Engaged over the Holidays

When Clever Girls and Shane Co. asked me a post about getting engaged over the holidays, I knew exactly the story I wanted to share. My own engagement story.  I’ve never told it here, but I promise it is worth settling in for.

After we got engaged, J and I shopped for wedding bands at Shane Co. We had a great experience ring shopping together – picking bands to celebrate our commitment to each other. I still remember walking between the showroom cases trying to figure out what we wanted, and trying on rings to determine what fit “us”… and while we were at it checking out all the other great sparkles… but I’m getting ahead of myself…

J and I met in college. After 5 years of dating, I was ready. I was 25 years old. We both had solid careers, we knew what we wanted out of life, it was time to make a decision.

ShaneCo Successful woman

This isn’t me. But it could have been. Just swap out the phone with one about an inch thick (hey – it was 2005).

For Christmas, we were going to Alabama to visit J’s aunt and uncle. It was a full house – aunts, uncles, cousins. The five of us “kids” slept on air mattresses in the living room. I was sure that this was going to be IT. I was getting a diamond for Christmas. I was so certain of it that before flying to Alabama I gave myself an ultimatum. If I wasn’t engaged when I left Alabama, I was finding my own apartment, and moving out.

Christmas morning came. We all sat around the tree to open gifts. There was no ring.

That night I silently cried myself to sleep. J and his family were staying in Alabama for two more days. I was flying home in the morning. That would give me enough time to be moved out by the time he got home.

The next morning I lay on my air mattress. Getting up meant facing the day – and all the days to come. I wasn’t ready.

As I lay there I heard J speaking with his grandmother in the kitchen. I eavesdropped as he told her that he was planning to propose on my birthday less than two months away.

My heart leapt, soared, and did every other cliche dance that a girl’s heart does when she realizes that fairy tales can come true. He did love me.

About a month later, J asked me about my diamond preference.

Engagement rings that ‘Wow’. Shane Co. offers designer looks not sold anywhere else with a lifetime guarantee that cannot be beat!

This was it. For real this time.

Two days before my birthday I came home to see J on the computer, playing video games. On the bed was a teddy bear with a small, wrapped box. Without pausing his game, J told me that I could unwrap the gift. I did.

Pendant from ShaneCo

A warning to any men reading this: giving your girlfriend a necklace when she expects a ring will result in tears. But she’ll still treasure the necklace forever.

Mumbling thanks, I went upstairs to the guest room. Curled up in the furthest corner of the closet, I called my friend. Through my sobs I told her, “He (sob) gave (sob, sob) me the (sob, sniffle) diamond (sob sob sob).”

“Why aren’t you happy?”

(sob, sob) It was (sob, sob, sob) in a (gasp, sob) necklace.”

He didn’t really love me. I needed to find an apartment. For the next week I was completely depressed. I needed to figure out how to tell him.

I couldn’t. I loved him.

February 20th, J came home from work, and suggested we grab a bite. In need of a giant margarita, I took a quick shower and got dressed.

Two margaritas (for me) and some fantastic enchiladas later, we were back in the car, on our way home. I needed to tell him. As I was trying to find the words, he missed our exit. We weren’t going home.

J drove on and parked on a shady street. He told me that I was his best friend. That he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Would I marry him?

Six months and six days after telling him yes, I became Mrs. Moore as I told him “I do.”

It was a perfect day. I wore my mother’s pearls, and the veil from her wedding. My dad walked me down the aisle, and our parents sat in the front row as we promised to love and to cherish, ’til death do us part.

ShaneCo Pearls

On my wedding day, my something borrowed was my mother’s pearls.

Eternal and timeless, pearls never go out of style! Shane Co. cultured pearls are matched by hand for exceptional luster.

We have been married for over 7 years, and I’m still not sure how I feel about him torturing me… though I did get an extra diamond out of the deal.

But I do have eerie confirmation that we really are meant to be together. That confirmation came on February 25th – just 5 days after our engagement. We were having a celebratory drink with friends as I told them how close I was to moving out, but overheard the conversation he had with his grandmother.

He interrupted to say that he didn’t tell her his plans. He hadn’t told anyone. I heard a conversation that never happened.

… and it gives me goosebumps every time I think of it.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

How to Write a Thank You Note

Writing a Thank You Note is a lost art. With all the technological ways we have to give our thanks – Facebook, Twitter, Texts, e-mails… the hand-written thank you note is dying.

How to Write a Thank You Note

I’m not saying that every thank-you needs to be hand-written. Sometimes, a simple text message is best. Sometimes, giving the person a shout-out on Facebook so that all your friends can share in the awesomeness is the perfect touch. And any way that you reach out to thank someone is better than not thanking them at all. But there are times that a hand written thank you note is the best way to express your gratitude.

Starting your Thank You Note

You can start with a salutation of some kind. “Dear Auntie” might sound stuffy, so you can start with “Hello” or jump right into your note.

Thank them specifically

Start your note by saying thank you, and give the reason why. Say “Thank you for the wonderful gift” or “Thank you for sharing your time.” “Thank you for taking time out of your day.” Be specific as to why you are thanking them.

Tell them why you are greatful

Don’t stop at thanking them for their action. Tell them the significance of their actions or gift. Phrases like, “It meant so much to me that you took time out of your day to help me with my project, having you there made it go much more smoothly, and the finished result was better than I could have imagined.” tell the recipient that they mattered. When thanking a person for a gift, tell them what you love about the gift. “I love the sewing kit and have it tucked in my bag – it is so helpful for small projects on the go, and it has already come in handy on several occasions.”

Thanking someone for money or a gift card

Thanking someone for money or a gift card calls for special attention. Let them know what the gift has been used for, or will be used for. “Thanks so much for the check. I’ve deposited it in my savings account so that I can use it on my upcoming vacation. I’ll be sure to think of you when I’m relaxing on the beach!” “The Target gift card has already come in handy – I bought some cute and colorful new tops for myself.”
When thanking someone for money or a gift card, don’t mention the amount. The value of the gift is not measured in dollars, it is measured in your appreciation for their kindness.

End the thank you note with a forward-looking message

If you can, use a forward-looking message to end the thank you note. Tell them you look forward to seeing them soon, or at a specific upcoming event. If you have no plans to see the person in the future, tell them you look forward to seeing them online, or seeing their photos on Facebook. Make a final, shared connection with the recipient of your thank you note.

Use an appropriate sign-off

End your note with a sign-off that feels appropriate. “Sincerely” might feel too formal for a situation like this, so try “Love”, “with thanks”, “thanks again”, or (my favorite) a symbol like a heart or a smiley face.


Remember that the most important part of writing a thank you note is saying thank you. If someone gave you a gift – a present, time, money, they gave it because they wanted you to have it. Showing your appreciation for what they gave – in whatever form you can show that appreciation – is the way that you value that gift.