How We Met
We first met back in 2014 when I was an intern at his work. At the time Phil was working in broadcast for the Big West Division and I was thinking about pursuing a career in broadcast media. I was also playing softball in that division and he had covered some of my games before we even met! I immediately thought he was cute but was not quite ready to start a new relationship. We would flirt throughout the day until one day I saw a text from a girl come to his phone while I was sitting at his desk.
The text was asking what he wanted for dinner and I immediately assumed it was his girlfriend and stopped flirting back. Turns out he was single and that was one of his roommates! After interning for a few months I moved to Japan to teach abroad. It wasn’t until an entire year later that I went back for a second internship and he was still working there! We immediately connected and kept our relationship a secret for 4 months. We have now been living together with our good friend Gerry for 4 years now and can not wait to spend the rest of our lives together.
How They Asked
For as long as I can remember I have been OBSESSED with The Lion King. I watched it on repeat as a child growing up and still watch it any time I have a bad day. (Phil always has it loaded in the DVD player when I get home from work without me asking because he knows it cheers me up!). The circle of life was even my walk-up song while playing softball in college and “Hakuna Matata” is a phrase I commonly use. I have always dreamt of going on a safari in the Serengeti, and told everyone that I wanted to see a wild lion up close since I was two years old! I also have a major obsession with Acacia trees and any tree that remotely looks like one, regardless of where we are I say “look a lion king tree!”.
A year ago his younger sister swore into the Peace Corps and was stationed in Rwanda Africa. We were all so proud of her and equally as excited to plan a trip to come and visit her! As we started planning we decided to also fly over to Tanzania to make my safari dreams a reality. On the day he proposed I had already cried several times because we ACTUALLY GOT CLOSE TO AN ENTIRE PRIDE OF LIONS! I couldn’t believe it and broke down hysterically crying.
After spending an hour admiring them we continued in our safari journey back to our campsite when Phil cried out “look at that beautiful Acacia Tree! Let’s all get out and take a photo with it!”
It was perfect in every way! He was nervous to bring the real ring on the trip with us so he had a ring made for the trip with Simba engraved in the front! And on the inside, he engraved “Jenessa and Phil engaged 2019”.