For the first blogpost of 2019, allow me to start off by wishing you a Happy New Year 2019!
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last email, and the end of the year for Shana and me has been simply focused on our Winter break and on planning to move out of Dublin.
Over the first week, we left Dublin and traveled back down to the South of France to stay with my family. We spent a few days close to the seafront, meeting up with old friends in Antibes. Then we followed it with a few days in the mountains, to ski/snowboard, and celebrate Christmas all together.
Shana had only been skiing a handful of times before but she did really well and we had lots of fun taking this time to relax and appreciate our family.
She said Yes!
After the French trip, it was time to fly over to the US and spend some time with Shana’s family. This year, we hadn’t been able to make it to Thanksgiving, so it was important for us to be able to see Shana’s parents, her brother, and her sister-in-law this winter.
We had a packed week, and it’s going to take me a while to get me back to normal after all the excitement, the food, and the jet lag.
Shana and her brother Jason have been ice skating from a very young age, for over 20-25 years. Growing up on the ice, she competed at the highest level and even trained different teams and younger skaters. However, I had never been able to see her on the ice.
This was only my second trip over to Maryland to spend some time with Shana’s family. This time was going to be an incredibly important one: with the help of Shana’s family, I had planned to have a surprise private session at the ice rink — it was made easier by the fact that Shana’s mom is actually the director of the local ice rink.
So on Saturday December 29th 2018, after dinner, Shana, myself, her brother, Jason, and his wife, Keri, were able to skate all together. It was nothing short of amazing to see both brother and sister navigating so smoothly on the ice. Later on, I’d joke that Jason and Shana skated even better than they walked. It was a lot of fun to be introduced to something that had been such a formative part of Shana and Jason’s lives. I had seen videos of them on the ice before, but I had never witnessed it in person.
I had another surprise for Shana that evening. We had been talking about the future of our relationship, and about our aspirations in life. We were already planning to leave Dublin and we should be able to move to France together this year, going after new job opportunities and a much improved quality of life for both of us. The driving force behind these many conversations we’ve had over the past few months was our motivation to make a great life for ourselves, and build something strong together.
I had arranged to have a playlist ready to play on the speakers at the rink, and at around 10:30pm that day, I knelt down on the ice, and proposed to her. She said Yes!
Over the next couple of days, Shana and I would spend our time hanging out with her parents, her brother and sister-in-law, and her loving grandmother. We also went back to Baltimore and Philadelphia, and even spent a whole day and a half in Washington DC, staying at a hotel. As a present, Jason even invited us to see Justin Timberlake live at the Capitol One Arena, the local venue where the local NBA (🏀) team plays. Shana and I had gone there last year to see the Washington Wizards play against LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers.
Needless to say it’s been one of the most important, most meaningful, and most fun weeks of my life and I couldn’t be more grateful to be well on the way to entering another family, counting a new brother and sister (Jason & Keri), as well as having Shana’s parents into my in-laws.
So there it is: Shana and I are now engaged. For the rest, we’re planning to move to France around February/March and this should coincide with both of us finding new job opportunities as well. Once again, lots of changes, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.