I promise not to go on about the engagement forever, but a few people have asked about the scrapbook Andy made of his other proposal ideas, so here are a handful of my favorites.


proposal book 001Andy and I don’t have a song, but we do have a movie. And that movie, of all things, is Mulan. Because as soon as I found out that he hadn’t watched it, I borrowed my roommate’s copy and marched over to Andy’s dorm room. (I was a sophomore, he a junior.) It was the perfect excuse to spend an evening together, and after a couple hours of sitting next to each other on his futon, buzzing with electricity anytime our knees or elbows bumped, we finally confessed our feelings for one another.

For the Mulan Proposal Plan, Andy was thinking of taking me to a movie theater, ostensibly to see something else (i.e., something current), but the surprise would be an empty theater showing Mulan for just the two of us, followed by his proposal at the end. A super sweet idea, but Andy was worried that the suspense and excitement would fizzle out over the course of the movie.


proposal book 004Like the Mulan plan, this one hinges on our shared history. New House 5 is where we met — the top floor of my freshman dorm, for which Andy was my RA. And then he was RA again the year after — for a different set of kids, but I visited him a lot. And then I was the RA on that floor for the next 2 years. So many of our fondest memories, both together and independent, are rooted in New House 5. It was and forever will be a home in our hearts.

Getting engaged there would definitely have been meaningful and wonderful, but since everyone we know has graduated by now, I’m not sure he could have taken me back without arousing suspicion.


proposal book 002The seeds of Andy’s final proposal plan are probably first visible in May of 2010, with the Art in the Window scheme. This concept hinged on the fact that whenever we travel, we buy a piece of art as our souvenir. (Andy loves stuff, but I do not, so this is our compromise. No snow globes or keychains for me, thanks!) His idea was to lure me into a specific art gallery, and then after I expressed fondness for whichever item, the owner would say that he had other similar, better offerings in the back.

In the back room, the owner would show me through a series of paintings or sculptures — each created by one of my family or friends — which together would tell a story. Andy would unveil the final masterpiece himself: his proposal, in art form.

The logistics of this would probably have been a nightmare, but I’m glad that the core concepts — meaningful creations, friend involvement, sneakery — made it into the final proposal.


proposal book 003I think this might be the coolest, but also the riskiest, of Andy’s scrapped ideas. First, he would have had to sneak the ring with us to Ecuador without my seeing. Then, he would have had to plant the ring in a secluded snorkeling area. Finally, he would have had to propose underwater (!!).

While I adore the idea, the reality is that we were housed in a room smaller than some SUVs. He wore swim trunks most of the time. The currents were strong, and the wildlife were unpredictable. Either I would have seen the ring, or else a sea lion would have stolen it.

Plus, this was the trip where I discovered I was allergic to the sun. I would not have been happy to be proposed to when I looked half lizard, all bumpy and itchy and red.


proposal book 005And of course, the one that finally planned out. When Andy made this page for the scrapbook, he didn’t have all the details ironed out — namely, how he would present the book to me — he just knew that this is the one he wanted to go with.

It wasn’t the most elaborate or exotic of his ideas, but it was so thoughtful. So well-executed. So… me.



The scrapbook holds about a dozen other proposal plans — planting a tree together, watching a meteor shower, serenading me on-stage with Keith Urban — but the ones above were my favorite.

proposal book 006

A rather unassuming looking book, but now one of my most beloved in the world. Along with THE STORY SO FAR, of course.

9 responses to “The almost-proposals”

  1. Shari Avatar

    Ahh, how CUTE! I love how much thought he put into each potential plan. What a special keepsake that scrapbook is! Looking through it must make your heart swell with joy and love.

    (Also: I’m super glad that a sea lion didn’t steal that beautiful ring! :))

    Congrats again!

  2. Alison Bliss Avatar

    Super cute ideas! What a sweet man! You are one lucky girl! :)

  3. Juliann Avatar

    Wow! He came up with some great ideas! But I like The Story So Far or Mulan the best. The bottom line is, you were going to have one awesome proposal no matter what he chose. Congrats again!

  4. Sonje Avatar

    All I can say is, wow, my proposal was so fucking lame.

  5. Trisha Avatar

    Very nice. Some creative ways.

  6. linda Avatar

    thanks so much for sharing!!! :D the scrapbook is amazing — such cute stickers, and i love all the creative ideas. must be fun to think about the might-have-beens! the gallery idea is really good, too — glad all those elements made it into the final proposal.

    also, he’s been planning this for a LONG time! wow.

  7. Jessica Baverstock Avatar

    That’s such a special memento and a wonderful insight into your man. :) I wish you every happiness in your future together.

  8. Kristan Avatar

    Thanks, everyone! Yeah, Andy’s pretty amazing — thoughtful and clever and creative. I’m definitely lucky, and I definitely treasure it/him. :)

  9. Aisha Avatar

    This entry is soo adorable! I love the little scrapbook he put together, Andy is so thoughtful :)