Pat's proposal, which happened on May 22, 2014, started all the way back on March 3. Abbey visited Pat in Denver, where he was seven weeks into a 12-week internship. Because she is impatient, Abbey had already started pestering Pat about her upcoming birthday and what he was going to give her.
But Patrick, the planner that he is, said he already had a present and she would get it Monday morning before she flew back to Kansas.
Because she is impatient, Abbey asked him just a few times if she could have it early. And he said no. But Monday morning, he retrieved a box.
It was about three inches tall, eight inches square, clearly homemade, and not very heavy. Abbey was not allowed to open it till her birthday, March 22.
Remember that whole not-good-at-waiting thing?
So, Abbey flew back to Kansas, really only knowing that whatever was in the box, it would withstand the rigors of air travel and wouldn't get her in trouble going through airport security.
In the next few weeks, Abbey pestered Pat about what was in the box and asked for hints. She learned enough to know it would be several things and that she wasn't allowed to open them all at once. [This kid and all his rules.] She started to think it would be something to open each day until he got back [still another two weeks or so away].
And then he told her it had to do with a shape used in the Olympics.
Abbey told him, "You're trying to make me think it's something that it's not." But Patrick revealed no further clues.
Three weeks later, Abbey finally got to open the box. Inside, she found a chain link of a bajillion papers -- rings. The instructions said that each day, she was allowed to open one ring by separating it from the chain and unfolding it. And there were WAY more than just for two weeks until he got back.
To be honest, she was kind of mad because all the first one said was Happy Birthday -- she waited three weeks for "Happy Birthday"?? -- and then she had to wait a whole day more to open the next. Silly rules.
But Abbey played by the rules and for two months, she opened a note from Patrick every morning.
And many nights she asked him if she could just open the rest, but he never let her. Rude.
The very last ring on the chain was dated May 22 -- and on the outside it said, "Open me on top of a volcano."
See, Abbey and Patrick had plans to climb Mt. St. Helens in Washington -- their graduation gift from Pat's dad. They had been planning on this trip forever, and Pat bought the climbing permits way back in February, so he knew what day the trip would be.
Abbey brought the last few rings in the chain with them to Oregon after graduation. [She actually forgot them and had to turn around on the way to the airport and go back for them...]
And she carried the last ring all the way to the flippin top of Mt. St. Helens. [That climb was so hard.]
And they got to the top and Abbey didn't want to bring it up. She wanted him to bring it up.
But she's bad at waiting. So she asked him if she could open her last note.
Abbey opened it..........
and it was blank.
So she said, "It's blank!"
And he said, "Oh. Shoot. I gave you the wrong ring -- I had two, I must have put the wrong one on. Here..."
and he dug around in his giant backpack for a minute and then pulled out a pretty, sparkly, perfect engagement ring.