I usually don't put too much really personal stuff on my blog but I do have to share this news with family, friends and total strangers.
This picture has been on our scroller for the past few days:
Yes, Michael and I are officially engaged! He proposed on June 25 as we took a moonlit stroll around the station. For anyone who knows Michael, for him to want to go outside here for a walk should be the first sign that something unusual is up. But he said that he wanted to get away from the station and enjoy the moon so we suited up in our ECW and headed out. Even though the temperature was -90F at the time, it was indeed a nice afternoon with soft waning moonlight and a faint aurora overhead.
We got to the geographic pole and that's when he got on his knee and popped the question. He even had a symbolic ring that our friend Paul, a plumber/maintenance specialist, made for us out of a section of copper pipe. Of course we had to take off our gloves and mittens to get the ring on, which led to some mild frostnip on the fingertips, but how often do you get a marriage proposal at the actual geographic South Pole?
Then he led me to the Cargo office where Nate had helped him decorate it with Christmas lights, had a video of a roaring fireplace playing on the TV and a bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice which had frozen solid on the way out there. We toasted and tried to make a call home to family to tell them the news but the satellite was squirrelly and we couldn't get a line out. So we headed back to the station for dinner and to my surprise, just about everyone there already knew the news. And soon, our Comms tech Shaun had the above message on the scroller to congratulate us.
So now the word is out and although we're enjoying the winter here, we're now especially looking forward to getting off the ice and starting a new life together. South Pole will always be a special place to me but now it's even more special since this is where I've met the love of my life and it's only perfectly fitting that we got engaged right at the pole marker for 90 degrees South.