History Love,  Life,  Travel

The One Where Magpie’s Getting Married

Yup, you heard that correctly: Jim and I are finally going to tie the knot. The big news broke on my insta-story the day it happened, but Jim has officially popped the question, and after almost 8 years together, we can now officially say we’re engaged.

And yes, you read that right: 8 years. We’ve been getting a lot of “OMG FINALLY” reactions from those around us – to be expected after such a long time and since we own both a house and a dog together – but we did what was right for us, in our particular situation, on our own time, and we couldn’t be happier.


So yea, we’re getting married!

I gotta be honest in that he managed to completely surprise me – something which I never thought would happen. Being together for so long, of course we’ve been talking about taking this step for a while. I even knew he was looking for a ring, since we had talked about ring style, and I had gotten measured in terms of size so he knew whatever he got would fit. But I had always kind of figured that just through talking and through the everyday rhythms of living together I would probably be able to figure out once he found one, and have a general idea of when the question was coming.

And I sooo totally didn’t.

And guys? The whole thing was so cute, and so thoughtful, and I just can’t get over it. He’s amazing, my friends who came with us are amazing, and I just love them all. So pardon me while I turn into a cutesy gushing giggly puddle for a moment and tell you the whole thing.

Freedom Trail Marker

He popped the question in the most quintessentially “ME” place I think he could have found: at the end of the Freedom Trail in Boston.

For those of you who may not know, the Freedom Trail is a walking path in Boston that was put in in the 1950s to link a bunch of the really important historical sites in Boston. It starts at Boston Common – which is the US’s oldest public park and has played host to a multitude of important events over the years – and ends at the Bunker Hill Memorial, which is actually on Breed’s Hill where most of the battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought. The sites are connected via a brick path in the sidewalk and have a multitude of historical markers explaining the significance of each site, so that you can self-guide on the trail.

Fanueil Hall bright

Now, I had technically done some of the trail before on an orchestra field trip in High School, but as a bunch of disinterested teenagers who cared more about seeing the original Cheers Bar and making sure they had a chance to buy a Harvard shirt, I didn’t really remember much or appreciate what I did. So, ever since I found my footing as a historian – one that mainly teaches US history these days – I’ve wanted to go back and see it with more appreciative eyes. The Revolutionary War is one of my favorite topics to cover, and I always relish seeing the historical sites in person. The Freedom Trail is just chock full of them.

That opportunity came up this summer when we decided to take a day of our bordering-on-annual friends vacation/roadtrip in August to spend a day in Boston. I asked everyone if they’d mind walking at least part of the trail with me, and they all agreed to humor me – despite it not really being of interest to them. My friends are awesome.

Bunker hill is so far away

So anyway, flash-forward to us actually walking the trail. When we started, I was under the impression that the intention was to walk the trail for a while, and sort of take the day as it came. If we found something cool along the way we’d stop, and basically once everyone else got bored or it got too hot, or our feet got too tired, we’d call it quits. I wanted to particularly see the Old North Church, and if possible the Bunker Hill memorial – but if we wanted to skip some of the other stuff I assumed we would. Since you know, walking a brick line in the sidewalk to a bunch of old buildings in the scorching heat is not really anyone’s idea of fun except for mine.

Well, once we started, we just kind of didn’t stop? The day got hotter as we went, our feet got sore, and more and more I started feeling kind of bad for asking to do this. I was like, wow my friends are really buckling in for the long-haul in humoring me here – particularly since they really don’t have much of an interest in any of this. At least not like I do. This was dedication.

Bunker hill looking up

It was hot, and the sun was beating down, everything was humid and sticky and the further we went the more guilty I felt for dragging them along with me. I kept asking, “Are you sure you guys are okay doing this?” “Are you sure you guys don’t want to stop?” “Really, it’s okay if we don’t get through it all – it already means the world to me that we did this much.” The answer was always, “Nope, let’s keep going” and “Well, we came this far, we should finish.” And then once we got to the Charlestown Bridge and I saw how far away the Bunker Hill Memorial actually was? I overtly suggested we call it a day and go to dinner because I was feeling so bad about dragging them along SO FAR for SO LONG when it was SO HOT and I was the only one really that interested in any of this.

But they insisted.

And it turns out, they insisted because they all knew what Jim had in his pocket.

So we pressed on. And as I was asking Jim to take some photos for me for my Instagram, when I turned around to ask if he got the shot I had asked for, he was down on one knee.

The ring

The rest is self-explanitory. Of course I said yes.

So here begins a new chapter in our lives. I’m sure the coming days will bring some wedding-related posts, although I want to try really hard not to turn this into a wedding blog as we go. The one thing I want to make sure is that wedding planning doesn’t end up consuming my life and my other hobbies. After working in the wedding industry as a musician as long as I have, I know how all-consuming and predatory a lot of areas of the industry can be, and I want to make sure I enjoy this whole process – even as someone who doesn’t really relish in event planning. Because after all, the details aren’t really what matters.

What really matters is that I’m excited to finally marry my best friend.

The One Where Magpie's Getting Married

Come visit me at Magpiemakingdo.com!

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