When I met Rod, my brother started teasing me about what would happen if things were to get serious and Rod and I were to get married and have Scotties and Bouviers in the same household... would we wend up with Scouviers? The answer was and always will be a resounding NO, but this is my brother you're talking about... and once he latches on to something that has endless teasing potential, he makes the most of it. So for the past year, I've had pictures, movies, Bollywood subtitles, powerpoint animations, Star Trek Yourself videos all about Garrison and future breedings... and all of Matt's antics end with "Scouviers Forever."
Wednesday, February 10th the Gman and I drove from Tulsa, OK to Indianapolis, IN. We arrived at our hotel about 30 minutes before Rod arrived, so I had time to get my car unloaded, wash off a day of driving 650 miles, and reorganize my car for going to the show grounds to unload and be ready for 4 days of dog showing. I knew when Rod arrived because Garrison barked at the tap-tap at the door, but I wondered why Rod didn't open up the door with his own key. I saw as soon as I opened the door it was because he didn't have any available hands - he had a dozen red roses in his hands (well, one was in his mouth). That is what kicked off our weekend in Indianapolis together and what a treat to have such beautiful red roses to look at all weekend long! Rod had said when we were making plans for Indy that it would be really hard to have flowers delivered to a dog show. I figured if pizzas can get delivered to obscure places successfully... so can flowers... but leave it to my romantic man to have flowers at the onset so I could enjoy them all weekend long!
Garrison met the two Scotties Lara and Grizzle and they were BFFs right off the bat. Garrison was having a blast herding them around the hotel room and they weren't quite sure about him at first, but realized that he's a lot of fun to play with... so all was well in the doggy world. Rod and I loaded up the cars with our dog showing junk and took off to the Indianapolis Fair Grounds. Thankfully Rod's friend Marcia Dawson who lives in Indy had set aside space for a bunch of us so we were able to unload and get things settled inside the grooming and showing building. Garrison had to potty, however, and this snow thing was still all too new to him. We are forever grateful to a handler who had set up an ex-pen (short for exercise pen to you non-dog show people) and her dogs had worn the snow down to where there was a small tuft of grass sticking up. That's all the Gman needed... and he lightened his load. WHEW. What a relief! And then? It dawned on him that this snow stuff might be FUN! He started romping and frolicking in the snow and burrowed his head in the snow making himself look a lot like the pirate Davey Jones in Pirates of the Carribean - oh boy. Now if he'll just be OK pottying on the snow every time because I didn't think there would be much available grass tufts at our hotel. Just a lot of yellow snow.
And remember folks, DON'T EAT YELLOW SNOW!!! (My public service announcement for this blog.)
Driving across states and time zones threw me off and I kept thinking we were finishing up around 9pm, but it was really 10pm. We pulled into the Texas Roadhouse for a steak dinner and thankfully they were open until 10:30pm... because it was 10:21pm! For those of you who didn't know this... Indiana is in the eastern time zone, not the central. The steak was good, the honey butter on the rolls was good, the wine we were drinking was yummy and the company was awesome. Rod and I were both so happy with huge smiles on our faces enjoying the company and I was doing little mini-booth dances because I was so happy. I also think I was having a slight sugar rush from the honey butter. And I was excited to be dog showing with Rod - we met at the Eukanuba Dog Show in Long Beach, CA in December 2008... it's a hobby and sport we enjoy... and we have a lot of fun.
So Thursday morning, February 11th we are up and at 'em walking dogs and hoping they potty. Garrison was WAY too enthralled with the Scotties to do anything other than make more yellow snow (Don't eat yellow snow!!) and he also hadn't eaten a regular meal in a few meals. I was going to have to bathe and dry the Gman once we got to the show grounds and do a little extra grooming since we'd been on the road for 6 days since our last bath and groom job at Casa Fairview and... we were only taking one car, so we had to load up all the pups and dog show junk we were schlepping back and forth with enough time to get everything done before our late ring times. Thankfully, Bouviers and Scotties weren't showing until around 11am - 12:45pm all 4 days so we had time to get up, take care of dogs, get coffee, figure out what we're doing, watch judges, etc.
In addition to the roses, Rod had arrived with a very cute gift bag with Scotties on it (no surprise there!) so he decided to bring the bag over and told me there were a couple gifts in there for me... and a couple cards. Rod has a wonderful ability to find funny and romantic (but not cheesy) cards and has always given me more than one card for holidays or my birthday... and sometimes for no reason at all. I found this out about him last year at Valentine's when he sent a box to my house in Long Beach and there were three different cards and three different wrapped presents. The first present was a glass heart box - appropriate for Valentine's and not over the top romantic so I wasn't gonna freak out about this new guy friend of mine sending me stuff for a "lover's holiday according to Hallmark". The next package was a pumice stone that Rod uses when he strips Scottie coats and said that I could try it out on Garrison's coat or just use it on my feet - practical, utilitarian, and appropriate since we were swapping grooming stories and techniques... and funny that it was also something I could use for my own feet if so desired. And the third box... well, when I shook it I thought, "Oh no. He sent me red hots or heart candies with those sayings on them... and I don't eat stuff like that. Oh well....." and then I opened it. It was a lovely bottle of Advil! He had heard me talk about frustrations at work and headaches and such and I had said at one point that I loved Advil/Ibuprofren more than Tylenol... so that's what he gave me that first Valentine's in 2009.
So this Thursday morning, he had two wrapped boxes and two cards in the cute Scottie gift bag. He handed me one of the boxes and one of the cards. I laughed when I read the card... and I laughed when I opened the box. It was a glass heart box, but this year it was filled with Advil! And then there was the other card and the other box. I asked if he wanted me to open the other box now or wait... since we did have 4 days of the Valentine weekend to be with each other... and I also happened to have some gifts to give him over the 4 days. He said, "Well, why don't you wait on that one then." So I did and continued getting ready for Dog Show Day #1.
I had decided to wear one of my new suits my mom bought me last month - a goldish jacket and black skirt - and I set it on top of the garment bag. I was making sure I had all the other things I needed - hose, shoes, etc. But I wasn't sure what jewelry to wear with this new suit of mine. As I stared at the suit and had that ponderous look on my face, Rod asked, "What's the matter, hon?" I said, "Oh... nothing. I just don't know what jewelry I have to wear with this suit." Rod's eyes lit up and he said, "I have the perfect thing to go with that suit. Hang on." He reached into the very cute Scottie gift bag and pulled out the other wrapped box that I had decided to wait to open and walked over to me.
He said, "Here... I think you should open this now." So here I was holding this wrapped box... thinking about what jewelry to wear with my suit... and I thought, "Aww... he's so sweet to have earrings or something for me to wear." So I removed the red wrapping paper and exposed the small white box. I removed the lid and inside was a velvet jewelry box. I took out the box and when I was expecting earrings of some sort, I opened the box and it was NOT a pair of earrings. Oh no. It was a gorgeous white gold ring with a 1 carat round solitaire paired with a simple, but exquisite diamond encrusted band. I said, "Oh my. Oh goodness!"
Rod took the solitaire out of the box, got down on one knee, looked up at me with his twinkling blue eyes and said, "Pilar, will you marry me?" I bent down, cupped his face in my hands and said, "Yes... yes, I'll marry you." And we kissed as he stood up. He then put the ring on my finger - a perfect fit - 5 3/4. And we kissed again.
And... the story of our lives to be... Garrison jumped up on both of us and gave us a huge bear hug and the Scotties squeaked from their crates. The pups were celebrating our new engagement!
I did make my status on Facebook say "I'M ENGAGED!" before we left the room to get to the show... and I started texting friends left and right... and on our way to the show we called my parents. Now mind you, it's 9am in Indianapolis... it's 6am in San Ramon. My mom answered the phone.
"Good morning, Mom!"
"Yes... it most certainly is morning... it's like 6am."
"I know... but I didn't think you'd mind me calling this early to let you know that I'm engaged. Rod asked me to marry him this morning and I said, 'yes'!"
You could hear the shutters on my mom's eyelids fly open!
"Oh that is just so wonderful! We love him so much! How exciting!!" My father had also picked up the phone to hear the news. Their phones announce who's calling, so he knew it was me calling... and I guess he figured if I was calling that early in the morning that something good must have happened. Come to find out... Rod had called my father the night before while driving over from Ohio to ask him for my hand in marriage. My father gave us his blessings.
So we spent all day Thursday fielding texts, phone calls, Facebook posts and getting congratulations from all of our friends and family. We celebrated our engagement by having a late lunch at Red Robin and then going to see a later showing of Avatar in 3D. I couldn't stop looking down at my hand and seeing that beautiful ring that my fiance chose to display our love and commitment to one another.
When we woke up the next morning, Rod looked at me and said, "I asked you to marry me yesterday and you said, 'Yes!'" Indeed I did.
And then we got to spend the rest of the weekend enjoying our engagement... talking about plans a little bit... getting our heads wrapped around all of the changes that are going to take place this year...
And for those of you who are wondering... we're getting married on Sunday, October 10th, 2010. There are may reasons behind that date.
1) I've always wanted to get married in early October. I love that time of year.
2) October 10th is my father's birthday.
3) Our anniversary will be 10.10.10
4) Last year on October 10, 2009 both Nickel and Garrison won the breed for the first time. Garrison also won his first Group - a very special day indeed!
We're getting married in southern Illinois at the Walton Farm.
This farm means so much to me, my family and our extended family. Steeped in history and functioning since 1864, the farm has been a dairy farm, fruit farm and most recently a sheep farm. There aren't many sheep left due to my Aunt Barb and Paw getting older, but there are still a few sheep in the barn. We might bring some of the old flock back to have in the pastures during our wedding.
My "Aunt Barb" is more like my blood aunt than my two real life blood aunts and she's family because of the United States Air Force Academy. Her first husband graduated from the United States Air Force Academy - class of 1964 - and was best friend's with Kris Mineau (also USAFA '64) and Kris Mineau was my father's first student as a T-38 pilot instructor. My father Jim Kuhn graduated from the USAFA in 1963.
Unfortunately, her first husband David Dieffenbach died in a plane crash during a normal flying mission while stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in the early 70's. She moved back to the farm shortly thereafter. And then she married Marland Throgmorton in the fall of 1989 and they celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last year! Her full life's story is amazing and she has endured many trials and tribulations, but that is part of what makes her so strong and faithful to God and I could go on and on about her!
Once Colonel Kris Mineau retired from the Air Force, he went to seminary school in Massacusetts and he will be officiating our wedding!
It's truly going to be a family affair and we're so excited about spending a wonderful time with friends and family in one of the most special places I've ever been and love as if it were my own. We lovingly call it "The Farm".
And my brother's campaign of "Scouviers Forever" has had a good run.