Opryland, Rockettes, and ICE

Warning:  photo overload.  But, posts are just so much more fun when there are lots of pictures, right!?

I was sick and tired of the long-distance, despite the fact that he had so much to make it bearable.  Well, finally in early November, I had Craig “talked into” moving me at the end of the year.  I think the cost of plane tickets and entertainment finally got to him (money talks, people!).  He had told me time and time again that he didn’t think his parents would be thrilled with us living together before we were married, but thought they might be reasonable about it if we were engaged.  So, naturally, when the agreement came about that I was moving, I started anticipating a proposal.  Little did I know that he had already found an engagement ring before we made the plans for my move.

Over Christmas break that year (I worked at a college, so we had a week off), we packed my stuff up and drove to Tennessee.  The plan was to move all of my things and leave Myles in Tennessee with Craig until I permanently moved myself after the first of the year.  After unloading my boxes, we spent a couple days in Nashville, before we flew to Wisconsin to spend Christmas with his family.  Those couple days in Nashville have become some of my most favorite!

TN moveMy first impression of my small Tennessee town – a child digging my moving boxes out of the dumpster and playing with them.  ew.  just ew.

Craig made reservations for us to stay at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.  Y’all, if you haven’t been there, get there.  Preferably around Christmas time.  They deck their halls like nobody’s business.  The lights and poinsettias and trees…it’s just incredible.

opry xmas


I was very excited to have also bought tickets to see the Radio City Rockettes at the Opry House.  Our plan for that night was to get a nice dinner and see the show.  I thought for sure it would be the night that Craig proposed.  While we were getting ready in the room, I realized that I forgot the tickets in my car, so I asked Craig to run and grab them.  When he was gone, curiosity got the best of me and I snooped.  Yep, I looked through his jacket and his bag to find a ring.  NOTHING.  And honestly, I was a little disappointed, but didn’t feel overwhelmingly sad.  We had so much fun stuff planned, I knew I would enjoy it regardless.  I think I was more surprised than disappointed, because I had just been so sure.

When Craig gets back to the room and I’m all set to go – he gives me a giant hug and begins telling me how much he loves me (I’ll spare you the mushy details).  And wouldn’t ya know – down on one knee he goes.  I truly was shocked only because I had done my snooping and had already come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t going to be happening.  BUT IT DID.

After asking my dad for permission, he proposed to me on December 20, 2011.  Yes, that is only 7 months after dating.  I won’t make you do the math.  Yes, we moved along quite quickly.  But, I’d already witnessed all of the incredibly annoying traits about this guy in college and he had already survived most of my crazy tendencies.  We had a solid friendship of over 5 1/2 years, we had weathered more than one medical scare (read about one of them here), and I had already endured most of his annoying tendencies.  (Okay, to be fair, I’ll also say that he had survived all my crazy tendencies).

It’s all kind of a blur, but I know I cried.  A lot.  Craig still makes fun of me for my reaction – I cried and waved my hands around like a maniac, repeating, “Is this happening right now?”  I’m not a pretty crier, so I’m surprised he didn’t change his mind right then and there. 😉

Of course, this meant we had to postpone dinner a few minutes so I could call my mama and papa.  Craig didn’t mind!

engagement-dinnerDinner before the show.

rockettesInside the Grand ‘Ole Opry

The next day was too much fun.  I got to call this handsome man my fiance for the first time ever!

opry fianceHi, fiance!

And we also went to see ICE! Madgascar.  Opryland does it every year, but each year has a different theme.  It was pretty incredible.

ice craigice us 2ice craig monkeyice-us-1024x768ice us xmasPlease ignore the fact the jacket makes me look like I am 15 months pregnant.

After all of the fun in Nashville, we headed to Craig’s hometown to enjoy Christmas with his family.  His mom was so sweet and made us a congratulatory cake!  And we also snapped a quick photo for her to use for the local newspaper announcement.

IMG_0226paper annoucementAfter a really incredible few days, I flew back to Colorado to give my notice at work and wrap up some loose ends before officially moving myself to Tennessee.

And for your viewing pleasure, here are a couple of the professional shots we had done in Huntsville, Alabama in June.  It was so pickin’ hot.  Not one of my most shining moments (unless you count my sweaty forehead).  I bought a Groupon and booked them in the middle of the summer in the south.  Ugh. I melted.

engagement1-1024x910engagement 2



  1. What a great story Jessi! Love the pictures from the Opryland Resort! Looks so beautiful. The same thing happened to me. I was soooo sure Scott was going to purpose one night and then it seemed like he wasn’t going to. I was trying not to be upset but then he surprised me at the last minute and did!



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