September 16, 2023

San Diego, CA

How We Met

Well, first off, Derek stalked Jessica for months on dating apps...

Honestly, he did. Yet, with that said, Jessica had one eye on his profile as well ;) We recognized one another on the dating apps because Derek went to high school with Jessica's older and wiser sister Melissa. Over the course of a couple years, Derek periodically would send out a friendly line "Hey there Jess, how's the family? How's dating life?" to see if she would bite. She did! Only to find her response matched his. What we didn't realize was that in order to communicate on the app, we both had to "swipe right" and had embarked on our first "I do" It took us, well Derek, a while to pull the trigger. That too was delivered safely, Derek suggesting, "we should meet up for a drink just to catch up". Naturally, Derek chose the most conservative spot he knew, Moe's on University thinking it would throw Jessica off. Nope! She walked up, long legs, short skirt and the rest is history, our history.

The Proposal

"The Clark Griswold Moment"

Derek quickly learned that Christmas is one of Jessica's favorite times of the year, there was no doubt when he found her trimming not one but five Christmas tree's starting the day after Thanksgiving. This Christmas was different, we were settled into our relationship, yet navigating lots of family, friends and holiday events. Jessica was now expanding her decorating into Derek's home as well. Knowing Jessica was exhausted, Derek gifted Jessica a Spa Getaway at Estancia La Jolla scheduled for New Years Day. Of course Derek's plan was much more than a Christmas gift. While Jessica was enjoying her spa day, Derek had the brilliant (possibly reckless) idea of making the engagement ring he had chosen into a Christmas ornament and hanging it on the massive outdoor Christmas tree on the hotel grounds. "This is PERFECT!, she loves Christmas trees!" Did we mention that New Years Day was a windy, storming day in San Diego? Derek (Sparky) had a plan and nothing was going to get in the way. Not the storm, not the fact that the wind was shorting out the lights on the tree. Why not get the entire hotel staff on board to assist? After several trips running back and forth to the tree to ensure the ring was still holding onto a branch and the lights were still on, Derek finally whisked Jessica off to dinner plans. On the way to the car, Derek told Jessica he wanted to show her the amazing Christmas tree on the property. Jessica happily obliged. Derek walked her around to the front of the tree without noticing the tree was dark (again!), Jessica stood in front of the tree wondering why he was so excited about a unlit enormous tree. Derek immediately ran away into the bushes yelling, hold on one minute! The tree lights flickered on and off while Jessica continued in wonderment... how and why does Derek know where the light switch for this tree is??? Then Jessica noticed several groundmen popping their heads out trying to assist Derek. At that point, Jessica knew something magical was happening...the tears along with laughter began for both of us. Derek led Jessica back to the tree, directed her eyes to a small gift tag blowing in the wind, hanging on for dear life and asked "read what it says!" Boom! The lights fail again, laughing and crying Jessica explains, "I can't read it, it's dark and I don't have my glasses!" Finally, with some explaining, a small flashlight, digging through a tree, hugs and tears we embarked on our second "I do!"

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For all the days along the way
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