{portland weekend + new site}

Hi, friends! How’s it going?

Thanks for reading our love story… it was fun for us to write and a great way to celebrate our one year Engage-a-versary.

Guess what tomorrow is…..?? Moving day! I can’t wait to invite you in to the new site and give you a peek around. Stay tuned…

We flew home from Portland yesterday and have been up since 2am this morning fighting jet lag… we laid in bed deliriously watching the “Schmoopie” Seinfeld episode on repeat (which is hilarious if you haven’t seen it). Needless to say, I’ve been all over the place today, but I wanted to stop by and say hi.

Portland was a perfect little taste of the Pacific Northwest – unseasonably sunny weather, delicious coffee, hanging out with friends/family, Pinot Noir wine tasting, watching the Hawks win and attending a sweet wedding on a farm in Sauvie Island…heaven!



See you tomorrow! xo


{our love story // part seven}

From Tyler:

We had come a long way since that first email over 3 years ago.  It was actually pretty hard to believe… we had survived 5,000 miles of long distance, 6 months of not seeing each other, moving in together way sooner than most ever would, graduate school, Visa issues, multiple moves, getting a puppy, changes in jobs, and being away from friends and family nearby to lean on.  I remember thinking that if we could do all of this (plus much I’m sure I’m forgetting about), then what can’t we do.

I was becoming more skilled at the art of “inception”, and decided to let everyone else think that it would be fun forour two families to meet up for vacation at Amber’s and my childhood summer place away from home – Black Butte Ranch, in Oregon.  From the very beginning, I knew this would be where I would ask Amberto marry me, but I didn’t want her to suspect anything.  More importantly, I needed to get a ring.the view

VERY early in our relationship – as in the 3rd time hanging out together over Christmas in 2009… Amber’s Grandmother (aka “Grammie”) pulled me aside, to let me know about a diamond ring that had been in the family for generations, and how she would like Amber to have it someday.  Naturally, I freaked out at the suggestion considering we barely knew each others’ middle names yet… But I never did forget about the ring, and I knew it was time to enquire.  I sent Grammie an email, asking her if it was still something she wanted me to use, and I told her about my proposal plans in Black Butte – swearing her to complete secrecy, which was difficult for her to say the least :)  The trick was, I wanted to customize the ring myself, prior to arriving in Black Butte… which meant Grammie had to somehow get the ring to me in London well beforehand, so I could get it made.  We went through numerous options, and eventually – Grammie took yet another huge leap of faith… and arranged for the ring to come to London via Fedex.  I was pretty nervous, as the UK is well known for losing mail – but sure enough, it arrived within 2 days… which eliminated any excuse I could make for not turning it into our engagement ring.

I went to a local London jeweler with a design in mind, and it turned out better than I could have imagined.

We packed our bags, and ended up in Black Butte.  All that was left (aside from me asking her), was getting her Dad alone – which proved to be very difficult with 3 different families all together at all times.  I had her Brother step in with the assist, and we got her Dad to agree to drive us into town – yet I admittedly had zero idea what to do when we got there.  We parked the car, and her Dad started walking into a shop, when I said “hold on a minute…” – and he knew something was up.  “How about you and I head down and find a spot to grab a drink” I said, to which he looked at Brad… looked at me…. and with a somewhat stunned face replied “No… I’m not ready for this!”  We nervously walked down the street, and I couldn’t find a place I liked.. until we stumbled upon Bronco Billy’s Ranch Grill and Saloon…   “Perfect!” I thought, and we went in the swinging double doors, straight out of an old Western Movie.  Long story short… I said my thing, I asked, he gave me a hard time and diverted the question… and finally agreed.  The two of us shared a drink, talked about marriage, life, etc., and a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  Now this was officially happening for real.

The plan was for all those interested, to hike up to the top of Black Butte the next morning… and naturally, Amber woke up and decided she didn’t feel like it.  Seriously!!?  After all of this she doesn’t want to go!?  No chance.  I got her up, fed her coffee, and we headed to the mountain.black butte

I was pretty quiet during the hike up… partially because I was thinking so much about what to say… and mostly because the hike was hard and I was out of shape.  We got to the top, and off in the distance saw the house for the fire marshal, which I always pretended to live in as a kid.  I told Amber about this, and asked if she wanted to come check it out.  (PS – she had NO IDEA what was about to happen).  We went behind the house, and found a log to sit on and rest (note we could clearly see seven different mountains from that one spot)… and then I started talking. Right then she knew, so without hesitation, I got on a knee – and asked her to marry me.  She started crying and gave me a hug, but didn’t actually answer the question (gulp).  “So is that a yes?” I said.. to which she said “YES!  Of course!!!”  We sat there and enjoyed the moment, and then climbed back up the rocks to meet everyone else.ahhhwe're engaged!cheersthe fedex'd ring

My brother had carried up champagne and glasses for everyone – so we had a toast up at the top.  It was done.<3

This was my plan from probably the 2nd time we ever hung out… and finally – it came true.the guysthe girls

So… after over 30 years on the earth.. and despite the many, many……. MANY many times I’ve tried to prove otherwise…

My parents were right.

the clan

Part One // Part Two // Part Three // Part Four (his side) // Part Four (her side) // Part Five // Part Six

{our love story // part six}

Just got back from St. Tropez and can’t wait to tell you all about it! Anyone doing anything fun this weekend?

Our love story is wrapping up with a few more parts… thanks for all of your sweet notes, tweets, messages… I love hearing from you!

From Amber:

I sat in an overly air conditioned pizza joint polishing off my Hawaiian pizza when Tyler got really quiet. Sort of fidgety. Definitely not his usual giddy self while enjoying one of his favorite foods on Earth. Something was up. Our perfect Maui vacation was coming to an end and we were both sad to be saying goodbye (again), boarding separate planes bound for different continents….

I watched him squirm and before I could figure out what was going on – he proposed. Not a marriage proposal, but proposal of an idea to merge our two separate lives into one – in London.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would live in London….. I had really only been there once before and it rained/snowed the entire time, so I mostly just ran between coffee shops and pubs to stay warm and dry. Could I live there though!!??

The adventurous, hopeless romantic side of my personality kicked in…

YES, I’ll move to London! We’ve come this far, why not?? 

So with a smooch and lingering hug we said our goodbyes at the airport and walked toward our respective planes.

new years

The next six months were a bit of a blur… I hit every road block possible to get a visa, so we decided together that graduate interior design school was the best option… I bought a one way ticket, packed two (!) bags, and said many tearful goodbyes to my family and friends.

What the heck am I thinking? Am I crazy? Yes, definitely crazy. Oh well…. here we go….

I landed at Heathrow, spotted Tyler waiting for me outside of customs, and tried to calm the flood of emotions pulsing through my body. Nadim's Wedding

I’ll admit that moving in after our fifth date, after not seeing each other for six months, in a foreign country, starting intensive graduate school and being 5,000 miles and an 8 hour time difference from my former life, was a little tough. I couldn’t keep a straight face while typing that, so let’s be real – I handled the whole transition very ungracefully and was a wee bit crazy at times. #fulldisclosurenapa wedding

Before I knew it, the transition ironed itself out and the next two years flew by… we travelled to at least 42 cities, attended over 14 weddings, became parents of an amazing puppy, moved four times, and built a little life together in the UK… things were moving right along when all of a sudden there was another kind of proposal on the horizon…

Part One // Part Two // Part Three // Part Four (his side) // Part Four (her side) // Part Five //

{our love story // part five}

Happy Friday! You guys hanging in there?? We’re almost done ;)

From Tyler: 

Ok this was starting to get serious.  She’d met my friends (in NYC), she came with me to a wedding (in Charlotte), we spent CHRISTMAS together (in Gig Harbor), she visited me in London… and now she wants me to go on a trip with her family to Maui?!??  This relationship was getting expensive

So off to Maui I went… just a quick simple trip from London to Chicago to Los Angeles to Maui.  Boom, 30 hours later I was there!  Amber and her family greeted me at the airport in true Hawaiian style, and the next (short) phase of our adventure began.  She got a haircut, I thought as I deliriously tried to stay alert since I didn’t really know everyone that well.


The next morning we went outside to get coffee, and wow – it was amazing.  I had only been to Maui once before, and immediately remembered why it was my favorite place in the world.  We hung by the pool, went for walks on the beach, ate amazing meals, met some of Amber’s friends from when she lived there, and spent time with her family.  Everything was natural.  It was easy.  It was fun.  I kept thinking about how crazy it all was.  I also kept thinking – her brother is here, and I need to win this dude over.


We had grilled dinner at the hotel (Westin Villas), and were enjoying the sunset with a few cocktails.  The girls had a craving for frozen yogurt, and the boys had a craving for more cocktails… So we told them to go ahead, and I stuck behind with Amber’s 2 brothers and her step-dad.  We listened to music, looked for whales, had one too many G&Ts, and I finally felt like I had made a break-through with her brother.  I don’t know why, but that was really important to me.. and I was pleased that we were genuinely getting along.

The week was wrapping up quickly, and I started to get nervous.  Way more so than at the thought of spending a week with her family who I barely knew.  All I could think about was what are we going to do next.  As fun as they were, I really couldn’t afford to continue these extravagant trips to America to see her… nor could she come over to London every month to see me.  It was getting to a point of go big… or go home.


In true procrastinators’ style, I waited.  And waited.  And stalled.  And waited some more.  The week had ended, and it was time to go back to London.  We were pretty much out of money, so on the way to the airport, decided to stop for a quick lunch at a mutual favorite – Round Table Pizza (another reason I was drawn to this girl.  Seriously).  We talked about the week, how fun it was, our favorite parts… then moved onto how much we loved Round Table’s salad bar, our common love of Hawaiian pizza (which our friends make fun of us for)… and the entire conversation I was just thinking to myself I have to do this.  So as we finished our last bites, I made the move.  I talked about how great we were, how great London is, how much I wanted this to continue, but how I just didn’t think it could keep going the way it was… and after more “bla bla bla”… I said it… will you move to London?

Part One // Part Two // Part Three // Part Four (his side) // Part Four (her side)

{our love story // part four // her side}

You heard Tyler’s side to Part Four, but it just doesn’t feel right not to tell you mine since this was such a significant point of our story – “the meeting”:

My plane was sitting on the tarmac at JFK – I was in agony because the moment had finally arrived. The moment I had played over and over in my head since the very first email. But lucky for me, our plane didn’t have a gate yet. So I waited on a stuffy plane watching every second painfully tick by.
I was able to send Tyler a quick message letting him know I landed but then our phones decided to stop working. I’m certain my heart was beating audibly on the awkwardly silent plane. I’m not sure how one is supposed to be acting in this kind of situation, but I certainly was not doing it gracefully. My knee was uncontrollably bouncing and the sweet older woman next to me was clearly sensing my unease. She patted my leg and while surveying my face and asked “Honey, are you ok???”
Snapped back to reality, I quickly mumbled why I was there, flushed bright red for being called out on my craziness and tried to sink deeper into my seat.
The woman’s face lit up as she spun herself around to relay the story to her sister sitting four rows behind us: “Dar-leeen! Ya gotta hear this!!”
Needless to say, after she gladly told the entire front half of the plane my situation, my fellow passengers were all firing excited questions my way. As if my own thoughts weren’t bad enough… I now was dealing with a few dozen curious hopeless romantics who wanted in on this story.
In what seemed like the longest, most agonizing ten minutes of my life, we somehow pulled up to the gate. The sweet old lady urged me to grab my things and get off first. Everyone gladly parted ways and cheered me on – there were so many feelings pulsing through my veins I could barely walk straight.
Finally at baggage claim, scanning the sea of faces looking for Tyler, my phone rings. It’s him.
The call lasts about two seconds before he creepily says “I see you” – at which time I see a guy in a full tuxedo with dark hair hang up his phone and look directly at me. My heart drops. My London Dream Boy is in fact, the nerdiest, most awkward person I’ve ever seen in my life – and he’s wearing a tuxedo. F.
While planning an emergency escape route, out of the corner of my eye, another dark haired guy reaches for me. He spins me around and gives me the most gorgeous smile I’ve ever seen. Relief floods over me. I nervously laugh. Probably stutter. Flush bright red (again). We stand there hugging with a box of Magnolia Cupcakes between us. Finally.
magnolia bakery
We jump in a cab and immediately, I do what every Pacific Northwester does – put on my seat belt. I guess it broke the ice because he promptly gave me crap, made fun of my small town ways and we both completely relaxed. While unbuckling my seat belt, he leans over and gives me a kiss. I pretend not to remember that it was so hot and we were both profusely sweating that our faces almost slid off of each other. Ahh yes, romance at it’s finest courtesy of NYC humidity.
Anyway… we spent the next few days talking, laughing, meeting “a few of his friends” AKA the entire West Village and just enjoying the fact that we were together.
The months that followed were a series of international dates – weddings, Christmas with both families, a trip to London, and a family vacation in Maui…. which is where the next part of this story will be told.
Until then….
Happy Weekend Everyone!
Part One // Part Two // Part Three // Part Four (his side)
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