Here goes: September 23, 2009 was an amazing day, my Birthday! I was filled with anticipation on this day because though Chris makes each birthday wonderful, the prior two years were pretty big surprises. On my birthday in 2007 he surprised me with a trip to NYC where he booked tours all through the city and a helicopter ride. When we returned we celebrated with my family. On my birthday in 2008 he surprised me in such an amazing way with the news that we got the house that we wanted, an emotional day for all of us. A definite must read. My birthday in 2009 started just as great, I woke up to coffee and breakfast and we watched Good Morning America together. He said the theme for the day is relaxation and happiness. Around 10 he said alright babe go get dressed, you have an appointment. I got dressed and he took me to Charles Penzone for a day of pampering. When I walked in they greeted me and said we have a whole day planned for you, I was so excited! Chris gave me a kiss and said I'll see you later. The spa donned me in a fluffy robe, slippers and hot tea and for the next four hours I received a manicure, pedicure, facial and massage. In between each treatment I was able to relax in a special room with a fireplace and magazines. When my appointment was over I could just melt! I was in such a state of relaxation that I could have gone home and went bed, but I didn't. Chris was there waiting for me to take me to lunch at one of our favorite lunch spots Mimi's Cafe. Once we finished with lunch he said that we had to leave in order to get to my parents house before the sun went down. This was important because my siblings and I always celebrate our birthdays at our parents home. In addition to cake, ice cream and gifts we do a balloon launch in which each person in our family writes a wish (good health, lottery, happiness, new job etc.) for the birthday person on a helium balloon. We then go out into the backyard where each person reads that wish to the birthday person and then releases the balloon into the heavens. It's a sweet little tradition.
Before we went to my parents Chris brought us home so that I could change. He said, make sure you wear something that you like so that you don't hate your pictures. Which I tend to dislike often. So I simply changed from my comfy jogging suit into jeans and a sweater. What was odd however is that Chris changed too, he never cares about how he looks in pictures so that through me for a loop but I continued.
Upon arrival to my parents my siblings were all showing up as usual. We were hanging out and everyone was writing their wishes on the multicolored balloons. Occasionally I would see Chris disappear but didn't think much of it. Soon thereafter Chris asked me to go into the backyard with him and my nephews (which I later realized was a planned distraction) so that we can start the balloon launch. While playing with the boys my entire family begin to walk out the back door into the backyard but I notice they are not carrying the multicolored balloons with the written on wishes, they now have much larger silver, white and gold balloons that were apparently hidden in the house.
I'm still a bit distracted with the boys until Chris says does anybody have a wish for Tatum, at this point I'm looking at him thinking of course they do it's my birthday! Then each of them begin to say I have a wish, I have a wish. As I turn to look at them they each rotate their balloon around and there is a diamond ring drawn on each and every balloon. I immediately begin to cry and Chris grabs my hand to turn me around to face him, he is down on one knee.
|This is the photo that Nate surprised me with on stage framed in black and white|
After that we went inside where I opened all of the rest of my gifts and cards, only I couldn't read a single one. I cried the entire night (I get my water head gene from my dad). For those of you who really, really know Chris and I as a couple then you know that this was a major day in our history together. The fact that he incorporated my family into the proposal was such a plus.
|This is a photo from my birthday the following year 2010 since we didn't get a group pic the engagement year. Here we're missing my baby brother, another nephew and my other brother in law...but you get it, there are lots of us!|