I am so excited to tell y’all this.

BIG NEWS, YALL.

[But first…]

hikingzack
I traveled to the mountains in New Mexico over Fourth of July weekend to visit my guy and his family. After a three hour flight delay because united airlines someone forgot to RESERVE A PILOT, followed by a five-hour road trip from Midland to New Mexico, WE REACHED OUR DESTINATION. Praise!

The next day after a run with Zack’s mom, Lindsay took photos for ma blog as we explored uncharted mountain territory while the guys golfed. Isn’t she the cutest photographer that ever photographed? Due to one too many uphill hikes coupled with altitude struggles (#TexanProbs), Lindsay announced that she would not be accompanying me on my real hike through the mountains the next day. Grr. Fine.

Later in the evening we went to an amazeballs American Italian restaurant, Michael J’s, to celebrate Zack’s dad’s birthday. If you’re ever in Ruidoso, NM, make a reservation, and thank me later. The weather was a perfect 60something degrees, a blissful break from smoldering Houston. We sat under the stars and listed to Sinatra, Etta James, and Louis Armstrong under glistening patio lights as we shared a bottle of cab with a side of garlic bread and olive oil. My favorite dining experiences are conditions just like these, complete with a sweet waitress who appreciates the opportunity of no rushing between courses. It couldn’t have been better, including my veggie + chicken primavera pasta.

Next, casino time. We were lucky enough to find a table where we could all sit down at a table together and play black jack, my first time! I lost thirty dollars, which isn’t bad for someone who doesn’t do mental math at all. If we had been playing as a team, our entire team ended with only five dollars less than what we started with! We chalked it up as an overall win, headed to the cabin, and called it a night.

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The next day I slept in, and everyone else was already awake by the time I trudged downstairs to some coffee and plain Greek yogurt, my favorite. It was a patriotic treat for the eve of the Fourth sprinkled with ripe, fresh strawberries and blueberries, walnuts, and dried cranberries. After breakfast, Zack took me hiking.

grindstonelake
Views for dayz.

We hiked a short four mile(ish) loop around the lake. Once we reached higher grounds with prettier views we found a log to sit on while we inhaled our snacks. Edit: I was inhaling my snacks; Zack was watching as I ravenously shed layers of polite eating habits on a protein bar and strawberries.

Then this happened:

zackstaceyring

He dug through his hiking pack (I actually thought he was reaching for snacks…), got on one knee, and the rest is history. I haven’t smiled that hard maybe ever.

It was our sweetest, most exciting moment, and there was no one there to witness it but us: perfection. I was really thankful that Lindsay convinced me not to paint my nails a patriotic blue for the Fourth which I had been contemplating. Apparently Lindsay, Zack’s parents, and my parents knew it was happening. I had no idea! Otherwise, I would’ve picked a better outfit and possibly worn mascara at least.

ring      blingy

I know, I’m bragging a little a lot, but guys, HE DID SO GOOD. He had it custom made by a sweet, family-owned jewelry store in Waco, TX. I could swoon all day. 5+ years of dating, the guy knows me well.

We celebrated with champagne and kabobs from the grill (Thanks, Kathy!) after returning to a cabin full of happy, excited people. I have never felt more welcomed! Lindsay gifted me with a Kate Spade knot bracelet and the kindest hand-written card I have ever received. SO CUTE AND THOUGHTFUL. We spent the remainder of the day calling our closest friends and family to share in the excitement.


After a healthy dose of putt-putt, we took Lindsay to the airport and watched the best fire-works display of my life at the Inn of The Mountain Gods for the Fourth, and then headed back to Midland so I could catch my plane back home. Interesting take-off during a West Texas dust storm, but I made it back to Houston! Let the planning begin! 🙂

htown

Promise not to make this blog all about bein’ a bride. But I was too thrilled not to share. 🙂

-Stacey

 

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