… on the potential promotion of a half kid (part two)


Getting ready…

Okay, I am so sorry I’m late.  And I swear to Gawd that I was not being coy or trying to create dramatic tension (at least not a wicked lot of dramatic tension).

There are ten people in The Inn right now, enjoying the Maine air and the Maine landscapes and the Maine oceanscapes…

And the Maine WI-FI.

So you may want to just trade in your coffee for wine right now because by the time we finish this chat, it will be way past noon and if you wait much longer than that for a nice glass of wine you are just procrastinating.


Mac and Jack are engaged.

I know!

I can’t believe it either!



Because do you know when he asked JoHn for permission to marry her (and, yes, I find that beyond cute and it was she who mandated that particular tradition)… anyway, do you know?


I know.

I mean, this is not all about me but that was a very long time for me to keep that a secret from you guys I think.

And that lack of consideration could have gotten Jack demoted from half kid to third kid….

But on Monday.. he kind of rocked it.

So I’m kind of glad I held off on the demotion.

I am not sure that our experience would make the ‘Getting Engaged’ chapter of Martha Stewart’s Wedding Engagement Spectacular (you know, if she ever creates that) but it worked for us, and ultimately for them. And, as usual much hilarity joined in the magic making.

So… now you know Jack asked JoHn’s permission in January.

What you don’t know is that he first approached some of her bestest girlfriends for their advice in October.

Two Thousand Fifteen.

So these poor girls have waited eight months… EIGHT.

So here is a synopsis of how this went:

October 2015: Jack reaches out to Vanessa, Krissy, and Steph and asks them if he should consider New Year’s Eve as a possible day to ask Mac to marry him.  They all decide that this is a date where there is kind of a lot of other stuff going on. Also, Jack needs time to ask JoHn’s permission. Also they want to plan a bit and think about it.

January 2016: Jack comes home and he and JoHn end up going out for afternoon coffee one day and Jack asks JoHn (and he is all formal but they both end up cracking up and I think JoHn says ‘yes’ (though I never asked him)).

One half hour later: JoHn comes back from coffee and walks by me and wHispers that Jack ‘asked him the question’ and I am all excited and I decide to wait until Jack tells me.

Seven minutes later: I tell Jack I know.

Pretty much simultaneously: Jack smiles and we get all excited and we start talking about possibilities… perhaps their anniversary (which is in MAY and I know, holy Gawd how are we all going to wait that long?!). But we talk more and more and more and then we say that we have lots of time and he is thinking about rings and Vanessa and Krissy and Steph are stalking Mac’s Pinterest page and digging up any and all details about ring styles from their memories (because apparently this is what they talked about late at night in college I think… maybe not (speculation on my part because I did not go away to college)).

March:  Jack comes home on a weekend when Mac is on a business trip again and he and I go ring shopping and it is the cutest experience on the planet because he has all sorts of pictures from her Pinterest page printed out and a very nice man helps him find the perfect setting and then we look at diamonds and then we are walking out and we are making squealing noises because neither of us believes this is happening.  But it is. And the ring will be created by the end of April.

Holy Moly.

Later that same weekend: Jack says that she would want the family wherever he asks, including Granny… well, especially Granny. Also, he says he wants to do it in Maine. He mentions that she would love her friends there, but since they are spread between Kentucky and Austin, Texas, if he tried to do it in either of those places, Granny couldn’t come and it might even be hard for us to get there. Plus he wants to do it in Maine anyway because he and Mac love it there. He asks if he can propose to her in the barn.


The barn whose floor caved in two years ago, and then got fixed… just in time for the entire contents of about a third of the house to be tossed into while we’ve been renovated all fall and winter.

“Absolutely!” I exclaim.

Later that week: I call Jack after talking with JoHn. I get to tell him we will use our frequent flier miles to bring Mac’s three girlfriends to Maine.

Simultaneously: Jack texts Vanessa, Krissy, and Steph and tells them they are coming to Maine.  Screaming ensues via a secret message group that I have been added to.

April 5: I am talking to Jack because I have an idea. Seems Gabe and Sam have rejected my idea of a very cool vacation as a joint graduation celebration. “No planes!” says Sam, “Really, do we have to go away?” says Gabe (I know. Who are these people?) and Mac is devastated as she has been dreaming of white sand beaches or maybe London.

But the boys have agreed that they would be up for driving somewhere.. so what if we say we are going on a road trip?  We will start at the Maine house and then go to Acadia (wicked cool place where Bar Harbor (Bah Hab-ah) is, and then hip hop our way down the coast of Maine and end up back at our house.

Except we will never do any of that because it is all a lie just to get Mac to the Maine house… and more specifically, to the barn.

Jack thinks this is a rockin’ idea and the girls do too and we are all wicked excited all over again.

And then I begin to plan a whole fake vacation.


Because Mac is somewhat wise to the ways of a Dingle-y surprise. She will require details to avoid kicking off any suspicion on her part.

So I google and find specific places and things to do (horse-drawn carriage ride along the roads of Acadia, hiking Cadillac Mountain at dawn, more hiking, some hanging, some great foods and drinks along the way).   I am sufficiently fluent in ‘Maine Coast Roadtrip’ after about a week, but I tell her that I want the specifics to be a surprise.


Because I don’t put it past her, if she gets even a teeny bit suspicious, to check out a reservation or two at any specific hotel or B&B I mentioned.

Because she is my kid, after all.

So she begrudgingly goes along with it and we get the girls’ airplane reservations all set and they are coming from Austin and Kentucky and meeting in Atlanta and I will pick them up in Portland Maine on Sunday June 5th and the big day will be June 6th.


Because before that I have to finish a renovation at the house in Maine… because everything from the dang house is in the barn.

Also? I have to drive back and forth to New Orleans, Sam needs to graduate, we need to throw his and Gabe’s joint graduation (and Granny’s birthday) party, and also Gabe needs to graduate.

And also I need to decorate the barn.

But before the crazy month of May showed up, April 25th happened. And April 25th was when I gott to pick up the ring for Jack and take its first official photo:


A Magical Debut


Stay tuned for Part Three, where-in the best laid plans become even better laid… because why would Mac not want to personally participate in her own surprise engagement?

Thanks for readin’.


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