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Shelley G.

My fiancé and I have been dating since we were seniors in high school. We came to college together in Boston and have seen each other through some very tough times. But through it all, we always leaned on each other for support and knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

One quiet November morning last year, we decided we wanted to get married. Both of us have graduate school plans and now just seemed like the best time to do it. From that point on, it became a waiting game for the ring. I knew he was going to propose, but I wasn't quite sure when that moment would come.

Finally, on Christmas Eve, we were at home doing some last minute shopping. We got back to the car and were laughing about something. He looked at me and just said, "Come here." He held his arms open for a hug. As he was holding me, I felt him reaching into his jacket pocket. My mind started to wonder. Then he said, "I've been trying to think of a million ways to do this." That's when I realized what was happening. I remember taking a big breath and just kind of freezing.

When we looked back later, he said he could feel me tense up at that moment. The next few minutes are kind of fuzzy. I wish I had been more aware and made a greater effort to remember every word he said, but even though I was expecting the proposal, the moment he chose was a complete surprise. I think he said something along the lines of, "I've been trying to think of a million ways to do this but I just want you to have this and be my wife. Will you marry me?" The rest is history, as they say. We sat in the car a while longer, hugging, giggling and admiring the ring.

Before we told a soul, we went out to lunch at my favorite restaurant. It was special. Just the two of us sharing what felt like a huge secret. When we told my parents they were excited and happy, but hardly surprised. Most people who know us have seen this coming for a long time. When you've been dating since high school, when you've grown up together in college, when you've seen each other through deaths and depression, semesters abroad, graduations and first jobs, it ceases to be a matter of "if" and becomes a matter of "when."

My Dad jokingly said, "This all feels so rushed." Still, I think his family was less prepared for the news. We broke the news to his two brothers first and I think it took them completely by surprise. When his mom finally arrived, we showed her the ring and she just kept hugging both of us; she was so happy. It wasn't an elaborate proposal, but a private, special moment between the two of us. I couldn't have asked for more.

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