Sorry it's taken me so long to post it. I just didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings who felt that they deserved personal contact before I just spilled it to the web. So, sorry if you're only finding out now. The truth of the matter is that Murray and I have been so open about the fact that we're getting married (on November 3rd) that it seemed kindof silly to "announce" it to friends and family after pretty much everyone already knew.
But enough about that. Let's get back to the fact that I'm engaged.
You'll probably all want to know how it happened. Well, Murray and I headed out to Maryland along with all my other siblings. We drove straight from the airport to Ocean City, New Jersey, and Murray was subjected to intense, non-stop family exposure for the next five days. He needed to get to know my parents really well so that 1) they could know he was a good guy, and 2) my dad would give him his blessing when Murray asked for it.
After two days in Ocean City, we headed back to Columbia, Maryland where I was able to show Murray around my parents' home. He even got to participate in a real crab feast.
When things were quiet after church on Sunday, Murray and my dad conspicuously disappeared for a walk around the neighborhood.
And when they got back, Murray found himself, once more, surrounded by friends and family. A cousin and his wife came by for a game of Cranium. Drs. Rogers Rice and Gibbianton came for dinner and a game of Cranium. And then someone suggested we go to Baltimore Inner Harbor for a walk and Rogers Rice joined the whole clan for that excursion, too (she was around when Murray and I started dating, so it only seemed appropriate for her to be around when we took it to the next level).
At the Inner Harbor, Murray leaned over and said, "I'd kindof like to break away from the group if you think we could do that without being rude." Of course, since everyone would know what we were doing anyway, no one would think it rude. So when the family stopped to watch a really lame street performer, I told my mom that we were just going to run ahead.
We walked around, both knowing that we were walking toward the Next Phase of our lives, and only needed to figure out exactly where we were going to make that transition. We even talked about it. Murray made a couple of remarks like, "It feels kindof surreal, knowing that we're walking to a major moment in our lives that we're going to remember forever... and figuring out where to do it" and "See? We have an equal partnership! We're both working to decide where it should be done!"
Everything was beautiful. It was getting dark and the whole harbor was lit up with lights. It was also a very busy place. We walked toward the aquarium where things began to get a little quieter, a little more peaceful. We found some quiet benches overlooking the harbor and I sat down on a bench (under the neon waves in that last picture) and Murray got down on one knee.
After telling me a few things that were heartfelt (and perfect) he asked if I would marry him. And he pulled out the ring he had in his pocket. And I said yes.