Sunday, January 30, 2011

WE'RE ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The story....

Early Saturday morning we packed up the car with cute outfits (soon to be camouflaged under rain jackets) and mugs of coffee, headed up to Seattle. Not too far into the trip we celebrated Dori's 120,000th mile (Dori is Ross' blue Jetta... yes, she is named after the blue fish in Finding Nemo). What an exciting time for a car!

A short time later we are cruising down the interstate and passed a trailer full of cows. Really cute cows. Of course, I say "AWWWW! Look at the cows" and got really excited when they poked their noses out to look at me. Then... it hit me. These cute (REALLY cute) cows here headed for slaughter. Instantly, I lost it. I start crying hysterically, telling Ross to floor it to get around the truck. Poor Ross wasn't sure what to do... so he did all he could... he lied to me. "Don't worry Katie, those are milk cows. Those cows are going to live on a new farm to be milked." I was crying. He was lying. It was a GREAT start to the day.

Three hours later we arrive in Seattle- I have pushed the cows from my mind to make way for the excitement of a new city and the impending adventure. Ross tells me he has a special surprise planned for our first stop, so I instantly get excited... Ross actually PLANNED something! We head towards downtown and my mind starts racing... are we going to a cool restaurant? Are we going up the famous space needle? We navigate through the one-way streets and speeding taxis, and head for the opposite side of the city. Then we leave downtown. Then I look around and we aren't near really anything... we are in a park. "Of course I am taking you somewhere outdoorsy" Ross said as he threw me my hiking shoes. Of course! It's raining, but who cares... we set out on an adventure in Discovery Park.

1.5 miles later... in the on-again off-again rain... down steep and muddy steps, we cross through the wooded forest and into a clearing. The sound is on one side of us, a lighthouse is up ahead. SO pretty! Ross starts jogging ahead, telling me he wants to "set up" and take my picture (that should have been my clue). He plops down on the rocky beach, just below the dirt path I was trekking down, and starts snapping photos... of me walking. "Umm... I feel awkward" I said. He kept snapping pictures (it was his decoy to get me closer, and so he could throw down some props). I made it to the lighthouse (past where he was STILL supposedly snapping pictures) and started reading the posted signs about the baby sea lion pups that inhabit the area. Ross tries to get my attention, I keep reading. "Go get my camera" he said. I am thinking, "Why do I need to get YOUR camera that you JUST HAD on the beach, and walked off and left." Again.. another clue. So I consent and climb down the slippery drift wood to the rocky beach. Next to Ross' camera bag was a stone that stood out a little bit different than the rest... it was lighter and it had writing on it.

So I of course, gasped! I whip around and there is Ross on one knee!

I said yes! (Doi!)

Shortly after a man walking his boxer came up. "WE'RE ENGAGED!" I squealed for the first time! He congratulated us and gladly took a few "We just got engaged" pictures. The left side of my face started twitching from smiling too big, Ross' hands started turning pink from the cold, and the camera lens started getting splotchy from the rain. Not picture perfect, but definitely Pudd perfect (Pudd has been our nickname for each other since we first started dating... short for Puddin').

We hiked the 1.5 miles back to the car, but all I could think about was all the calls I had to make (and the new BLING on my finger that I kept staring at). I actually tripped and almost fell because I was looking at my left hand and not the trail.

We got back to the car, and you know the story from here. We called and texted until both of our phones died, and we realized it was 2pm and we had not had lunch and were running on a coffee and happiness high. At this point I was shaking (either from starvation, cold, or excitement, we aren't sure), so we headed back downtown for a quick lunch.

Saturday night we went to a sushi and cocktail happy hour followed by drinks at a local Irish Pub. After I told the bartender "WE JUST GOT ENGAGED!" as I told everyone we came into contact with that day, he made me a specialty celebration cocktail. "This is usually called a Happy Ending" he said as he handed me my delicious concoction, "but in this case, I call it a Happy Beginning." Awwwwwww!!!

Sunday we did all the Seattle touristy things...

Bought flowers from the Pike Public Market.

Grabbed a vegan blueberry scone on the waterfront and had coffee at the original Starbucks

Cruised down Post Alley

Took pictures at the legendary gum wall (yes... a wall full of people's chewed gum)

(Ross' wanted to try some!)

(Someone must have known we were getting engaged this weekend and prepared this little bit of gum art just for us... actually just coincidence that we happened to notice!)

Explored the waterfront and boat houses (think about Tom Hank's house in Sleepless in Seattle)

And hung out with the Fremont Bridge Troll (a scene from 10 Things I Hate About You was filmed here)

After a photo session like you wouldn't believe, we headed back to the car (with my new copy of RealSimple Weddings bridal magazine I purchased from the nearby Barnes & Noble) and set our course back to Portland. I attempted to quiz Ross on the venue, type of food, colors preferences, and apparel choices for our Big Day, but he was a little more interested in discussing the motorcycle I promised him we could get before we got married. Marriage is all about compromises, right!?!?!?!

So, here we are back in our apartment, heating up left overs and listening to the kids fight. I have already emailed 4 venues to check for pricing and availability, and cannot WAIT to get started making plans! We are hoping for a late September, or early October wedding in North Carolina. Get excited!

Oh and did you hear the news.... WE'RE ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. Photo credits go to my FIANCE Ross Bowden

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A new post (FINALLY!)

Ok ok... so I took a month off from my blog. Yes, I have been busy over the past month. Yes, I have had tons to say and little to no time to say it in. And yes, I do apologize that I kept you in MAJOR suspense as to what is going on in Portland. Alas, here is a new post... for your reading pleasure.

So Ross and I made the big trip across the country for Christmas, and had a WONDERFUL time at home. From family dinners, generous presents, laughs and delicious meals, to an unexpected snow storm that trapped everyone at Nana & Papa's house Christmas day and almost canceled my flight back to Raleigh... Christmas break was an adventure to say the least! I think I got back to Portland, needing a vacation from my vacation! But I am SO glad I got to see everyone and I am looking forward to my next trip (whenever that will be!).

I would love to entertain you all with hundreds of photos from my trip home... BUT... I think you would rather hear more about what we have been up to then see pictures of events that you all were at (am I right?).

Ross and I made it back to the same time zone just in time for New Year's Eve (if you remember, I was in NC the week before Christmas, and he was there for the week after.... essentially 2 weeks apart). Instead of going downtown with the drunks and crazies, we decided to have a little party at our apartment with Jackson, Amelia, Eisley and Henry. We had cocktails and appetizers, played card games and watched New Year's tv. Most people on the East Coast tune into the yearly New Year's Eve Ball Drop in New York City, and being the good North Carolinians that we are, we did too. However, what is unique about our New Year's is we got to celebrate 3 times! Once at midnight East Coast time (when the NYC ball dropped officially) and then every hour on the hour for the next three hours until it was OUR midnight!

(Eisley with Jackson & Amelia- her favorite babysitters- on New Year's Eve)

(New Year's Eve kiss?)

So after New Year's we kicked the year off with lots of work (gotta pay off those plane tickets and Christmas presents!) and new toys for the kids. Eisley LOVED the "flea" she got from Santa Nana and after carrying it around like it was her baby for 2 weeks (and sleepping with it every night), she decided it was time for DESTRUCTION mode.... needless to say, Flea had a hard end to his life.

(All that remains of Flea)

Henry gained a little bit of Christmas weight over the holidays, and continues to be the true love of Ross' life. The two are pretty much inseparable; when Ross sits, Henry is on his lap. When Ross goes outside, Henry stands at the door and cries. (Keep it mind, when I had Alley, Ross was supposedly "allergic to cats")

(Henry lounging in the middle of the floor, probably watching Ross cooking dinner)

Shortly after we got back from NC, I took a trip with work to Vegas for a promotional product trade show. I flew in early Wednesday night and left mid-day Thursday, and I can honestly say that is all I ever care to spend in Vegas.

(The Vegas we have all heard of)

Honestly, Vegas was all about gambling away money you don't have (we are in a recession here people!), drinking yourself stupid (I guess not everyone has seen The Hangover), eating terrible food that is super expensive (no thanks), wearing clothing fit for a poodle or hooker (neither is attractive, trust me) and allowing smoking inside the hotels (gross). I would prefer to go to New York or L.A. any day. The trade show was fine, and I met some really neat people, but I think next year they should have it in Raleigh!

(I mean any city where Carrot Top has taken up permanent residence is probably not the place for me.)

While I was away Ross had an interview with adidas (they have their North American headquarters in Portland). His current job with Criterion Brock was going well, however it was only considered a temporary contract position, so he was looking around just in case. C.B. ended up offering him a full-time position, but so did adidas!!! Between the benefits, the work environment, and the fact that it is the number two sports brand in the WORLD, made it a difficult offer to refuse- so he accepted! Ross will be the new Master Data Analyst at adidas starting next Monday, January 31st!

To celebrate Ross' new position, we had a left over bottle of Cooks champagne from New Year's (oh yea, $4 a bottle!) in our new crystal that we got for Christmas (thanks Dad!).

(Keepin' it classy)

To continue the celebration, and to get us super ramped up for Ross' big day, we are heading to Seattle this upcoming weekend to check out the sites. Known as sort of a big sister city to Portland, Seattle is the home of Starbucks, great shopping, an excellent night life, numerous movie sets, and (of course!) more rain than Portland!

Oh and P.S. Since Eisley destroyed her Christmas Flea, she wanted me to show you her new toy. Oh wait...