The day began as any regular old Tuesday (March 3rd, 2009). Jeff and I are normally in constant contact throughout the day - a minute here, five minutes there. It's always the usual "What are you doing?", "What time is dinner?", "Should I go to the gym?", etc. He said he would be home later so I made plans to go to the gym and then dinner with Tina and Nina. As I was going to the gym, Jeff suggested I take two classes since I have been slacking on my workout routine (grrr!) - I was going to anyway so I didn't think much of it. I had a few missed calls from Jeff while I was at the gym so I called him back as soon as I was done and he bombards me with a whirlwind of questions like where I am, what time will I be home, and so on. I was on the way home so I told him I would be home in about 15 minutes. He asked me to call him when I got close. I didn't call (ooops!) so then he calls me again as I'm exiting and tells me to park in the garage and asks if I can go to McDonald's to pick him up some food since I had already made dinner plans. I agree and again tells me to call when I am at the drive-thru. Ok...at this point, I'm five minutes away from Mickey D's so I am getting a little bit annoyed that he didn't already have his order. I do as he asks and call once I'm there. I ask for his order and he hesitates and finally says forget it - that he'll just eat something at home. Now frustrated, I huff and puff something sarcastic and hang up on him. Once parked in the garage, I take the elevator up and notice there are rose petals all over the elevator floor. Confused, I think for a split second, "ooooh could this be for me?". I tell myself that if the rose petals are leading to my front door on the 5th floor then it is - otherwise, I'm just wishful thinking. When there were no flowers on the 5th floor, I quickly vanish any thoughts of anything romantic and laugh at myself for being silly. Plus, I was in gym clothes - so not cute!
I make my way to the front of my door, wondering if the rose petals were meant for some lucky lady or if there was a fight that caused some poor lady to beat her man with the roses given to her...hmmmm. As I unlock and open my door, I notice a warm glow illuminating my front foyer...and ROSE PETALS! I gasped and my heart literally stopped beating for a moment...or maybe it was beating 50,000 beats per second. Right then and there I KNEW that I was the lucky lady! I slowly walk into our long hallway, now covered in rose petals and lit up along the sides by candles. Still unable to breathe with a million thoughts racing through my mind, I manage to whisper Jeff's name and ask where he is. His voice comes from the bedroom instructing me to follow the trail of rose petals. I felt as though I was in slow motion, every step leading me closer to what I'm hoping is the official beginning of OUR future together...
As I open the door, I see Jeff (decked out with a shirt and tie, looking too cute and "ready") standing in front of the nightstand with candles and more rose petals perfectly positioned in front of a collage of our pictures and giving the room a romantic glow. He begins to tell me how much he loves me and honestly I was already crying and overwhelmed with my thoughts of "YESSSSS!" in my head that I can only clearly remember the last part: "If there was ever any doubt that I want you to be my wife, I want it to stop now" as he got down on one knee and said those four (music to my ears) words, "Will you marry me?" and presents the ring. Now BALLING, I picked him up from the ground and hugged him sooooo tightly, wetting his nicely pressed shirt with my tears of joy!!! Next thing I hear is, "well???". OMG, YESSS! Of course! When he put the ring on, it fit perfectly and is just, well, perfect for me. Then I yell at him for doing it when I was all crusty from the gym. But when he tells me that it doesn't matter if I'm dolled up or not because he loves me best when I'm natural, I come to realize that I am marrying the best man ever! And plus, he needed to catch me at a random time because anytime he trys to plan something, I tend to override it with my suggestions...hehe.
I am still in a daze and go through the rooms again, admiring his handy work. Turns out, he needed to stall me more since he had to pluck three dozen roses because the flower shop he went to was out of petals. lol. I immediately cancel my dinner plans (doi!), jump in the shower and we go to our favorite sushi restaurant, Usagi Ya, to celebrate! On the way home, after a delicious dinner and our first official wedding talk, I mention how I wish I could tell the whole world. He says I should - but I really want my mom to be the first to know. She was in the Phillippines at the time, arriving the very next day, so I figured I could wait to share the news to all. And then he surprises me once again by telling me that she already knew...he had asked her permission and had "the talk" a month ago, on the day she left. Crying once again, I immediately send a mass text and call my Tita 'event planner' Lalaine and grandmother (and got a whole lot of calls as well)...and the rest is history...
Knowing my ring size and questionable emails from my mom constantly asking what was "new" while she was away ALL made sense now...
She said YES. the end.
-Ok, juuuust kidding - Jeff's view:
It was a week into February of '09 and Raquel's mom had planned to go to the Philippines for about a month. Before she left I asked permission to marry her daughter and as soon as she gave me the green light, ring shopping I went.
It all happened on 3.3.09 (a Tuesday) and the day started off with waiting around at my parent’s house. The ring was finally delivered late that morning. Initially, I had wanted to propose to her that upcoming weekend so I would have more time to plan, but just remembered that Raquel's mom was coming home from the Philippines tomorrow!! If I hadn’t proposed by the time Raquel's mom came back, I figured she would bombard me with a million questions such as "Why didn’t you propose yet" or "Are you scared?" So I decided to do it that night. I figured since it was a random weekday, maybe it would catch her off guard and she'd be surprised. So then I called her to find out what she had going on after work and she told me she was going to the gym and then dinner with her friends. Since I decided to propose that night, I didn't have much planned, but I encouraged her to take an extra class and decided to just plan something at home while she was at the gym. Not really creative when it comes to being a romantic, I figured I couldn't go wrong with decorating our place with candles and roses. That day I was using Raquel's car to get around, but since she was going to the gym, I had to find a ride. And so I called my friend, Julio, who lives down the street, to drive me to the store to get the stuff, but with only a two hour window to get everything and decorate, we were running out of time.
As soon as we got back to my place, we only had about 30 minutes to set everything up, but somehow, we managed to peel the petals off 3 dozen roses, light about 50 candles and position everything in place just in time. I then called Raquel to find out her location and told me she had just parked, so Julio and his daughter, Jillian, rushed out and I quickly threw on some better looking clothes than what I had on to look a little more presentable. Getting everything set up just in time was a relief, but as I was waiting in the room for Raquel, I started to panic and got so nervous that I forgot what I was going to say. I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest and since I’m not the greatest with words and not good at expressing myself, that didn’t help calm my nerves. But I thought to myself, “Just remember to propose." Waiting in the bedroom, I heard her slowly walking down the hallway and as soon as she opened the door she paused for a moment and took a look at me as tears started running down her cheeks. I then expressed my feelings and finally asked the big question. One minute had passed and still no answer. All I kept thinking was, “I hope I didn’t say anything corny that killed the mood." This had to be the longest minute of my life...many candles lit all around, heating up the bedroom and sweat running down my face from the nerves - all while being in an uncomfortable position, kneeling on the floor with a crippled back. But finally she answered YES! My immediate thoughts were, “YES, she didn’t say no!”
If I hadn’t written this down and if someone were to ask me years and years from now how I proposed, I would probably forget most of the day because it all happened so fast. But there’s one thing I’ll never forget....the smile on her face when I put the ring on her finger.