Surprise: We’re Engaged!!

So, want to know the really exciting part of the hiking trip yesterday that I left out of my earlier post until we could tell family and friends?

Matt and I got engaged! :)


I was COMPLETELY shocked!! He proposed on the summit of Old Rag with sweeping views of the mountains behind us. It could not have been more picturesque. :)


As I’ve said before, Matt and I have come to Charlottesville/the Shenandoahs almost every year since we started dating — it’s sort of “our place” in a way, so proposing on the top of the mountain on our favorite hike was absolutely perfect.


I’m not sure who was more shocked — me or Kath and her husband Matt, who were hiking with us! Matt asked if I would take a picture with him on one of the rocks, so I gave my camera to Kath’s Matt. We did take a picture — and then Matt proceeded to get down on one knee and propose! It worked out quite nicely that we had someone standing right near us with a camera still!


Since I know what you guys really want to see — here it is: THE RING!


Matt designed it himself with a jeweler in D.C. — the band is platinum and as you can see it’s two tear drop shaped sapphires surrounding a round diamond. The diamond was Matt’s great grandmother’s engagement stone — isn’t that cool? It makes it so much more special to have something that’s been in his family for so long. And why sapphires? They’re my birth stone and I love them. :)

I surprised my grad school girlfriends with the news this morning right after class. :) It’s going to be hard to focus on any school work today, that’s for sure! I so wish I didn’t have an exam tomorrow morning!!

photo (6)

Matt and I first started dating in 2004. We don’t like rushing into things, what can we say. :)



  1. 1

    EEK! Congratulations! So excited for you. :)

  2. 2

    What a great engagement story! I love love love the ring! It is beautiful! Congratulations to both of you. :)

  3. 3

    Congratulations Anne and Matt!

  4. 4

    CONGRATULATIONS!! I hope you’ll be sharing some fun wedding planning on the blog!

  5. 5

    Everything about this is beautiful! Congrats! :)

  6. 6

    Congratulations!!!! My husband and I waited 7 years to get engaged as well!

  7. 7

    Congratulations! So smart of Matt to pick a time when it can all be caught on camera. Happy for you both.

  8. 8

    That is such great news. Congratulations to you both!!!

  9. 9

    Congrats, congrats, congrats! What a gorgeous ring and amazing proposal! I can’t wait to see the wedding planning unfold here …

  10. 10

    Congratulations! :)

  11. 11

    I AM SO SO SO SO SO SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! The ring is so gorgeous and I love that he chose to propose there!!

    YAY!! Well, you know how obessed I am with weddings so please let me know if you need help :)

  12. 13

    AHHHHHH! I totally squealed when I saw the good news on FB!!! Ahhhhh! So happy for youuu and Matt!

  13. 14

    CONGRATS!!! That is so exciting and SUCH a romantic way to propose. How awesome you have photos of the engagement to have forever. Very very sweet :)

  14. 15


  15. 16

    Congrats! The location and ring are both beautiful!

  16. 17

    The ring is BEAUTIFUL and I love the pictures…outdoorsy, hiking and backpack still on and all!

  17. 18

    AH!! I am so excited for you!! The ring is stunning! Congratulations!!

  18. 19

    So exciting!!!
    I LOVE the ring! So unique and gorgeous! :)

  19. 20

    xoxo, so exciting!!!

  20. 21

    SOOO exciting – and holy cow did he do a great job on the ring! it’s gorgeous AND sentimental – perfection! :) congrats – very happy for you the two of you!

  21. 22

    AH! So exciting, ANNE! Congrats to you two!!

  22. 23
    Jillian D. says

    That’s amazing!!! Congratulations – such a perfect place and gorgeous ring!!

  23. 24

    Congratulations, Anne!! It’s funny…for some reason a few weeks ago when I was reading one of your posts I had a strange feeling that you and Matt would be getting engaged soon. I have obviously never met you or Matt, so it was very weird! I am so excited for the both of you, and I LOVE your engagement ring…it’s beautiful and has such a wonderful story behind it.

  24. 26

    CONGRATULATIONS, Anne!! (and Matt!) :D

    what a great place to do this – a wonderful new memory to add to the old ones!

  25. 27

    Congrats, such exciting news :)

  26. 28

    Congratulations to you both. I’m so excited for you!! :)

  27. 29

    So super wonderful! Congratulations! The ring is beautiful! My stone is also a family heirloom on my husband’s side and it does indeed make it so much more special. Enjoy this time! xo

  28. 31

    Congrats!! Don’t know if you’ll ever be able to beat that photo on the rocks on your future visits ;)

  29. 33

    Congratulations to both of you! What an awesome way to get engaged. You two are such a cute couple, and I’m super excited for you. You’re going to make a beautiful bride!

  30. 34


  31. 35


  32. 36

    SO excited for you two!! What an awesome proposal story :) LOVE the pictures, and love how beaming & happy you look. xoxo!

  33. 37

    Congrats!! I too dated my husband (off and on) for seven years before we got engaged. Best wishes to you!

  34. 38

    fANNEtastic! Congratulations. Very, very pleased for you and Matt. And huge kudos to Matt for being such a romantic dude, picking such an awesome setting, and designing the ring! Really impressive and nice. Again, so pleased for the two of you!

  35. 40

    Congratulations! You guys look so happy, and I’m so excited for y’all! (And your ring is really gorgeous!)

    Hooray and huzzah!

  36. 41

    EEEEEK!!!! So excited for you two that I screamed out loud! You are the cutest couple. Best wishes!

  37. 43

    Awwww, congrats on your engagement! I just recently got married to my high school sweetheart after being together for 10+ years, so I understand not rushing into things. :)

  38. 45

    Congratulations!!!! That’s so exciting and what a perfect place to propose!

  39. 46

    Wonderful news! Congratulations!

  40. 47

    Congrats! The ring is gorgeous! I love that he proposed on your favorite hike :) What an incredibly beautiful and sweet setting.

  41. 48

    Aww, congratulations!

  42. 49

    CONGRATS!! The proposal was so wonderful – Matt is definitely a keeper :)

  43. 50

    Congrats! I got engaged this year too and have been dating my fiance since 2004. Best of luck to you both!

  44. 52

    Congratulations! What a lovely ring and gorgeous pictures :-)

  45. 53

    Congratulations Anne and Matt. Now don’t wait seven years for the wedding, hehe.
    Beautiful ring. One of my sister’s engagement ring is center sapphire surrounded by diamonds. What a romantic. I love it.

  46. 55

    Ahh! Congrats!

  47. 56

    Hi Anne,

    I started reading your blog a few weeks ago and just love it! I used to live in Chapel Hill, and I’m enjoying reading about all my old haunts!

    I’ve been a “silent reader” to this point, but wanted to send a big congratulations your way after reading this post! Getting engaged is such an exciting time, and I hope you both enjoy every second of it!

  48. 58

    congrats anne :) thats so amazing! i love that he designed the ring himself! i just love your blog and def am a new follower!

  49. 60

    O’m’gosh! That is so ah-maze-ing! You and Matt seem crazy happy together. And the fact that the diamond is a family heirloom is such a wonderful gesture. All the best to both of you.

  50. 61

    Congrats! Me and my hubby dated 6 and a half years before getting engaged and another 1.5 years before we got married :)

  51. 63

    So excited for you! Congrats.

  52. 64

    Congratulations! :)

  53. 65

    OMG!!! He succeeded in getting you distracted and hire excellent wedding photographers! Smart guy! Congratulations!!

  54. 66

    Awww congratulations! I bet Matt was super nervous carrying a diamond ring to the top of a mountain…I know I would be!

  55. 68

    It’s a beautiful ring, just like you. I wish you two a long life of happiness together.

  56. 69

    Congratulations, Anne!!

  57. 70

    Congratulations!! Just got engaged about 6 weeks ago to my bf from high school … dated for a loong time too! Can’t wait to read all about your wedding planning adventures :)

  58. 72

    YAY!! How exciting!! I got engaged last week too! Love it!

  59. 74

    SO excited for you Anne! And what a beautiful and unique ring. Can’t wait to follow along with wedding planning:)

  60. 75

    Congratulations!!! He did good! :)

  61. 76

    Congratulations! Beautiful setting, beautiful ring!

  62. 77

    congrats!!!!! love is definitely in the air this weekend. My best friend (@kyahr) got engaged as well!

  63. 79


  64. 80

    Yayyyyyy!! So happy for you two! About time :P

  65. 81

    Aww!! Congratulations! Beautiful Pictures! and the summit Old Rag is a great place to get engaged if I may say so myself. That is where my husband proposed too. Good Taste! Your ring is beautiful! :)

  66. 83

    SO exciting!! That ring is gorgeous and seriously, how lucky of you to have these pictures! Congratulations to you both :)

  67. 84

    Congratulations! Kath told me all about it! When I see these lovely pictures, it makes me worry what if Matt had dropped the ring and it had gone rolling off those rocks. The ring is gorgeous!

    Barbara (Kath’s mom)

  68. 88

    Congratulations Anne and Matt! I absolutely love the pictures and your ring! I was engaged in grad school too — it was super fun :)

  69. 89

    You are GLOWING! Congrats again and can’t wait to see the ring in person…sometime! :)

  70. 91

    Omg congratulations!! I think every girl dreams of how she will be proposed to, yours was such a romantic story!!

  71. 92

    Awwwww Anne!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!! This is one of the sweetest stories I’ve ever heard!! I love, love, love this!!! And you’re beautiful photos! They’re all framers! Oh, and that ring is so sentimental….Matt did a great job!

  72. 93

    Delurking to say congrats!!! What a great engagement story and photos to remember the event forever :) I love that he incorporated your birthstone into the design. My husband wanted to do that (mine is emerald and I also love it) but he was told an emerald is “too soft” for daily wear. I’m excited to read all about your wedding planning now! :)

  73. 94

    Ahhhh I have been waiting to read the story, but the blog was down. That’s such a cute way to propose! And you have beautiful pictures :)


  74. 95

    Congratulations, Anne!!! I am so, so excited for you both–you seem like such a happy couple!! My fiance and I got engaged about five months ago, and we had been together for a long time, too. I hope you enjoy being engaged as much as we have–it’s been the best time in our life! I wish you both all the happiness in the world!!

  75. 96

    Congratulations, Anne!! So exciting – all the best to both of you!

  76. 97

    Congratulations!!! What amazing pictures to have forever for remembering!

  77. 98

    Anne, I hardly comment but read everyday. So happy for you. :)

  78. 99

    Congratulations! Gorgeous ring!

  79. 100

    I am so happy for you two! The ring is absolutely stunning!!!! :)

    Oh, and when I was reading about your post about the hiking trip, I thought to myself, “that would be a gorgeous place to propose to someone!” Haha!

  80. 102

    congratulations! so exciting! love how unique the ring is :)

  81. 103

    Congratulations! I am a long time reader from Australia but don’t really comment – but how could I not today :-) Very happy for you, and what a romantic proposal (& ring)

  82. 104

    Eeeeep!!! Congrats to the both of you! :)

  83. 105

    Congratulations! What a sweet way to propose, and a beautiful and unique ring :)

  84. 106

    That ring is so beautiful and that is a special and sweet way to propose. Congrats to you and Matt!! :D

  85. 107

    Congrats Anne! This is the beginning of such a fun and exciting time! Take it all in. :) Congratulations to Matt, too. The guy always gets left out.

  86. 108

    Congratulations!!! :)

    You know, when you posted earlier about going for this annual hike each year, I realized that you two had been together for a long time and wondered if you’d get engaged soon. . . and look what happened!!!

    Love sapphires in a ring, so interesting and elegant. Congrats again.

  87. 109

    congratulations… everything in its own time and happiness through all of it :)

  88. 110

    We are so pleased and happy for the both of you. Looking forward to a lot of good times together and good eats! I’m glad you were surprised…that makes it special

  89. 111

    congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the ring is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  90. 112


  91. 113

    How exciting – congratulations!

  92. 114
    gina (fitnessista) says

    yaaaaay!!!! congratulations!

  93. 115

    Yay, your blog is finally working again so I can now see the ring! Gorgeous :) Congrats again!!

  94. 116

    Yay Anne! When do we get the full low down you two?? :) So cute! Congrats.

  95. 117

    Congratulations!!!! Great news!

  96. 118
    Adventurer says

    Wonderful news! Very exciting. And well done, Matt! Congratulations to both!

  97. 119

    congrats! what a surprise :)
    that ring is absolutely stunning!!

  98. 120

    Congratulations Anne!!! That is so wonderful. And SO sweet he designed the ring! It’s beautiful. So happy for you guys!

  99. 121

    Wow! Awesome proposal! Congrats!

  100. 122

    Congratulations! What an awesome proposal:)

  101. 123

    Congratulations to you both! It’s funny, after reading that it was kind of “your spot” I had a feeling this would happen! Have fun being engaged, enjoy it and definitely enjoy planning your wedding!

  102. 124

    So happy for you! That does seem like a perfect, personal spot for it t happen. Enjoy the giddiness of being engaged before the wedding planning kicks in! :)

  103. 125


    I LOVE your blog! My office buddy and I check it out almost every day :) With that being said, CONGRATS to you and Matt! All the best – can’t wait to hear all about the wedding (when times comes). :)


  104. 126

    So exciting! Congratulations!

  105. 127

    CONGRATS! What a perfect proposal:)

  106. 128

    Congrats, Anne!!! Hooray for having someone nearby to photograph it.

  107. 129

    Congrats! The ring is beautiful! What a great story! :)

  108. 130

    So happy for you, congrats! Very glad the blog recovered, too :)

  109. 131


  110. 132

    This news makes me happy :-)

  111. 133

    That’s got to be one of the very best proposals. Men should always propose with a view and a special spot! Congrats, Anne!

  112. 134

    YAAAY! Glad the news is out!! CONGRATULATIONS! :)

  113. 135

    I’ve been trying to get on the blog since yesterday afternoon! CONGRATULATIONS!!! :D How wonderful! I totally teared up.

  114. 136

    Congratulations to you both! I saw it first on KERF, jumped to fANNEtastic food and your blog was down, gaaak! So happy to see the story and pics now :)

  115. 137

    How awesome is it that you have a picture to remember this moment?!??!?!?!? wonderful!!! Congratulations!!

  116. 138

    Congratulations! What a cool way to propose!

  117. 139

    Ahh CONGRATULATIONS!!! How exciting and wonderful, wishing you two happy blessings :)

  118. 140

    Aww, congratulations! And the ring is very beautiful!

  119. 141

    Congratulations friend your friends at Dole!

  120. 142

    Have been following your blog for a while now, and am so happy for your!! Best wishes…..

  121. 143
    Colette Hollenquest says

    Congratulations! How fitting of a proposal.Happy Planning

  122. 144

    Amazing setting – what a sweet story! Congrats!

  123. 145

    Congratulations! So happy for the two of you!

  124. 146
    Pat Elsberry says

    Oh my gosh, how exciting!!! CONGRATULATIONS to you both!! :) I actually got a little teary-eyed reading your post and couldn’t be happier for you! The ring is simply beautiful and such love and thought had obviously gone into it! I’m already looking forward to all the future posts as wedding plans begin. :) Today is my 8th wedding anniversary and I wish you a lifetime of happiness with an awesome partner, as I have been blessed with these past 8 yrs. Hugs to you both!

  125. 148

    Congratulations! That is so exciting! So great you were able to get pics of all of it!

  126. 149

    Congratulations! I am SO happy for you!

  127. 150

    Congratulations! It’s so funny that you wrote you were engaged because when I looked at your first post, I thought to myself that it looked like a great place to get engaged. Who knew! :-)

  128. 151

    Congratulations Anne! :) You guys are totally cute together!

  129. 152

    Congratulations! So happy for you!!!

  130. 153

    Congrats!! My fiancee almost proposed on top of Old Rag, but he said he was too scared he’d lose it on the way up! :) We’ve been going every year since 2007!

  131. 155

    CONGRATS Anne!!! I got engaged this weekend too! And we’ve been dating since 2004 also! ha. We were in Ocean City for the weekend. He thought about doing it camping or hiking but couldn’t wait, it was perfect though! So happy for you!!!

  132. 157

    So happy I can finally get on your blog today! :)
    Congrats to you both. I can’t imagine a more picturesque spot to get engaged. What a lucky girl you are (and he a lucky guy!). Can’t wait to hear all about your wedding plans.
    Eric and I were together for almost 8 years before getting hitched…sometimes taking it slow is fun.

  133. 158
    Marta Ferreira says

    I have been reading your blog since I found you on Spark People long ago. (And yours is the only blog I read). I am 53, live in Massachusetts and have used many of your wonderful ideas to make my life healthier and tastier. I know you don’t know me, but to me you are part of my family as I check in and read what you and Matt are doing as well as getting dietary help. I couldn’t be more thrilled for you too! Many prayers are heading your way! Make sure there’s a picture or two (or 20!) when the big day finally arrives!

    • 159

      What a sweet comment, Marta! Thank you so much and I’m honored and happy to hear my ideas have helped make your life healthier and tastier. :)

  134. 160

    Yay, the blog is working again!! (I couldn’t get on to see this post last night) I am so happy for you guys! :) You two make a beautiful couple and I wish you the very best always.

  135. 161

    How exciting!!! CONGRATS…. can’t wait to see all of your postings as you plan your beautiful wedding… such fun!!! Your ring is absolutely gorgeous!!! Good luck to both of you!

  136. 162

    Congratulations! Such a beautiful engagement story and the ring is absolutely gorgeous!

  137. 163

    Congratulations! I love that you have actual engagement pictures! Enjoy every moment of his excitement.

  138. 165

    YAY!!!! Congratulations!!!! How exciting!!! Beautiful ring, beautiful setting! And I love that you had built-in photographers for the moment!

  139. 166

    Huge congrats to you both! :D

  140. 167

    Congratulations Anne!! Such an amazing time! :)

  141. 168

    Congratulations! Those are pictures you will cherish forever!

  142. 169

    So happy for you guys! Yay!!! Congratulations!

  143. 170

    What a wonderful engagement story! Congrats to you both! He did a great job with the ring, it is beautiful!

  144. 171

    congrats! and the ring is absolutely beautiful. Matt defiantly gets points for that and the proposal!

  145. 172

    Congrats Anne and to your future husband :) What a great place to do the proposal.

    I got married in May and I enjoyed every minute of the wedding planning process the last year or so. My advice for future bride-to-be is to enjoy every step (whether big or small) in the planning process, because you only get to do it once. It might get tedious at time but just think of the big picture.

  146. 173

    Congrats!!! :)

  147. 174

    congrats on your engaement, looks like you got quite a catch for a guy

  148. 175

    I’m just now playing catch up with blog reading and had to tell you how EXCITED I am for you. Huge congrats!!!!! :)

  149. 176

    I spent the last several days moving & am now playing catch up with all my blogs, so I just now saw your amazing news! Congratulations, Anne! :D

  150. 177

    Oh my goodness, I nearly cried! Congrats Anne!

  151. 178

    Soo happy for you both! I have been a reader for awhile now, and strangely I agree with the earlier person that commented she’d had a feeling for awhile that you two would get engaged soon. I thought the same thing! Many blessings as you start your wedding planning!

  152. 179

    Amazing! That’s such a lovely way to do it–in nature, doing one of your favorite activiities together. Congratulations!

  153. 180

    Congrats Anne! So excited for you and Matt and love that he proposed to you in such a special place for both of you. :)

  154. 181

    CONGRATS! I am late on this, had no idea : p

    I am so happy for you! How sweet the way he proposed and how SPECIAL that ring is and beautiful!!!

    Congrats girl!

  155. 182

    Congratulations!! :)

  156. 183

    Beautiful engagement story and pics! Congrats again!!!!!!!!

  157. 184

    Getting a bit misty-eyed in a doctors waiting room in Melbourne AU! Congratulations to you both!

  158. 186
    Elizabeth F. says

    New to your blog! I found your link as I was reading running info to start training for my first half marathon. I realize your engagement was a couple of years ago, but I was so happy to see Old Rag as a part of your story! I grew up hiking Old Rag with my dad! Your blog has provided a lot of great tips!

  159. 188

    Oh my, this is rather oldish news by this point! I am writing this with a big tear running down my right cheek.. I’m a romantic, so what a lovely tale you have.. I hope and your beloved are married and happier than ever at this point (since it’s a few years after the fact!). I am in Sweden.. it looks gorgeous where you and your fellow are, too. Best and sweetest wishes :) xo Julie

  160. 190

    I’m glad you two took your time to get to know each other, THEN made that big decision. I don’t know you two but I see this lasting awhile.

  161. 191

    Just stumbled upon this old blog post of yours and I just love this story Anne! Can I quote you for an article about best places to get engaged in DC area? Old Rag is the cutest spot!


  1. […] « Surprise: We’re Engaged!! […]

  2. […] It reminded us a lot of the rock scramble portion of Old Rag Mountain in the Shenandoahs (where we got engaged!). It was so fun to make our way through […]

  3. […] way to spend the afternoon! As you guys know our engagement occurred in the Shenandoahs, and it’s always been a special place for us. Love going back there […]

  4. […] Shenandoah National Park. We’ve been hiking that park together now for 10 years (whoa), and our engagement even went down at the top of one of the mountains, so it’s safe to say it’s “our […]

  5. […] there back in 2005 when we were first dating and have gone at least once every year since. We even got engaged on the top of a mountain in the Shenandoahs back in […]

  6. […] Matt and I consider Old Rag Mountain to be one of “our spots” – it was one of our favorite hikes to do when we were still dating, so much so that we got engaged on the top of it back in October of 2011! […]

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