The whole thing is handmade. Sean looked up bookbinding methods online and decided on a perfect-bound method, and finished it off with soft fabric (which I think is some kind of suiting fabric... and no he's not afraid to shop at JoAnn's)
We took my dog Lily for one last walk in the park the night before we were supposed to take her back to my parent's house. We sat behind this huge mansion that sits on the park grounds to watch the sunset over the Mississippi River. I didn't think much of it, but Sean was stalling.
So when we finally got to the spot in the park Sean wanted to propose, (there was a group of people doing a shoe photo shoot in the exact place he had stashed all the goods, and that's why he had to stall) he disappeared behind this huge hydrangea bush and all I could see was his leg sticking up in the air. I really wish I had a picture of it now because I thought he was crazy at the time. He kept saying, "There's something back here... hmm... what is that..." and I heard, and don't ask me why I have this sound memorized, the lid of a cooler shutting. Sean popped out of the bush with a package that was wrapped in a Ziploc bag. I kind of knew what was going on at this point.
There was a little note on top of the package once I pulled it out of the Ziploc that said "open me." I looked at it and said, "That's in your handwriting!" and he denied it and told me I just better do what it says.
Above is the first page I saw. And the tears started flowing immediately. I FREAKED out... and I remember saying something like OHMYGOSH you MADE this! Inside the little brown package on this page is a poem by EE Cummings:
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
In between each popup page there is a page with Sean's own words, narrating the whole book. I promised I'd keep those private, though :) So the next popup shows the night we first met at our friends' housewarming party, where we played bocce ball and stuck sparklers in a giant cupcake that I made for the party.
The next popup is our first date, October 10, 2008. We ate dinner and bread pudding on the patio at a local restaurant, which has now become one of our favorites. (and we're going there for brunch this Sunday morning to celebrate our two year anniversary!) Don't I look saucy in the drawing of us!?! I wonder if he drew from memory :)
Next is Valentine's Day 2009, when we went ice skating in Forest Park. Sean hasn't been skating as much as I have, so I suppose this is how he felt when we went that day... here I am being quite graceful, and he's fallen and can't get up! This is not quite accurate, as neither of us were graceful, and neither of us fell, but I do love his imagination. In the book, I even slide back and forth from the little tab you see in front of me!
Then he made a page about our vacation to Mackinac Island, which I wrote about in my very first post on this blog! I think it's a little hard to see in this picture but when you open the page up, the house unfolds and is 3 dimensional. And then...
This is what all of the pages that he wrote look like. I figured I couldn't leave this one out, as it's the one that leads to the final page...
The proposal! I'm tearing up just looking at these right now. He had been out to the park plenty of times beforehand to get the scenery down just right... and he knew we would have Lily, so he included her in the popup as well :) This exact location is in Bee Tree Park in St. Louis, and basically exactly what happened when I saw the ring! It was a little darker than he had planned for it to be since the unexpected shoe photoshoot got in the way, but after I said yes, he brought out some champagne and flutes from the cooler and we sat to celebrate... fighting off mosquitoes the whole time. Eventually we both spoke up that we were getting eaten alive, and packed up our things to head to the nearest Walgreens. We grabbed some hydrocortizone and headed back out to the parking lot to call our parents, siblings and friends!
So there we have it, finally, the elusive engagement popup book. How's that for a start to your weekend? Happy Friday to you all!