Here are some Mission Accomplished (aka engagement) photos taken by the talented Conor Leeds, on the shoreline of The Point at Shaver Lake, CA.
The Carly Connection
SECRET AGENT: CARLY DUENAS
Carly Duenas (pictured right - courtesy of Facebook) has been an essential agent to the success of Operation Roy. At nearly all hours of the day, she made herself available to coordinate planned intercepts and unplanned backup intercepts at the Parfet St. apartment. About 1 out of every 3 flower deliveries occurred at Daesha's apartment, and as one of Daesha's roommates, Carly flawlessly helped facilitate each one of those intercepts.
I am writing this post to THANK YOU! for all of your help in coordinating the month long mission out of Colorado.
Asides from being reliable and seemingly always available at a moments notice, Carly was also quite discrete. One of my favorite moments, was when I was on FaceTime with Daesha and Carly walked in to ask Daesha about her weekend--something I had asked Carly to gather intelligence on--and in a very natural way got Daesha to divulge her plans (while I was on the phone no less) and that helped set the stage for the Saturday intercept on December 16th. Better yet, Daesha did not suspect her involvement the whole time. So once again, thank you Carly!
Well... we did it!
The Final Intercept was a success.
So, here is what happened. Today, my birthday, the family woke up (sleeping in per usual) and all was normal. I mean normal as far as my birthday goes. I received some amazing gifts including a new laptop (to replace the one which was stolen last week), and a full booklet of letters from you guys.
Daesha collected letters from Cody’s House and co. The Shire, Heidi Ross, the Martch fam, Ellen & Emily, and more. Thank you. The notes were very touching and after delivering letters all month it was nice to receive some in turn. Very grateful for my friends and family.
After birthday celebrations Mom had the “bright idea” to go visit the lake. Shaver Lake, is my absolute favorite place on the planet. I have been coming up here my whole life summer, spring, fall and winter. My great grandparents first bought property and built a cabin here at the turn of the 19th century and it has been passed down for generations sent.
My Dad’s family even visited here in the 1970s, little did he know my Mom’s family had a cabin here. Although he likes to brag that he saw my mom on the lake and whistled at her. They didn’t know each other at the time, but they eventually were married and the family legacy continues.
At 2:30pm the fam began packing up to go “see the lake.” Daesha made a comment “you look really nice for just a hike.” I told her it was warm out so I didn’t want a jacket. She kind of bought it, but was suspicious.
One of my greatest friends growing up, Jacob Pierce, drove up from Fresno to help out. I gave him the responsibility of carrying the ring box since it would be too obvious in my jeans pocket. My brother Jonathan manned the drone. Connor Leeds, my sister’s boyfriend and talented photographer, manned the camera.
While my Mom and I were showing Daesha the family cabin, telling stories, looking at photos, and more everyone else was setting up the blanket and flower in “the Fort” on the beach.
”The Fort” refers to a tight collection of three large rocks. Growing up, my father, brother, cousins and I would come play here and use sticks, stones, a blue bouy, tree limbs, rope, pinecones, and more to build a “home” which we called “the Fort.” My Dad gets credit for suggesting this location. He reminded me, it is where you first began “building a home” and what better place to propose to Daesha—the woman who I want to build a real home and family with going forward.
I gave Daesha a big hint. Upstairs in the bunkbed room she found a note labeled “1” which said “I first began praying and dreaming about my future wife and family in this cabin...” True story. I prayed about the future a lot while staring at the ancient woodwork ceiling. This amidst all the family games, pranks, pillow fights and more which characterized growing up as a Carter grandson.
There was a small hiccup. Jonathan forgot the blanket with letter “E” note at the cabin. After touring the whole cabin...I received the text notice. My Dad was rushing back to retrieve it. The question was...how do we stall?
Praise the Lord for Aunt Trisha’s, “the love story of Ray & Judy” (my mom’s parents) booklet — which we had not seen yet — we all sat down at the cabin and went through the family photos, buying my Dad 20minutes to save the day. You should have seen how slow my mom was to turn the pages. It also helped that my grandma CC (Dad’s mom) was there to marvel and ask lots of questions—she really likes to appreciate art...especially family photos. Amen. It gave Dad enough time to grab the note.
My Dad came back, sneakily gave me the letter. We walked down to see Jonathan’s drone flying around. This didn’t alert Daesha, instead she understood why—Shaver Lake is stunningly beautiful.
We didn’t see Jonathan. So I suggested, “Maybe the are at the Fort.” We began walking that way. Sure enough, there they were.
As Daesha and I approached, I was nervous. This is it. A lifetime of growth, development, mentorship, faith, friends, family...the next stage of life was here. This was the moment. This was the decision. It was time.
Daesha saw the Fort, in its bare glory without our stick and stone improvements, and inside was a blanket with flower a top. She said “aww my last flower.” At this point she knew what was up. I signaled to Jacob with my hand behind my back to give me the ring box...he thought I was just nervous.
So, I gave Daesha note #2 which said “this is where I first began building a home” and #3 “The time has come.” Her eyes started to well up. I turned around and Jacob gave me the ring box, and then I looked Daesha in the eye, dropped down to one knee, and asked “Will you Marry Me.”
She said “I would love to marry you” and then gave me a huge hug, and said “Yaaayyy.” She was very happy. I think I was in shock, not because of her answer, but simply realizing that this moment I have prayed and dreamed and worked and prepared for was happening.
I am usually calm and collected in the moment and the emotions hit me after. This usually works in my favor as Daesha asked “Were you nervous? I couldn’t tell.” #win #mr.cool
Connor got pictures of the whole thing and Jonathan by drone. I put the ring on Daesha’s finger. She said “it’s beautiful” and “it fits perfectly.”
As Gabe Keller predicted over a month and a half ago “Jared is thinking... best birthday gift ever.”
23 is feeling good.
The Hunt for the letter “M”
After a very tough day of loss and grieving yesterday putting down our beloved family companion, Bodie, and burying him this morning a new spirit of joy and anticipation spread throughout the house.
My amazing Mom & Dad put together an exciting “scavenger hunt” for Daesha which tasked her with finding numerous clues throughtout the house and eventually leading to her finding my Dad for a “U - are beautiful inside and out” and then a “U - bring out the best in our son and we hope to welcome you as part of the family soon” which when put together form an M — not too disimilar from Daesha’s favorite golden arches of McDonalds home of the World Famous Fries.
Video to be posted soon showing the whole hunt.
In the mean time, prayers for the “final intercept” tomorrow on the shores of Shaver Lake — where I have spent every birthday (including age 1) with my family at the cabin cherishing God’s creation and relationships, and began building my first home at the infamous “fort” rock — would be much appreciated.
Special agents Conor Leeds and Jonathan Cummings will be filming and taking pictures.
Actions speak louder than words
Tonight was tragic. On out way up to the mountains, my 8year old Saint Bernard, Bodie decided to jump from the back of the truck while we were on the freeway. He has never done this before and my family and I are at a loss for what was going through his head. The consequences were more than pressing. Bodie broke his left hind leg and for a dog of his weight and size only $12,000 of stabilization, surgery, and years of recovery with little likelihood he could walk or go to the bathroom by himself again, left us with little choice but to put him down.
Bodie is traditionally very suspicious of strangers. However, when the whole “pack” gets together to go for a walk he is usually very open to accepting new members. My hope, was to go for a hike tomorrow (as we usually do in the mountains) and bring Daesha along so that Bodie would know she is going to become a member of the pack.
This was cut short and will never be, but I am still so grateful for all of the time I have had with Bodie these past eight years. From local walks and hikes, to playing fetch, learning to “shake hands,” playing hide and seek, tug of war, days on the lake, and eating my fresh cog of cheese off the counter when I brought it back from Europe—lots of fun memories with this dog who really did become one of my best friends.
I give this backstory because the “ellipsis” has a deeper meaning. Daesha didn’t know Bodie and thus couldn’t really relate or understand what I was going through. Many people “try to make things better” or say to much, especially during times of tragedy and grief. Daesha loved me so well. She hugged me, cried with me, and was simply there without trying to do too much.
It is like the iMessage bubble—thinking, writing, saying nothing...yet. Thank you Daesha for being by my side during this tough day and big loss. Your actions speak louder than any words could. I love you, Bodie would have loved you as well.
Flower by Drone
”O” My Look at the Sky
Jonathan Cummings, my younger brother went above and beyond (literally) in his flower delivery. After a long morning at the DMV, waiting...waiting...and waiting to get my Drivers License replacement card (because my car was broken into in DC, workbag with laptop and and wallet stolen — I am editing this on my phone) Daesha and I arrived to a surprise in the sky.
Jonathan tied the pink rose and note to his drone and dropped it down to give to Daesha. She remarked that it was “the most creative delivery yet” and the note attached pictured a deep message. It was a compass (outlined the “O”) which stated “not all who wander are lost” and it was a fitting reflection on the many adventures Daesha and I have gone on together. Just in the course of this month we have traveled to DC, to Colorado, So Cal and soon to Nor Cal. It has been a blast.
Thanks Jonathan for the sweet note and sky delivery.
“I thought the flowers were finished”
T for Taylor
No, the flowers are not finished.
I picked Daesha up from LAX early December 26th and upon arriving back at Home she was met with a special surprise from my little sister—a flower with note attached, the letter “T”.
Daesha was quite surprised. She said thank you and gave Tay a big hug and then remarked, I thought the flowers were over because I had just “completed” the phrase.
The message is working. It is personal, intimate, yet long enough that she thought it was over before it was. The mystery is still alive! Big deal because Daesha jokes I am usually so open and transparent that there is not much about me that is “mysterious.” A good problem to have in a relationship, but means I had to work extra hard in crafting this plan.
It is very special for me to be able to include so many close friends and family members in this long drawn out proposal plan. Each person gets a chance to partake in our love story and affirm Daesha in the process. Thank you Tay! Thank you all!
“ You Are So Very Precious “
The Letter Wall
Happy Birthday Jesus! Praise that 2000 years ago the God of the universe provided mankind with the cure, paid the debt of our sins, and broke the curse of death, all of which prophetically came to pass through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Christmas is special. An added bonus for Daesha this year was receiving some extra “gifts” under the tree. A flower from Mom with the letter “U” and a flower from Dad with the letter “S” which completes the fifth word “precious.”
Here is a picture Daesha sent me of her letters so far.
U + S
This is “US”
On Christmas Day, Daesha found two additional presents under the tree. One from Mom and another from Dad. Two flowers, two letters coincidentally spelling “US.”
This marks the end of Phase 5 of Operation ROY.
Launch - Anna Martch
Phase 1 - Cody’s House (ft. Kelsey & the Boys)
Phase 2 - Daesha in DC (ft. Icecream & Parker)
Phase 3 - The Shire (ft. Discipleship & Ukelele’s)
Phase 4 - Realsen & Co. (ft. Daesha’s besties)
Phase 5 - Martch Fam
Phase 6 - Cummings Clan
Phase 6 will begin tomorrow as Daesha catches and early Frontier flight from Denver to LAX.
We will spend the next week together, about 5days in I plan to complete the final phase of the mission. Stay tuned.
Home for the Holidays
Michaela Martch, made a special trip home on Christmas Eve, not only for the holidays but also to make a special delivery - a flower with note "O." This was great timing, as it sets up the parental-secret-agents, Mr. & Mrs. Martch, to deliver "U + S" spelling "US" tomorrow. Thanks for making the trip home and for your help in making this operation a success!
Day 1 (Nov 30) - Formal Longform (Anna)
Day 2 (Dec 1) - I (Peter) [Denver, CO]
Day 3 (Dec 2) - C (Ethan) [Denver, CO]
Day 4 (Dec 3) - E (James) [Denver, CO]
Day 5 (Dec 4) - C (Kelsey) [Denver, CO]
Day 6 (Dec 5) - R (Sam) [Denver, CO]
Day 7 (Dec 6) - E (Cody) [Denver, CO]
Day 8 (Dec 7) - A (Jared) [Washington, DC]
Day 9 (Dec 8) - M (Jared) [Washington, DC]
Day 10 (Dec 9) - ! (Jared) [Washington, DC]
Day 11 (Dec 10) - Y (Parker) [Washington, DC]
Day 12 (Dec 11) - O (Jared) [Washington, DC]
Day 13 (Dec 12) - U (Matt H.) [Denver, CO]
Day 14 (Dec 13) - A (Heidi R.) [Denver, CO]
Day 15 (Dec 14) - R (Ben S.) [Denver, CO]
Day 16.1 (Dec 15) - E (Pastor Dave) [Denver, CO]
Day 16.2 (Dec 15) - S (Mitch A. & Drew)
Day 17.1 (Dec 16) - O (Erica) [Parker, CO]
Day 17.2 (Dec 16) - V (Brennan) [Parker, CO]
Day 18.1 (Dec 17) - E (Caden) [Denver, CO]
Day 18.2 (Dec 17) - R (Dustin & Mitch J.) [Denver, CO]
Day 19 (Dec 18) - Y (Claire) [Denver, CO]
Day 20 (Dec 19) - P (Carlie F.) [Denver, CO]
Day 21 (Dec 20) - R (Mikayla) [Denver, CO]
Day 22 (Dec 21) - E (Marina) [Denver, CO]
Day 23 (Dec 22) - C (Abby) [Denver, CO]
Day 24 (Dec 23) - I (Anna) [Denver, CO]
Day 25 (Dec 24) - O (Michaela) [Parker, CO]
Day 26 (Dec 25) - US (Mom & Dad) [Parker, CO]
Day 27 (Dec 26) - T (Taylor) [Newbury Park, CA]
Day 28 (Dec 27) - O (Jonathan) [Newbury Park, CA]
Day 29 (Dec 28) - ... (Mom)
Day 30 (Dec 29) - M (Dad)
Day 31 (Dec 30) - E (Jared - Propose)