a perfect proposal!

For Valentines Day, my love surprised me with a trip in a hot air balloon! It's something I've dreamed of doing since I was little, and although I'm afraid of heights, I was super excited to go! We scheduled our trip for the next weekend, and got up early to drive to Calistoga, where we would depart. It was so cool watching the crew set up the balloon. They rolled it out on a humungous tarp, and started blowing it up with two large fans.

It was a beautiful day! I was worried it may be a little cold, but it was perfect. Sunny and cool, and just right!

It was so amazing to watch as they inflated our balloon. I really wanted to take off my shoes and run through the inside!

I looked down from the basket for a second and was a little scared, but then I just looked out instead, and it was so beautiful and peaceful. Look at our view!

Another company was setting their balloons up also, but ours took flight first. I think ours was the prettiest!

Shortly before we began our descent, Al pulled out a little black velvet box. He was trying to talk to me, but it was hard to hear him because of the noise of the flame when the pilot pulled the lever to keep us where we needed to be. I kept leaning closer to hear what he was trying to say. He opened the box and looked at me, like he was expecting me to say something... After a few seconds I asked, "Is there something you want to ask me?" And he did. He asked me to marry him. And of course, I said yes. It was a special moment, just between the two of us, even though there were others in the balloon. It may have been the world's quietest proposal. But it was perfect.

When we landed, I noticed a pretty grove of trees and large rocks, so I wanted us to go over there. Al was hesitant, because we were told that sometimes there are rattlesnakes in that area. I figured we were safe, since it was February and probably too cold for them. He didn't get why I wanted to go, but I wanted to hear the rest of his speech! So he agreed. It was short and sweet, and an experience I'll never forget.

We decided to go to San Francisco for the afternoon and celebrate with dinner afterwards, and he wanted to go to the Giants Dugout store. (He bought us matching orange jerseys!) We went to the one at AT&T park, which was perfect, because for our first date, we went to a game there.

I love this picture (admittedly, his idea). We are in this together. We know a second marriage/ blended family (with six kids!!!) won't be easy.. But it will be worth it. He posted this picture on instagram, and these were his sweet words: "God works in mysterious ways and I'm so thankful for the amazing lady that He so sweetly placed in my life and that of my children. He brought her into my life quite unexpectedly and at a time when her unwavering support was priceless. I have come to know an amazing love through her gentle ways. Thank you my @jenuineruby and I look forward to spending the rest of my years by your side. I love you!"

We kept our news top secret until we had a chance to tell our kids. Al took Brooklyn and Zeke (my 17 and 15 year olds) aside first and shared with them what his intentions are. He had a little talk that was just between them, and I'm so glad he took the opportunity to do that.  We got them all together the next night and took them out for ice cream to celebrate our youngest, Judah's birthday. We told them the story of the hot air balloon ride, and the proposal, and he gave me the ring again, in front of them in Baskin Robbins. They were happy.. especially the younger ones. I think one of them said, "Finally!" and Judah said, "That's the best birthday present ever!" I agree. It's an amazing gift, this redeeming of broken families and the start of something new.


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