“You want me to run out and get you breakfast?”

We hadn’t gone food shopping in a while, so our fridge was pathetically empty. No half and half for coffee, no eggs, expired turkey bacon.

“Suuuuuuure, if you’re going to the bagel place I’ll take my usual,” I told him.

Whole wheat everything bagel with cream cheese.

I love that breakfast so much, in fact, I decided to take to Instagram to post about it:

IS THERE ANYTHING BETTER? Well, yeah. Turns out there was.

Leo and I were heading into Manhattan for “Valentine’s Day plans” which consisted of going to one of our favorite steakhouses and then staying overnight in a hotel. We’ve done both things before; it’s nice to go out to dinner in the city and not have to schlep home on the train or get in the car. We figured if it was a nice day — and it most certainly was — we’d head in earlier and stop in Central Park and even visit a brewery near the area.

Since the plan involved potentially walking through the park, I peered into my closet. I had an outfit for the steakhouse that night, but I wasn’t going to parade around all day in that. So I threw on a sweater, some jeans, and my Steve Madden gray high-top sneakers.

Leo walked in wearing something much nicer.

“Wait,” I said. “You’re dressed way nicer than me.”

“No I’m not! This is how I always dress.”

And it’s true: Leo is usually in some kind of button down shirt with a sweater over it. He had nicer shoes on instead of sneakers, but I decided to stay what I was in. Didn’t matter.

We drive into the city. A perfect February afternoon, no traffic. As we approached the Manhattan skyline, “I Got You Babe” came on my Spotify playlist. I took video of us in the car in that moment:

They say we’re young and we don’t know
We won’t find out until we grow
Well I don’t know if all that’s true
’Cause you got me, and baby I got you

We get to the hotel, check our bags and decide not to waste any time. We head uptown on the subway so we can enter the park in our favorite area; around 72nd Street. In this area you’ll find the John Lennon “Imagine” memorial and my ABSOLUTE favorite spot: the Bow Bridge:

We stop in a bar on the Upper East side so Leo can use the restroom and grab a beer. I show him the apartment I used to live in on 71st and 1st. And then? We walk west.

We get to the park entrance and Leo is texting frantically. “Who are you texting?!” I ask him. It looks intense. I’m pretty sure he told me it was his job; I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes or made a face like… boyyyy if you don’t put that phone down; this is our day.

We walk towards the famous San Remo building and see the Bow Bridge. The place Leo and I had been months earlier and took this photo:

The place we’d visited the year before THAT and probably where I first told him, “I’m in love with this bridge.”

I stared at the water and let the sun beat on my face. We hadn’t had this kind of weather in weeks; it felt nice to feel and see sunshine. I took a photo, as I often do.

I turned back to Leo and he looked… stiff? Uncomfortable? Nervous? Before I could even THINK about why….

He was down on his knee.

All I remember saying in my state of pure SHOCK was:

“Is this real? Is this real? IS THIS REAL????”

’Twas very real.

The surprises didn’t stop there. We DID in fact head to that brewery Leo mentioned wanting to go to after all, except we were met by both our incredible families there: parents, siblings, nieces & nephews. It was an incredibly special day and nothing made us happier than to celebrate it with those we love most. In the bar we toasted to our engagement, called, FaceTimed and texted people in our lives with the big news, and I just kept catching myself thinking the same thought I had when Leo proposed to me hours earlier:

Is this real?

I’ll be honest, before I met Leo I really didn’t know if this would happen for me. I didn’t know if I wanted it, if I’d find it, or if I’d ever know what it was like to feel how I’ve felt every day since I met Leo almost two years ago. He always finds a way — big or small — to make me feel important, special and loved. He may send me “just because” flowers, leave me a sweet note on the kitchen counter, and yes: even go out and get me my morning bagel.

He planned every detail of this day from getting the ring (it’s perfect), planning the entire schedule and timeline from the car ride to the hotel check-in to arriving at the park, to getting his sister to hide on the bridge and take those proposal photos you see above. That all would have been more than enough, but he topped it off with having our families all there to greet us after one of the biggest days in our lives.

A week later, I’m still on cloud nine. I still look down at my left hand and don’t recognize it. I’ve enjoyed the beginning stages of planning and celebrating this happy time with my favorite people (I’ve never FaceTimed with friends so much in my life). But above all, I’m trying to enjoy the moment and take it all in.

I haven’t really been blogging anymore and that’s a decision I’m A-OK with, but the truth is I occasionally come back and read old posts of mine and truly take myself back to the time and mental state I was in when I wrote it. And for that reason, I want this story documented somewhere.

Because I always want to remember February 16.

Sometimes writer. Born & raised New Yorker. Wannabe photographer. Social media junkie. Pop culture guru. Habitual line stepper.