So, I stumbled upon this board, and decided it was an adorable idea, and I'm still in that stage where I'm really excited about telling the story, so here goes! I'm long-winded, so be prepared! I'm a registered nurse and work night shifts at the hospital in the town where we live. He's a senior in college and an ROTC cadet, very chivalrous and such a gentleman. As you can imagine, night shifts are rough on my sleep cycle, so when I'm not at work I'm asleep-- however, it pays much better and I feel like I can actually concentrate on patient care while the unit is somewhat quieter and calmer than it is in the daytime. The only drawback is that I never see my FI, because I'm either at work or asleep. This summer was no exception-- he had been at one Army school or another for almost four straight months and we only saw each other a few times during that period. It was hard, of course, but we do well with the long-distance relationship thing (thank God, right?). We had been planning a trip to Ocracoke Island ever since a camping trip we took in May when we pitched a tent right on the shore of the Outer Banks and then drove home by way of the famous Highway 12 that runs up the islands. After being together for almost five years, every moment or suspicious box suddenly set me on edge, and the few times I saw him this summer he always had a present for me. A t-shirt, postcards, letters he had written-- so much so that by August, whenever he would say "I have a present for you," my heart stopped racing. He picked me up after twelve hours of night shift and drove straight to the ferry on the coast. I slept almost the whole way there. He was acting strangely, but we had been apart for so long I thought he was just nervous to be around me again. We stayed at a gorgeous bed and breakfast on the harbor, with a wrap-around porch and swings to sit in and watch the sunset. That first night was quiet, unusually so, but I was so tired I barely noticed. The next day we went shopping. The island is tiny and everything is within walking distance, so we spent a lot of time walking together. His hands were extremely sweaty every time I tried to hold them, so I gave up. It was almost sunset when we decided to go back to the house and dress for dinner. We were walking back when he started swinging my hand and smiling at me. "I have a present for you when we get back." Of course, the first thought that popped into my head was whether or not this was my last few minutes as a girlfriend. But I had decided a long time ago that I wouldn't let the lack of a proposal ruin my vacation, so I pushed the thought away... He sat me down on a big porch swing and told me to wait. He was gone for about thirty seconds-- I could hear him dash up the stairs, tear around in our bedroom, and then crash back down and out the front door. I looked up, and he was holding the box at my eye level. When I looked up into his face he knelt down on one knee, opened the box, and said, "We've been together for a long time now, and I've never been more sure of anything in my life. Will you marry me?" I'm a very emotional person so I started to cry, managed to choke out the word "yes," and then cried harder. And when he told me the center diamond belonged to his recently-deceased grandfather, I totally lost all composure.