Well, it’s been an exciting week in Turkey so far…

On my second day in Istanbul, Ahmed asked me to marry him, and I said yes!

He asked by the Sea of Marmara where it meets the Bosphorus Strait and the Golden Horn.

I met Ahmed in the fall of 2010 playing soccer in the Bronx with a pick-up league called Manhattan International Co-ed Soccer. I loved his smile and the fact that even though he was one of the most skilled players, he liked to pass and let everyone touch the ball more than he liked to showboat and score. We went out that night, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

We picked out the ring together after he proposed, and I was entranced by how “alive” the blue stone looked, and how it changes color depending on the lighting. And I know exactly where it came from because it’s tanzanite, a gem more rare than diamonds, found only in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. A good excuse to visit said mountain one day and see the “birthplace” of my engagement ring. 🙂

Then we had dinner overlooking the Blue Mosque at sunset. So beautiful.

We plan on getting married in June in Oklahoma. My Uncle Terry planted a small vineyard a few years ago in the countryside near my home town (the whole family helped), and it’ll make a gorgeous backdrop for the ceremony.

The reception will take place in my parents’ large and unfenced backyard, with a dance floor under the carport (dolled up with lights and draped with fabric) and our most graceful tree hung with twinkle lights and homemade glass candle lanterns. We’ll make Ahmojitos and Pam-a-coladas and invite everyone. (Free venues = more booze.) Should be a heck of a party. Can’t wait.