how we met
If there’s one thing people know about me, it’s that I love golden retrievers and labradors. When Jake and I first met in college it didn’t take long until he learned this fact as well. One of his roommates in college owned a golden retriever, so needless to say I was over at their house all the time. We still joke to this day that the dog was the main reason I started going out with Jake.
Over the past 5 years, Jake and I have gone through our ups and downs like most couples and spent time apart too. I moved to Australia and for a period of time I wasn’t sure if we’d ever be together again, but there was always something pulling me back to him.
In the start of 2014 I was diagnosed with MS, Multiple Sclerosis, which led me to move back home to California. The only person I could think about and wanted to be with during this time was Jake. This began a new chapter for us in our love story. Jake was not scared off by my diagnosis but instead told me he knew he had to be with me because he wanted to be the one to take care of me and knew he was the only one who could do that.
For the past two years he has been my rock through all the ups and downs with my health. He has been my consistent source of love, strength, and encouragement. Falling back in love with him has been the most fulfilling and rewarding decision I’ve ever made.
how they asked
The night Jake proposed, he told me we were going to dinner with his parents at a restaurant near our favorite beach in LA. We arrived early, so he suggested we walk along the beach before dinner. It was during this walk that I spotted an arch shaped structure, and as he led me closer and closer I slowly began to realize it was for me. There were candles, pictures of us from the past 5 years, rose petals, and a sign made with our hashtag #adventuresofjakenaly which we had created several months ago for all the trips and adventures we’ve been on. I found out later he had also reached out to an organization we had volunteered with in college that trains service dogs for those in need, to borrow a puppy as part of the proposal.
As we walked up to a heart shape of candles pictures and rose petals, Jake pulled me into the center and told me he had asked permission from my dad to marry me, but there was one other important person’s blessing he needed as well. He pulled out a letter he’d written to my mom and I wept as he read it. When I was 16, I lost my mom to breast cancer. She was my best friend and the most beautiful soul who loved life and others extravagantly. Jake knew it was important to me that she was included in this moment and his words to her were so beautiful and perfect.
After reading his letter and getting down on one knee, I gave a tearful and giddy yes. We hugged, and as I was staring at my beautiful ring, he turned me around and a woman was there handing me a labrador puppy with a balloon tied to its neck that said “she said yes!” I fell to the ground in complete and utter shock and happiness as the puppy climbed all over me with kisses and almost as much excitement as my own.
In between the tears and puppy kisses I looked up to see both of our parents running towards us on the beach. Just when I thought my heart might explode with joy Jake, hugged me and said there’s one more person that wants to be a part of this. I turned around and saw my best friend from Australia standing there with a balloon as well. I think my heart actually stopped for a moment as I ran and hugged her sobbing with total shock and elation.
Jake had thought of every detail, including organizing to have my best friend from half way around the world fly there to share that moment and weekend with us. It was a day and evening I will never forget and always cherish as one of the best days of my life.