The Next Step

BLOG NOTE: I had another post in the works about Thanksgiving that I will post at a later date. Something very big occurred in my life last week and I have finally been able to wrap my mind around it enough to tell the tale.

As with all stories, I’ll start from the beginning….

Last Monday morning, I arose for yet another manic Monday. I completed my morning routine and went to work. Monday I came home, walked the dog, ate dinner and talked to my boyfriend, Zach, on the phone. We firmed up plans for me to go home with him for Christmas. He had asked over the weekend. BIG STEP. Little did I know, it was one of two big questions he would ask me that week. I was very excited, but I went all Kate Sprandio on myself and thought, “Oh, my gosh this is a big step. Am I ready to go to the Ells family Christmas?”  Of course, I was ready, more than ready. But, in my frantic chaotic mind, I overthought it.

I told my parents.

“Zach invited me to Christmas. What do you think about this?”

“That’s great. We’ll miss you, but that should be really fun. Are you ready for that?”

I responded quickly, “Of course I’m ready for it. It’s not that big of a deal. I’ll have a lot of fun. I was hoping he would ask. I just wanted to check with you guys.”

“Do what you want,” they said. I wondered why they were so bland about the whole thing, but I shook it off.

Tuesday I woke up with a cold. Zach and I had started a new running routine on Tuesdays a few weeks prior. This Tuesday it was raining. I texted Zach and told him I didn’t want to run in the rain. I also said that I was not feeling well. He responded, “Oh no! I’ll come and make you soup!” He came over after work, we ate dinner, and watched TV. When it came time for him to leave, he grabbed his coat, kissed me, and ran out the door.

“Bye, I love you,” he said to me.

“What are you doing? Its raining! Put your coat on,” I shouted at him.

From under his coat, he pulled a package. “I came right from work. I had a package delivered there and don’t want to get it wet. I’m fine, see ya tomorrow!”

He disappeared down the street to the train station. I thought it strange that he had a secret package under his arm, but figured it was a Christmas present for someone. And boys are always weird, so it didn’t bother me.

The next day was Wednesday, my writing day. I arose at 7:30am and took some medicine …. only to fall right back asleep until 11:30. I was still feeling sick, but the extra sleep aided in my improvement. I made some soup and tried to do some work.

Zach texted me asking me if the plans we had made to see each other were still a go. I said yeah, even though I was thinking of possibly bailing again. Around 3pm, he texted me again asking if our plans were a go. I told him yes, again. I knew I couldn’t cancel, he really wanted to see me. I thought it was sweet. I told him I didn’t want to go for a run though.

He responded, “That’s fine. I was actually gonna suggest we check out the Art Museum? We had talked about that for a while now and never do it. See ya at 5?”

I thought that was a great idea! I was often suggesting we go there and we always make it to the steps but never go in. I pulled myself together at 3:45 and thought I should spruce myself up a bit for my boyfriend. No matter how long I know him, I always try to look cute before I see him.

I arrived at his apartment at 4:55 and we walked to the Art Museum. It was a normal walk for us. I talked the entire time and he laughed at me and chimed in when he was able. We approached the steps and he suggested that we run up them. I of course jumped at the chance to race him. We began running, I noticed he was behind me. This was rare. Zach does not let me win. I have to win on my own. “It makes you work harder,” he says. Oh, the weird things I love about him.

I shouted, “Come on, run faster. Why are you behind me?”

I made it to the last step and turned. He stood there with a smile that will never leave my memory. His eyes were big and bright. His smile gleamed, like the moonlight above him. He looked like the happiest man in the world.

“I love you,” he said. Hearing him say I love you never gets old.

“I know, I love you too,” I said smiling, thinking it was one of his random I love yous. We hugged and I took a step towards the building.

But then, it happened, a moment many women dream of.

Zach began to lower himself to one knee. He pulled a tiny, shiny black box out of his jacket pocket. My body stiffened. We had been talking about our future for many months. I knew this was coming, but I was still shocked. I knew in my heart and soul that this was the man I wanted to spend my life with. I had dreamed about how he would ask and how I would react. I was stunned by excitement. I became shaky. I stared at him.

“Kate Sprandio,” he said, “I love you so much. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

His face was priceless. It was a look of excitement, nervousness, happiness, but mostly a look of complete certainty. He looked so confident and ready. It was a moment that seemed to go in slow motion, but high speed all at the same time.

“Of course. That’s not even a question! Yes!”

I went to hug him before he opened the box. I didn’t need to see the ring. It could have been from a Cracker Jack Box and I would have said yes. The fact that it is the most beautiful diamond ring I’ve ever seen is just a plus.

He put the ring on my finger.

“Oh my God! Zach, this is beautiful!”

He picked me up and spun me around. A passerby took a few photos of us. Just like that, I went from being a girlfriend to a fiancé.


YES!   Happy  Surprise

I began pacing along the steps. Zach laughed with a look of relief on his handsome face.

“We’re engaged! Engaged! Dude, we’re getting married!” I kept saying it out loud as if to convince myself it was real.

On our walk to my car, Zach told me how he took my parents out to dinner on Monday, that’s why they were strange with me on the phone. They had been with Zach just before I called them. When I spoke with him Monday night, he had just told my parents he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and I had no idea any of it was occurring! He bought the ring in Boston when he was home for Thanksgiving. The reason he ran out of my house Tuesday was because the ring was shipped to him from the place he bought it because it wasn’t ready when he left to come back to Philly. He had the ring in my kitchen while we watched TV! He had planned on proposing Tuesday, but decided not to since I was sick!

Engagement  Got Him

It’s a week later. I still can’t believe how much has happened. We set a date, got a venue, and a band. I’m thankful I’ve seen three siblings get married ahead of me. Zach and I will have plenty of wedding planning guidance. We are well on our way to planning an epic event.

December 4, 2015 I will stand before my family and friends and say I do to the love of my life, my best friend, the greatest, craziest, most handsome man I have ever met. I will abandon the name of Sprandio and become Kathryn Ells. Wow, Kathryn Ells. Let’s not talk about that yet, that’s a whole other post. Parting with Sprandio will be hard! Wait a minute, does this mean I should change my website. Oh, boy.

I don’t know what I’ve done in my life to deserve this happiness, but I do know that I am forever grateful. I just wrote a long blog post, but I don’t think I accurately described how all of this makes me feel. Maybe I’ll try again in a few more weeks, when this settles in a bit more!

Shout out to my talented cousin Michaela, a fellow blog writer, for her shout out to us in her recent post! She created a celeb couple name for us, Zathryn. I like it. Check out her blog as well:

And now, to my fiancé, Zachary Morris Ells. Zach, you swept me off my feet three years ago and you continue to do so every day. I am so ready to take the next step with you and tackle any other steps we will encounter in life. I love you like crazy my man! I can’t wait to spend forever with you!

4 responses to “The Next Step”

  1. Kathryn, all your “blogs” are great (you know I love your writing…) but this one is EPIC! What a sweet story! Your Uncle John (who doesn’t want anyone to know how sentimental he really is) cried through the whole thing. Once again, we wish you both all the best! OOXX

  2. Great story Kate, it shows in both your faces and your eyes how much you love each other….great date, it is my sisters Birthday….

  3. … I can dig it! 😉 Love you and I’m happy for you! If you and your man are free new years day, come to my apartment for my party!
    -Leah Beth

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