I've been very much enjoying reading Lauren's blog posts with the story of her meeting and marrying her husband, and their life together.
I've tweeted a few times about our proposal story and promised many people I would blog the full details and share the tale - and have put it off many times, with no good reason.
Having smiled once again at Lauren's story I thought it was time I shared our own, with the world at large, as it's a story that should not be kept to ourselves.
It is romantic, of course - but more than that it is HILARIOUS.
We had only been together 5 months when I fell pregnant with Jellybean, but I had already left my shared house in York and moved to live with Daddytwo in Hertfordshire, before we moved to our own flat in London.
We had discussed getting married pretty much from our first date onwards, and knew we would do it as soon as we were able. We had originally said that we would like to get married, in a very small ceremony, the same year that we met (we got together in January 2008) but when we found I was pregnant I told him that I didn't want to get married that quickly, because I didn't want people to think that he was marrying me because I was pregnant - I wanted everyone to know that we were getting married because we are crazy about each other.
I had also, in one of our conversations about our future, very early into our relationship, once said that he didn't ever need to think he had to spend thousands of pounds on a flashy engagement ring for me, I would actually be happy with a five pound ring from Elizabeth Duke as long as I got to be his real, actual, furreals wife for the rest of our lives.
We were staying at his Mum's one weekend towards the end of the year, and it was a dry but very cold day. I was very pregnant, and very grumpy about it that particular day.
Daddytwo had just heard that he had got a new job that he'd recently applied for, and that morning he took delivery of his new company car.
The car, a peugeot 207 SW (look at me being able to google the right car) had a panoramic roof - meaning that you could perform some voodoo inside and the whole roof of the car was one big windscreen from bonnet to boot. Which was pretty cool.
Daddytwo said that we were going to take a drive out later that day, but that first I had to go and have a nice bath.
I was, of course, spectacularly grumpy about this. I did NOT want to go for a drive (I get travel sick, and I get sick a lot when I'm pregnant - so going for a drive when I was pregnant was HORRIBLE) but I knew he was excited so agreed (with zero grace or manners) to go.
I climbed painfully into the bath (dodgy hips, lots of whinging) and then tried to settle back and relax with the pile of crap magazines that Daddytwo had set me up with.
Only every three minutes he would burst in, all noise and clumsiness and loud, asking if I needed anything, if I wanted anything, did I want a cup of herbal tea, did I need a drink, could he pass me another magazine, should he turn the tap on and top the warm water up, did I need him to bring anything...it was SO ANNOYING - here I was trying to enjoy a nice bath before being dragged into a swishy, vomit inducing car journey from hell to make him happy, and he couldn't even leave me alone to enjoy it and get a wash!
I had no idea that he was acting so strange because he'd called my Dad, to ask for his permission to marry me, but had had to leave a voice mail and was waiting for my Dad to call back! (My Dad did, whilst I was in the bath, and I believe his answer was something along the lines of "too bloody right you will, she's pregnant!") but all I knew was that just as I'd managed a full ten minutes of peace in the bath (whilst he was on the phone, of course) he came bursting back in and insisted I get out now, because he wanted to get going.
He had packed a little picnic up and once I was dressed he bundled me into the car with this and a flask of tea, and off we went.
I didn't know where we were going, but he drove FOR ALL TIME and I complained a lot about feeling sick and whinged about wanting to know where we were going so I knew how much longer I had to put up with it for.
He was acting very strange, and kept babbling and giggling about random things, and I was getting more and more grumpy.
Eventually we were driving through some beautiful forested areas and he pointed out a car park and asked if I would like to stop there. I grew up in the countryside and often said that the only thing I missed about it was walking through the woods in the wintery weather, crunching the leaves and smelling the smells of it all. He had taken me to the most perfectly beautiful area, and he parked the car, helped me out and we went for a crunchy, lovely walk.
I managed to stop whinging for a while, and was enjoying walking and talking and smelling the smells of the woodland and was asking him some inane questions about who even knows what when I realised that he wasn't walking beside me any more.
I turned around and was all prepared to snap something mean at him for dawdling or not listening, then saw him kneeling on the ground. My initial response was to think that he'd fallen over, or was picking some kind of plant to show me, but then I realised he was holding a tiny little box, and crying.
I burst out crying too, when I clicked what was about to happen, and he told me that he loved me, started crying harder, and asked me if I would be his wife, forever and ever.
I cried and cried and cried, and somehow must have managed to say yes, because then he was standing, and opening the box, and reminding me of the day I'd said that being his wife mattered more than bling. There in the box was a five pound ring, from Elizabeth Duke, which symbolised to us just how perfect we are together, and just what it meant to get engaged, for us to promise to get married and be together forever.
After a lot more crying, hugging and kissing we made our way back to our car, shivering and giddy with the excitement of it.
We clambered in, and were very cold, so agreed that we would drink our tea and turn the car on to get the heat blowing through and warm us up before we set off to get dinner somewhere nice.
We thought it would be romantic to look at the stars as we celebrated getting engaged with our flask of tea, and we rolled our seats back and performed the voodoo that meant the roof was a window, and we pointed out the stars we knew, talked about our ideas for our wedding, grinned a lot and giggled, cuddled and kissed some more, and generally felt very soppy.
Whilst we were doing that I noticed, rather distantly, that another car had parked right beside ours, and that the guy inside had his lights on still. I thought that was odd, and thought how strange it was that he'd parked right beside us when there was a whole big car park.
I didn't think anything else of it, though, until another car came and did the same on the other side. Parked right beside us, with his headlights shining into our car, lighting us up.
Once again I was a bit annoyed. Here we were trying to have a romantic moment, and there was a whole huge car park and these guys were parking RIGHT BESIDE us, and why the hell didn't they turn off their lights?
I asked Daddytwo if he could see them, and said how stupid they were for parking so close.
Then one of them got out of his car. He came closer to ours, and stood at the front of his own car, leaning on the bonnet. That made me really uncomfortable and I said:
"Why are they acting so weird? Why have they parked right beside us? There's a whole car park and they're looking right at us! OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, HE'S WANKING - DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!"
It turns out that we'd gone to Epping Forest. Apparently it's a dogging hotspot. The cars either side were there for a show, and because we had been lying with our seats back and kissing when they arrived they clearly thought we were it!
And that is the story of our proposal, accidental dogging and all!
(images from http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2007/02/207swoutdr_lo_05.jpg