So back in March Kelby surprised me big time. We got engaged. Today I stumbled across the video he took of that moment while I was really trying to upload a video of a crazy person on the street outside my windows. On second thought maybe something a little more uplifting would be better to share this Sunday afternoon. Kelby and I have been friends for 10 years now, and were neighbors for over 2 before we wheeled his stuff one door down to move in 2013. This relationship has been the easiest thing I’ve ever been a part of. And though I’m sharing a very personal moment, its a happy one and I know how proud he was that he actually pulled it off.
He totally surprised me with the engagement. We had talked about getting married, I had mentioned in the past, after a glass of wine or two that I would say yes if he ever asked. We talked long term about our relationship and our future, we had started saving for a house even. I knew eventually we would probably be married, but I’m not the type of girl who has ever dreamed of a big fancy wedding, rather I dream about a house in the country, muddy boots, more animals and a pumpkin patch, so getting married just wasn’t really on my radar. Little did I know it had been on his mind for about a year. He said he woke up one morning and a thought occurred to him, “he is happy, we are great together, so why not?”. I couldn’t agree more, but he kept his made-up-mind to himself. Months later as the gentleman he is and as the story goes he asked my father in a deer stand for his blessing and my hand. Brave guy, Dad had a gun and they were all alone in the woods…accidents happen, ha! My family loves Kelby, so I guess it was a no brainer for Dad to give his blessing, it helps that Kelby likes the outdoors and hunting…oh the son Dad never had has finally showed up. That was months prior to our Australia trip so Dad and Susie had to keep the secret for a very long time. We were scheduled to go to Australia for a festival that Kelby’s band was playing. I was tagging along because, well it was trip to Australia and they have Koala bears, duh.
So our trip finally arrived, I was beyond excited to get to go to Australia. I was nervous about the 14 hour flight, I had never been on a plane for that long, nor had I ever been on a plane that big, it was crazy. It was everyone’s first trip to this country so we were all in good spirits, little did I know that everyone else knew what was going to happen while we were there.
We arrive, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Its on the other side of the planet so jet lag was present, but I was so excited to be there I couldn’t sleep. We were shuttled to our hotel, we all walked to find some brunch which was delicious, even though at the end we couldn’t figure out how to pay or tip (that’s a whole other story), then we went back to the hotel, some napped, I found the pool and hot tub. That evening we had an award show to attend. We powered through, had some drinks and afterwards called it a night. The next two days the guys were playing a festival. So the following day we were shuttled out of the city to Ipswich. It was just as you would picture a festival; big field, big stage, the whole production…just add Nashville to the mix because it was a country music festival so though we were in another country there were familiar faces to be seen, even my old roommate, Manny. Our first full day was great. We hung out, had some drinks, they played a great show and I even had some wild parrots tossing seed pods on my head while we sat around backstage outside the trailers. All in all a very good day, though I fell asleep in the trailer after the show on a little rug provided like an old dog…I couldn’t hang, my jet lag and drinks had set in.
Day number 3, the next morning I woke up way too early. I started stirring around 5am. Finally I just had to get up. Our hotel sat along the Brisbane river and the river walk led to a botanical garden and park. I decided that I was going to go for a walk with my camera and try to get some good pics of the sunrise, plus you see the best wildlife early in the morning. I got out of bed and started to get dressed. Kelby woke up too, I told him what I was doing and he said he would join me. I was surprised that he wanted to come with because of how early it was. I thought to myself, “I am seriously so lucky, he is so good to me that he is coming with me”. We tied on our tennis shoes, I didn’t bother to even brush my hair, I threw the backpack on with my camera and we headed on our way. It was a gorgeous walk. We strolled along the river and were led into the botanical gardens. We chatted and looked at all of the different plants and caught a few glimpses of some exotic animals. A little ways into the park Kelby was a few steps ahead of me. He was carrying a water bottle. We started towards some small ponds and on the way he sat down the water bottle on a bench and kept walking. I thought, “that was odd, we don’t litter”, so I picked it up and followed him. One of the ponds had a huge lizard sitting under a statue that sat in the middle of it. Excited to see this because I’m a huge nerd, I wanted to get a picture of the lizard, species still unknown. I started after my camera lens and the next thing I knew Kelby was down on one knee. It took me a minute to even process what the hell was going on. He popped the question, I think I said “what?” first, then of course giggled and cried and said “YES!”. I had no clue he was going to ask me. You can see in the video my actual reaction. The ring is a family heirloom that I never knew he had, the diamond, his grandmother’s that his mother had put into a setting with smaller diamonds on the side. Simple and perfect with so much meaning, I couldn’t have picked a more fitting ring. I also didn’t know that getting engaged would feel like it did/does. I think for weeks after and especially on the rest of our trip it just felt surreal. My mother would be shocked if she were still here to see a ring on my finger. And I do wish I could have met Kelby’s mother. We both lost our mothers’ the same year, but we didn’t know each other then. And even still… hell hath frozeth over…ith…we are engaged and it happened at 6:30 am no less…in Australia.
The entire day was a celebration from that point on. We headed back to share the news that he had pulled it off. We ran into Neil on his morning stroll, no one could sleep over there because of the time change, and since he knew that Kelby was going to ask me at some point on the trip, he had a big grin staring at us to see if it had finally happened. The 3 of us went for a very early celebratory breakfast. I could barely eat, I was still in shock. The rest of the morning we just talked and laughed about how it all went down, called our parents, my sister and niece (who is 11 and cried because she was so happy about her new uncle becoming her family) to let them all know what had happened until it was time to return to Ipswich for the second show. We arrived again to the same place we were the day before. I received many congratulations from friends and even people I didn’t know. Kelby shared his news in all of their interviews that day, while Evyn and I, Jaren’s wife, shared stories about our relationships and how we “knew” our guys are the right ones for us. When it was time for the guys to take the stage I was a nervous wreck that Jaren was going to drag me on stage to make the announcement to such a huge crowd. He did announce it to the crowd, but thank goodness I was able to just stay side stage and just wave while music fans applauded our engagement. I have to admit I blushed, but I felt pretty damn special that entire day. After the festival we all headed back to Brisbane for a big “family dinner” to celebrate. I had so much fun that day and the days that followed. Kelby definitely gave me a moment I will never forget and a hell of a story to share. I’m so excited to marry (here comes the cliche train) my best friend. But seriously he is my best friend.
The rest of the trip was just for us. No work for the band. We traveled to the Gold Coast for a surfing competion, explored Brisbane, hiked, visited the koala and kangaroo sanctuary and indulged in some delicious food. It was an incredible trip.
In October, 2017 we will be married.
With love and excitement,