Engagement Party!

The Albers and Enwias getting ready to party

A tradition that is well-known within the Enwia family (and a good portion of Californians, I believe), but not with the Albers clan from Iowa, was the idea of a lavish Engagement party. That being said, it didn’t take long for the groom’s side to warm up to the idea!

We held our Engagement Party at Recreation Park, here in Long Beach, on December 11, 2010 (12-11-10). Our close family and friends attended our little soiree, which entailed a cocktail hour, dinner, followed by some dancing. Steve was very lucky in that his parents, brother and his wife, and sister were all able to make it out for the event.

The event was held at the Long Beach Recreation Park Clubhouse. About 100 people were in attendance and kept the party going long into the night. I don’t think it took long to realize that both sides of the family and friends would have no issue getting along. We heard a few comments about how awesome the wedding would be, considering how fun the engagement party was… nothing like a little extra pressure!

Since we were in early December, we decided to take advantage of the holiday season and did a little Christmas light tour on a double-decker bus. It was the perfect capper for a great weekend!

Popping the Question

Date of event

Friday, September 24, 2010

How we got engaged

After blowing off plans I had to visit my mother Friday night, September 24, 2010, because Steve had a hankering for calamari, we headed to Shoreline village near downtown Long Beach.  When Steve mentioned calamari that night I was getting ready, it didn’t occur to me that we may have been going to Parker’s Lighthouse http://www.parkerslighthouse.com/, where we once had a lovely pre-Christmas dinner that was prefaced with an amazing plate of fresh calamari. We had from that moment forward, deemed Parker’s our “Special Occasion” restaurant.

Steve had made reservation through Open Table and regardless, we still were not seated as scheduled. However, Jacqi, a friend and server at Parker’s made the wait shorter and even treated us to a delish Creme Brulee at the end of our meal, not to mention that they comped the sampler tray! Overall a great start to a evening that would turn out to be an unforgettable moment in both our lives.

After a wonderful dinner and a lovely view of the harbor, Steve and I took a stroll along the boardwalk, I’m sure he was looking for the perfect moment to pop the question, now that I think back to it.  Shoreline village was full of patrons walking, stolling on their bikes and shopping that  night, and as we often do, I suggested that we play a few rounds of skeeball and maybe Big Buck Hunter (our top 2 favorite arcade games) before heading home. After frolicking around and competing, Steve lead me out onto the bike path that overlooked the Long Beach Harbor and the beautifully lit Queen Mary. We sat down at a bench and he started asking me about the evening, if I had fun, what I thought of the dinner and wine, etc…He also added, ” You know why we dined at Parker’s tonite?  He continuted, “It is our special occasion place. Do you know what special occasion that would be?”

Of course, at this point I realized that this was the MOMENT, this was the PROPOSAL! He got down on one knee, and all I remember repeating aloud was, “Are you serious? Are you serious? You’re joking right?” And he began, as he reached down to his right trouser sock and pulled out a red ring box and opened it, as  he stumbled over his proposal, ” You know we’ve been together for 2 and a half weeks, months, years…” It wasn’t coming out right, but I knew exactly what he wanted to say. He continued, “Everyday has been amazing and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will do me the honor and be my wife?” (Now I could have mixed up the words, not used them verbatim, but you get the idea) And of course, with tears in my eyes, and a big smile on my face, I responded “Yes!” And soon after, he asked, “You wanna go show your mom?” He’s always so considerate, and never ceases to amaze me with his kind heart.

The next night we went to see Band of Horses at the Greek Theater, here in L.A.

At the Greek Theater

Amazing show, amazing weekend.

Dating 101

Taken from Mariam’s explanation on our knot.com site:

Our first summer together

Steve and I met before Memorial Day, May 2008. We discovered one another on the dating website, Match.com.  Being the busy, young professional we are meeting people online just seemed the most convenient, especially since my days of picking men up at bars were well retired. I’m kidding.

After corresponding via  email and then the telephone for a few weeks, we decided to meet for coffee at the Starbucks in Belmont Shore, CA. He was early, and I was fashionably close to being late, like usual. I approached the coffee shop with nerves as I checked my reflection in the store-front windows, making sure I was looking sharp.  Within a block I spotted him lounging on the bench outside, in his aviator sunglasses and flip-flops, he wore the So. Cal style well. “Hello”, I said, extending my hand to shake his. He rose from the bench, a towering 6 feet, 4 inches, “Hi”, he responded with a dimpled smile.

To make a long story short, we hit it off. From music, to sports, to trying different foods and loving old cars (our second date was the Bellflower Car Show) we knew we had a lot in common. After coffee that afternoon, we decided we didn’t want the evening to end so we continued to NY Pizza, had a beer and continued our conversation.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Bowling can be a contact sport!

Once upon a time…

So I guess if you’re telling a story, you start at the beginning. This blog shall be the running story of Mariam + Steve. Highs, lows and all the bits and pieces in between.

As we’ve now been together for about 3.5 years and married for 4 months, this won’t start as a running dialogue… But fear not, we’ll get you up and running with the Albers in no time!

There’s lots to get you caught up on, so let’s get started… For ease of reading and to break it up into manageable chunks we’ll start with a few posts looking back to how we got here.