Our Last Christmas

Or Why We Are Taking Time to Enjoy Our Engagement

No, no, we aren't splitting up.  Drew will not be singing Last Christmas to himself next year. (Both one of our favorite Christmas songs, by the way.) What I am talking about is that this was our last Christmas together before we become husband and wife.  Since we've hit the one year mark until our July wedding, we are having a lot of lasts.  But, for some reason Christmas felt different. It made our upcoming marriage more real.

We've been living together for almost four years, have now celebrated 5 Christmases together and have established all kinds of traditions over the holidays. Some of these we started together, like having eggs benedict on Christmas morning and alternating back and forth between our families for which one we spend Christmas day with. Others were ones I brought Drew into that Amanda and I already had established, like always opening new pajamas on Christmas Eve and going to Peacock Lane to see the lights. Of course, Drew and I added to that tradition by always kissing under the mistletoe on Peacock Lane. This year, we did all of these things and more. Still, Christmas felt different.  Knowing that this was the only Christmas we would ever spend together engaged and that next year's Christmas we would be married, made it feel different. It made it feel more special.

Visiting Peacock Lane 2011.
personal photo

Kissing under the mistletoe on Peacock Lane.
personal photo

During your engagement you hear from so many people to take the time to enjoy your engagement. Yet, so many people get caught up in the planning of their weddings that they never really take the time to enjoy the engagement. They don't wrap themselves in the newness of becoming a bride or groom, to enjoy each other and to reflect on the new life ahead of them.

I know that Drew and I won't have to have a lot of the talks that many who are newly engaged do.  We've already had all of those talks when we decided to buy a house together. We know we don't want to have any children together, we know what our future goals are, the places we want to see, what's important to us in our lives and how we want to retire together (a post for another day). Even though we had this all figured out long before we got engaged there is still so much fun to be had during our engagement. Planning for your lives together is special.  Regardless if you do it before you are engaged or during your engagement.

We weren't in a big rush to get married and because we wanted to enjoy every aspect of being engaged we decided to slow it all down. We planned for a longer engagement and to do everything we could to celebrate not only our engagement, but also our upcoming marriage. This time is a prelude to the rest of our lives together.

We know that during this time, we will experience events that will never happen for us, again. This is the only time we will go to Cupcake Jones to taste cupcakes for our Portland wedding celebration. We will only have one engagement party.  It is the only time we will take a trip to San Francisco to celebrate our engagement and while there take engagement photos on two different days.

In three weeks, we leave for our wedding planning trip on Maui.  This will be our only time before our wedding to meet our wedding officiant and to discuss our wedding ceremony with him. It will be our only time to visit our wedding venue, meet with the event planner there and have our wedding cake and food tastings. It will be our only time to find our wedding rings, purchase items for the wedding on Maui and to visit all of the restaurants we are hoping to have our wedding week activities at. At no other time in our lives will we be the bride and groom at these kind of events.

This is our time to shine. Our time to have these events be about us and for us. We are trying to just enjoy these moments as much as we can and soak it all up because once there events are over, they will never happen, again. There are no re-dos. We will never get this time back. This is OUR time before getting married.

Getting married is going to bring a lot of changes to our lives, which makes the engagement all that more exciting. Being engaged is a sort of stepping stone to those changes. The change of a solid commitment and pledging to each other that we will always be there for each other, no matter what. We are enjoying our engagement not for the sake of being engaged or planning a wedding, but because of the marriage it will lead to. It's as if the lights have dimmed in a theater, right before the music starts and the curtain goes up on the big show. We are loving that anticipation and enjoying every second of it. But, we also can't wait to see the big show, together!

How has your engagement been? What have you loved most about it?

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