I woke up on Thursday, May 26th reluctant to go to work. It was my last day of work before a four day holiday weekend, but I had to get through one more day. When I left for work I woke Steve up to kiss him goodbye for the day, just like any other ordinary work day. I went out into our parking lot, got into my car, turned it on, looked up at the dashboard… and became suddenly confused. There was a Birthday card, a big yellow daisey, and a stack of other cards wrapped up in a ribbon.

Steve set up the car and snapped this picture when I got up to shower.

Puzzled, I opened and read the Birthday card (we already celebrated my birthday a week ago!) to find out that Steve had called me off work for the day. Instead I was going on a Pittsburgh scavenger hunt! I didn’t know if this was just a practical joke to make me even later for work than I already was so my first reaction was to call Steve to see if this was serious. He confirmed it was and told me that each card in the stack had a time written on the front. I couldn’t open them until that time. He also told me that he had made me a playlist on my ipod, and that I should turn up the tunes for my day of driving.

My first two thoughts were “this is way better than going to work!” and “if I’m not going to work why didn’t he let me sleep in?!”

Time to open the first card, which told me to drive home to Wexford. I had the pleasure of sitting in rush hour traffic through the Squirrel Hill tunnel. But I was still kind of in shock about not going to work and I was rockin out to my playlist so I couldn’t complain! Once I finally got home I went inside where Dad was busy making a delicious breakfast for him, Alli, Alex, and I.

(While Amanda was having fun running around town, I spent most of my time between hyperventilating and stressing out.)

Next stop was to get mani/pedis with Alli and Alex followed by meeting Mom downtown at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for lunch.

The next card had an address that I wasn’t familiar with in Shadyside. Good thing my GPS knew where I was going! Once I parked the next card told me to go inside and tell them that I had an appointment for an hour long massage at the spa!!

Relaxed and happy, I opened the next card which had a much more familiar address. Our apartment in Monroeville! Once I came home Steve had a pile of presents for me! I kept telling him that we already exchanged Birthday presents (Steve was May 5th and I was May 20th) but he said not to worry about it.

First present (wrapped in a giant box) was two citypass ticket booklets for Chicago. Steve told me they were good for a year, so now that we had them we would have to book a trip! We LOVE to travel to new cities and countries!

2nd present (another giant box) was a print out of a tripadvisor.com review of a hotel in Chicago. He said that he thought this hotel looked nice for whenever we ended up going to Chicago.

3rd present was a printout of plane tickets… from Pittsburgh to Chicago… in a couple hours! I was soooooooooo excited! I had been wanting to plan a vacation, and this was the perfect surprise for a long weekend! We sat there for a minute talking about the flight we’d be getting on in a couple of hours before I remembered seeing a 4th box. I asked Steve what had happened to this box (planned misdirection) and he handed it to me.

I opened the wrapping on the 4th box which was a shoebox. I’m always happy to get new shoes, but when I read the card it said to give Steve the box. I gave it to him. He opened it, pulled out the ring box, got down on one knee, and proposed! You can guess what happened from there. I said ‘yes’, started balling, and grabbed Steve in a big bear hug. He yelled at me for not even looking at the ring that he put so much effort into picking out, but I was still crying and couldn’t see through the tears except to see that it was a really shiny blur!

After Amanda put on the ring we had about a half hour to frantically finish packing (Steve had packed most of our stuff already) and to try to call Steve’s family since they didn’t know yet. We drove back to Wexford to see the whole Blumer family as a newly engaged couple, then Dad drove us to the airport and we were off!

Chicago was the perfect way to celebrate our engagement and just enjoy exploring a new city together before the craziness that is wedding planning began!

Here are some of our favorite pictures from Chicago…


Bree on September 6th, 2011 at 10:10 am

AW!!!!! Perfect recap of such a truly amazing day 🙂 I can attest to Steve’s day of hyperventilating & stressing as we chatted on Gchat and I got updates on Amanda’s whereabouts pretty much the entire day! LOVE you guys!

Aunt Cindy on September 6th, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Two great, romantic people who deserve each other! Congratulations–this will be a fun year being part of watching you two get ready for the big day. Thanks for sharing. Love, Aunt Cindy

Marybeth on November 5th, 2011 at 10:28 am

Great story! Great couple! Great town! Good Luck you guys….all the best…