Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Proposal

A lot of people are asking: How did she propose? Instead of trying to explain the story hundreds of times, I decided to write a blog post with pictures.

First- Meet Jenn (for my friends who never met her)

Jenn on the Farm
Jenn is a beautiful and amazing person. She grew up in a small town in Iowa. When she graduated from her high school, she decided to head east and study at Georgetown University in Washington DC. After college, she stayed in DC and started working for a non-profit that does financing for low-income housing projects. In 2010 she decided to go back to school for a Masters in Social Work at Catholic University of America. In May she graduated from there and she moved up to Princeton, NJ where I currently attend seminary. At the moment, she is working on a nearby farm and studying for her NJ Social Work Licensing Exam, which she will take next month.

Second- First Proposal

Last October, we decided one weekend that we should get married. The next weekend after thinking and talking to a couple friends, I proposed. I had an elaborate plan of making her dinner and asking her. But when I walked in the front door I couldn't wait. Right thn I asked her with a ring I had bought from a craft store and a hand-drawn picture. I even put the ring on the wrong hand because I was nervous.

She decided she wanted to propose to me before we became officially engaged.

A picture of us from last Sunday
Back in July we figured out when we would celebrate 500 days of dating in August. (We had once watched 500 Days of Summer together. That movie does not resemble our relationship, but I love numbers and statistics.)

Two nights ago I double checked when 500 days thinking it was yesterday, August 7th, but Jenn showed me it was the next day, the 8th.

Third- Second Proposal

Yesterday I was away at a meeting on campus when Jenn came home from work. She texted me asking for personal time and asked that I would return home later, which was no problem. Then she asked me to bring home ice cream and I knew at that moment she would ask me. (I had expected she would proposed to me sometime in August and that she might do it on 500 days, then the ice cream was the hint).

I returned home with Ben & Jerry's to candles burning and homemade pizza in the oven. She looked beautiful as ever!

Reading the notebook Jenn wrote me
After dinner, she gave me a present for our 500 days! It was a little notebook with 500 things she loves about me! I stopped reading at #49 (which was that I am her best friend) because I was tearing up. She asked, "Aren't you going to keep reading?"

"Do I need to? Or should I read the last one?"

"Well I didn't write it in there.... Will you?"


We called her parents, then my parents, her siblings, then my siblings, our grandparents. Then we made it Facebook-official. (It isn't official until it is on Facebook!)

Her dad had asked her when we called him if we were going out to celebrate and I thought no. But Jenn said yes! I was surprised.

I didn't want her to tell me where, so later I gave her my phone when a friend asked me where we were celebrating. While she texted that friend back, my phone beeped with more text messages. She said, "Oh let me answer these, so you don't know about Yankee Doodle thing." (Yankee Doodle Tap Room  is a great quiet bar in the middle of Princeton, where we often go.)

She didn't even realize that she gave it away until I pointed it out. Haha!

Friends made us a poster and Princeton UMC gave us cookies
We aren't doing engagement rings, so she had two ring pops for us to wear out!

We celebrated with over 25 friends. She had been planning with my friends for a couple weeks! I am amazed that no one told me. I saw two friends earlier that day who knew and they kept it a secret from me. Actually when I saw them, I almost told these two friends that I thought Jenn was going to propose to me that night.

It was great to celebrate with friends on a joyous occasion!

Four- Next Steps

We don't know dates or definite plans. The first step is to write my Friends Meeting a letter asking for a clearance committee to be married under their care, which is the standard procedure for Quaker marriages. Our wedding will have Quaker and Methodist elements, honoring the traditions we come from. We will keep everyone informed.

Out celebrating at the tap room
I love Jenn with all my heart and I look forward to loving her every day for rest of our lives. We are continuing on our journey together! I feel like the luckiest person alive!

One key to our relationship is communication. We have talked in some way either by phone, over Skype, or in person every day since March 26, 2011, the day before we started dating. We have talked on days we have been busy with finals, on days when we have been mad at each other, on days when we are traveling far away from each other (like in the mountains of California), but we still make time for each other and to hear about each other's day. I look forward to spending my life with Jenn!


  1. Super psyched Greg! Congratulations! xoxoxo

  2. This is such a beautiful post. And you guys look so happy together!!!

  3. oh Greg! So awesome! so excited for you guys, and so many felicidades! xoxox, Lauren

  4. I'm so happy for you both. This is God's work; it is a picture of what God is like. Love is everything! Helene Pollock

  5. That is fantastic, Greg. I am very happy for you. Excellent beard, incidentally.

  6. What a sweet story! God is blessing you!

  7. My husband and I proposed to each other just over twenty years ago. I think it's a good way to begin! Congrats.