Jenny and Jake's Christmas Lights Proposal

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How we met

Jake and I met in 2012 through work. We both worked for a before and after school program for kids but at different school sites. At the time, Jake was an assistant lead and I was an attendant. One morning, “Mr. Jake” (this is how we had to refer to each other at work) called the school site I was working at and asked my lead if he could send over an attendant to substitute for a staff who had called out sick that morning. Mind you we start work at 6 am (before school), so not knowing I was going to be asked over to another school site – I show up with hair in a messy bun, yoga sweat pants, and that horrible blue staff sweatshirt all attendants had to wear.

As I walk into the auditorium door; my lead says “sorry Ms Jenny, we just got a call and they need us to send you to another site”. No big deal right? – I had subbed at other schools before and I always enjoyed meeting new kids and other staff. Well no big deal until that morning! To my surprise, I was greeted so genuinely at the door by this super cute guy with the most perfect smile, Jake.  My first thoughts to myself “oh Lord, my hair looks like a bird’s nest and I’m standing in front of Prince Charming” Literally! I found out later as we were talking about our lives that as another job, he would dress as Prince Charming to be an escort for the Princesses who go to little girl’s birthday parties so that’s what I mean by literally.

As the morning went on, he decided not to follow the daily AM schedule which meant no reading, no cardio, and instead more fun by playing hoop shoot with all the kids involved. I loved this! I admired how great and inneractive he was with the kids and although he was ‘The Boss’ he was having fun. I left that morning with a little crush but went on with my day as usual. The next week Jake had called my lead again in need of a substitute attendant but this time he requested me specifically. In all honesty I thought it was just because he thought I was a good employee so I thought nothing of it and went to his school site again…and again…and again. Now anytime he had a staff member call out, Jake would make the phone call over to the school I worked at asking for me and I still cluelessly thought nothing of it.

Towards the end of the school year he was offered with a better position which was Lead at another school site instead of his position as Assistant Lead so of course he took the offer. Summer came and this meant all “north side” schools would be combined because of the low number of kids we get during that time but since Jake took the lead position at another school that was on the “south side” of the district we would not see each other. By fate, towards the end of summer, the Lead from the school Jake was originally at and which my school was still combined with, decided to resign from her position; so Jake immediately took the opportunity of transferring back to his home site. Well there we met again and with very mild flirting, neither of us knew how each other felt… Until one night, some of the staff had planned a night out for all the employees to enjoy themselves as we came to an end of a very fun but exhausting summer.

It was that night that Jake got my number and we started getting to know each other outside of work. Come to find out that although he did think I was a good employee; that was not the real reason he had always asked for me to sub all those mornings…he too, had a crush. It wasn’t long after that night that Jake and I became inseparable and started growing in love together!

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How he asked

It wasn’t long after Jenny and I first started dating we both realized that we had something special that we both never had before.  In the summer of 2014 I began cultivating my plan to save up and propose.

We are both very traditional when it comes to marriage and I knew she wanted me to ask for her dad’s permission before I popped the question.  On October 26th, 2014 I spent the day golfing with her dad and her two older brothers.  This was the perfect opportunity to ask!  As if the game of golf isn’t frustrating enough I had the weight of asking my future Father-in-law (and future brother-in-laws) if I could steal his only daughter and take her as my wife….no pressure.  I played a decent game but the timing just wasn’t right…until I reached the 17th hole.

It was a sloping par 4 with bunkers on both sides of the green.  I teed up and slammed a line drive down the center of the fairway, my confidence was growing quickly.  On my second shot I nailed the ball on the outer edge of the green just grazing the rough.  Her father, Bob, was walking towards me.  This was the time!  I took in a deep breath and I asked, “Bob, I have a serious question I’d like to ask you.”  He looked at me as if he had been anticipating me to ask the question all day, “Yeah?”  I took in a deep breath, looked off in the direction of the green then I looked back at him, “do you think I ought to use my putter or my wedge on this one?”  After my playful words I did ask the real question and I received his blessing!

Now comes the part you’ve all been waiting for!  On Friday night, December 12th, 2014 Jenny and I went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday.  Afterwards we planned on fulfill our annual tradition of walking the streets of Starlight Circle, a neighborhood that goes above and beyond when it comes to decorating for Christmas.   My brother James and his wife Jessica are both amazing wedding photographers and they joined us for the evening.  They started taking pictures at dinner so it didn’t seem odd for them to have their cameras out and ready when we were walking the neighborhood.

My heart was pounding in my chest when we pulled up and parked in front of the neighborhood.  While we started our walk through the streets, I put my hand in my right pocket to feel the ring box one more time.  At this same time our family and friends were gathering right outside the neighborhood anxiously waiting for the big moment!
About 25 minutes later we were finishing our walk in Starlight Circle and we approached the main cul-de-sac of the neighborhood, here it comes!  I pulled Jenny towards me into the empty driveway of one of the main houses.  Right as she asked me, “what are you doing” the garage door started to rise and light began to escape and illuminate in our direction.  It quickly caught Jenny’s attention as she spelled out the words, “MARRY ME JENNY?” in white Christmas lights.  Our parents and grandparents were standing behind the sign with smiles from ear to ear.  Jenny immediately covered her mouth with her hands.  I got down on one knee and all the lines I rehearsed completely flew out of my memory, “Jenny will you marry me?”  It seemed like an eternity but she was able to push past the lump in her throat and answer me with a “YES”!!

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Precisely at this same moment, the lively group of family and friends came from around the corner and began to cheer at the top of their lungs.  Jenny had a look of disbelief!

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The crowd gathered around us and Jenny started to cry.  It all happened so fast that I didn’t even put the ring on her finger yet, it was still in the box!  I grabbed her by the hand, gave her a kiss and slid the ring on her finger!  It was one of the greatest moments in my life!  Jenny and I are currently in the process of planning our wedding and enjoying every minute of it!

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Special Thanks

James and Jes
Photos