One year ago today, on a warm spring afternoon, Dane took me to go look at a house a friend of his had for sale. The house was adorable - a little bit of a fixer-upper, but we didn't mind. It was the first house we'd ever looked at together - as a decision to be made together - and it really got us dreaming about having a space all our own, and of creating a life together.
On the drive home I asked Dane, "Don't you think we ought to be married before start talking about taking on a mortgage together?" It was an honest question with no real suggestive intention, and I didn't really think anything about it from there.
The sun was shining on our little balcony when we got home to our apartment. It was warm and beautiful, and totally inviting... I didn't think anything of it when Dane asked me to come sit outside with him.
Then I noticed he was acting different. He was nervous. Dane doesn't get nervous.
"You know, I think you're right," he said. "I think we should be married before we take on a mortgage together." And then he got down on one knee.
I don't remember exactly what he said - I was too shocked. All I remember is the words "will you marry me?" were somewhere in there, along with a pretty little solitaire diamond ring.
It was a simple proposal - no flair, no production. But it was honest. A genuine request, from one soul to another. And it meant more to me than any candle-light dinner or scrolling marquee. Of course, I said yes. :)
We immediately called our closest friends and family to share the news, with many responses of joy and excitement for us. That night we out to dinner at Applebee's to celebrate, and then we came home and watched a movie... a simple, comforting end to an honest, exciting day.
It's crazy to think a year has passed since then! Where did the time go? A lot has changed in such a short time, too - Dane became Belegarth President, I started working as an RT, I'm about to graduate and start working full time, and the wedding plans are all but done! Less than 4 months to go now until the big day... we can't wait!
To celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime momentous occasion, we went out for a nice dinner at what has become our favorite restaurant - Ono Hawaiian Cafe.
Up until a few months ago, we had never eaten here. We'd driven by hundreds of times and heard dozens of rave reviews... I don't know why it took so long for us to try it. But when my mother and I tried their catering samples at one of the wedding shows, we knew we had to hire them for the wedding. Their food is expensive, no matter if it's catered or in the restaurant, so we had to cut some corners to be able to afford it. (That's why you'll be seeing a post in a couple of weeks about the party I'm throwing to entice my friends to help me assemble my invitations, tehe.) When Dane came with us for the official tasting he agreed... this food is worth every penny.
We like it so much we've eaten there 3 times in the last 2 months. :)
Allow me to introduce you to these little guys - kalua pork sliders. If you're going to get an appetizer at this restaurant, jump in with both feet and order these. To describe them as heavenly would be an understatement. Start with toasted Hawaiian sweet rolls. Add pork that's been wrapped in banana leaves and slow roasted until it falls off the bone. Top it with sweet house BBQ sauce, crispy fried sweet onion, and a wedge of grilled pineapple. You won't feel like you need anything else after this.
But you'll want more.
All three times we've been there Dane has ordered the same thing. They call this meal Pupukea, named after the owner's hometown. It's a plate of flank steak marinated in a homemade kona brew sauce and grilled on the hibachi, served with sweet coconut rice and your choice of an extra side. (They offer stir fried vegetables or fried onions, but Dane loves the rice so he always just gets an extra scoop.) And there's good reason Dane always sticks with this dish... it's freaking amazing. And I usually don't like steak, so that's saying something. :)
I, on the other hand, always try something different every time we go. The first time we went I had a noodle salad with coconut shrimp, and the second time I had a sweet butter leaf salad with papaya, strawberries, and teriyaki chicken. This time I decided I wanted some rice too, so I went for an entrée with more of the amazing kalua pork. (This one's called "kahana" in case you were wondering. All of the entrées are named after the owner's favorite places.) And if you're thinking "Wow, that looks like a lot of food," you're right! I wound up taking more than half of it home with me. I can't wait to eat it for lunch. :)
By the time we finished dinner we had no room for dessert, but their pineapple upside down cake sounded delish!
Thanks for celebrating this momentous occasion with us! We're both very excited to be moving on to the next chapter of our lives very soon. :)
And I hope we've given you enough incentive to try Ono if you ever come to Boise!