My little (and only) sister got engaged on New Year's Day -- see? 2009 is going great for everyone!
Apparently, the story goes something like this (patched together from several different versions): on Christmas Shaina's boyfriend, Sasha, asked her father (my stepdad) if he could have his daughter's hand in marriage* which was granted. The plan was to propose to her on New Year's Eve. They always spend NYE in Las Vegas and so he thought it would be really neat to pop the question there, but the right time never really presented itself. So on New Year's Day, they decided to drive out and see the Grand Canyon. Sasha's parents were also spening the new year holiday weekend in Vegas, so they came along to the Grand Canyon with them (knowing the engagement plan). Sasha invited Shaina out to the Sky Walk bridge, which is basically a balcony made of glass that hangs directly over the Grand Canyon ledge. You have to wear little paper booties so you don't scuff it and you're not allowed to bring things onto the 'bridge' with you. Shaina said she was surprised because Sasha isn't overly fond of heights, but he really wanted to go out and do this. They had to leave their cameras behind (with his parents, who feigned fear of heights) while they walked out to the very edge of the balcony, so Sasha's mom tipped off the professional photographer that works at the Sky Walk that a proposal was about to happen, and he started casually snapping pictures... pretending that he wasn't photographing them. It's really nice that they have a series of photos with the proposal, acceptance, and ring exchange.
The wedding will be in the Spring 2010 and I fully expect it to be something along the line of Shelby's wedding from Steel Magnolias: "my colors are not pink and pink! They are blush and bashful!"
Congratulations Sis & Sasha!
*side note: Ryan did not perform this formality and my stepdad was apparently upset about it at one point, although he doesn't remember that now. In fairness, Ryan didn't ask because he probably didn't want to get married -- I chased him down the aisle with a pointed stick! ;-)