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Poppin' the Q

Oh, I've peaked your interest eh? You're wanting to know the story, the dirty details, of how I asked my girlfriend the big question. This blog post will do just that. 

My recipe to make this successful needed to include 5 things:

(1) The Element of Surprise

(2) An Adventure Packed Day

(3) Meaningful Activities to Us

(4) Little Details that Matter

(5) Exquisite Decorations


To accommodate item number one in my recipe for success, the day began when I woke up at 4:15 am on July 24th, 2017. Shortly after I surprised Jamie by waking her. She wasn’t expecting me for several more hours and was still asleep, but still woke up and we were on the road by 5 am. We were going on a hike, an hour drive away in Ogden. Using Google Maps, I calculated our morning schedule to arrive and begin hiking at sunrise. Hence, the early morning considering the drive. Our hike? Ogden’s Waterfall Canyon. Arriving a few minutes after sunrise and greeted by cool temperatures and early morning light we set out on our trek.

Jamie and I share a fascination of waterfalls. It’s one of the many things that has grown us closer together. We tend to make trips and plan adventures around waterfalls. We chase waterfalls unlike the advice by the song “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls”. I wanted to surprise Jamie with visiting a new one we hadn’t been to yet. The hike and waterfall were absolutely gorgeous. A perfect way to start the day.

On a previous adventure, we hiked to Fifth Water Hot Springs and waterfall. Another amazing adventure that features a waterfall AND a hot springs in one location. On this adventure Jamie had spotted a swim suit that she really liked and later pinned on Pinterest. As another surprise, I bought the swim suit and gave it to her as a gift after our hike. Our next adventure: MORE WATER! Obviously involving the swim suit.  

Two years ago, Jamie and I spent a Saturday paddle-boarding at Causey Reservoir. I discovered Causey long ago and saw how beautiful it was. Simply stunning. It would be perfect for kayaking or paddle-boarding. Since that day I had been trying to go back there ever since with various friends and groups, but to no avail. Finally, Jamie was my success story. I had a friend of mine that owned several paddle-boards that he rented out and we took those. He has since sold that company, but if you’re interested you can still rent those at their website.  The first time we went to Causey I remember that this was the first time that I knew I wanted to marry Jamie. I remember thinking how much I’ve always wanted to go and how easy she made it possible. She helped me accomplish something that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. She’s the type of person I know can help me achieve my goals. This, among many other reasons, was why I fell in love with Jamie and wanted to marry her.

A few weeks prior, we had mentioned to our friends, Richard and Brittny, that we should all go paddle-boarding at Causey. They had never been paddle-boarding and wanted to try it. We invited them along for this portion of the adventure. I arranged for them to meet us just after 8 am along the route to Causey as we were coming from two different directions. They followed us up to Causey and we then spent several hours of fun on the reservoir. At one point, we found a rope swing that Richard and I couldn’t resist trying. It was a blast.

Unfortunately, Richard had to work in the evening shift so they left a little earlier than me and Jamie, leaving time for the two of us to do some exploring on our own. The wind blows the water a certain direction, creating somewhat of a current. We took advantage of the circumstances and tied our boards together to allow us to lay out in the sun and let the wind current drift us away.

This relaxing moment allowed me to take a quick power nap, waking up once to a mother duck quacking loudly at us as our boards glided just a few feet from her and her ducklings, which could have only been a few weeks old at most.

After gliding to a point to which we couldn’t go further Jamie and I decided it would be a good idea to go back. Although, we had applied sunscreen a little earlier, we had been out on the water for quite some time and my shoulders were just starting to turn pink. We started trekking back, but this time we were fighting the current. If you ever stopped paddling for the slightest moment you would drift quickly backwards and loose precious momentum. By the time we arrived back to my truck it was two hours later. My slightly pink shoulders were nothing short of fried! I was tired, burnt, and ready to be done and rest somewhere cool with a refreshing drink.

We spent about five hours at Causey on the water. Figuring that we done for the day we started driving back home. I had worn Jamie out with adventure packed activities and early morning rising so she slept as I drove home.

Jamie’s family had organized a BBQ beginning at 6 pm that night. Which gave us a bit of time to travel home and get a little bit of rest from both heat and exhaustion. At some point during the BBQ, I needed an excuse get away from Jamie without arousing her suspicion. My plan involved me hiding and waiting for her to arrive. I convinced Jamie that our friends, Koltin and Makell, had invited us over later to watch fireworks the city was putting on and then have a bonfire afterwards. To get away I told Jamie that I needed to return the rented paddle boards and that my brother had called wanting to borrower my truck for the night. She would then have to pick me up at my apartment and we’d drive together to our friend’s house.


Having convinced Jamie I needed to leave her family’s BBQ and that she was going to pick me up later gave me a little time. I went home to shower and change. I then drove over to Koltin and Makell’s house. They had graciously agreed to allow me to use their backyard to pop the question. I parked my truck around the corner to hide the fact I fabricated the story of my brother needing to borrower my truck. I had to make sure Jamie was completely and utterly surprised! Jamie was expecting to pick me up from my apartment. I called and told her that Koltin had needed my help getting firewood and we ended back at his place.

Jamie texted me and asked me if I would meet her out front and then walk back with her. Dang it! She’s trying to ruin my plans! I couldn’t let her do that! I told her to just walk in the backyard (where everything was set-up) because we were all back there. Later, she told me that she was mad at me for telling her this. She wasn’t super happy with me at this point. Which is great because that means that she had absolutely no clue what was going on.

I had Jamie enter in Makell’s backyard through a fence. She wouldn’t be able to see anything set-up until she went through the gate. As she entered Makell was sitting and waiting to begin playing music. The first song to play was “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon, which we considered to be our song. She immediately sees an aisle of tiki torches. Strung between the tiki torches is a string of pictures with light clips to illuminate on them. I had strung pictures of Jamie and I with a love note or favorite memory written on the back of them. The tiki torch aisle led to an exquisite arch with a trail of rose petals scattered all along the way. The arch was decorated with candles in mason jars, our initials in wood lettering, and burlap wrapped around a wooden arch giving it a rustic look to it which Jamie absolutely adores. Exiting the arch you’ll enter a circular section of the yard. This we enclosed with little white lights strung between trees and large-bulb outdoor lights hung overhead. We covered the bushes with lights too and added a roaring fire in the corner. The rose petal trail led through the arch to a circle bed of petals with a stuffed dog and letter in the middle.

The stuffed dog: When Jamie was on her mission she dreamt that when she returned home that I had trained a dog to find her, and deliver a ring to her. That was her “proposal dream”. One thing to know about Jamie is that she LOVES dogs. So, while she was on her mission I sent her a stuffed dog with a candy ring pop in its mouth to represent her dream. Inside of the stuffed dog was a voice-recorded message that I left for her. This was one of her favorite gifts I ever sent her on her mission. For the proposal, I wanted to recreate this. I ordered another stuff dog with another voice-recorded message that said, “Jamie Lee Larsen, Will You Marry Me?”

The hand-written letter instructed Jamie to not touch the dog until after she read the whole letter. It explains my thoughts, the day’s events, and how much I loved her. When she was finished reading the letter she gave the dog a big hug. I was then behind her, on one knee, and asked again in person. She said, “YES!!”

Jamie and I share a similar fondness for 1960’s Ford Mustangs. We consider this our dream (project) car and plan to own one someday soon that we can restore. I borrowed one from one of my friends to drive around in the rest of the night. We used it to drive around town briefly together and then to each of our parent’s home to tell them the news.

BIG THANKS to Wyatt Photography. If any readers in Northern Utah and surrounding areas need an excellent photographer. I would recommend checking out his website.

A BIG THANKS to Makell and Koltin for their yard. Also thank Makell, Koltin, Richard, and Brittny for setting it up, help with decorations, landscaping, and many hours worth of work. Thanks to Michelle and Tyla for lights. Thanks Keegan for the Mustang.  Nate and Nikki for their help is various ways. Nikki for nails. Ladies, check out her nails on her Instagram @nailsbynikkihanks.Thanks to the many unmentioned individuals that I asked advice and sought ideas from. 

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