Courtney and Jake
How We Met
Growing up, we hear and read about fairytale worthy love stories. We think how silly it is to think that these things could actually happen to us, in real life. Little did I know, one day I would get this fairytale worthy love story and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Jake and I have been around each other our entire lives. His mom and my dad, along with other family members, were friends and went to school together. Jake and my cousin also grew up together, and were good friends in high school. I got hired at Taco Bell at age 16 for my first job, shortly thereafter a girl named Rebecca got hired as well. Rebecca was actually one of Jake’s younger sisters. She and I worked together up until I quit and left for the Navy after graduation, and during this time she had tried to set Jake and I up on a date. I guess you could say the timing just wasn’t right, as he had began dating another girl. July 2011 I left for the Navy and began my career. I was stationed overseas for a few years, until I returned back home to be a recruiter in March 2015.
During the summer, Jake and I had started talking via social media. I actually forgot to message him back until October! We exchanged numbers when we realized who each other were and began talking, leading us to our first date. Jake had been racking his brain and talking with his roommates trying to plan a perfect date, but me being me, I texted him the day of and asked if he would rather just watch Monday Night Football at my house. (I didn’t want to leave my dog at home alone all day and all evening) Jake, of course, said yes because he too loves football! So on November 2, 2015 that was our first date, hanging out with my beagle Quest, watching football, eating pizza and chili dip. We also talked, a lot about everything, leading us to all of the irony of how long we had gone being around each other, but never really getting to know each other until now.
The next morning, I had breakfast with my Dad at Bob Evans. Over breakfast, my dad asked how my date went. I was beaming, because I was so excited. I even jokingly told my dad there was a 75% chance I was going to marry Jake. My dad being my dad, told me to slow down and get to know him. Fast forward through a little over a year of ups and downs, after recognizing the love we share and the life we want to build together, Jake planned the perfect proposal!
How He Asked
As many of our friends and family know, Jake likes to keep me guessing and always on my toes, so to speak. Well, the proposal was definitely no different! A couple months prior, Jake, myself and his family had planned to take family photos together up at his parents home in Ripley, OH. The girls and I decided to plan a day of it and get ready at Hannah’s house, have breakfast and ride up together. On October 19th, 2016, Jake purchased an engagement ring – that he later hid in my laundry room in the ceiling without me knowing! When this happened, Jake confided in our family and friends to set out on planning one of the most thoughtful and memorable proposals possible.
Fun fact: I actually ran into Jake leaving my parents house the day he had asked for their blessing. He had told me he was at my apartment watching TV while I was on my way to pick up Quest after my parents had watched him while I was at work that day. He played it cool though and told me he had just decided to stop over and talk to my dad about a movie they had both previously been talking about haha.
Saturday November 19th, 2016 I awoke and began getting ready for the day ahead. I drove over to Hannah’s to meet her, Rebecca and Olivia. Oddly, Olivia was running late because she had to clean the house…which I found a bit strange because we were just doing family photos, yet I know the weekends are also always cleaning days. All four of us cooked a delicious breakfast and joked and laughed as we finished getting ready. Kristan, Jake’s mom, had sent a text to Rebecca telling her to hurry us up (I think this actually may have been a text from Jake). So as we continued to get ready, I painted Olivia’s nails followed by my own after slightly getting yelled at by the girls for saying I wouldn’t since we didn’t have time and then them assuring me it was fine and I must paint my nails haha. Right as I finish up my nails, I receive a text from Rebecca (odd I thought, since she was there with me). I open the text message and it’s a video recording of Jake. I immediately ask what’s going on as I laugh and tear up at the same time, and while Olivia records me as I watch as well. The first video sets the stage, as Jake tells me I am in a race and gives me the following clue: “High school years wouldn’t have been the same, without this girl to keep you from being lame. Travel to get your next clue.” For this clue I traveled to my apartment where my best friend Michelle and I were living at the time.
When I arrived, Michelle was there and another video of Jake was sent to me as well. My challenge was a series of five questions about Jake. After answering all questions correctly I received my next video and clue. “These people were in your corner, when times were at their worst. Travel to the home, of the people who loved you first.” For this clue I traveled to my mom and dad’s home, where my challenge was to arm wrestle my dad! I know, right? Arm wrestle the CHAMP!? I did it though, through much laughter and a little bit of help, I won the arm wrestle to receive my next clue. Fun fact: Jake went as far as to have my sister, Victoria, say there was an extra 20% off sale at her salon the weekend prior to the proposal to make sure my hair looked good. (Keeper, huh?!) My next clue was as follows, “Love has no boundaries, especially from these two. They may not have loved you first, but have always been there for you.”
This clue took me to my mammaw and pappaw’s home where my mammaw had cupcakes for me. Each cupcake had a letter on it and my challenge was to spell out the nickname Jake calls me… “Sweetheart”. After successfully completing the challenge (and not eating the cupcakes) I received my next video and clue. “They say that blood is thicker than water, but not when it comes to these two. Head to my best mates house, they have a detour for you.” This clue took me to Matt and Will Walker’s parents home where they, their younger brother and their dad were all waiting for my arrival. Once there, I received my detour challenge: Option A- get a total of five “touches” on a soccer ball between Matt and myself. Option B- Score on Will a total of three times. Instead of choosing just one, I opted to complete both…and did so successfully, with a little help! Once I completed my challenges, I received my next video and clue. “Go to where my once best friend lays. Where the buzzards circle, but yet stay in place.”
This clue took me to Jake’s Great Grandpa Ed’s gravesite. A place where we had visited once before on a date day while in Williamsburg, OH. Once I arrived, his sisters gave me a popsicle stick puzzle with a photo. I arranged the puzzle and from there headed to my final stop in the race, his parents home. Fun fact: We made a couple stops along the way because not everyone had arrived up at the house yet. We also stopped at Kroger the same time the Walker family was there, but luckily didn’t run into them haha. Once we arrived at the bottom of his parents drive, his sisters had me cover my eyes. We drove up the drive and once we stopped, Rebecca came around to my door and helped me out.
After taking a few steps, Rebecca told me to open my eyes. When I opened my eyes, I saw Jake standing in front of me and some of our closest family and friends off to my right. I immediately started laugh/crying in surprise and utter happiness as I walked towards the man of my dreams who had done all of this, to ask me one very important question. Fun Fact: Jake originally planned this entire proposal and party for the first weekend in November, only to realize afterwards that he had drill that weekend. However, everything worked out perfectly and all of the hard work paid off! Obviously I said “YES!” So here we are today, counting down and building our lives together. Thankful and blessed to have such an amazing, loving, funny and all around great man in my life to soon call my husband. Love you, always!