It was the most amazing moment of my life.

During our recent end-of-summer vacation to Ocean City, Maryland, Bob, my boyfriend of two years, decided that since our love for the beach was as strong as our love for each other, this vacation would be the perfect time to "pop the question."

All weekend, while we combed the beach for unusual-looking seashells, he made the comment that by the time we left to go home, we would find a gem on this beach.

I didn't believe him. Actually, I thought he was pretty nuts.

I guess in the end, the joke was on me.

On the evening of Sept. 14, as the sun began to set over Assawoman Bay and slip quietly behind the row of oceanfront condominiums that stood watch over the sea, we walked along the relatively empty beach, dodging a mixture of seashell fragments and small jellyfish that had washed up from a storm that was riding the coast.

At one point, he stopped in one of the few last remaining rays of sunlight reflecting on the beach.

I was looking down, trying not to step on anything, so I didn't notice what he was preparing to do.

As I looked up to see why he had stopped so suddenly, he smiled at me and said, "Look, I found a gem on this beach!" and handed me a spiral seashell fragment that he had picked up earlier in the day. The twisted part of the shell had a princess cut diamond ring on it.

I looked in disbelief at the seashell and then at him and then it hit me, he had been giving me hints all weekend and I had no clue as to what he was planning.

After a few seconds of me looking at the shell and then at Bob, he asked me if I would spend the rest of my life with him.

Of course, in good ol' Amy fashion, I asked questions before I answered his. Not because I had any questions to ask, but rather, because when you put me in a situation that completely blows my mind, my brain tends to short circuit and I start rambling uncontrollably.

But three quick questions later, I finally answered his question. I said "yes."

Bob then told me that this was the reason he had been looking for seashells all along. He even took a clam shell from the seafood buffet where we ate on Saturday, in case he couldn't find a shell on the beach that would work.

I laughed because secretly, I always dreamed of getting engaged on the beach and now my dream had become a reality.

The rest of that evening was spent making phone calls to numerous family members and friends to spread the good news. It all just seemed so surreal, even after telling 20 people that we were engaged.

Now nearly six weeks later, the shock has subsided, the wedding date has been set, and the planning for the big day has begun.

*****

And last, but certainly not least, a couple birthday and anniversary shout outs.

Happy Birthday Bob P., whose birthday will be celebrated on Sunday. Hope you have an amazing day!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad on Sunday! Thank you for everything over the years. You've been a guiding light and my greatest fans throughout my life. May you celebrate many more happy, healthy years together.