The About Damn Time Engagement Announcement and Story

by Leila on January 1, 2014

Nothing About Us Is Typical

I’m strange and peculiar.

I know that is an understatement but it’s something I have to put out there before I continue. My life is anything but ordinary but that doesn’t make it wrong despite what some may judge. I’ve never believed there is a set path to live your life in order to be a model citizen.

I feel that you should make the best with what you can and live life fully without being an intentional jerk-face all the time.

I’m good being a jerk-face. I’m not going to lie. It is situational but I don’t live my days living up to ultimate jerk-facedom.

While I am a very open book I also happen to suck at talking about important details in my life that, I suppose, most people are better about divulging.

The love of my life and I have had a very long and somewhat crazy journey. We met when we were both already single parents and I had moved to New York, we fell madly in love, we lived together, we blended our family, it was like our kids were meant to be siblings, we found out we were having a baby… and things fell apart. I became a single mother again but with two kiddos and moved back to California to be closer to family. We had a very long road over many years of repairing what had almost been damaged and lost completely.

That isn’t the typical love story… and I make no apologies for it. I do not care how it may seem to some that we had such a strange story getting to the point we are now. Life is full of unexpected turns and unpredictable choices along the way no matter how perfect anyone tries to play it up. We went through a lot and some were the hardest times of my life… but, we are here now and truly better than ever. Our four kids are happy and life is mostly the way it should be.

And all those hard times are distant memories. We are happy now and our lives are so completely blended again I often forget we had dark times. It wasn’t without work but I’m glad for us and our children that we chose to work on it.

Oh Yeah, That Engagement Story… Thing

It feels silly to announce an engagement when we live together, consider ourselves married and have a child together in addition to our blended brood. His kids.. my kids… they are all “our” kids and we are a family. That isn’t something a piece of paper defines.

Our engagement story is worth telling… if you like that kind of mushy crap…

Side Note: He is very lucky to have a woman like me who is very sentimental and romantic. That was dripping with sarcasm. Poor guy.

We had a date night and I had no idea what we were doing or where we were going. I usually plan everything and he relies on me to make the decisions. It was kind of exciting to hand that over to him. I dolled myself up. Heels, hair done and make up with a fancy dress. It’s not something I do often because I prefer my usual comfortable clothes. But, I was being fancy… for him.

We ate at the Sky Room which the ultimate romantic spot in Long Beach. He knows I love the beach and our view of the ocean was amazing. It was also a full moon that night which made the nighttime sky glow even brighter. The food was delicious, the wine (for me) was plenty and we enjoyed our kid free romantic dinner for two. It was the first time we had a night like that.

After dinner he insisted we walked along the beach. We went to the first beach we had been to together. I had to take off my heels, he took off his fancy shoes and we held hands and walked under the full moon.

Two things I should mention here. I’m not a naturally affectionate or mushy person except with my kids… and him. When we met we fell in love and it was constant hand holding, public smooches and mushy crap that I usually don’t like. The other thing I want to mention is this man hates being dirty. He hates dirt. Stains make him freak out. He cares more about keeping his clothes flawless than I ever pay attention to. I’m the outdoorsy dirt on the face camping chick while he is the guy who falls apart over ketchup stains and avoids wrinkles. His fancy pants were getting dirty and damp from the sand and he wasn’t even complaining.

So, I started to think something was up… but, he knows I don’t like surprises.I told him NOT to propose to me in some kind of weird mushy way that would make me uncomfortable. I didn’t expect it at all.

Of course, he ignored what I said about not proposing and the threats that followed… he got down on one knee and said a lot of loving, wonderful and mushy things that… sorry everyone, but those are for us. He had a beautiful ring and he looked up at me with a smile on his face. His expression was one that seemed like he was worried I was going to hit him and wanting to throw up from stress.

I called him a jackass and said “Of course I’m going to marry you… stand up right now, dammit.” and we kissed. I, affectionately, kind of smacked him on the arm… multiple times… and hard… during the whole thing. He swears people were watching us probably wondering if he was going to retract his proposal after the AFFECTIONATE arm slap beating I gave him.

I’m romantic.

We have both been married before and our previous marriages were more about our first born kids, being young and all that stuff rather than love. I bring that up to preface what I’m about to share. When we got in the car I, affectionately (I love that word), smacked him in the arm again and demanded to know how much he spent on the ring. I’m a very frugal person and don’t like spending a lot of money on myself.

Him: I’m not telling you exactly… but a LOT more than I’ve spent on one of those before…

Me: Did you really just say that?

Him: Uh… yeah… I’m NOT smart!

Me: I know… and I love you anyway, jackass.

We laughed. I still make fun of him for that. It was hilarious, and no I wasn’t the slightest bit offended.

It was perfectly us.

He then told me how nervous he had been all night and how he had been trying to hide the ring in his pants. He was also worried that I was going to say no… because I’m unpredictable like that and he was worried I was going to say no just because I told him not to propose.

We told the kids right away and they were happy. His oldest actually knew and had helped him pick out the ring which meant the world to me.

This engagement happened before he moved across the country from New York to California to put our family back together. That was over a year and a half ago. Yeah, I know… forever ago!

Our engagement was a promise and commitment to moving forward… not just to me but to all of us.

More Proof that I’m an Unintentional Jerk-face

I also kind of forgot to tell my friends (and family too, I guess) about the engagement. I told some but then I got all uncomfortable when they would get all weird and girly about it. So, I think I just stopped talking about it because I figured everyone would assume and that was enough.

I totally see the flaws in my logic.

When we were in Big Sur this past summer I was there to see one of my best friends be proposed to. I loved it! Another friend said later to me, “Oh! You are going to be next!” … and I replied with, “Uh, oh that already happened! I’m just not wearing the ring because we are camping!”

I thought they were going to bury me in the woods. Women friends can be scary.

Months ago I put up a video on my Facebook page of newly hatched leopard geckos making weird noises and you can clearly see my ring in it. That resulted in my phone and messages blowing up with “OMG ARE YOU ENGAGED?!”

Basically, I’m really bad at announcing major life events. I’m very thankful I have wonderful friends who accept me. See, what I said earlier about living life not being an intentional jerkface?! Prime examples of that.

No, we still aren’t married. We will be one day but the journey getting to that point is, truly, more important to me than having a ceremony.

Plus, I don’t actually want to plan a wedding and I am hoping we can just elope and throw a big party later or something. 😉

And I am sure that once that happens it will take me awhile to officially announce it…

About Leila DontSpeakWhinese

Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of five awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie Baughcum January 2, 2014 at 6:38 am

Right away or really damn late CONGRATULATIONS!!! We really never know what and where life will take us. It’s such an unpredictable journey. I think that is what makes it so amazing, and scary and fun and crazy. I’m happy for you. Happy you’re happy and happy for you!! Now for the real important stuff…where’s a picture of the ring you dork!! 😉
Carrie Baughcum recently posted..Bright Idea #2: Goodnotes AppMy Profile


Jasmine January 2, 2014 at 7:14 am

Congrats L! You deserve all the good things.
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Disneylove3 January 2, 2014 at 10:28 am

Lol just like you Leila! But I love it! I already told you. I am so so happy n excited for you both. I love the story how you guys got to your happily ever after. It’s truly original n inspiring. Don’t ever change girl! I mean EVER! Xoxo


Christen Rochon January 2, 2014 at 11:17 am

Leila! I’m so happy for you!!! Congratulations! You deserve all the happiness in the world!


Justin Knight January 2, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Congrats! What a great way to go into the new year!
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Laura Lohr @mommycanrun January 3, 2014 at 6:24 am

You are awesome! Congratulations and best wishes! I’ve got a weird wedding story, but haven’t shared mine yet after 10 years. Like you, however, that’s a story I keep to myself. Ha! 🙂
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Janay January 9, 2014 at 2:41 am



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