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We've been friends for quite some time, 14 years or so actually, through marriage, divorce, crazy exes, lots of moves.... after so long we do have a few stories, but for now, we'll stick with the wedding-related ones.

The proposal

September 15th was a very full day. It started at 7:00 AM with a trip to the Mason Neck State Park in Occoquan, VA to go birding. We spent the morning at the refuge, photographing everything from ducks and starlings to great blue herons and egrets.

Birds tend to be more active earlier in the day, so we knocked off around 1:00 and went to the Ikea in Woodbridge for an errand and to have lunch. (Ikea has a cafeteria! Who knew? Amy, that's who. This was Blair's first experience with lingonberries.)

Blair dropped Amy off at home around 4 o'clock and headed home to take a nap before we proceeded with the next part of the day's plan.

A little before 8:00, Blair returned to Reston and picked Amy up for a dance at the Sherwood Center in Fairfax. (You've perhaps noticed that we tend to dance now and then - even in parking lots.) We met up with a group of our friends and spent two hours dancing to Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palm Orchestra.

Around 10:30 or so we left the dance and headed to Silver Diner for dinner. Not just any Silver Diner of course, but our Silver Diner, the one in Reston. We ate dinner and while we were waiting for dessert, Blair left the table for a few moments.

When Blair returned, he sat down next to Amy who was using her phone to catch up with friends on Facebook. A minute or so later however, music started playing at which point Blair turned to Amy and said, "Hey! That's our song! C'mon, we gotta dance!"

And we started dancing in the middle of an otherwise empty section of the restaurant. A few members of the restaurant staff glanced in and smiled, but we were otherwise undisturbed as we danced the entirety of "Singin' in the Rain."

As the song ended, Blair guided Amy back to our booth and requested, "I need you to sit down a moment." As Amy sat, realization dawned. Sure enough, Blair then knelt down and said, "Amy, the past fourteen months have been some of the most wonderful times of my life. The part I don't like is when you have to leave, so I'd like to do something about that. Will you marry me?"

In a soft voice only Blair could hear, Amy replied. And then we kissed.

A few moments later, one of the wait staff who'd quietly snuck into the section to record the scene on his iPhone asked, "What did she say?"

Blair called back, "She said 'Yes.'"

The restaurant erupted in cheers.

Amy's ring

Amy didn't want an engagement ring, and at one point had jokingly told Blair, "maybe a candy one" when he persisted in asking about rings... so that's what he proposed with!

The ring

Why is this site called SquishySneakers? And what about that "Singin' in the Rain" song?

When we set out to identify "our song," one recurrent theme was dancing. This led to such songs as Josh Turner's "Why don't we just dance?" but somehow, none of them felt right.

We'd been taking dance lessons in Silver Spring with Dabe and Janelle Murphy. The classes were always followed by an open dance (i.e. a chance to practice) and one night, just as we were preparing to leave, Dabe put on the Jive Aces' version of "Singin' in the Rain." In a flash of lightning we knew we had found "our song."

Our history with this song goes back to before we even thought about dating. In November of 2010, the Jive Aces made their annual appearance at Glen Echo Park. Blair had seen them a year earlier and persuaded some friends to come out for the show. This was Amy's first introduction to swing dance.

In June of 2011 (still not dating, but definitely spending a bit of time together) we attended an outdoor concert at Brookside Garden. Amy had even put together a picnic dinner to thank Blair for some computer work. We had arrived in the park and could hear music in the distance when the skies opened and put the concert to an abrupt end.

We spent the next 90 minutes sitting in a gazebo, waiting for the rain to let up. We passed the time with conversation, drinking lemonade, and enjoying Amy's wonderful picnic. When the rain still hadn't let up, we decided to make a dash for the cars.

Midway to the cars, inspiration struck. Realizing she was already thoroughly soaked and couldn't get any wetter, Amy stopped and jumped in the largest puddle she could find (Blair is quite jealous that he didn't think of it first). By the time we reached the cars, we were laughing like fools and jumping in every puddle in sight.

When we saw the Jive Aces in November of 2011, Blair told them that they had played a role in our becoming a couple and therefore shared in the responsibility for the outcome. When we saw them again in 2012, Amy told them that Singing in the Rain would be played at our wedding.