I shot my own Engagement shoot–Chicago, Ill.

Me and my Honey in Millenium Park having some fun!

Last weekend I got engaged again for the first time. It was months in the planning: A trip to Chicago to see Oprah’s last studio show (thank you to our fab client Julie for the tix), a romantic getaway sans kids for the first time in 8 years (dog years at times), and a modest little 10 year anniversary gift for my wife, Asha. A long time ago, almost 10 years ago, we were busy buying a condo and moving. I was too poor and she was too practical  and the standard engagement style ring never materialized. I promised her then that if she can hold out until our ten year anniversary that I’d make good on the customary ring thing. Years passed and I’m sure she had forgotten my promise. Dharma was born, then Sarada. Dog died. Jobs came and went and the usual snowball-rolling-down-hill Life we had just kept jugging along collecting everything in its path.  Anniversaries were celebrated and I quietly remembered. Birthdays and births. Laughter and our fair share of tears but through it all I remembered. It is no small feat to celebrate 10 years of marriage and is something of which I’m very proud.

So fast-forward to Chicago 2011. I’m carrying this ring around with me everywhere. I was genuinely nervous–I mean she could say no, right? After all she has spent more than 10 years with me and my socks on the kitchen table, shoes in the hall, tardiness, etc. Also, I was afraid she’d hate my choice of ring. I asked Dharma if she thought Mami would like it and her response, “I’d take it!”

So where to do it? Do I get down on one knee? Should it be private or public? We were only in Chicago for a couple days so I was under the gun. The first night didn’t have the magic and I think we even bickered about some stupid thing. Before we left for dinner that night we were randomly watching some Ben Afleck movie and the damn guy has this scene with Jennifer Anniston where he has her pull the engagement ring out of his grubby cargo pants. WTF! Ben, man!  He just stole my thunder. That night the restaurant  just wasn’t right and plus I still had Ben on my mind.

From the Sky Deck in the "Sears" tower--would have made a great spot to pop the question.

Day 2 Oprah Show: OK. It was a possibility. We waited in line (not good). Then had to check all our belongings so I had to insist that I get the claim check ticket and casually asked the woman securing our stuff to let me have the box with the ring. She says to me laughing, “You gonna get engaged on the Oprah Show.”  That was out now and way too public–not us.

We did stuff like this all the time when we were first dating.

In the end it happend just as it should have, organically, as we exited the Art Institute of Chicago. The rest I’ll keep to myself and between us but it was magical and meaningful. We cried and laughed and fell in love all over again.

Lens Babe!

Tulips were everywhere.

My Muse: We did stuff like this all the time, too.

Some big fountain along the Lake.

Two kids and 10 years and somethings haven't changed at bit.

How fabulous was this!

Photo by turistas just like us.

Oh my God! She's crazy (to have married me).

No engagement shoot is complete without the feet--103 stories above the street.

Asha right after it all went down.

I think we did this kind of stuff back when, too.

Chicago is home to the most skyscrapers of any city in US but they couldn't compete with Asha on this day.

So where to from here, Cleopatra?

And that is how it all went down those 2-1/2 days last week. I gotta say a big thank you to my Mom who took care of our littlest one for us. And to Jess, Gav and the kids for entertaining Dharma for a couple days. We put our network to the test and we couldn’t have done it without them. Lastly I want to thank Maria at Absolute Titanium Design for working with me all those months coming up with this one-of-a-kind ring for my truly unique Woman.