how we met
March 22, 2014… Where it all started.
We both signed up to go on a missionary trip down to Mexico with our church, Rock Harbor. I was in the same van as Tiffaney on the way down there. Naturally I was loud and obnoxious the whole ride there (clearly a good flirting technique). The whole drive everyone in the car talked and got to know each other. Throughout the trip we got to know each other and talked here and there. Little did we know this would be the first day of the rest of our lives. When we got back from Mexico, Tiffaney ignored me. Probably something about me being the loud annoying guy the whole car ride to Mexico. However, I didn’t give up. I sent her a message asking her to get coffee with me and after her friend convinced her to go, she finally said Yes… the first of many yes-es.
I remember when I got to the coffee shop to meet her I was looking around trying to find her. I sent her a text saying I was there and waiting by the front. As my eyes scanned around the building looking for her I couldn’t help but notice a gorgeous girl sitting at the coffee bar facing the other way. I didn’t realize that was her until she turned around. While we were in Mexico, I only saw Tiffaney in throw-away old work clothes and without any makeup on. This was the first time I saw her dressed up and she blew me away. She was jaw droppingly stunning. After we ordered coffee, we sat down and talked for hours but they seemed like minutes. We both had a great time and agreed to hang out again soon.
Date after date, we explored a vast array of new fun restaurants, coffee shops and adventurous activities. Everyday together became our new favorite day. A few months went by and she left me. But not really though, she just flew to Europe on vacation to explore the other side of the world with her closest friends. But It was torture. The time apart caused us to really realize how much we loved and missed each other. The suspense killed me. Like a kid on Christmas Eve, we couldn’t wait to see eachother again. Before she even returned we made it “official”, we knew we had a future together. Once she returned from Europe, we spent a day at Disneyland and many more days together as a new couple.
As the days flew by, so did the holidays. We tried to spend every single holiday together. Her family lived in Bakersfield and we lived in Orange County. The drive back and forth did take a while for me to get use to. but it was definitely worth it! Every trip gave me the opportunity to get to know her family better and she also began to know mine.
As the relationship progressed, each day together became our new favorite day. We always strived to do something new and go somewhere fun to keep life exciting and fun and as a result we have a plethora of great memories together. Some of our favorite shared memories was going on a hot air balloon ride, taking many trips to Santa Barbara to go wine tasting, horse carriage wine tasting in Temecula, snowboarding, a wonderful Catalina trip, taking a road trip along the coast with great friends and the list goes on forever.. We quickly realized how fast time flies.
Well the more time Tiffaney and I spent together, the more I knew she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It became a no brainer, She checked all the boxes!
how they asked
In December, Tiffaney took a trip to Africa with her children’s clothing company Brave Little Ones to visit the kids they sponsor. I knew this would be the perfect time to plan the proposal. She’s a smart one, so I knew I had to be clever to trick her without giving it all away. We talked about marriage often so she knew it was coming, but didn’t know when. So knowing her birthday was right around the corner, I knew this would be the perfect way to disguise the proposal. So I began planning the biggest birthday surprise ever. After days of research and planning I had it all figured out. I picked out the perfect ring for her and then chose the perfect day, January 15th (two weeks before her birthday). January 15th was the day our lives changed forever.
That morning, I planned for her to be woken up by her roommate. Her roommate handed her a birthday balloon and an envelope with ‘#1’ written on the outside. Inside the envelope was a letter that I wrote explaining that I planned a big surprise day for her birthday where I took care of all the details and reservations. I explained to her that she would spend the day with her closest friends and just have fun without a worry in the world. In the letter, I also told her I was at work but when I was off I would meet her somewhere for dinner. The letter explained I arranged for her roommate to help her pick out an outfit for the day and that her roommate would do her makeup that day, so all she had to do was enjoy the fresh cup of coffee and breakfast her roommate had given her. After all.. this was her ‘birthday’, she deserved to be pampered. Right when they finished getting ready another friend walked into the house. To her surprise she was handed another envelope labeled ‘#2’. She had no clue what to even expect, but as it was delivered with a Starbucks coffee with ‘Happy Birthday Tiffaney’ written on the side, she was inclined to believe it was another part of the birthday surprise.
When she opened the envelope she saw a ticket inside. The ticket was for her to go get her hair done at a Blow Dry Bar where the reservations were made and everything was waiting for her and her friends. Then they all left to go get their hair done. While they were there, another friend walked into the Blow Dry Bar. This friend lives in San Diego, so Tiffaney was shocked to see her there. She handed her a new envelope, envelope #3. When she opened it she saw another ticket inside. This ticket told her reservations were made for her and a friend at a restaurant for lunch on the beach in Laguna. They enjoyed a great lunch and when they finished she was handed envelope #4. Inside was a ticket for her to go get coffee at a place called ‘Hill Top Cafe’… And well there was no such place as ‘Hill Top Cafe’, but somehow she didn’t think twice about it. This was the ticket in which was used to trick her. As she got in the car with her friend, they drove up the hill and on the way up to the fictional coffee shop her friend told her she wanted to stop to see the view. So they pulled over and got out of the car. This is where I walked out and surprised her.
She still thought I was at work, but little did she know I didn’t go to work that day and instead was coordinating this master plan. I took her by hand and began walking up the trail to the top of the world. From this particular hilltop there is an amazing 360˚ view where you can the ocean, down the coastline and all the way around to the mountains on the other side of the valley. The view is truly remarkable. When we got to the top, I handed her the envelope marked #5.
Inside the final envelope was the ultimate ticket which said “Will you marry me?”. As she read this ticket, I got on one knee and proposed. After the screaming and jumping up and down calmed down she she said ‘yes’.
But little did she know the surprise wasn’t over yet.. After we took pictures and enjoyed the view I handed her another envelope marked #6. Inside was a ticket which said ‘let’s celebrate’. I explained to her that all of our closest friends and and family were meeting us that night for a surprise engagement party that I planned 3 weeks prior. This was extra special because her out of town family was able to be there to celebrate exciting day with us.
I couldn’t have done it without the help of all her friends who helped me coordinate everything and keep her in the dark the whole time. Thankfully, my sister was there for the proposal taking pictures from afar documenting every second of this special moment of our lives.