I first saw Jennifer sitting in the Lantern Café at UC Merced while reviewing pending student government legislation with my friend Jake Malone. Him and I were Associated Students of UC Merced (ASUCM) senators and our weekly meeting was going to begin in less than an hour. At this point, I was a Senior (planning to be a Super Senior) and had already scoped out all the pretty upperclassmen on campus, but for some reason I couldn't say that I knew who this gorgeous young woman was sitting a few tables away from me. I stared for a bit, then leaned in to Jake asking who she was, he also hadn't seen her before. The mystery woman was piquing my curiosity and I was already beginning to strategize my plan for approach and execution.
An hour passed by, I was then sitting at the big table in the Chancellor's Conference Room, where Alex Ela called the meeting to order. Lo and behold, this woman is not only in the same room, but was sitting in the line of audience chairs lining the wall directly across from me. I was floored. It was hard not to stare and wonder who she was, and why in the h*ll she would want to sit in during our legislative meetings. The meeting concluded, and the mystery remained.
Days passed by, I would occasionally see her on campus. I was waiting for the perfect moment, my grand entrance into her life. The first contact was made at one of the smaller parties hosted by my Fraternity (Sigma Alpha Epsilon). I was playing beer pong, she had just walked in with a group of friends and quickly remarked to one of my brothers how the lights were too bright and she wanted to talk to the person in charge about this pressing issue. I did not live at this house, but for some reason my brother quickly directed her to me (I seriously did not plan this out). We started talking and exchanged numbers, followed by her quick exit from the party. My other brother, Jon Chritton, took it upon himself to start texting her and calling her from my phone for us to meet up that night at another party. Needless to say, his 'suave' moves didn't pan out, but she wasn't totally put off by 'my' forwardness.
Halloween rolled around and Jennifer decided to go on a Napa Valley wine train tour with her friend, Kirsten Brown. After a few drinks on the train, she started texting me and we both agreed we needed to 'hang out' when she got back. I took that very seriously, and I called her a few hours after she got back, informing her I would pick her up in 15 minutes for our date. She was taken aback for only a second, and quickly replied with, "How about 30 minutes?" That night seemed to last forever, and is still one of the fondest memories I have. We have been almost inseparable ever since. I loved her the moment I saw her.
Brendan and I got engaged October 10th, 2015 at Malibu Wines. Brendan and I drove to Los Angeles on Friday night to care for my mom who had just been discharged from the hospital and put into hospice care. Before learning of my moms declining health, we had made plans to meet with with Adam Klein and Patricia Manuel (our college friends) for dinner. Our first night in LA was a very rough night, my sister and I stayed up most of the night helping my mom with her oxygen and administering her medications nearly every 30 minutes. The next morning we were physically and emotionally exhausted. I told Brendan to cancel our dinner plans because I felt extremely guilty leaving my mom, not to mention that I was extremely tired. My mom overheard me trying to cancel our dinner plans. She convinced me that I should go out and asked that I wear a dress. Her request was not an unusual one. Anyone that knew my mom, knows she never left the house until her hair and make up were prefect. She dressed up for every occasion and expected the same from all of us (my two sisters and I). I agreed. Saturday night came around, still skeptical, I told Brendan I was not going to dinner and that he should cancel our dinner plans. Brendan insisted, and convinced me to go by telling me that they would have to pay if we cancelled. I grew up catholic, so it is easy to guilt trip me. I got ready and we went on our way.
As soon as we got to the winery I was glad we had not cancelled. The night was warm, there was a live band, and a very lively ambiance. The second we were inside the winery Brendan and Adam left Patricia and I by the bar and went to go check on our reservations. I remember seeing Brendan and Adam pacing back and forth for about 20 minutes. I was wondering if they had a clue as to what they were doing. I remember thinking to myself, "how weird are they?" Finally, after about 30 minutes Brendan and Adam came to were we were standing and stood around awkwardly. I asked about our reservations. Brendan said they weren't ready and we would have to wait. Seconds later, the band started playing the song "Wagon Wheel," the first song Brendan and I slow danced to at a house party in Merced (and danced at nearly every house party after that). As soon as the song started playing, without hesitation, he grabbed my hand and rushed me through the crowd of people to a stairway that led to the upper patio of the winery. The area was closed for a private event, but to our luck no one showed, so we had the whole place to ourselves. We rushed up the stairs to "look at the sunset" with the song still playing in the background. Brendan held my hand a bit tighter and began telling me how much he loved me (I was still completely clueless), he told me that he had promised my mom he would always take care of me and love me. I began to suspect something was up, I looked back to check how far back Adam and Patricia were and saw Adam pointing his camera straight at us. My heart sunk. I knew what was about to happen and all I could think was, "OMG, OMG" and "don't make an ugly cry face". Brendan took the stuff I was holding (a jacket and my glass of wine) and set it down on the table. My whole body was shaking. He continued talking, but I couldn't hear anything, other than the same sound you hear in an empty warehouse (you know, similar to when you dive in a pool). He got down on one knee and said, "Jennifer America Borobia, will you marry me?" At this point, the ugly cry face didn't matter anymore. I just let it out."Yes!" (there was never any other answer).
Brendan truly had reserved a table and a special wine tasting for us. My sisters showed up to surprise me. We had cheese and wine until the winery closed. Turns out Brendan had asked my mom and dad for my hand in marriage a few months before and my mom knew the whole time what he was up to. When I got home, I showed her all the photos. This was the last time I got to see my mom smile. I know she is happy to know that I have a good man by my side.
If you are having trouble with the online RSVP or have any questions regarding any details please email me at [email protected]
The venue offers plenty of free parking on-site. Uber and Lyft services can be accessed from the venue and should be able to find the venue with ease. I have posted taxi and shuttle service information under the transportation portion of the site.
We really our venue, here is their website for more photos: http://www.thegardensatlosrobles.com/
Deborah or Debbie, as she prefers to be called, has been my partner in crime since the moment she came into this world. I cannot imagine having anyone else helping me plan this day other than my little sister. We have practiced this moment from the time we were 3, ending every Barbie game with a glamorous wedding.
Mari is one of my best friends and sorority sister. She is one of the most beautiful people, inside and out. Although we both went to UC Merced our friendship began after college at a house party in Merced. We are trouble together, but I would be in trouble without her in my life. She is a good influence and an incredible friend. I got to be a part of her wedding and I am super excited to have her by my side during mine. ITB
Danielle is Brendan's baby sister and soon to (officially) be mine as well. I am very lucky to have her in my life. She is super easy to get along with and teaches me to just go with the flow. I can't wait until I can officially call you my sister.
Christie is my cousin. I have always looked up to Christie, she is extremely intelligent and kind. She is one of the reasons education has played such an important role in my life. I can't imagine our wedding day without you by our side.
Sammy is my middle sister, she definitely got the artsy genes. Sammy has a huge heart with a lot of love to give. She will do anything and everything in her power to make sure others are happy sometimes even if that means putting her own happiness aside.
Gloria and I have been friends since we were 9 years old. She was my first friend in school, she did not care that I didn't speak English! ha! She is my comadre, partner in crime, and confidant. I got to be a bridesmaid in her wedding and I am super excited to get to share our day with her now.
Alisa is my friend, sorority sister, and unofficial little (haha). Alisa has seen Brendan's and I's relationship from Day 1. She has witnessed our ups and downs, but remained confident that our relationship would persevere. So happy to have you stand by my side as we say "I do" ITB
Becky has been and continues to be an amazing friend. She is super kind, generous, and most important patient. She is always willing to help me and rise to the occasion without hesitation. She has helped me look at venues, and listened to me rant about wedding planning for over a year.