On Thursday night, December 8, Jayson and I went to his company’s Christmas party. We had a lovely, seemingly normal time with his friends, and headed home afterwards. I commented in the car, “I wish I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow,” simply because it felt like the weekend after such a fun holiday party. We pulled into my driveway, and Jayson walked me to my door. Right as I was about to walk in, he said, “I have a present for you,” and handed me an envelope. I was so caught off guard, that I responded, “Is it bad?!” (Don’t ask me why…I have a strange tendency to respond oddly when surprised. :)) He affirmed that it was not bad, and told me to read the letter once I got inside and he had left.
As soon as he pulled out of the driveway, I opened the letter. It was a letter with detailed instructions, a letter that said that I was not going to work tomorrow and the appropriate people knew; that I was to pack a bag immediately upon finish reading the letter; that I should pack for three days, that the weather was 40–70 degrees, that I needed two nice outfits, that we may be flying, so pack accordingly; that I was to be on my front porch at 6:10am; that I was to tell no one and to ask no questions.
I was ECSTATIC. I ran around my room in circles. I read the letter 10 more times. I pulled out my suitcase immediately and started throwing things in my bag. I talked to my roommate Mandy for a few minutes, and almost told her, but I wanted to follow all of his instructions to a T, so I awkwardly said nothing and then abruptly stated that I was going to bed. I didn’t know what was in store or where we were going (I admit that I thought it was a likely possibility that we were getting engaged, but I wasn’t certain), but I was thrilled for what was to come. Somehow I fell asleep.
I woke up at 4:00am on Friday, December 9, and was wide awake. I made myself stay in bed until 4:30am, but then bounced out of bed and got ready. It was probably the first time ever that Jayson came to pick up me up right on time, and I was already ready. He didn’t tell me where we were going, but we made our way to the airport. I would jokingly ask for hints, but he would just say, “No questions.” We managed to make it through baggage check and security without me seeing where we were going, but when we got to the gate I saw that we were flying to LAX. I did a little jump in the air and said, “California!”
We boarded the plane, and Jayson was asleep within about three minutes. I, on the other hand, was like a little kid on Christmas morning. I attempted to read, I watched a movie, I ate a snack, and it was still the longest flight of my life. We finally made it to LAX, and headed toward baggage claim. As we came down the escalator, I was so excited to see three of my best friends in the entire world, Jessica, Erin and Jen, along with Jess and Erin’s husbands Matt and Sean. The Hughes and the Hills live in California, but Jen lives in Atlanta, leading me to say, “Jen doesn’t even live here!!!!” the second I saw them. We had a fun reunion, and Jayson had even been so thoughtful to tell them in advance what my favorite Starbucks drink is so that they would have it waiting.
Jayson informed me that we were splitting up for the afternoon, but that he would see me later that night. I then went with the girls, while Jayson went with Matt and Sean. We got in the car, and Jessica said, “So what do you think is going on? Do you think you’re getting engaged?” So began an afternoon of LIES by my friends (primarily Jessica, who I later learned had been tapped as the best liar in the group and thus the conversational lead). They told me that they didn’t know what Jayson had planned, only that they were supposed to pick me up at the airport and entertain me for a few hours. I totally believed them all the way!
They drove us to the incredible Pelican Hill Resort, and we enjoyed a relaxing lunch by the pool and manicures. It was beautiful at the resort, and it was so special to spend the day with best friends!
The girls then told me it was time to get ready and to wear one of my nice outfits. At this point, I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, but I started getting anxiously excited.
The girls drove me toward Laguna Beach but didn’t tell me where we were going. Eventually, we pulled into the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. They pulled up to the front door, and I said, “What do I do now?” They pointed at a lady with a clipboard standing by the door and said to meet her. I hopped out of the car, and Jessica said, “We don’t know what you’re doing next, so please call us if you get engaged!” Sneaky little friend.
The woman — Lynda — met me and said, “Jamie? Please follow me.” For what it’s worth, when I think about our engagement story, those few minutes with Lynda are one of my favorite memories. I was filled with such anticipation at what was about to happen! She led me through the gorgeous hotel and made small talk (about what, I have NO idea). We eventually made our way outside, and she walked me to the corner of the hotel. She told me to walk around the corner by myself and to have a great evening. So I walked around the corner and was immediately greeted with this view, only Jayson was looking right at me.
He immediately started crying. I cried too. (But he cried more.) He said he wanted to read me something — a prayer to the Lord from both of us. Jayson had written the prayer and named it, “Father, We Dream.” He tearfully read the prayer — line after line of things we dream for our future together, from learning to make lemonade and lattes together to having a cute house in a fun neighborhood to our future kids and dog to, most importantly, a marriage that glorifies the Lord and is rooted in his nature. As he finished the prayer, he got down on one knee and said the sweetest words I’ve ever heard:
“You are my soulmate, and you have become my best friend, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” I of course said yes.
What followed was a joyous celebration in THE most beautiful spot I have ever seen. The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel has been named one of the most romantic hotels in the country, and Jayson chose the perfect spot. It was right after 4pm, and the sun started to set as we celebrated. Matt and Sean were strategically placed to capture everything on video and in pictures, which is so, so special. And a guy from the Ritz popped out to bring us champagne within about 4 seconds of me saying yes.
And the girls were, of course, in on it all the whole time.
Friday night, Saturday and Sunday
We spent the rest of the evening celebrating! We had champagne with our friends at the Ritz. We excitedly called our families and friends. And Jayson and I shared a special dinner at Raya, a phenomenal restaurant in the Ritz.
On Saturday and Sunday, we walked on the beach. We had lunch at the Ritz overlooking the ocean. We wandered around the hotel. We drank coffee on my balcony. We uploaded pictures on Facebook and updated our relationship status. We had a fun celebratory dinner with friends at Watermarc in Laguna Beach on Saturday night — one of Jayson’s best friends was even able to come down from Pasadena, and my friends brought fun engagement gifts. It was the most perfect weekend I could ever imagine.
I am so grateful to the Lord for the blessing that is Jayson, my sweet fiance and soon-to-be husband. He has been so good to us, far more than we could ever deserve, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to the point of tears for giving us such a precious love! I am also so thankful for the best friends in the whole world who helped make the weekend so perfect.
Their special dates
Jamie Martin & Jayson Teagle were happily engaged on 12/09/2011 and celebrate their anniversary on 07/28/2012.