Our Engagement Story

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if you haven’t already read about my boyfriend asking my divorced parents to meet him at chili’s so he could tell them he was going to marry me…do that first.


it was tuesday july 15, 2008 and when i got home from work. my roommate kim basically said “hi. gotta go. see you later.” and rushed out the door. it was sort of strange because we would usually chat and drink wine together but she was out of there.


ravery called and said he wanted to treat me to a ‘big city burrito’ since it was buy one get one half off day every tuesday. this lady never turns down a potato burrito. he was also very specific that i must not take a shower or ‘get ready’ and he would be over in 15. that was weird. i mean, when someone tells me not to do something i instantly get the urge to do it, even if it’s showering (which i hate).

Our Engagement Story-

we grabbed our burritos and took them to city park, the same park where he un-suavely asked for my number about a year earlier.


i get about halfway through my burrito when he asks me to set it on the bench and stand up. i give him the side-eye because he knows how much i love my potato burrito but i oblige.


before i know it, he’s down on one knee and asking me to be his wife and partner for life (and other ooshy-gooshy things that i keep between us because while i’m an over-sharer, i also know the sweet goods to hold close).

marriage blog nails done engagement rings

a few things about this picture…

1) he took me to get my nails done a few days before ‘just because.’ he’s sweet and does things like that even to this day so i had no idea

2) yes, he’s wearing an engagement ring too. if i’m going to show off ‘i’m taken and super excited to get hitched,’ why shouldn’t he get to do the same? (i’m working on separate post of this). we had browsed at rings for him and i bought him one.


view from the gorgeous proposal site:

marriage blog engagement colorado lakewe took A LOT of pictures with me saying “quick! take my picture drinking my drink for the first time as fiancée!” “quick! take a picture, this is our first shadow picture as fiancées!” and he did because he loves me.

marriage blog engagement shadow foco

he did a superb job keeping in line with my wishes of a proposal that wasn’t in front of people, something casually and not over the top.


and then i remember my boyfriend fiancé was ryan avery and his life motto is to “dream big” which in turn means he does BIG.


that was when he asked me if he could blindfold me (not kinkily) and drive my brand new car my dad just got me literally 4 days earlier (i know. i’m lucky. my car was totaled a few months before and my dad said “i want to help you get a safe, reliable car because on a social worker salary you will probably never get one.” that is true).


i want to tell you i instantly threw him the keys and said “let’s rule the world baby!” but instead i tried to convince him it would be just as fun if he told me where to go and i drove since he wasn’t covered by my insurance. i swear i can have a good time.


i eventually let him (sorry dad) and we rolled up to the fanciest hotel in ft. collins and this is the room i walked into:

marriage blog engagement roomto say i’m spoiled would be an understatement. chocolates, rose petals, a new dress, purse, cards (we love to play cards), “reno 911” dvds and then champagne and strawberries rolled up behind us.


i think i knew i would be a blogger even 6 years ago because i also took pictures like this to capture it all:

proposal rose petals

he had enlisted the help of my roommate, kim (remember who jetted out the door) to gather all of my hair stuff, make-up (okay, that’s just mascara and eyeliner) and personal belongings that i would need for an overnight sleepover (pay no attention to this parents reading). she was SO excited for us that she literally had to leave town because she was afraid she would spill the beans to me. haaa. i love that.


we watched the sunset from the top floor, i was finally allowed to take a shower and then he asked to drive my car again because he had even more things planned because he’s ryan avery.


he had a table reserved for us at our favorite martini bar (okay, he had legally only been 21 for 2 months at this point so maybe ‘favorite’ is an overstatement):

marriage blog foco elliots bar

two things about this picture:

1) please note my awesome flip-phone in the corner

2) he totally spelled my name wrong and forgot the “a” in chelsea. haaaaaaa


it was the perfect mix of simplicity and intimate for me but he also got to show off his sweetness with a night full of surprises, which he loves!

marriage blog kissing ryan and chelsea averywhen we got back to the hotel, i said “maaaan. i wish i didn’t have to go to work tomorrow and we could just spend the whole day together!”


and he said “we can! i called and got your shift covered. let’s go to estes park!”


so we did.


we visited where he went to camp as a young lad, which is what eventually lead him to leave his home state of texas and come to school in colorado.

marriage blog engagement estes park

it makes me feel all swoon-y towards him after reliving our engagement story so thanks for letting me share!


1) let’s hear it…your engagement story!
2) how generous are you letting people drive your car?
3) did you go to camp as a kid?


  1. Jessica Adams

    August 26, 2014 at 9:02 am

    I love that he got you Reno 911 DVDs. Devin went as Officer Dangle to one of our first Halloween parties.

    • chelsea

      August 29, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      haha devin makes an EXCELLENT officer dangle-please show me pictures! haha love me some Reno 911!

  2. Paula Howley

    August 26, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Wow. What a man. It’s the little things, isn’t it? I love the fact that he made sure your nails were done. I love the dress and purse. I love that he got you the day off. SO amazing. I love that it’s you guys together.

    ok, my engagement story is not quite as epic.

    We had been talking about getting married since almost the get go. Weird, I know. But so were you guys.
    Thing is, I was still married to someone else. We’d been separated for 10 years, just never bothered with the legalities since I had no intention of marrying again.
    So I got one of those do-it-yourself divorce kits which was a pain in the ass but I had no money and it kept taking forever and I had to re-do it a couple times too.
    Well finally the divorce came through and I was VERY eager for us to move ahead with our plans (since we had decided to be all retro and wait until our wedding night)
    So Lloyd went ring hunting and he came home and said “I’m sorry babe- I couldn’t find anything and the lady at the store in Sechelt was really rude to me. I didn’t know what to do so I left.”
    Well, I started to CRY because I was REALLY upset. I was sick of waiting and sick of not being engaged and sick of explaining to people what the status of our relationship was. And told him as much.
    And of course I was making dinner for some guests that were coming over that night and totally didn’t feel like continuing but I did. (my best friend Karen, her husband and his mom)

    So, we’re having dinner later that night and because it’s my favourite people in the world, I’m feeling better. Lloyd gets up and says “Would you like some ginger ale hon?”
    Sure! I reply.
    “Let me get you some ice for that, it’s not very cold yet.”
    And I’m wondering vaguely why he needs to announce that and figure he’s showing off for the guests but the thought flies through my head and is gone.
    so he brings me my ginger ale and he’s got this big grin on his face and sits down.
    “thanks babe.”
    I take a drink and put it down.
    he keeps looking at me with a goofy grin and I’m wondering what the heck is going on.
    “So do you like those special ice cubes I put in there?”
    I’m thinking: Special ice cubes? What the hell is he talking about? is he drinking again?
    My friend Karen looks at my glass and says “Hey! Look at that! one of your ice cubes sunk to the bottom of your glass! That’s weird!”
    and I look and I can see that there’s something IN that ice cube and I know EXACTLY what it is.
    I scream and dunk my hand in my glass spilling ginger ale all over the table and pull that ice cube out and Lloyd’s grin in 5 miles wide.
    I run to the sink and run the hot water over it until the RING is the only thing left and all our guests are oohing and ahhing and all excited.
    Then Lloyd gets down on his knee and asks me the question and we’re ALL crying and I say yes and dinner is amazing.
    It’s funny because later he said “I thought you’d have to wait for it to melt first!” DUH. We’re talking about the ROCK here babe.
    an incidental. My diamond fell out of the ring about 18 months ago and I haven’t been wearing it since. Just never got around to replacing the rock and I didn’t want to re-invest in the diamond trade anyway. so, I had a big fake stone made just a few weeks back and the ring looks amazing and only cost $200 instead of a thousand. I missed wearing it.
    Paula Howley recently posted…Public Presentations For Kids

    • chelsea

      August 29, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      ohhhh my goodness paula! i LOVE your engagement story! it also makes me like gingerale even more! i feel like every time i drink i’m going to glance at the ice for a ring. that’s so super sweet and love that he did it while important people were around too! what a freakin’ sweety (but i’m sorry tears had to be spilled beforehand, i can only imagine the frustration around the other things going on).

      sad that you lost your diamond 18 months ago but sounds like you’ve created an awesome solution to it and happy to hear the ring is back on your finger! thanks for sharing your story paula 🙂 i can see why like ginger ale even more now

  3. Carlen Lloyd

    August 26, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    1. I’ve been married twice and the first two were simple engagements- the bended-on-the-knee kinda thing. So, my guy that I’ve been together with for 4 years (no- we’re not married. 2 divorces [with kids from the first one]) better make it special. He knows this and fully expects to. If it ever happens.

    2. Yes, I’m pretty generous about letting people drive my car. ESPECIALLY if I’m super tired. A car accident taught me that lesson well- don’t drive while sleepy. Thank God no one was seriously hurt.

    3. I went to Camp Howard when I was younger. I absolutely loved it! I felt all big and bad at the tender age of 9 going away from home for a week. 🙂

    • chelsea

      August 29, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      happy to hear that you and your sweetie you are with now talk about it and he knows what are you looking for carlen 🙂 very good point to let people drive your car especially when tired! glad no one was injured but i do know that feeling of complete exhaustion while driving and best to get out of the car!

      that is so fun that you went to camp at 9 for a whole week-hot dang!

  4. Christina

    August 27, 2014 at 9:42 am

    1. I was expecting an engagement because my mom asked if she thought Jesse would appreciate her gifting a diamond (a family heirloom) to him. Nevertheless, I was still surprised. I was working Black Friday at my retail job. It was early afternoon and I was stuck in the fitting room. Jesse walks in with some clothes draped over his arm. At the time, we were in a long distance relationship so I couldn’t understand why he was standing in front of me when we hadn’t discussed visiting that weekend. With trepidation I ask, “what are you doing here? And why do you have clothes to try on?” He responds: “I need to try these on because we’re going to be celebrating.” Still not quite sure what’s going on I stare at him, likely with a confused look on my face. He set the clothes down then proposed. Not only was I excited about the proposal but then I got to leave work early! (It’s the small things.) He bought the clothes he picked out and wore them to our dinner that evening.
    2. I get incredibly nervous about other people driving my car but I really don’t like driving (especially on long trips). It’s quite a conundrum! I often ask my passenger (almost always Jesse) to drive, despite my nerves.
    3. Girl Scout camp as a youngster and band camp as a teen.
    Christina recently posted…#ootd [prints-n-patterns]

    • chelsea

      August 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      ahhhh such a cute proposal story christina!! i cannot imagine working black friday but i can imagine your excitement about leaving early to celebrate!! so sweet he picked out new clothes to celebrate, adorable.

      i’m similar with the driving feeling but sounds like you’ve sorted it out 🙂

      fun that you got to experience different camps, i never went away to camps which was fine by me at the time!

  5. Joe Shaw

    August 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    1) My engagement Story.
    Ryan is a better man than me. I did a Cracker-Jack fakeout. Read more about it here: http://sasquatchinc.blogspot.com/2006/10/schmoopy.html. But don’t read anything else on that blog. It’s amazing how bad a writer (and how fowl my language was) back then. SHEESH!

    2) I drive a POS PT Cruiser we bought off of Craigslist for about the price you paid for your burrito (which sounds nice by the way. I love burritos). You can borrow it if you want to. Don’t worry if you run into anything or scratch the paint. It just adds to the ambiance.

    3) Not only did I GO to camp as a kid. I WORKED at a camp for several summers as a kid. One summer I worked as a hiking instructor, telling kids “Look! There’s a Pine tree! Look! There’s a deciduous tree! … Look! Some more Pine trees!” THe next year, I took large groups of kids into the woods and taught them how to shoot rifles. Now that I think about it, handing a bunch of middle-school aged boys rifles and saying “please don’t shoot me… ha ha ha!” is probably not the smartest thing I could have done with my time. I DID get to be a pretty good shot, though. Which is all for naught now that I’m mostly blind and would have to resort to shooting the big blur in between the two, similar-looking blurs if I ever had to use a gun to defend my family…or hunt for food (but at least I’d know which kinds of trees the animals were running past when I missed shooting at them!)
    Joe Shaw recently posted…Journalism: The Never-Ending Saga

    • chelsea

      August 29, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      ahhhhh what a cute proposal, joe!! the damn moonlight changing plans 🙂 so sweet. also jen sounds like hilarious…she would buy gasoline with the $20 ring?! haha. and daang you’ve been blogging for quite some time and now i want to find all the foul language you used in past posts.

      thanks for the offer of letting me borrow your POSPT. it does help decrease my ambiance knowing that if i scratch it, all is well.

      middle schoolers shooting rifles…you are a brave man!

  6. Kim Chin

    August 28, 2014 at 4:22 am

    I love your engagement story!!! So much excitment that day!!
    1. Jeff took me up to Fort Collins before we were moving to North Carolina. We spent the day before in Estes Park and then the night in Old Town. The next day he took me to CSU’s campus on our way out of town and proposed by the pond! So sweet and perfect! Then we ate Big City in the car on the way home ha! Two weeks later we were married! Then two weeks after that we were driving to North Carolina!
    2. Jeff is the only person who has driven my car, besides my family.
    3. Only day camp for me! Wish I would’ve been brave enough to do overnight camp!

    • chelsea

      August 29, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      i love that you got to be a part of it kim! i will never forget your “hi/bye” after i walked in the door 🙂 you also did a great job getting all my beauty and hair products!

      awww i didn’t know you got BIg City burrito too kim! good job jeff 🙂 such a whirlwind of a romance for you too but adventures make life more fun. missss you!

      we are very similar to our car allowances, kim. i wasn’t brave enough for overnight camp either!

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