In the Beginning...

Joey and I met in high school - it was his senior year and my junior year. I wasn't entirely interested in him but my friend was. Unfortunately for her, I was a really big flirt (and apparently not a good friend) at the time and just had to get him to like me instead. But it turned out for the best because of course, after a few months I did start to like him too. The school year was ending and Joey was going to be moving away for college (turns out we were both planning on going to the same school.) Over the summer, we talked on the phone all the time and eventually, he came back before fall classes and ended up spending every day with me. On August 7, 2003 he asked me to be his girlfriend and I said no (jokingly, but he has never let me forget that.)  Over the next year, we talked on the phone as if we were glued to it and every few weeks Joey would drive the 3 hours down south to visit me for the weekend.
My senior year finally ended and I moved up to Tampa, so exicted to finally be able to have a "normal" relationship instead of a long-distance one.

The Proposal...

We had been together for 5 years and on Christmas Eve, we were at my mom's house with the family having dinner. Afterwards, we started opening presents. I got to my present from Joey, unwrapped it, and saw a digital photo frame. ........ Wait a second, he just got me a digital photo frame a few months ago for our anniversary. << Suddenly, a random video I had just seen on YouTube flashes through my head. It was of a girl being proposed to on Christmas.>> We hadn't talked about getting married, but I had a feeling that something was about to happen.  Joey tells me to open the box, and I reply that I don't want to. All of a sudden panic completely takes over and I put the frame down quickly and move on to opening the next gift. Joey keeps bugging me to open the box; I keep saying no. I love him with all my heart and want to marry him but I am NOT mushy-gushy in front of my family. It is just not something we do, doesn't he know this????

Eventually, I go up to my room to get something and a minute later, Joey follows in with the frame in hand. He hands it to me to open. It is a silver frame that opens in half - with one picture of us on the left and one on the right. There is also two buttons on the bottom which he tells me to push. I push the one on the left & there is a pre-recorded message:
Hi Love, I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. I love you with all my heart - always have and always will. And if there is one thing I could ask for this Christmas, it would be...
Button on the right:
Anna, will you marry me?
(you can hear the smile in his voice:) )

He gets down on one knee, a complete nervous wreck, and asks me to marry him. Opening up the ring box, I start to hysterically cry and say "I knew it!"

And so, 5 years and 4 months after we started dating, we became engaged. We'll have been engaged for 2 years and 4 months by the time we are married - for a grand total of 7 years and 8 months! He is my best friend who I love with a passion.
Although I still say he was delusional for thinking that proposing in front of my entire family would be a comfortable stuation for me, I admit, recording himself asking to marry me on the photo frame could not have been any sweeter or more amazing. I am the type that keeps birthday and valentine's cards for years and years and then goes back through them once in a while to re-read. So the frame sits on my bedside table and every once in a while, if I'm in a good mood, bad mood, if I miss him because he's out of town for work, or if we are arguing about something - I just push the buttons on the frame and listen to him propose to me all over again.