According to Josh
On a hot summer evening in the middle of July, Josh arrived at Craft & Commerce to find that there were only two seats available at the bar. He quickly hurried over to grab them ignoring for the moment that they were significantly lower than the rest of the seats. As it turns out, they were the designated handicapped seats but nothing was going to stand in his way of this first date. Four hours and countless stories later, Josh and Jamie closed down the bar and finished the last first date they would ever go on.
Two weeks later, Josh found himself in a house in Temecula surrounded by 15 strangers. Well, they were strangers to him but to Jamie, they were her closest friends. See, Jamie had invited the guy she had just started dating to a wedding in which she was Maid of Honor so Josh was left to fend for himself. Luckily, only a few of Jamie's friends messed with him and the event was a success!
The next 18 months of their relationship can best be measured and summarized by the trips they took and the friends who visited. Six weeks after their first date they packed their passports and headed to Cabo. It was there that Jamie taught Josh how to get his money's worth at an all-inclusive.The next month the two were off to San Francisco to meet another group of Jamie's amazing friends. Chicago, Mexico City, Vegas, Baltimore, Malibu and Reno all followed in early 2019 and Josh realized how much of the world he hadn't seen and how amazing a travel companion and life partner Jamie would be.
That was confirmed in July 2019 when the couple embarked on their biggest adventure yet - The UK! That trip - packed to the brim with activities - had too many highlights to mention including an authentic Scottish wedding, a trip to the first ever Major League Baseball game played in Europe and of course, petting some wild Highland cows.
Having easily survived the UK trip, Josh knew he better start thinking about his proposal to ensure it was up to Jamie's standards as a master planner. Yet despite having a multi-tab spreadsheet with potential wedding details in it, Jamie had not been much help in deciding what kind of ring she wanted. Armed with rings from Josh's grandmother, Jamie's mom and Jamie's grandmother, Josh headed to a custom jewelry store where he began designing an engagement ring.
As the summer went on, the couple continued their adventures. They visited San Luis Obispo to meetup with Jamie's college friends and had multiple visits from Josh's East Coast buddies. They attended nearly 20 Padres games and bonded even more on the sand volleyball courts of Ocean Beach.
Josh knew he wanted to propose around the holidays but was quickly talked out of a Christmas/Birthday/Proposal trifecta. He knew that Jamie would want to host an epic birthday celebration but he also knew he wouldn't have enough control over the details of that day. He was left to do the only thing he could think of to gain control of the situaton: lie.
OK, so it wasn't a lie as much as it was a surprise, but under the guise of an early birthday celebration, Josh lured Jamie to the Paradise Point resort in Mission Bay. He also enlisted the help of Jamie's friend Lauren to pull off the big day. Here's how it went down (you know I can't resist a good recap):
Saturday, December 7
1 p.m. - Josh and Jamie drop the pups off at Jamie's mom's house. Jamie has no idea where they are headed.
2 p.m. - Jamie finally realizes they aren't going to Mexico or Palm Springs but are doing a staycation at Paradise Point. Unable to check-in, the two head to the bar for drinks.
4 p.m. - The couple checks into a beautiful room with a patio just steps from the Bay. Josh realizes this is where the proposal should go down and texts Lauren the details.
5 p.m. - Josh and Jamie go for a quick dip in the hot tub despite the gloomy and drizzly weather. Josh trips and bellyflops directly into the middle of the spa, spilling his entire drink. Nerves or clumsiness? You decide.
7 p.m. - As Jamie gets ready for dinner, Lauren gets into position behind a not-so-large palm tree a few feet away from the patio.
7:20 p.m. - Josh asks if Jamie wants to go outside to take some pictures before dinner. It is basically a rhetorical question - Jamie has forced Josh to take a picture together before every meal out they have ever had.
7:30 p.m. - Jamie says yes and hustles back inside to get a glimpse of the ring in the light. It's perfect.
8 p.m. - Jamie celebrates with every stranger on the street she meets, unable to contain her excitement. The couple goes to dinner and enjoys a wonderful meal - their first as an engaged couple.
10 p.m. - Exhausted and out of adrenaline, Josh and Jamie return to their room only to find it decorated with confetti, tea lights, banners and of course, Reese's peanut butter cups.
Jamie: Did the hotel do this?
Josh: No, Lauren snuck in after and decorated
Jamie: Is she still here?
Josh: No, unfortunately not.
Jamie: I...I just...I have no tears left to cry!
Josh: OK, Ariana Grande.
It was a perfect engagement and a great weekend. We have lots of trips planned in 2020 leading up to the wedding and we hope to see all of you at least one time before seeing you all together for New Years!
According to Pictures
According to Jamie
Sometimes you get by with a little help from your friends. And sometimes you find the love of your life with the help of your friends, specifically by letting them swipe on your online dating app during a weekend trip in San Francisco. Who knew playing Hinge in the sunny courtyard of the Woods' house could be so lucrative (thanks guys, I really owe you one)!
After being electronically introduced to a Syracuse diehard who sadly really hadn’t seen Titanic nor was an extra in Mighty Ducks, I knew from the get go that Josh was special and stood apart from the crowd. In our first conversation, he hit the three highlights - made me laugh, showcased his planning skills, and referenced hockey. I was hooked. Our first date was (in addition to being suspiciously chosen by Josh, as it was just down the street from my house) at a trendy restaurant in Little Italy. I was promised dinner but was only able to achieve it by secretly ordering wings from the bartender when Josh left for the restroom. What I was not promised, but received in abundance, was an incredibly handsome and charismatic East Coast transplant, who made four hours of drinking and laughing and storytelling feel like the best four minutes of my life (insert Michael Scott joke). Of all life’s greatest twists, this loud sarcastic tall blonde met her perfect match in the form of a skinny, data crunching, sports loving Jewish boy from Maryland. As my Dad told us after we got engaged “You two may not conventionally go together at first glance but complement one another perfectly and have the same important life values and outlooks to bring the other true happiness." Indeed.
Things effortlessly progressed from that first date at Craft & Commerce, if progression ever happened to occur at lightning speed and what I imagine was an alarming rate to some people. Want to accompany me to a wedding where I am the Maid of Honor after two weeks of dating, and spend the weekend in a house with 14 of my closest friends? Why not, was Josh’s response (only to later learn this was against the grain for him, and remains to this date one of the best weekends of our lives). He countered with an annual subscription of theater tickets, to which I happily agreed (despite knowing next to nothing about musicals). Think we should jet set down to Cabo and eat and drink our way through a fancy all-inclusive resort for our one month date-aversary? Fly to Mexico City on two days notice? Get matching tattoos (kidding … maybe)? YOLO. Josh’s ability to simultaneously keep me grounded while encouraging my dreamer (with a psychotic side of planning) personality is one of my favorite traits about him.
Perhaps the best weekend of our lives, however, came over the weekend of December 7 in San Diego, in which Josh had an early birthday celebration planned for me (or so I thought). He knew I had always wanted to go to the tropical resort Paradise Point, so he booked us their best room (seriously) for a romantic weekend of paddleboarding, tennis playing, and sun lounging. However, Mother Nature had other ideas, but it was an easy audible to switch to taking cover in the spa and the bar when San Diego reached its rain quota for the year. As we admired the San Diego skyline glittering over the Pacific Ocean from our patio, Josh got down on one knee and asked me the easiest question I’ve ever been given (even if I fumbled over my words like a flustered Cupid victim). After a few minutes of shrieking and “what is happening??” we took our newly engaged love out to our dinner reservation, but not before random strangers stopped us on the street for hugs, bartenders bought us rounds of Christmas drinks and a newly married couple joined us at the table for advice and well wishes. The feeling of giddiness and hope from that evening will stay with me forever, although I hope the ugly happy crying is improved upon.
I always wanted a relationship in which we were a team and worked together to make ourselves better. Not only is Josh my world’s greatest teammate, he somehow also effortlessly plays the parts of coach and cheerleader and trainer and the team Mom who comes prepared with all the snacks and CapriSuns (seriously, on our second date he made fresh biscuits and jam for the 7 am World Cup final I wanted to watch at a bar in North Park). I am absolutely a better and happier person for having Josh in my life, as I think everyone who reads this and knows Josh can affirm in their own lives.
A couple short (except when the Yankees are on TV) but sweet years later, we seem to have accomplished so much and still have a lifetime to look forward to. We travel as much as possible, raise two lovable (if not slightly mischievous) pups, and continue to build our best San Diego lives, boomeranging from that fun city life in North Park to that fun, albeit quieter, tennis playing suburban life in Carlsbad, with beach volleyball on Sundays always remaining a constant. We can’t wait to commemorate our lives taking the next step with a NYE blowout bash with you all!