Monday, January 7, 2013



Secondly, I've had many requests for the story, and so that's what today's post is about! Ask and you shall receive.

Let's start with a bit of history- I'll try not to get too long-winded, but I can't promise anything.

Joseph and I started dating when I was 16 and he was 17. We were each other's first serious boy/girlfriend, first love, etc. etc. We dated while he was away at Southwestern and I was stuck in Corpus for my senior year of high school, and then broke up when I went to Rice. 4 years later we dated for about a month (June 2008), broke up again, and then met back up about 2 years after that (May 2010). We decided that the third time was a charm, and that we had to see once and for all where our being together might take us. We moved in together that October, bought a condo last June, and haven't looked back.

Quick memory lane journey-

Joseph surprising me at an Academic Decathlon tournament, circa March 2004:

Us before my senior prom. May 2004:

Sweet hair, lover.
And back to present day.

If you know me at all, you know that I've been waiting for a proposal basically since we moved in together. Obviously I knew it wouldn't be THAT soon, but this past year in particular has been pretty nerve-wracking. 

As my birthday present (my birthday is tomorrow) I wanted to go out to a nice restaurant, so we made reservations at Swift's Attic. We went and gorged ourselves on DELICIOUS food and schmancy drinks, like so:

And then over dessert Joseph started telling me all these wonderful things, and it was so sweet! Of course being completely unaware of what was about to happen, I changed the subject at some point and brought up a crappy work situation. Really romantic, Natalie. Joseph got up and went to the restroom, and then came back and sat on the other side of me. He looked nervous and kind of intense and different than I'd ever really seen, and said "I lied when I said I didn't get you anything for tonight."

At this point my heart is going a thousand miles an hour, but I'm determined to not get my hopes up. "He's going to pull out a manicure gift certificate. Or a coffee grinder. NOT A RING DEAR GOD NATALIE STOP THINKING THAT AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT HE'S SAYING."

Joseph pulls out this GORGEOUS little jeweled owl and sets it on the table.

Then he says he loves me, gets down on one knee, and asks if I will marry him! He opens the little owl, and the ring is inside.

I literally jumped backwards in the booth with my hands over my mouth. I believe I was thinking "NO EFFING WAY. OH MY GOD. HOLY CRAP. I LOVE HIM. THERE ARE SPARKLY THINGS."

I finally hugged and kissed him and said yes, and after a minute looked at the ring, which is absolutely phenomenal. It's exactly the setting I wanted (thank you for your help and patience, Ann Marie!), and Joseph had it custom made! It doesn't photograph nearly as gorgeous as it is in person, of course, but here are a couple shots.

It's an antique cut cushion cut, so it has gorgeous large facets and looks amazingly vintage, and the halo and band are wonderfully delicate. Joseph went to multiple jewelry stores before settling on using Calvin's (which he more than highly recommends), and he learned more about diamonds than anyone not in the business probably ever needs to know.

The manager and waitress brought us free champagne and congratulated us, but we left after like half a glass- we were too excited to sit still! We got in the car, and Joseph said it would be romantic to drive by the Capitol since it was nighttime. I was on the phone with my mom and staring at my hand in disbelief, so I agreed without paying any attention to where we were going. The next thing I knew, the valet people at The Driskill were opening my car door, and we were staying the night there. Joseph's parents had sent up strawberries and champagne, so we called them and then had a martini at the bar downstairs. Besides the wasted lady telling us about her horrible ex-fianc├ęs (yes, plural. Apparently he couldn't get it up. Just FYI.), it was perfect. It was romantic but not cheesy, and a complete surprise. The first picture of the ring that I put up on Facebook shows my horribly chipped nails, and as someone that gets frequent manicures, that attests to how surprised I was.

I absolutely cannot believe I get to marry my first love. I'm (officially) becoming a part of a family that I've adored since I first met them, and Joseph can finally become the honorary half-Mexican he is.

And there you have it! Story, pictures, etc. My good friend Kelly suggested I bottle up my radiating joy to sell, but I don't think it could be contained in mason jars!

Joseph Guy Mattingly, IV., I'm going to marry you so hard.


  1. haha, I love how REAL this was, bathroom breaks, chipped nails, wasted rich people, and all! Real life is so much more entertaining than the movies. Congrats!

  2. COngratulations honey!!! So happy for you and happy to have read this. MUUUUUUUUUUAAAAAH!