It was early in the morning on New Years day, 1/1/11, and we were the only ones sitting outside of a quiet coffee shop in the Garden District of New Orleans. The small awning was protecting us from a steady, warm rainfall.  I set my too-hot hot chocolate down in an amazing show of restraint to let it cool off and suggested to Kosta that I would interview him on our video camera about how our cross country road trip was going so far while we waited for the beignets we had ordered. He agreed. After I interrupted him several times with directions of sitting farther back he was able to say:

We’re here in New Orleans. It’s New Years Day. We’re having coffee and beignets. We’re about to get our beignets any minute now. This is the start of 2011 and it’s going to be a wonderful year.

He paused to pull a ring out of his coat pocket. He asked me if I would marry him.

At this point I think I started videotaping his elbow. Tears were slowly making rivulets down my cheeks. I asked him if this was for real (perhaps my exact words – what was I thinking? Who fake proposes?) and after he assured me it was real I said yes. It seemed like I didn’t get up and hug and kiss him for the longest few moments. Mazzy Star gently sang, “Fade into you” on the radio and I could smell the earth around us mixing with the rain into an almost sweet combination. And in seconds so many things passed across that table between us silently. I saw the gratitude for the things we’ve seen each other through already. For the places we’ve been to and seemingly insurmountable things we battled and overcame together. Faith that we will continue to be teammates for the rest of this life. I glimpsed Relief, Excitement, Trust, and certainly Hope. His eyes became watery.  And me?  I became the happiest girl on earth.

These are a couple photos from our recent engagement session. Courtesy of my dear friend, Chelsea Anne Photography.