

Ryan and I hopped in the car and headed toward Long Beach for the ferry. I couldn't stop staring at my ring and as we pulled up, Ryan said he had one more surprise. He veered left instead of right, away from the ferries and towards the heliport... we were taking a helicopter to Catalina! As if the day wasn't magical enough, we even ended up seeing a gray whale swimming with her calf from hundreds of feet above.

Thanks to my husband, this was definitely the summer I will remember forever.

xxoo, Kaitlin