Thank you all so much for your kind words on our engagement! Here’s how it happened. 🙂
On Christmas Eve, Fabio’s family joined mine for a Christmas celebration at my grandparents’ house.
Fabio’s dad recently sold their house in New York, so this year his family decided to celebrate Christmas at Fabio’s sister Diane’s house in Baltimore. This is great for me because it meant that Fabio’s family could join mine for all of our Christmas festivities!
His mom even flew in from Bolivia, since she wasn’t able to come for Thanksgiving. It was so nice to have a full house!
As the sun was setting, we headed outside for some family photos. Here I am with my sister!
And my two favorite Fabios (Fabio is a junior – his dad’s name is Fabio too!).
How handsome is this guy? 🙂
Here’s Fabio’s sister Diane and her husband Alex…
And his oldest sister Karen and her husband Martin!
Eventually we came inside for some more festive fun! Fabio’s mom and my dad played around on the piano; they are both so talented!
Meanwhile I sang songs from Frozen with Fabio’s niece, Sofia. 🙂
Let’s just say we sang a LOT of rounds of “Let it Go!” 😉
Soon enough it was time to eat!
My grandma put together an amazing spread, and Diane and I contributed by bringing a few things. Everything was delicious!
After dinner it was time for presents! Everyone received a few wonderfully thoughtful gifts, and we had a fun time taking turns opening them.
Before we left, we coordinated our schedules for the following day: The plan was for me to go back to my dad’s house so I could be with my sister as soon as she woke up on Christmas morning. Meanwhile, Fabio and his dad planned to sleep at our apartment in DC, and would come pick me up to take me to Diane’s house for a late Christmas Day lunch.
While we were making plans, my dad invited Diane, Karen, Martin, Alex, and Fabio’s mom for an impromptu brunch on Christmas Day. While this isn’t something we normally do on Christmas Day, it made sense to invite everyone over since it’s so rare to have all of us together. Diane said she wasn’t sure if they’d be able to come, but that they would try. (Little did I know this whole “spontaneous brunch” had been planned way in advance!)
When we got home, it was time for bed! My sister and I slept in the bed together with Jack, which was a lot of fun. I have to cherish these years where she’s still young enough to be really excited on Christmas Eve!
My sister woke us all up at 7:00 am on Christmas Day, and then it was time for presents. Santa came!
I got some great gifts from “Santa” including two new lenses for my DSLR and a new bike to replace the one that got stolen over the summer. Woohoo! Thanks, Santa. 😉
The dogs got some gifts from Santa too!
After opening gifts, we got ourselves ready for the day! Fabio’s family (including the Baltimore crew) arrived around 11:00 am for our impromptu brunch and some additional gift exchanging.
Around this time, my grandparents arrived! They don’t always spend Christmas Day with us since we have dinner at their house on Christmas Eve, but they didn’t have any other plans for Christmas Day so they decided to stop by.
Then my mom and stepdad arrived to say hi to everyone, and drop off a few Christmas gifts for Fabio’s family. At this point I wasn’t suspicious about anything, but I was thinking about how nice it was to have so many of our loved ones in the same place. It’s so rare that we all get together, and who would have thought that this “last-minute” brunch would have turned out so well? 😉
We passed around a number of presents, and then we got down to the last one, which was for me. Upon opening it, I saw that it was a memory book that Fabio had put together! At this point I started wondering (hoping?) that he was going to propose, but we’ve made these kinds of books for each other in the past so it still wasn’t totally out of the ordinary. (Also, we went ring shopping about a month ago, and he acted TOTALLY clueless about all things diamonds. What a sneak!)
When I opened the book, I saw that Fabio had made a page for each year of our relationship, complete with the best pictures of us from each year. When he got to year seven (our current year) it said “Lucky 7” and something about special things happening for us this year. Then there were the usual photos on the page, but instead of a third photo there was a piece of paper that said, “Insert This Moment Here.”
At this point, he pulled a ring out of his pocket and got down on one knee!
Then he told me how much he loved me and asked me to marry him!!
Of course I said yes!! It turns out everyone was in on the surprise except for my mom and me. Look how surprised she is in these pictures! I’m so glad my dad took these pictures for us. 🙂
Then we went around hugging everyone! Family is so important to me, and it meant so much to me that Fabio had everyone there to share our big moment. My mom and grandma were both in tears!
Here’s the man of the hour with my dad, step-dad, and grandpa. Everyone was so happy!
Including me! 😀
After we were done admiring my ring and hugging each other, everyone shared a champagne toast and then sat down to brunch. What an amazing Christmas Day!
Also, I am obsessed with my ring and cannot stop admiring it. Fabio did an amazing job!!
Later in the day, we drove over to Diane’s house for a late lunch, which doubled as a celebration of our engagement. 🙂
Diane cooked an amazing feast for us, and I’m pretty sure I was on cloud nine the entire time.
I couldn’t stop smiling!! Is this real life?
Fabio is the best boyfriend-turned-fiancé I ever could have imagined, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him. This year is going to bring so many exciting things for us, and I can’t wait to share them all here with you!
Question of the day: How much detail do you want me to share on wedding planning, a little, medium, or a lot??