How We Met
James and I met in January of 2017. He was a regular at the restaurant I was working at. I remember the first time I noticed him, I looked over to my coworker and said to her, “woah, I want to marry that guy. He is SO FINE.” Of course, he was sat in my section a few minutes later. I was immediately attracted to how kind and genuine he was. I ended up serving him once or twice after that initial day, and I swear he barely noticed me until one evening when I was sitting down enjoying dinner with friends, and he sat across the restaurant with colleagues. His colleague waved me over, so I jumped at the opportunity and left the friends I was with to see if I could have a shot with this mysterious man. After hours of incredible conversation and a bottle of red wine, I knew in my heart he was the one. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
We haven’t been following a traditional course of romance since the early days. Two weeks into dating, he took me to Dubai for a weekend, six weeks in, we decided to move in together, and three months in, we decided that we REALLY wanted to be parents. We’ve always done things that suited our timeline and made sense to us, never giving a second thought to what other people may think.
February 2018, our son, Huntley, was born. Our labor with him ended up being traumatic and I had horrible health issues for months and months following the birth. We had to cancel his birth celebration party, and with all honesty, it was really tough on us. Luckily, we had a tremendous amount of support from our family and friends, and I eventually got back on my feet and have been feeling as good as ever. We have the most beautiful little boy, so as most mamas would say, it has been completely worthwhile (x1,000,000).
Fast forward to January 2019. We decided to take Huntley on a trip to his dad’s homeland of New Zealand. James was born and raised there until 13 when his parents uprooted the family to Canada. We had been eager to get there so Huntley and I could meet the Kiwi side of the family. We spent a month travelling on both islands. The journey from Canada to New Zealand seemed impossible to do in one trip with an eleven-month-old, so we broke up the flights on the way there & back in the Los Angeles area.
We had a few weeks leading up to his first birthday to plan a party with close friends, we would be staying in Malibu for that leg of the trip, and really wanted to make it special for him, and for us.
I was in planning mode with one of my dearest friends and Los Angeles resident, Coral. She really didn’t let me do ANYTHING, and if you know me, I like to be organized and in the loop. Our biggest hope was to have some furry friends at the party for Huntley (and okay fine, mostly me) to play with and a photographer, to document this emotional and important first birthday.
Well, all of our hopes and dreams came together seamlessly, with thanks to Coral, and her friend Holly (who’s a superstar event planner)
How They Asked
February 26, 2019. It was the morning of Huntley’s birthday! I woke up a little bit sad that time has been moving so quickly but also excited to see old friends and celebrate our beautiful boy. We stayed at the Calamigos Guest Ranch in the Malibu mountains. As the day went on, we had staff show up to our villa with heaps of food and even more champagne. The petting zoo staff showed up with adorable bunnies and chinchillas, and soon after, our guests. It was already the perfect day.
We played, laughed, and sang “Happy Birthday”. Unfortunately, Huntley was a bit under the weather, so he went to sleep right after he had a taste of his birthday cake. Our friends began to urge us to do a toast to him, I took the lead and began to ramble on about the past year of his life and how grateful I am to be his mama. A few minutes later, it was James’ turn. He spoke a few words about H, then began to talk about how great of a partner I’ve been through it all, how much he loved me, etc. etc.
I looked to him at that moment and cheekily said, “babe, it’s not our wedding day, move on”. The crowd nervously giggled and before I knew it, he was on one knee!
I’m happy this is all documented because truthfully, I blacked out. I think I ugly cried for five minutes before I actually said YES. I was so deeply shocked that I threw the champagne I was toasting with and smashed it into the grass. How graceful, I know.
Champagne was popped, tears were shed, and love was in the air.
The rest of the evening was enjoyed at the ranch with our friends. We were so lucky to have an incredible musical performance by our dear friend Josh Royse (of the band, Naked Elephant). Singing and playing on the grand piano for us and the other ranch guests.
I’m still in awe of how James (& Coral) pulled this one past me. Especially after we’ve been travelling side by side for 5 weeks prior.
I don’t think I’ve ever cried so many happy tears in my life. Our romance has been like a modern day fairytale and I couldn’t be happier to be his fiancé.