Jason and Emily's Birthday Proposal
How We Met
Jason and I grew up going up to the same church, so we have known each other since those awkward elementary school days. However, it wasn’t until freshman year in high school (2012) (maybe an even more awkward time period) that we began to be close friends. We had English and Math together, so we saw each other a lot. In fact, Every. Single. Day. Jason would do the typical “how to get a girl to like you things”. He would text me during class or try to smooth talk me at every opportunity, but I was pretty immune to his tactics at that point. It wasn’t until months later that I had a crush on Jas. I finally was finally falling for him. From the blonde hair and blue eyes to the contagious joy and gentle spirt, I was amazed by who he was. I began to realize that this guy; a person that I never thought of as than more than just a childhood friend was exactly what I was looking for in a boyfriend, and eventually a husband. He truly was the man of my dreams. The man I didn’t deserve. The man I was praying God would give to me.
From that point I began to pray and wait. Pray and wait. After all, this was the first guy I had EVER had a crush on. The first guy who could possibly be my boyfriend. The first guy who I would let into my heart. I wanted him to pursue me. I wanted it to be right.
After getting my Dad’s permission, Jason asked me to the Homecoming dance in August of sophomore year (2013) with an adorable sign and flowers in hand. At this point, we were just FRIENDS….yeah, that only lasted a short three weeks! During those weeks we both realized that it was right. That this was something special. We talked about our intentions, our boundaries, and most importantly why we wanted to try out this whole dating thing. We began dating on September 7th, 2013, and the rest is history. From that day on we dated with marriage in mind. Although we were just teenagers in high school we understood the potential of what we were getting into. We weren’t going to let this be some silly relationship with no purpose. One way or another, this was going to matter.
And oh how it has mattered. Jason and I have spent three years of our lives dating one another. I feel as if every moment with Jas has been a fairytale. From trips around the world, to winning prom King and Queen we have been blessed with so much adventure. With so much joy. And even in the times of trial, in the bad days, I am repeatedly reminded of that joy.
Within those three years I have experienced the love of God in such a true and tangible way. We have both grown closer to each other, as we have grown stronger in our faith. I couldn’t be more in love with Jason, and more thankful for our story. Every day I am constantly reminded of a love that is so much greater, the perfect love of Jesus that brought us together. It has been an absolute adventure and we are so excited to begin the marriage journey together!
How He Asked
Weeks had past and I still had no idea how I planned to ask Emily to marry me. Ring, check. Blessing, check. Location, nothing. But I did conjure up aspects that I knew I needed to include or a creativity generated “perfect proposal” that I let run my decision making. I knew one thing for sure. It needed to be special.
I then went on a limb and assumed that my last minute panic would fuel my creativity. So I started knocking out things on my checklist. I called her boss a month prior to make sure that she would get the time off. I asked her mom to go with Emily so she could get her nails done. I asked a friend, and really good photographer, to get everything on video. I found her a dress to wear the day of and also found myself something to match it. And I had just pinpointed how and where I was going to ask.
Finally, every piece of the puzzle was slowly falling in place. I saw my window of opportunity to make it a surprise and I snatched it. Emily’s birthday was four days before I planned to ask, so I saw this as a chance to lure her away from our home town and get her to a beautiful spot. With the help of a picnic basket that she had been nudging me to buy her, I had found my scapegoat. This was the solution to fitting all of the puzzle pieces together. She knew that I was going to be proposing at some point, so keeping everything a secret to the best of my ability was imperative. Her birthday came and she opened up the picnic basket that she wanted and I then said that the basket is part one of the gift and part two will happen Thursday. After explaining to her that I wanted to take us out on a special date and I had told her bosses ahead of time that she would be gone, she was all in. Yes! Another big piece down!
Thursday, June 30th, 4:45am, my alarm clock went off and that sparked the first moment of the most important day of my life to date. I got dressed quickly and then went with my photographer Josh Felise to go pick up Emily’s father. We all caravanned to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park which was the home of Strawberry Hill, a hill that looks over San Francisco. Soon after arrival and prepping camera angles and shots, the rest of Emily’s family came to help set up.
Over the past three years that Emily and I have dated I know for a fact that we have accumulated over 1000 pictures of moments and events and silly adventures we’ve have. So I found it fitting to show her how much those moments meant to me. I strung twine between two old trees and began to tape the pictures to them. Some eccentric tulle placement, clever signs, and an hour later I had to rush home to get changed and pick up Emily for this very, very special picnic.
Sitting in my car parked outside of her house I was applying my best poker face. And as I came in I saw my beautiful girl dolled up and carrying a smile I can always count on. I showed her the dress and watched her leave to change into it. During that quick 56 seconds I had place the ring inside the picnic basket and closed it back up. And now we’re off! An hour and ten minutes of questioning what we are doing had passed until we finally made it. Stow Lake.
I had taken her hand and brought her to the boating dock where we took a romantic row boat adventure around the lake, a date fit for a princess that I always wanted to do for her. As we return the boat, the nerves began to kick in. Trying to silence my anxiety and keep my poker face, we went to my car to get the picnic basket.
Following my lead, we took our time as we made it up the steep green Strawberry Hill. Almost to the top, my heart was going to beat itself out of my chest. As we continue to walk we sign a sign. Another sign. A third sign. I take her hand as she giggles with joy the cuteness of whoever put those up. We made it to the top and I walk her to the area that I so strategically and gently set up for her. Emily’s attention was glued toward the stringed photos and chalkboard signs. In one swift motion I grabbed the ring box and grabbed her waist pulling it closer to mine. After I poured out a section of my heart that only someone who comprehends true love could understand, I fell to my knee.
The last surprise of the day was about to unfold. One that Emily mentioned years ago that she always wanted to have. A surprise that I got to once again plan to make the day perfect. We get home, walk in to the kitchen, and get surprised by all of our friends and family. The one’s who have walked with us at every stage of our relationship.
Needless to say that in spite of waking up early, commuting to and from SF twice, and making sure everything was executed perfectly, I would do it all over again. I am so incredibly excited to spend the rest of my life with someone who is so easy to love.