Thank you all for your kind comments and e-mail about the recent engagement of Jenn and I. We really appreciate them, truly we do. And me being the eager boyfriend wanting to share with the world the great news I just got from Jenn about saying “yes”…. I forgot to remove my e-mail notifications on Facebook. So every comment, wall post, message, photo tag and like of my posts sent me an e-mail. In the words of Adam Savage “Well there’s your problem.” I have since changed it. So please keep commenting, I will get around to them all. Hugs all around.
So as I’m sure you know I got bonus gifts in addition to the beautiful ring – as if that was not enough? A nice picture frame that I have now put a shocked jenn picture into, lego people and plant, a manual that I *might* need and a gigantic paper weight type post it holder – avec post-its!
Post its were exciting because paired with Laura’s pen I could write down those precious quotes from the best night of my life thus far. Before Jeff could say anything to me, some guy shouted “don’t do it!” Later, Laura said, oh so matter of fact: “I flipped him off” James replied with “you turned around and did it?” — “yeah, I’m drunk!” She says, then motions and shows us – “thank’s asshole.” – CLASSIC
In sweeter moments, Jeff told me he bought the ring in October of 2008 and knew since then he wanted to marry me. He went on to say that he knew since January of this year that it was really going to work and was ready to spend forever with me. “That’s what I wanted to say,” he told me.
And today he told me to slow down and enjoy the first day of the rest of our lives together. *Happy tear*
Certain individual’s responses to my call have also been hilarious to me. My brother calling me a ho then being surprised was fun. Evan being confused by my seemingly random request to be put on speakerphone to hear my sister, who’s initial thought was that a political caller was responsible for making their phone ring while company was over and that it definitely wasn’t for her, was funny to me. Amber saying “congratulations!” as soon as she picked up and me responding with something like “darn you already know,” amused Jeff. But the best by far was Jan Carlson:
Jenn: Hi Mrs. Carlson this is Jennifer McNeil
Jan: Well hello Miss Jennifer. So, do we have a baby?
Jenn (confused at first and then getting it): oh, no! That is actually not while I’m calling . . .
. . .
Jan: That’s not good news, that’s Wunderbar!
One of my aunts also asked if Sarah gave birth, and my preschool teacher was WAY excited it seemed.
Then there was my groggy mother who called after talking to me a few times already and screamed of joy into the phone. “Who is this?” I asked, “Is this my mother?”
This has clearly all been rather amusing to me. Jeff, did you just sense I needed some entertainment?
After arriving to West – quite late and slightly anxious about that, Laura and I rushed up in the elevator and checked in – “Jennifer McNeil for two, right this way” the hostess told me. I walked around the corner where she told me to watch the steps, I was looking down at them and when I looked back up, I saw a man that I believed to be Jeff because of his stance and staring at me, but it was dark, so for a millisecond I thought I must be crazy. I then saw a camera man, a very professional one, in the corner, and I am pretty sure I knew what was about to happen. I don’t think I looked back at Laura until later, but I knew she was back there.
I said hi to Jeff and gave him a hug and then he dropped to his knee which made my heart race. “Jennifer Lynn McNeil, you mean more to me than… than…” there was a long pause and I waited for him. “I have been practicing this all day long but that’s all I can remember!” Seeing his terrified face, I wasn’t so afraid anymore and wittily said “than an oil change?” (inside joke). “Than anything!” he blurted out. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” he said. I nodded. “I want you to marry me.” I nodded. “Will you marry me?” he finally asked. I nodded a lot and dropped to my knees. I couldn’t get anything to come out except nods and nervous giggles. “Will you say yes please?” And I did, giggling the whole time because I just was so happy that he was asking and so happy I wasn’t bawling my eyes out!
Once I said yes, he asked me to stand back up and he took out a ring box. He told me to take my other ring off and he opened the box to reveal a ring shining more than any other I have ever seen. – And I’ve seen a lot! As he slid it on my finger, I still don’t think it felt real to me.
I turned around to Laura – “did you know about this!?” I asked. “Uh, yeah!” was her response. We laughed and hugged and I am so happy.
The waiter came around with Champagne dressed with strawberries and the photo guy came closer to the table, took the camera out of his face and that is when I realized it was James! (Laura’s boyfriend) He’d been doing such an awesome job, I figured Jeff had hired someone.
As salads came out, Jeff showed me he posted on Facebook. “Oh my gosh Jeff, my sister CANNOT find out this way!” I exclaimed. I called her promptly, no answer. I called my mom, no answer. I called the house line and left a message for anyone to call me back. And then I called Barbara, my pre-school teacher. She didn’t answer either but my groggy mom called my back since my message had woken her up. She seemed out of it but has since called me and said “Ahh! You’re engaged!!!!” I then got a hold of my sister and her husband on their landline, called my brother who called me a ho upon answering and then insisted on giving Jeff a talking to, called my Aunt Linda, and called my dad.
Then I got a text from Dionna – apparently Jeff texted her too, so I called to tell her myself, a little late. oops!
Dinner was wonderful, even when Jeff asked to try my Halibut and ended up eating the last half of it. I tried his filet and Laura’s mushroom pasta – both so yummy! Then desserts upon desserts came out and filled me to the rim.
We then took more pictures of the group of us and some outside the hotel. Laura and James left and Jeff showed me to out room. He went all out – champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, rose petals… =)
We just laid down in bed, talking about how happy both of us were and tearing up here and there. We didn’t fall asleep till about 2 am and I barely slept, the excitement wouldn’t let me.
Today has continues to be a whirlwind of wonderfulness – easy-over eggs and applewood smoked BACON for breakfast and an easy stroll around the Getty Center gardens. What more could I want for my first day as half of a betrothed couple? Life seems pretty joyous right now – maybe that’s because it all happened at a Joie de Vivre hotel. SO fitting Jeff. =P
I look forward to documenting everything like a crazy person. I know it will all go well.
Jenn and I are back at home now. We had a great night at WEST and Hotel Angeleno. Here is what happened last night from my point of view.
Jenn was working from 9am to 1pm. At 1:30pm Laura arrived at the house and Jenn bought Pat & Oscar’s for lunch. The limo was scheduled for 2pm, however it was a little late because of traffic. So the limo arrived at 2:30pm and the girls left promptly. I then closed up the house and grabbed the packed suitcase and all the other items I needed for the proposal. The next stop was at my work in Santa Ana for some small gifts that I had hidden away from Jenn this whole time. I then stopped by CVS to get some travel size tissues, munchies and beer for James and me. On my way to the hotel I stopped to get gas and a car wash, cuz my car was in no condition to be valet parked. I arrived at the hotel about 6pm and was shown to my room. I had a bottle of Jenn’s favorite champagne put on ice for later. About 6:45 James pulled into the hotel, came up to the room and him and I had a few bottles of Blue Moon beer. Him and I watched Blades of Glory with Will Farrel and chatted about interships, work etc. It was nice to get to know him a little bit better before the dinner. James is a great guy and also a pretty good photographer. I showed him how to use my camera to take some photos of the proposal and they turned out well. About 7:30 Laura texted me that they were passing LAX. James and I went up to WEST at that time, to the table I had picked out with the hoestess’ help. It was a round table in the back corner of the restaurant, quiet and yet still part of the atmosphere. The limo driver then texted me shortly with that they were exiting the freeway. I then got up and looked out the window of the 17th story restaurant. I saw the limo pull into the hotel and from that point on I could not sit down.
James got up, turned on the camera and got in a very professional stance. In a few minutes I saw Jenn and Laura round the hostess desk. Jenn stopped after 5 feet, then continued to walk to me. I gave Jenn a hug and then got down on one knee. What I remember saying was “Jennifer Lynn McNeil. I love you, you mean more to me than… ” and then I choked up. I could not finish what I wanted to say. I wanted to say something like you mean more to me than the world. I need you everyday of the rest of my life. Will you please marry me? But it all seemed to come out like “fiddley blah blah blah” (much like Chandler in Friends). Jenn then said “more to me than an oil change? Side note: One time when Jenn and I first started dating I said that to her.” You add more to my life than an oil change” I then told her that I had been thinking of what to say all week and all day and when it came down to the line I just blanked. Jenn then started nodding yes and I said “Can you please just say Yes?” To which she did. I then put the engagement ring on her finger and stood up and we hugged for a few minutes.
The rest of the night was dinner with Laura and James. The hotel managers were so accommodating, they provided a free bottle of champagne for the table and chocolate covered strawberries back in the room. They also comp’ed a dessert sampler and molten chocolate cake. I had a great time at dinner where Laura and Jenn shared their day’s fun and adventures and James and I shared our trials and tribulations. The dinner went very well, Laura and James had the best meals of the night. I want to go back to WEST to try what they had, some chicken and pasta or something. Dinner lasted from 8pm to around 11pm. Our waiter, Mike, was awesome bringing out all the champagne on time and the meals were excellent. The manager Michael was very attentive and congratulatory all night long. I was very impressed. If you know me you know I ask for special treatment sometimes, but this time I didn’t and got the world! I love Hotel Angeleno and WEST!
After dinner, Jenn and I went to our room we had for the night and stayed up until 2am talking. I showed her the website on my phone and she laughed and cried and hugged me a lot.
We woke up rather early about 7am this morning and went to breakfast at 8am at WEST again. After breakfast I wanted to roam the lounge area and Jenn and I ended up slow dancing to the songs playing over the speakers. I was a nice ending to a fantastic evening and night. I feel we might want to go back each year on June 19th to celebrate. The Hotel Angeleno wasn’t too expensive for bring a chic boutique hotel. I can’t recommend it any higher.
We then decided to go The J. Paul Getty Center this afternoon for a walk in the gardens and around the buildings. I think I got some sun 🙂 It was a nice relaxing morning/afternoon with gentle breezes, blue skies and green gardens. I really enjoyed the walk around the Getty Center. I suggest that if you have a beautiful day where you don’t know what to do, grab $15 and head on up to the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
The girls have just left the apartment for their nail appointment and I am about to go to work to pick up some other odds and ends I have hidden there. Mainly the gift bag and some other things. I am not nervous now at all because the limo has arrived, well 30 minutes late… but the guy gave me a deal on the price so I will be very nice to him in turn. I have reached out to James to confirm everything with him and will get more nervous as he arrives at the hotel and as the girls do. I can’t wait to get down on one knee. I know, more or less, what I want to say. Please check back last this evening for more. I will be posting from my phone as well as I can.
So it is the day of the proposal. I have a lot of things to get done. I need to pack my suit with my new shirt and tie. I need to pack a carry-on bag with clothes for Sunday for Jenn and I. I need to go to work to get the gift bag I have made for Jenn as a present besides the ring. I have charged my batteries for my camera and packed it for tonight. I need to bring my fake rose petals for the hotel room. I need to bring the beverages for the hotel room. I need shoes, socks and a belt for my suit. I need Jenn’s phone charger along with mine. It may be a long night on the phone after dinner.
So on my lunch break today I went to Target to pick up some small proposal day gifts that Jenn might enjoy. I really needed to get a bag to present them in along with some tissue paper. I can’t wrap anything at home because I know Jenn will find it and ask me what it is for. I have been lucky enough to have her give me space for this “National Jenn Day” planning.
At Target I got a white & black bag similar to the one shown, it is stuffed with purple tissue paper. I have put in it the Bridal Instruction book, a nice pearlized silver 5×7 frame for her to put a photo of the night in, a custom post-it dispenser for her at home use. We use post-its for our to-do list on the bathroom mirror. She is also going to get the little Lego bride and groom along with the Lego photographers. A useful and fun little gift pack I hope. She is of course getting the engagement ring and wedding band so that is the BIG gift. I hope this little gift helps her out of the surprised/happy crying stage and into the lighthearted and fun stage.
During my lunch break today I went to Macy’s and found what I think will be a good new shirt and tie. I wanted a Perry Ellis Portofino shirt like the one I wore at Sarah and Evan’s wedding. However neither Macy’s or Nordstrom had the brand and style. Oh there was plenty of Perry, just no Portofino style. So I settled for this Geoffrey Beene shirt. I felt since it had Jeffrey in the name (even thought it is the unauthorized way to spell Jeffrey) it was more fitting, pardon the pun. This is where I need help people… does the tie go well with it? I need to know. Please register with the website to post your comments. I would really appreciate it.