Jessica and Bao


How We Met

Jessica and I met at Christ, The Incarnate Word Catholic Church where we both served every Sunday. In reality, we did go to high school together, but our paths never really cross. I was a senior and she was a sophomore. She had an eye on me during our high school year and I had attractions towards her as well. She would never let it go saying, “why didn’t you talk to me?”….till this day I wonder why myself. Maybe it wasn’t the right timing. Maybe it wasn’t the place. My reason was she never made herself known. Oh, how she hated that excuse.

At church, we served and helped the youth together. And that’s when I mustered up the confidence to talk to her.

how they asked

1 year of thoughts and ideas, 6 months of planning, 2 months of hand-making everything..all came down to this moment. And it was perfect.We were serving at a juvenile detention center to get on the morning of November 5th, 2016.At this point in time, her siblings were helping me with the majority of the set up at home; hanging the lights mainly. Jessica had no idea.




At the end of the retreat, we went home, rested at my house, and her younger sister took her out to do her nails. She had no idea.

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The concept was based off a book I gave Jessica for graduation, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. The book is about the adventures one would see in the next stage of their life.



Some of it bad and some of it good, but it’s always about getting up and moving forward simply because you can. It’s a book of encouragement for the journey which was very fitting seeing how graduation was a new stage in life for her. She loved the gift and thought it was clever.

Our time here on earth, though very limited, is a long journey which ultimately leads us to heaven. Along the way, God has a hand in our interactions and who we meet. And I thank God that he allowed me to meet her. “Where We Were” in the past as kid growing up and the separate lives that we lived all converged at the center when I ask her out on that night after a very elegant dinner at Denny’s (big spender).




The trials, learning, growing, laughter, joy, peace and love that we experienced…all led us to “Where We Are”. These 5 amazing years that has taught me how try to love her as Christ love the Church and that’s something I pray will never stop.








At the end of the book there’s this part that I love – the very last few lines – and it goes as such,
“So… be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So… get on your way!”




Together we ran. Together we’ve fought. With mountains before us (whether it be Mt. Rainier or struggles within), together we will climb. Because together I can only image…”Oh, The Places We’ll Go”….

Special Thanks

Daniel Cao Photography