Disclaimer: If you love reading engagement stories featuring fireworks, flash mobs, helicopters, choreographed doves, etc… move right along. But if low-key, spontaneous, Jim & Pam gas station-esque proposals are your jam, then this story is for you 😅💍


Let me set the scene. It all went down at the Sands Hotel & Spa in Palm Springs (which is a MUST MUST MUST visit for anyone). The first time we stayed there was early April during Eric’s spring break, and we both left that trip in full agreement that it was the best hotel we had ever been to, and promised we would make it back out ASAP. Meanwhile, we had also been discussing for awhile that we would wait to get engaged until Eric was on summer break (you can read more about the timing of that decision in this post). So, a couple weeks later when Eric suggested we go back to the Sands the Monday-Wednesday after his last day of school, I immediately had my suspicions that this was when/where it was happening. 

Fast forward a month to summer break, and it’s Monday, May 27th 2019, the day we’re driving back out to the desert. I only had one request for Eric for how he popped the question – I wanted it totally in private, not even a photographer present. If he wanted a surprise party of people after, fine. But the actual moment I wanted just the two of us. I just knew that if people were around I would feel this pressure to react a certain way, and I wanted to be completely genuine in the moment.

Anyways, we get to the hotel, check-in, and basically from this point on I was fully prepared for this to go down at any moment. Next thing I know, Eric tells me he ordered chocolate covered strawberries for the room… YEAH. So, like, shit was about to get real. Well, the strawberries get delivered, and nothing. Next, we go down to the pool, and after a bit he says he needs to go to the room to get sunscreen. He comes back down with literally. just. sunscreen. No ring in sight. Later we go back to the room and we’re hanging out on the balcony, about to start a game of chess when he says he’s going to go in to make us drinks. He comes back out on the balcony, and, once again, NO RING. Finally 8 o’clock hits, so I’m turning on The Bachelorette and just made up my mind that it was not going to happen tonight. We were there for two more days anyways, so plenty more romantic opportunities to make it happen.

We finish The Bachelorette at 10, post a recap of our thoughts on my IG stories by 10:30, and then decide to watch Oceans 12. We had to watch it on Eric’s laptop since he rented it on Amazon (and we couldn’t figure out how to set it up on the hotel TV 😕). Well Eric’s laptop and charger (and apparently THE RING BOX!!!) were under the bed, so I tell him to set up the movie while I would catch up on some work really quick. So I’m on my computer, Eric is bent down reaching under the bed, and next thing he pops up on one knee holding his hands up closed around something. Like I said, at this point I had already made up my mind that it was not happening tonight. He starts saying “Natalie Andrea Tomasik...”, SO CLICHE, and since I couldn’t see what was in his hands, I figured he was just holding the laptop charger and was about to finish that sentence with some “…will you watch Oceans 12 with me” BS. Or worse, I thought maybe he found a dead cockroach under the bed and was about to be a real asshole and put it in my face. I didn’t want to look like a loser who fell for his lame joke, so I just keep working away on my computer, telling him to get off the floor, set up the movie, and stop being a weirdo. 

Well after about 2 minutes when he was still talking and giving me this whole speech, it hit me me that this might be the real thing. I finally looked up from my computer at the same time that he opened his hands to show me that it was the ring box after all – and in fact, NOT his laptop charger or a cockroach. In that moment I just completely lost it and started BAWLING. A minute later when I pulled myself together I asked him to say the speech again since I wasn’t paying attention the first time, but apparently he completely blacked out during it and couldn’t remember what he said 😂🙄 

So, that’s it. Somewhere between The Bachelorette and Oceans 12, at 11pm on a random Monday, in our favorite hotel, with no makeup on, no photographer, and me completely unaware it was even happening and ignoring him during a whole speech that none of us remembers now. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I just love that even though I was 99% sure it would happen on that trip, he still managed to completely surprise me, and the proposal was just so us. IT WAS PERFECT.

Eric Bryan Palmer, I love you so much, and I can’t wait for a life together that’s as messy, spontaneous, and perfectly imperfect as our proposal was.  

P.S. This blurry selfie is the first picture we took as an officially engaged couple, and I think it’s better than anything a professional photographer could’ve ever taken of us 💛

P.P.S. Also, after it happened we were too excited calling family to watch the movie, so I still haven’t seen Oceans 12 yet. Cutie, when does it expire from your Amazon??? 😬

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