Engaged in Iceland: The land of reindeer, waterfalls, and pretty horses

Today was the best day in Iceland. And it will go down in history as one of the best days of my life… right up there with the day I became a Delta Gamma, the day I put on my first Humo face, and the day I learned how to fist pump.

Not only did the sun come out today in full force for the first time since we arrived, but my very own boyfriend got down on one knee and proposed to me today. NO JOKE. Sean and I are engaged. We are going to get MARRIED. ACK—how crazy does that sound?! No longer a girlfriend, I am now a fiancé, ladies and gentlemen. You can buy me a beer later.

I didn’t see it coming… who would have imagined our beloved Sean Busby would bring a RING to ICELAND? Not I. Not in a million years. He can’t keep track of his own contact lenses, let alone an engagement ring. I have to say, I am incredibly proud of him for accomplishing such a daunting, romantic feat. The proposal is a great story too, with many twists and turns and a dramatic ending and an even more heartwarming epilogue.

I invite you to read on…

So as I said, I was not expecting to get engaged today. In fact, I thought it was an impossibility, because after Sean and I picked out the ring in November, he mentioned to me in passing that the ring couldn’t be shipped out to Utah, so at some point he’d have to get to Wisconsin to pick it up. It was custom-made by an AMAZING, world-renown artist out of Stevens Point (Tom Dailing), so I figured there was no way Sean even had the ring yet. This was the one factor I always came back to, that prevented me from believing he would do it soon.

He later informed me that he’d planted many decoys around the house to throw me off from thinking he would propose on this trip. He even left fake “to do” lists around hoping I’d read them. (I didn’t, which is sad because he put forth so much effort.)

He even deployed one such decoy about an hour before he proposed today, just in case. We were driving on this gorgeous road on our way to Lake Myvatn, and out of nowhere, Sean goes, “Oh by the way, I wanted to let you know that I made reservations for us the first week in May at this little restaurant up such-and-such canyon.”


The man who enjoys dinner at Pizza Hut more than anything in the world has just reserved a dinner for two, IN ADVANCE at a fancy restaurant back in Utah and is telling me about it now, of all times. It confused me to the point of turning possibilities around in my head for 20 minutes until I became fed up with my own brain and quit thinking about it. You see, that’s how I’ve always viewed our eventual engagement. Every time I started to think about it, I came to the conclusion that I was thinking FAR too hard about the situation and that there was no way Sean was thinking so hard about something so simple.

Turns out, I was right. He’d wanted to propose in Iceland all along, and from there it was ask my dad, order the ring, get it shipped to Utah (which is possible, duh Mollie), and keep track of it on the way to Iceland. Check, check, check and check.

Well remember how I blogged about signs yesterday, and how God always seems to have a plan for Sean and I that he makes quite clear? Of course he wanted us to wait through the night last night and head out in the morning. We had the most GORGEOUS drive today through tons of fjords on Iceland’s east coast. The photos are INCREDIBLE and I had a hard time narrowing them down for this post. Please enjoy this short photo interlude:

Those are legitimate reindeer, my friends

No idea what this means, but I like it.

Day was off to a windy start!

These horses are only found in Iceland… no other horses are allowed in the country because they are so special!

It was an absolutely perfect day.

Our goal was to make it to Goðafoss (Waterfall of the Gods—another sly sign from the Big Man) in good time so we could get good pictures. We arrived at the falls and Sean goes, “Oh wow, there’s no one else here,” which is funny because there are NO tourists in Iceland this time of year. Why would there be anyone there on a Tuesday in the winter? Everything is deserted and it’s like there’s siesta every day from every time through all day. Turns out, he’d wanted someone to take a photo of us, as we’d left Britt and Russ earlier that morning to do our own thing. The original plan involved Russ taking the photos.

We got out of the car, greeted by gusts of acrtic wind coming from the waterfall and the mountains. Sean had mentioned that he’d been praying to Jesse (Alswager) on the way to the waterfall to bring sunshine. Nasty weather was on the horizon, and (wind aside) clearly some major stings were pulled to keep the weather just perfect for photos. I headed out to the edge to snap some with my camera while Sean set up his camera with his timer to get a shot of the two of us. While I was waiting for him to set up, I yelled something like, “IT’S FREAKING COLD OUT HERE!”

Sean replied, “I know! Keep your hands warm!”

Hold the phone… keep my hands warm? As opposed to the rest of myself? This was one tip off I had for today that perhaps maybe, just MAYBE this was the moment I’d been waiting for all my life. Sure enough, seconds later he came sprinting down by my side, pulling a little wooden box from his coat pocket.

I don’t remember what he said exactly, but it was something to the tune of “Mollie, we’ve skied together with wombats, we’ve experienced the beauty of New Zealand, and now we’re traveling across Iceland together… I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life traveling and creating a life and a home with you. Yada yada, I love you and a few other things…”

<My hands cover my mouth in disbelief that this is actually happening.>

“Will you marry me?”

Bring on the emotions! Tears well up in my eyes and of course, I said “Yes!” He then stood up and held the ring there for a few moments before I casually encouraged him to place it on my finger like I’d seen it done in the movies and on TV shows like the Bachelorette.

And so it was done. We made some Skype calls once we got Wi-Fi and then we made it even MORE official by becoming engaged on Facebook.

But the story doesn’t end there, folks. This is the most amazing part. Talk about signs! Right before we drove up to the waterfall, a song came on from my iPod—Dave Matthews, You and Me. Sean had started singing to it on the way in, and I remember laughing because Sean NEVER sings to Dave Matthews. I swear he only puts up with it because I love it.

As we neared our destination for the evening, the ring securely on my finger and the music off because we’d been laughing and talking the whole way from the waterfall, Sean said, “Hey, how about that song that came on right before we got there? I paused it when we got out of the car because it was so perfect, I wanted to keep listening.”

I told him it was You and Me by Dave Matthews, and that I loved that song—and then BAM, it dawned on me that You and Me was one of Jesse’s songs.

Not long before Jesse Alswager passed away last February, he’d begged his mom, Michelle to download You and Me from iTunes. She did, and because of that it forever reminds Michelle, his friends and family (and me) of Jesse.  It was played during his funeral. I’m convinced it was Jesse’s little way of popping his head into our lives and giving us a push in the right direction, yet again.

Well I’ll tell you what—when that hit me, I actually started crying. I didn’t shed an actual tear during the engagement, but this little tidbit of information from the other side brought me to tears…emotional, beautiful tears. Isn’t it incredible how things like that actually happen?

Thank you, Jesse, and thanks Michelle for the engagement Merk on Facebook. You’re right, if it weren’t for Jesse, Sean and I would have never met… and if it weren’t for Jesse, today wouldn’t have been so perfect. What an incredible soul.

GODSPEED, my man.



3 Comments. Leave new

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.