I AM GETTING MARRIED!!!!
I am engaged. I AM ENGAGED! I AM GETTING MARRIED!!! To the love of my life and there could not possibly be a happier girl in the world right now. On Saturday afternoon on the same park bench we sat on and chatted for what felt like hours on our very first date, with all four kiddos in tow, John asked me to marry him. And I said YESSSS!
Two years ago now I found myself quite swiftly and unexpectedly filing for divorce. Filing for divorce from my middle school sweetheart, the father of my two girls and the only relationship I had ever known. Unexpectedly yet now looking back, quite expectedly. I knew somewhere deep down inside I would find myself there again yet had continuously drowned it all out with guilt, shame and fear. Guilt, shame and fear to walk this life alone and force my girlies to walk it with me. Something was different that time though. Something within me was finally strong enough, brave enough and confident enough to walk away. Something finally told me that this was not only the best decision for me but it was also the best decision for my daughters. Read that again. My daughters deserved an emotionally happy mother. My daughters deserved to see me happy, respected and LOVED. Whether it be solely on my own or with someone else one day.
And that one day is TODAY. Welcome to my very first happy tears stained blog post. A blog post I never ever expected to write when I finally gathered the courage to start walking this life path alone two years ago now. I had hope and faith that there were good men out there but it wasn’t even 1% of the reason I walked away. Finding a man couldn’t have been further from my mind. Things started revealing themselves in March 2019, I filed for divorce in April and everything was finalized by June. I had begged my lawyer to make it swift and he did just that. There were so many things that He aligned for me that year. From faith and self love to a blooming business and a full-time employee/bestie/counselor/life coach/shoulder to cry on/baby sitter/rock. God guided me into setting the foundation to make it through. Just barely quite honestly but I freaking made it.
As I fully chatted about in my blog post post “The Story of Us… How We Met!“, John and I met on Match. Yep, we met online. I quite honestly still cannot even believe that I did it. That girl already doesn’t even feel like me. I’d always thought that was the craziest, scariest and most “desperate” way to meet someone. There I said it. But I DID IT! And it was the best decision of my life. As I said IN THIS BLOG POST about online dating… “For me, it was the Summer of 2019. The moment in my life where I was finally so determined to be fearless in the pursuit of what I wanted and what I deserved even if that meant being terrified at the steps that lie ahead. A mom of two young girls suddenly faced with a brand new path. The OPPORTUNITY to begin again. When just a few years sooner I’d seen this impossible path as a shameful new journey, this time I chose to see it as an OPPORTUNITY. I wanted to build my career bigger and focus on my girls even more and build a beautiful new life and somewhere deep down inside… what I wanted most of all was to one day find true love.”
So I signed up, we met at a local restaurant for dinner in late October 2019 and the rest is history. And now our love story. We met for dinner, neither of us ate a bite and he then asked if I wanted to walk across the street and sit for a while and chat. I was still swooning so of course I said yes and we sat, on opposite sides of a park bench, and talked. And talked. And talked. He never scooted closer, never put his arm around me and never touched me. For me, it was everything I oddly needed at that very moment in my life to have hope. To have a glimmer of something that there was still someone left in this world with genuine intentions and the upmost respect for a girl that was completely broken. I cannot say that I believe in love at first sight or soulmates but if I did, I fell in love a little bit that first night with my soulmate. Just forever wondering why He waited until I was basically 40 to send him to me.
At first we made a point to see one another about once a week. John lived an hour and a half away with 50/50 custody of his two boys so things were a bit tricky for a while. A bit tricky otherwise known as us having so many fears and deep conversations about how we would ever make it all work. We both wanted to “do it all right” and set a good example for our four kids yet also falling so in love and just wanting to be together all day everyday. By last Fall, one year into our dating relationship, our conversations started getting more and more serious. I very seriously bounced around the idea of moving and we started talking commitment and marriage. We talked and prayed and talked some more and then in November 2020, John got an offer on his home. An offer for a home that was never even on the market. A home he had thus far never even considered selling. It felt like a sign and it felt like the beginnings of impossible answers to all of our questions. With so many questions still left unanswered, we decided in early December to “decide to get married”. And we decided to not only talk with the kids about it but to also make them a part of the remaining decisions. As I have said before, Addie really struggled with our divorce and I had made her a promise that year that I would never make any decisions that would affect her life without talking with her first. Without sharing the “behind the scenes” process of life with her every step along the way. So in December, John talked with his two boys and he then asked Addie for her blessing on proposing to me. Sweetest. Man. Ever.
Big life decisions later came the “little details” like popping the question and engagement ring(s) ;-). John, Addie and Abigail got to planning and plotting sometime late December to early January and the rest was all a secret until this past Saturday. I genuinely had no idea when and how and what would happen on our big day. I knew Addie had a part in it and I knew that John had designed my ring(s) himself but I GENUINELY had no idea whatsoever that it would be this weekend. He was so sly and nonchalant about it all!!!
So without further ado, here’s our engagement story… last Tuesday was our 17 month “date-iversary”. Nothing fancy or “celebration worthy”. We had been working away on the weekends on several big house projects we have going on so Tuesday John asked if we had any weekend plans (knowing we didn’t other than housework) and if I would want to sneak away to grab a quick drink and a few apps at the site of our first date. He said it was no big deal if not (knowing and praying I guess that I would say yes LOL) but that he would love for us to get away for a few hours and that Abigail could watch the kiddos. I felt terrible asking her since she does so much for me but he said we would be back by 6pm and she would still have the night free. So of course I said yes! Come Saturday, everything was so relaxed and lazy. John woke up early to work on the boy’s garage apartment and we all stayed in pj’s for most of the day. We casually got ready to head out and I think he made it a point to be all casual and not set on us “getting all dressed up”. Ab came by at 4pm in sweatpants and a tee and the kiddos were all still in pj’s laying around being lazy. We headed out and grabbed a seat at the bar where we did our usual apps and drinks thing. After we finished up, he asked if I wanted to go sit on “our bench” for a minute before we left. We did of course and we sat and chatted for a bit. He made me promise that if we ever ran into problems in our relationship that we’d always come back to “our bench” and start all over again.
It was prom day on Saturday for local schools so there were people EVERYWHERE! I think that most definitely helped his plan because the kiddos were able to sneak in without being too loud or obvious. I turned around and there they were… all in a line each holding a sign that Addie had hand painted that read… “WILL YOU MARRY ME”
He dropped on one knee and needless to say, I said YES!
With my girls as well as my mom and Abigail there to witness it all, it could not possibly have been more special.
Right after we had our hugs and took some pictures, John asked if we all wanted to go grab some food and drinks at a restaurant right down from my house. We all hopped in the car and headed there only to walk in and find a private room with like thirty of my besties and fam! Cue more tears!
After celebrating over a second dinner and drinks with friends, we came back to my house where we continued the celebrations into the wee wee hours of the morning in pj’s with friends outside around my fire pit…
Okay, I know… I know… y’all are really just here to see THE RING! John is amazingly creative and artistic and he has been designing and tweaking my ring for a few months now. When he proposed, he gave me a single white gold solitaire diamond ring. There is a band of tiny diamonds around the base and it is BEAUTIFUL! I was happy as a clam with that ring! And then Sunday morning I woke up with a ring box on my pillow. It was an absolutely gorgeous rose gold arched diamond band. I was in SHOCK! Took some pictures and of course thought my ring was complete! We then headed to brunch with some friends to celebrate and halfway through brunch I looked down and saw a box in front me on the table with a THIRD RING! This one incorporated four of my grandmother’s diamonds that he had snuck out of my house a few months back. Once again, I was IN SHOCK and thought my ring was complete once again. Only to wake up this Monday morning with a fourth and I think final GORGEOUS white gold band in a little box on my espresso machine. CUE BIG TEARS!
He put so so much thought and effort into my rings and they are STUNNING! Abigail said he was been designing and tweaking and stressing over them so much these last few months. I am not a “material” person whatsoever (I live in Walmart and Amazon clothing LOL) BUT I could not possibly be more obsessed with the beauty now taking up a forever home on my ring finger…
Happy would be the understatement of all understatements. Although being forever married to your one and only is absolutely a dream come true for anyone, there is something so incredibly extra beautiful about a second love. The love, respect and appreciation we have for one another is something I could have only dreamed of. Last night I told John that I feel like all of this isn’t even real. I fear waking up without him and without us. I could not have possibly found a better match for me, a better match for me and my girls and a better #partyof6. I ADORE his boys more than I thought I could love someone else’s kids and I truly cannot wait for our forever.
To top off the most incredible weekend imaginable, last night John also told me that he wants me to help him pick out a promise ring for Addie. He had chatted with my mom and Abigail about it a while back but wanted to chat with me and make sure he wasn’t over stepping anything or anyone. He wants to promise her that he will take care of me always and that he will always be a stable part of her life. I didn’t know I could cry anymore and then he says all of this. He is my rock, the calm to my life’s storm and the absolute love of my life. I am so blessed and I could not possibly ask for more. And yes, he is getting Winnie one as well!
I also wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of YOU for being my “invisible” support system through it all. Just when I would start feeling down again, I would open up my messages to so much love and prayers and support. It takes a village to get through life so THANK YOU for being a part of my village. I cannot WAIT to continue sharing our story and our plans for life together. We have so much fun house stuff to share too! Wedding details coming SOON!
XOXO, The Future Mrs. Palazzo