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Emily B.

A few years ago, Sam and I were at an outdoor bistro on a gorgeous Seattle summer day, grabbing a few drinks and enjoying the day. The table tops were made of chalkboards, and we were playing hangman. When it came time for me to choose a secret word for him to guess, I drew out the spaces for "girlfriend." As he started to figure out what the word was, I turned bright red and tried to erase it - I felt so embarrassed! He figured it out anyway, and 6/25/07 became our official anniversary date because that was the day we decided to be official.

Fast forward one year and eight months. February had arrived, which meant my favorite holiday would be here soon. Ever since I was a little girl, Valentine's Day brought more excitement than any other day of the year. I loved creating construction paper Valentines with my Dad, and leaving them taped to my mom or brother's bedroom doors. Sam was made very aware of the importance of this holiday, and my dad asks me every year, "Does Sam know just how important this day is to you?"

On February 14, 2009, Sam planned out the perfect day. It began with breakfast in bed, flowers and a card. I wasn't suspecting anything since Sam knew he would be in trouble if he didn't plan something special for V-Day! He told me we were going for appetizers somewhere, dinner and then for dessert and drinks down at the Pike Place Market, one of Seattle's most beautiful and historic places.

Appetizers and dinner were wonderfully romantic. Then we walked over to Matt's in the Market - one of the oldest, most beautiful restaurants overlooking the Market. He knew I had always wanted to go there, and I was expecting to finish the night with a dessert for two and a glass of wine. As we were seated at the candlelit bar, we order some wine, and then Sam reaches down underneath the bar and brings up a chalkboard and chalk!

I knew something was up, because what restaurant happens to keep a chalkboard lying around? He began to spell out the letters for several words ending in a question mark. Slowly, I looked at the words and I knew it was going to spell out, "Will you marry me?"

I started crying, and Sam made me guess the letters anyway. He got down on one knee, opened the box to the most beautiful engagement ring and asked me to be his wife. Crying, screaming, hugging and then a, "Yes, of course!" followed.

A minute or two later, Sam said, "You have to call your dad! He knew I was proposing tonight and I'm sure he's dying to hear from you!" Being so close with my dad, I agreed to call him in Santa Barbara. When he answered, I screamed, "I'm engaged!" My dad kept asking me to hold on, saying that he needed a better signal on his cell phone. He finally said, "Okay, I can hear you! You're ENGAGED?!" I started telling my dad the story, but at that exact moment I looked up to see my dad walking into the restaurant, followed by Sam's parents!

Sam knew that it wouldn't have been the same for me if my dad wasn't there for one of the most special moments in our lives. Sam had arranged dinner for our parents, who had never met before. He had texted my Dad when we arrived at Matt's (unbeknownst to me), and they stood outside the restaurant until I called. Sam couldn't have planned a more special way to propose! I am very lucky, and happy.