Oh so much has happened in the last month that I feel it’s necessary to write it all down. It’s not quite book-related, but it is semi nook-related.
Let’s start with COVID news. The pandemic drove the creation of this blog and I owe the revival of my love for books to the lockdowns, but I’m extremely happy to announce that I am fully vaccinated as of today. I know that everyone has varied views on vaccinations, but, for me, my anxiety has been at an all time high because of COVID. Getting vaccinated calmed my mind again and I really can’t be anything but thankful for that.
Ten days after my first shot, my boyfriend and I signed a lease on a three-story townhouse in Roscoe Village. We started looking for a place in March with little to no luck (lots of, “Hey can we get an application?” “Well we actually had someone filling it out but if that falls through we’ll let you know.”) My boyfriend became a Zillow-searching ninja and found the townhouse on a whim. He called the landlord within seconds of seeing the posting and set up a tour for us that upcoming Friday before we headed out of town for a family wedding– the first wedding I’ve been to since COVID.
We were the first people to see the place. Going into the tour, we knew the townhouse was either going to be perfect or a really funny story we’d be telling for years. Turns out it was perfect.
Our applications were filled out on the spot. We were so excited we forgot to pay the application fee– which we rectified with a quick Zelle payment. A few hours later we were on a plane for the first time since February 2020 and had a lovely weekend in Charlotte where my boyfriend met some of my extended family and I met some of his friends. As we waited for our flight back to Chicago, we got the text saying the place was ours.
That same week, my boyfriend mentioned wanting to go on a hike at the Morton Arboretum. We had gone there for one of our first dates and constantly talked about going back, so I thought nothing of it. As we drove there he suggested we get the fixings for a picnic. I was rocking sweatpants, a baseball cap, and very chipped nails while enjoying the chicken tenders we bought at Jewel when he pulled out a bottle of red wine from the backpack he brought with him. This set off signals that something big might be happening. When I asked him about the wine, he brushed it off and said he just thought it was a good idea.
After we finished lunch, we started walking down the same path we traveled during our first trip to the Arboretum. The pathway benches along our walk had words like “LOVE” and “HOPE” spelled out on them with handpicked sticks. There was a spot on the pathway where he had grabbed me and kissed me the last time we were hiking there. He did it again, looked me in the eyes and said, “I really want to do forever with you.”
I agreed and said, “I do too.” He gave me a giddy little smile only former-boys-turned-men seem to be able to make and said, “Well that’s good,” got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
To paraphrase Jane Eyre, reader, I’m marrying him.
Be on the look out for book-themed wedding planning for the next year and a half and the relocation of the book nook coming this June. And for anyone curious about the stick word saga–after I said,”Yes,” my fiancé stood up and said, “I did NOT do the stick thing.” And that serendipitous detail of our engagement is the start to my own storybook beginning.