2009: The Year That Was.

It's become a yearly tradition to recap the years gone by - this will be my fourth blogging recap since I started on Wordpress and eventually my own domain.

See 2006 here, 2007 here, and last year's recap here.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Moved apartments, applied for a Highly Skilled Visa for the UK (and was successful), changed jobs at work & got a payrise... oh! And became a fiance!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I think my resolution last year was 'not to worry so much'. I think I did alright - I still worry a lot, but I'm more aware of myself this year. I tend to go well with resolutions for the first month and then falter. I've got one (the usual?) ready to go for 2010.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? In my general vicinity over here, no. No babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit? This year... let's see. I visited Belgium (Brussels/Bruges), Switzerland (Zurich & surrounds), the Czech Republic (Prague) and France (Paris). I also went back to Australia for nearly three months, waiting in Sydney for my Visa to be processed. Quite a busy year, of small trips.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? I'd like to have willpower. And the ability to stick to my resolutions to achieve a goal.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? August 8th, 2009 - the day we got engaged in Prague. I still can't believe it sometimes.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting a new job at work, having a bit more independence.

9. What was your biggest failure? Getting lazy, bodywise. I joined a gym in the last few months of the year, but I feel like I could have done more.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing major this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I actually don't think I bought all that much this year? Lots of small things, for sure. I suppose my iPod from last Christmas - I used that nearly every day of 2009!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? A few people this year. First up is Kirby. She's my best friend, my future maid of honour, and she's gone through some crap this year and is still smiling on the other side. Same goes for Julie. It's not easy keeping in touch with people when you live thousands of miles away, but whenever I see these girls, everything comes flooding back and it feels like I never left.

And of course, Jason. The boy is a machine. He works so hard over here as a contractor, never takes a day off, and all so that we can have some savings to take back home with us when we leave. He's amazing!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? A few people.

14. Where did most of your money go? Saving mostly. I also spent money on the usual things, like books, clothing & bit and pieces while travelling.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Our engagement! After nearly seven years of dating, I had basically willed myself to stop focussing on marriage and just enjoying things as they were. And wouldn't you know it, when I finally stopped whining? Jason pulled out a corker of a proposal, complete with a surprise birthday weekend to Prague AND a little blue box! I love my beautiful ring, and still find myself staring at it and looking forward to the future. Soppy, I know.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? A couple, actually. Use Somebody - Kings of Leon. Lovegame - Lady Gaga. You Found Me - The Fray. Lover, You Should've Come Over - Jeff Buckley.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
(a) Happier or Sadder? Happier.
(b) Thinner or Fatter? About the same, unfortunately.
(c) Richer or Poorer? Richer.. but I intend on spending alot on travelling & wedding planning this next year, so I'm sure that next December I'll be poorer!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I'd taken a few more photographs. I also wish I'd seen more of England, but it's tricky a) without a car and b) having the cat to think about. It's hard to travel when you have a little one.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Being lazy.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2009? Hibernating in our cute West London flat with Jason and Oscar. We cooked our own turkey and played on the Wii.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009? We stayed in love. He's my best friend.

22. How many one-night stands? Hold on, let me get my diary and check...

23. What was your favorite TV program? Grey's Anatomy (again!), True Blood and Coupling.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don't hate anyone. Disappointed in a few people, but not hate.

25. What was the best book you read? Again - so many. These are the ones I can think of from this year: The Heretic's Daughter. The 19th Wife. The Cellist of Sarajevo. Wicked. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Not sure if I'd call it a discovery, but maybe a rediscovery? The Fray & Jeff Buckley.

27. What did you want and get? Bling! And also, my UK work Visa.

28. What did you want and not get? In touch with a few more friends.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince. I also really liked Avatar and New Moon. (Hee.)

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 25 this year, and spent the day at work. The following weekend, Jason took me to Prague for the long weekend of a lifetime!

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Seeing more of England.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? Jeans, winter coat, flat shoes. I also got into the whole tunic/tights phase VERY late in the game.

33. What kept you sane? Jason, Oscar, Kirby.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? No-one really?

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Off the top of my head? I have no idea.

36. Who did you miss? The usual - everything about being at home. But then, when I was home, I missed everything about being in London. It's a conundrum.

37. Who was the best new person you met? A few more new starters at work. I'd love to meet some more new people though. Is it just me, or is it harder to make friends as you get older?

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. Patience: it really is a virtue. And apparently nagging really doesn't pay off?

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.You know that I could use somebody - someone like you and all you know and how you speak..."

40. What are your resolutions for 2010? Ah, but that is a whole other post in itself.

I'll be working tomorrow (yuck!) and then hopefully meeting a beautiful blogging friend when she visits London, followed by NYE celebrations in Chinatown. Enjoy the last few days of 2009!

In My Place.

How did we once again end up on the other side of Christmas? It's all such a blur. The turkey is mostly gone, though I have a suspicion that there are still quite a few leftovers hiding in the fridge, the wrapping paper tidied up and thrown away - and our little flat looks back to normal now. We didn't put up decorations this year; last year Oscar demolished our tree in a matter of days and to be honest, I just didn't feel like it.

After feeling rubbish all day today, I decided to throw myself into a cleaning frenzy. I'm usually super organised, but I'll have the occasional day where nothing looks right, and all I want to do is clean.

I scrubbed the bathroom down (how does one tiny room get so dirty?), re-organised my bookshelves, sorted out my mail & paperwork, and with Jason's help, moved furniture around in the living room - it looks much more open now. Shame about the Wii accessories tossed around the room, but I really don't think there is an easy way to make that look neat, without putting them away completely. It's a work in progress.

The stangest thing about it all? Even though it looks much better now and everything is in its new place - it still doesn't feel like home. Don't get me wrong, it is home, but it isn't really ours. We live in it. We rent it. It's not ours.

Yesterday marked two years to the day since I arrived in London.

One of the hardest things about our adventure living abroad is that while you're away, life goes on without you. People get married, buy houses, have children. Friends stay in touch initially, drift away and eventually end up as just a number on Facebook. And all the while, you float in limbo, in your own little ex-pat bubble. Life is wonderful. London amazes me every day. We're doing this for the future! But still...

It's like that Sliding Doors movie. You have a perfectly happy existance, but there's this whole other life that could potentially have happened. Would we be settled somewhere and having a similar day like we are now - cleaning and rearranging our possessions? Would we both still be working - what would we be doing? Would we have any kids other than Oscar - human or of the furry kind? So many things to think about.

I'm not ungrateful for the things that we have been able to accomplish together so far. We're very blessed to be here. And as down and homesick as I can get sometimes (I'll blame the post-holiday season) I know that when we do eventually move back to Australia? I'll miss this gorgeous city.

It's just one of those days.

Christmas (by Oscar.)

I hope you're having lovely Christmas Eve/Day celebrations depending on where you're located on the globe. We're doing just fine here in cold, wintery London. We cooked our very first (huge!) turkey together, followed by chocolate puddings & hot custard, and will soon head to bed so that Santa Claws (oh ha!) can visit.

Oscar has been a real help with our dinner preparations this year. Here's how!

Step 1: Check the pantry and make sure everything is ready to go:


Step 2: Turkey defrosting? Check. Veggies cut? Check. Time to start cooking:


Step 3: Eat. Om Nom Nom. If the humans get in your way while trying to attack the roast dinner, try again at the dessert course and you may just succeed:


Step 4: Post-dinner siesta. It's a hard life, but someone's gotta do it:


Happy Holidays everyone! Love from Aly, Jase &
 of course our star, Oscar.

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time.

So, before I even start, can I just say how much I hate that Christmas song? Seriously. Hate. Who hates a Paul McCartney Christmas song? It doesn't seem right. But oy! The second I hear those horrid clashing sounds at the beginning of the song, I tense up and feel slightly cranky. It's such a horrible tune, and the radio station my work has on all day long, just loves to play it. Bah humbug.

Alas! I am no Scrooge - I love Christmas! We've had more snow over the past few days, but sadly it hasn't been sticking around very long. If you've seen the news, temperatures in Europe have been making the weather very unpredictable, so who knows? We may be lucky and get that snowy Christmas Day yet. I have work tomorrow, and then I'm off for a good few days until the New Year, and I am so looking forward to doing sweet, sweet nothing.

I was spoiled super early too, as this past weekend Jason gave me my Christmas present - a brand spanking new shiny iPhone! It took a lot of effort, including going back and forth across the city several times, but I managed to get the very last phone handset in London on the 12-month plan that I wanted. (That will end next Christmas... leading into other things very nicely.) My boy is way too good to me. I love him so. (iPhone or no iPhone, of course.)

Any technologically proficient bloggers feel up to walking me through all things iPhone? I really want to be able to send pictures & write blog posts directly to my little blog. It might just get me back in the swing of posting more regularly, which is something I'd really like to do. Oh, and apps? Any favourites or suggestions are welcomed!

Winter Wonderland!

It snowed today in Central London.


It wasn't a great deal of snow, and it didn't last for very long - but still, SNOW! The last time it snowed in London was when I was back home waiting for my Visa, which I was gutted over missing. Suffice it to say that I was chuffed to see this today.


The flakes didn't settle for long, but that didn't stop me from ducking out into Chancery Lane to take some pictures. (Yes, I was the token Australian girl in the street with a camera, who was too busy grinning to put her coat on.)


I'm hoping to go to bed tonight and wake up to a blanket of snow - it's hardly going to happen, as it's mostly cold and rainy right now, but a girl can hope!




It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Santa Baby

I'm a terribly sporadic blogger, I know. Things have been pretty mellow lately, and we've just been plodding along taking each week as it comes. The trees outside have gone from beautiful colours, to grey and bare, and the temperatures are slowly dropping... my second (or third, really) winter in London.

I love spending Christmas here. There's something so wonderful about enjoying the holiday in the opposite weather than what I'm used to. (I can't say I'm missing the 38-42o Celsius days back home.) I love the Christmas lights on Oxford Street and Regent Street. I love the toffee nut and eggnog lattes in Starbucks. I love the coats and the scarves and the boots. I love the ice skating rinks that pop up out of nowhere. I love the random winter fair in Leicester Square. I love the mulled wine.

I've had my Christmas shopping done for about a month now. It might sound super impressive, but keep in mind that I literally only have two people to buy for: Jason and Oscar. Yes, the cat. He's just as spoiled as Jason, if not more so. I won't go into what presents I've bought for Jason, but suffice it to say that a) they're awesome and b) I'm awesome and c) giving presents is awesome.

It's so expensive to send gifts through the post that I don't send family gifts - but I'll be home in April, so will be sure to take some goodies back with them then. They'll just have to settle for really awesome (word of the day!) Christmas cards instead.

It's funny how as I've got older, I really appreciate the thought and time that goes into gifting to other people - although I'll admit, I'm still a sucker for receiving them too. All in moderation! Unfortunately Jason, bless his cotton socks, always struggles with what to buy me. His reasoning is that if I want something, I tend to buy it for myself anyway, which is actually pretty true. I have the patience of a ladybird. Do ladybirds have patience? I do not know. I digress.

What I do know, is that Amazon? Socks, while they may be unexpected and certainly surprising, are not my idea of a gift from a loved one. I'm just saying.



Without further ado, here's what is on my Christmas wishlist this year.



Cluster Ring
It's so beautiful and sparkly. Hint: I'm a size O/P, Jason.



Ollie the USB Owl
I can't think of anything cuter to have on my desk.



Tan Shoulder Bag
One can never have too many handbags.



Paperchase Diary
It will match my cute new coin purse!



Digital Luggage Scale
How have I never seen these before?



Glass Pearl Drop Earrings
Simple and cute.



Body Shop - Strawberry Stuff
I can smell it already...



A New Watch
This one, with its dash of bling, will do nicely!



Vibrating Travel Cushion
Perfect for my upcoming long haul flight.



The Genie
And yes, Jason, you have to do it for me!



Ralph Perfume
I'm currently obsessed with Givenchy's 'The Secret' but this is a classic!



Books
Any of them. Any kind. Even in vouchers - I'm not fussy.



Donations
RSPCA Sydney or the Guide Dogs would be my picks.

What are you wishing for this holiday season?


Upside Down.

It's been that kind of weekend - the kind where you sort of want to curl up in your pyjamas and not venture outside. Add the rain and the gloomy weather, and it all adds up to hiding indoors like a hermit. Which is exactly what I've been doing.

Two days indoors, indefinite cups of tea, and my newly opened box-set of Ally McBeal DVDs, and I feel a bit sorry that this weekend is coming to an end. Even though it's not been memorable in any sense of the word, it's been exactly what I wanted. And getting a weekend off this close to Christmas is pretty darned impressive.

What does this week hold? Let's see...

Work: can't escape that! I like my new job but it can be sometimes draining. Last week saw my colleague and I off on a roadtrip around some of our branches in South England, and even though it wasn't a super challenging week, just being away from my own desk made it exhausting. I'm happy to be back in our regular Central London branch this week. We have a new starter for our team starting on Tuesday, so I see lots of training days ahead that will keep everyone busy.

Play: not much planned yet! Will hopefully be squeezing in a showing of New Moon this week with a few friends. I think I'm about the last person on the planet to have NOT seen it yet?! Ah well, hopefully there will be one or two less screaming girls in our screening, if I'm lucky.

I'm also eagerly anticipating a parcel at work, full of new cat toys. I'm sure that isn't exciting to most of you guys, but if you had any idea of how naughty Oscar has been lately, you'd be excited too. He's a whopping 1.5 years old now, and is most definitely on his way to the Terrible Two's. Any ideas on how to keep an ever growing indoor kitty from losing his mind (and his owners from losing their sanity) are welcomed.

Happy end-of-November!

Spontaneous... Yes.

I'm really looking forward to being able to wedding plan. At the moment, I'm planning the wedding planning, which makes perfect sense in my head but not much sense when I write it down. I can look, but there's not a great deal I can actually DO, and at the moment that's just fine with me. Okay, I lie: it's more than a little bit frustrating, but what can you do?

Ha! I know what you can do! You can book an impromptu visit home to get a head start on everything, that's what you can do!

Yes, during one random lunch break a few weeks ago, I decided to have a quick peek at flights back to Australia for a visit - and it worked out quite nicely that I had some holiday allowance ready and waiting to be booked in. A few text messages later, and everything was booked: I'll be back down under in April for a two week visit, and I'm super excited.

I know it was literally only a year ago that I was sitting around back home, just itching to be back in London, but it's different now. This time around, I have my shiny Visa, and can head straight back here to my boys nice and easily. And this time around, I have a mission - to cram in as much wedding stuff as possible! I'm planning on stealing my mum and MOH (hee!) and checking out all of the churches and venues I've been ogling online for the last few months.. and maybe even put a deposit down on one that catches my eye. It's going to be awesome!

So in the meantime, it's back to trawling the web for ideas and inspiration, and watching my bookmarks folder continue to expand!

Bored Now.

In the midst of the vampire crazy hitting the internet, I thought I'd jump on board. I'm a huge Buffy fan, and yes, I may also be on the Twilight bandwagon (Team Jacob!) and came across this video. It's a clever little mash up between the two that made me laugh out loud a couple of times!

(I'm not an Edward hater, don't you worry - I'll be hitting the cinemas next week to catch New Moon and do my share of swooning.)



Watch the clip via YouTube.

Round Here.

It's been a hectic couple of weeks here in London. Why, you ask? Let's see...

(Be warned. It's photo heavy - like most of my posts lately. Love it!)

Bonfire Night
We didn't really get into this last year, as we didn't really have a clue what it was about and lived too far out to be bothered. This year, some work friends organised to head down to Clapham Common for the fireworks display, so off we went.





London Tour Guide
The fabulous Kirby and I had a few (short!) days together in London, and made the most of the Autumn weather to go sightseeing. Hot spots: Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Victoria & Piccadilly Circus. Even managed to duck into Hamleys for a spot of shopping, and to escape the pouring rain. Wouldn't expect anything else!




Autumn Leaves in Green Park
Couldn't resist playing in them - and how could we not? They were everywhere, and simply gorgeous - made for some beautiful photographs. We started a trend with our throwing of the leaf shots, and ended up having lots of followers.





High Tea at the Haymarket Hotel
I've been here twice now, and love it. Sat in the conservatory with a never-ending supply of tea, sandwiches and scones and the most amazing strawberry cake I've ever eaten. Even for someone who doesn't like strawberries! Indulgence? Yes please.



Euro Disney
My third Disney visit in a year; who says it's just for kids? Caught the EuroStar to Paris and then headed out to the parks for a quick trip. We were there on its very first day of Christmas decorations, so lots of fun decorations and events. The weather was freezing, with the sky changing colours every five minutes. Gorgeous.





Paris Adventures
One of my favourite cities, I've visited quite a few times now. The weather was cold, but we took in most of the sights in one day - hectic but fun.










And... there you have it. A little overboard with the pictures, but that's just how it works around here! (Miss snap-happy over here managed to take 350 pictures in our 2-day visit to France alone.)  Crazy.

My First Pumpkin.

Halloween isn't much of a tradition where I'm from in Australia. We have the occasional trick or treater, but it's certainly not a holiday like it is elsewhere in the world.

We are staying in this year, but I was determined to do something to mark the occasion. Enter the one lonely pumpkin I saw sitting on a shelf in Marks & Spencer...

I actually had a great time creating my (albeit very classic) masterpiece. I didn't realise how much work went into it... and bar from one panicked moment when I happened to punch my pumpkin's eye out (literally) it was fairly simple. Jason watched from afar... sharp objects usually have a tendency to end up slicing off his skin.

So now let me present my pumpkin carving process in all its glory - with an Oscar snapshot thrown in there for good measure. Happy Halloween!










Did you do anything out of the ordinary this Halloween?

Where We Gonna Go From Here.

I have a dilemma. It's kind of wedding related.

You see, I'm fine with having a long engagement. I'm not a particularly girly girl, I have never had dreams of pretty pink floral arrangements or floofy white wedding dresses. What I am though, is a planner. I need things organised. I like being in control.

(If you think that sounds bad, you should see my desk. Everything is in drawers, labelled, or in special compartments. I function so much better when things are sorted.)

With that said, here's where I'm befuddled. How much planning can one do for a wedding while living abroad? I know Janet pulled off a stunningly beautiful destination wedding in Mexico, and that I'm sure there are loads more of you that are much more experienced with all things wedding than I am.

I can look, yes. Thank goodness for websites - I can spend hours searching and exploring and trying to figure out options. But I'm hesitant to actually book anything without visiting first, without being there and exploring and seeing if it 'feels' right. It's the same with the church and the reception, and most other things too.

That being said though, and if I did leave it until I went home before I sorted anything out.. well, that leaves the slightly obsessive compulsive planner in me breaking into a cold sweat. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I'm hoping for a May 2011 date - and if we're not heading home for another year, that really only leaves 5-6 months to sort everything out. Is that too short? And what am I supposed to be beforehand?

AAAAH.

I'm not sure what I want. And I know it's early days, but I really want to start cracking along and following some kind of schedule. Or at least making my own list of things to do, so I can feel like I'm doing something, rather than just sitting here staring at my ring all day long.

Anyway, what do you all think? Planning-related thoughts and advice welcomed!

Do Your Thing.

I didn't mean for things to get so quiet around here, but I suppose that's a good thing. I've had a really busy couple of weeks, things have been going well over here.

I've been showing my engagement ring to anyone who dares walk over to my work desk. As in, HI, HOW ARE YOU?! -shoves ring in face- LOOK!! Everyone has been great at the ooh-ing and aah-ing that I've come to expect. It's so much fun!

I got a new job at my work, technically a small promotion, so I've been throwing myself into that. I'm still working in education/recruitment, but now I get to focus on international teachers who are making the transition to the UK. It's fantastic, because I get to co-ordinate international things from here in London, and it's something that I went through myself just two years ago on the other side. I also get to work crazy hours and have a laptop/mobile that I can use to work from home on the odd occasion.

One of my friends from home, Julie, came to stay with us for a few days - she's now off trekking around Europe on a Contiki tour - but it was nice being able to show her around a few local haunts. She managed to take in Stonehenge, Bath, Salsbury, and some central London landmarks, in 2 days: not bad!

I was filmed for television. The Brit version of 'How to Look Good Naked' to be exact - and no, I most definitely was not naked, thank the heavens. We were walking down High Street Kensington doing some shopping, when a whole stack of cameras started walking towards us. My reaction was to swerve and walk around them, but Julie got caught up in them and ended up calling me back. They ended up asking me if I wanted some fashion advice (errrr...) and started to picked my outfit apart.

I should cut in here to give you some background on this: I had woken up at 6am to meet Julie at Paddington after her flight arrived - so I had the world’s fastest shower, threw some clothes on in the dark and was out the door. I was wearing a knee length denim skirt, plain black long sleeved shirt and knee high black flat boots. They told me they liked my boots (as the camera panned down to my legs) and that I needed to put on a belt and a blazer and WORK MY CURVES.

Yes, Gok Wan told me I had fantastic curves and to show them off. Riiiight.

It wasn't until the cameras walked away and we kept on shopping that I realised that I HADN'T BRUSHED MY HAIR THAT MORNING AND IT LOOKED HORRIFYING. One day I am going to be watching Channel 4 at night and the show will come on, and then I will see myself. And then I will die of shame. And my tombstone will read: "She may have curves, but she really should have brushed her hair."

I sucked up the pain since my first try at Spin class, and have now made it my Monday morning 7am pain session. And guess what? I'm getting much better! Last week was an endurance class with a lot of build-up climbs and flats, and I managed to do the whole thing. I think I'm fast becoming obsessed.. but once a week is more than enough for me right now, thankyouverymuch.

Have I mentioned that I've got an awesome fiance? Because I have.

So, back to all things engagement - let's just say that now I have the actual ring on my finger, literally this time, I've started thinking ahead a little more. For the last nearly three months, I've been content brushing people off when they ask about when and where and the details... but I'm actually starting to get incredibly excited at the prospect of planning. Real, actual planning. It's very exciting.

I'm still stuck in the limbo stage of not knowing when we're even moving home, let alone setting a date, but I can start researching - that'll tide me over for a little while. Be prepared for a whole lot of wedding related rambles, and most likely a few fits of frustration along the way - but it wouldn't be a wedding without a few of those!

Stellar.

My engagement ring is finally back!

(You can start wailing with excitement now, I know I have been!)

It's been a long road, with a couple of hiccups along the way, too.

Last week, we received a call from Tiffany & Co saying that the ring was finished its resizing work in New York and was on its way to London to be hallmarked. The message ended with the lady thanking us for our patience, and reassuring us that the ring would be back with us soon.

That message made the wait even more bittersweet - because I knew the ring was nearly finished, but I still had to wait for it to be completed. I snapped about a week later, and ended up harrassing Jason to make a phone call and see what stage it was at. He was told by a customer service rep, that the ring was still in New York and not expected back until late November.

Looking back, I think it's safe to say that this is when I had my first Bridezilla moment. Hey, nine weeks of waiting does not a happy fiance make.

I flipped out a bit, and sent a panicked email to Tiffany & Co - asking them exactly where the ring was and why we'd received two conflicting stories. We got a call the next day apologising for the confusion, and restating the first message: it's in London, but not ready yet. Back to the waiting game.

I got home on Wednesday afternoon earlier than usual, just after Jason got in. He was standing in front of our wardrobe looking like a deer in the headlights, and blurted out 'What are you doing home so early?' He looked so guilty that I asked what he was doing, and he sighed and told me I'd spoiled his surprise - and then pulled out the ring!

So, that's the end of my story. It's strange.. now that I have it on my finger, I feel more 'officially' engaged!  The ring is even more beautiful than I remembered, and seems to match my hands perfectly. And oh! The sparkle. I went to work yesterday and kept stopping mid-typing sentence to just stare at it as it caught the sun.

The boy did such a great job. Enough of my ramblings.. here's the bling!








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