Adrienne and Brett

How We Met: Adrienne and I met many moons ago in a magical land not too far away from our own. This land was filled with throngs of people as well as large furry animals who could talk… and enjoyed having their picture taken. I am, of course, speaking of Six Flags Magic Mountain. We were both in high school at the time, and a mutual friend had invited us (along with others) to celebrate her birthday at the theme park. I remember seeing Adrienne for the very first time that day and thinking to myself, “Ooo… who is that pretty girl?” However, once I found out that she was a freshman while I was a senior, I realized that our love was not meant to be.. or so I thought. [Adrienne: What Brett didn’t know… was that, while he was sharing enchanting tales and well-delivered jokes with the group, my interest was already piqued. I wouldn’t say I officially liked him that day, but I knew I wanted to find out more about him.]

Over the next few years, we saw each other from time to time at church. Both of her siblings came up through the youth ministry, and we would talk when she came to pick them up. We also overlapped for a short time in the college ministry, and spent time together in a group of mutual friends. Adrienne had a crush on me on and off throughout these years, but I, being my normal oblivious self, didn’t realize it.

It wasn’t until after I graduated from seminary that we really reconnected. During graduate school, I had very little time for anything besides school, work and ministry, so, after graduating, I was ready to re-engage with a normal social life. I began volunteering with the college group at Grace and ran back into that lovely girl I had met many years before. Yet, she was no longer a mere girl for she had blossomed into a lovely, mature, young lady. She invited me into her circle of friends, and we spent most of the next eight months observing each other during group game nights, movie nights or soccer games. [Adrienne: Haha, I had absolutely no ulterior motive for inviting Brett to join our game nights and such… Ok, maybe that’s not entirely true, but hey, it was an opportunity to casually get to know a very neat guy just a little bit better J] During this time, my eyes were opened to just how incredible a woman she had become. I saw in her great intelligence, care and concern for her friends and lovely beauty (both inside and out). Yet, nothing came of this friendship before I left for three months to attend the US Army Chaplain Center and School in South Carolina. [Adrienne: And during those months when Brett was hanging out with the group, I was convinced he didn’t like me at all, so I was trying everything I knew to pretend I didn’t like him as much as I did. Little did I know, the funny, charming, God-loving, intelligent & handsome man that had captured my attention was interested in me too!]

While at the Army Chaplain School, I thought about Adrienne from time to time. I remember feeling a deep longing for a relationship which would lead to marriage. Perhaps this was fueled by being so far away from any family or friends, or perhaps it was because I was surrounded by so many other chaplains who had such wonderful, supportive families. Perhaps it was just God preparing my heart for that which was to come. While there, I was reminded of these words which inspired my brother to begin dating the woman who would become his wife; “Men, stop being so picky and marry the Godly woman under your nose!” Honestly, whenever I thought of these words, Adrienne was the woman who came to mind. [Adrienne: It was a little bit easier to push aside the feelings I had for Brett while he was away because contact was minimal. However, once my mind realized that it was indeed December and he would be rejoining our circle of friends, the butterflies came out in full force. Pesky little buggers…]

And so it was, once I returned from South Carolina, that Adrienne and I started dating. I returned slightly before Christmas, and I saw Adrienne during a Christmas party with our friends. I can honestly say that night was electric! Adrienne and I sat across from each other, and flirted with each other the whole night. [Adrienne: I honestly couldn’t help it, ok? Haha, and we had so much fun together that night! Believe it or not, Brett can be rather charming when he puts his mind to it…. ] Something may have come of it sooner were it not for the fact that I left a couple days later to spend the holidays with my family up in Oregon. But, it wasn’t long after I returned that I first asked Adrienne out for coffee [Adrienne: or tea!], and so we spent our first date together at Real Life Community Church’s coffee shop. [Adrienne: I still wasn’t convinced he was truly interested in me, even after the Christmas party, so right before he asked me out, I had just written a dissertation to an incredible friend about how I needed to be content and look to Him for fulfillment. So, needless to say, when Brett asked me out, I was in a state of shock and excitement! It took me a couple minutes (agonizing minutes for Brett as I would find out later) to respond that absolutely I would love to grab some coffee or tea and would be more than glad to meet him that afternoon!] It was such a wonderful time together! Because we already had an established friendship, the time we spent together didn’t feel awkward nor did it feel like we had to put on masks for each other (which is all too common on first dates). Two days later, we went out again for lunch at Stonefire Grill. It was here that I realized I wanted to date Adrienne. So, after lunch, we started to leave, but ended up talking for another hour or so in the parking lot. Before she left, I summoned up the courage to ask if I could date her, to which she replied by saying how much she respected who I am and that she would be thrilled to date me! That was January 15, 2011, and the rest, as they say, is history…

The Proposal: Our story may not have been one of love at first sight, or that of high school sweethearts, but we both knew early on that God had created something special between us and that we wanted our relationship to head towards marriage. Dating Adrienne was such a breath of fresh air compared to previous relationships because we both always seemed to be on the same page in terms of how much we cared for each other. And, I was absolutely blown away by how much she loves God and wanted Him to always be at the center of our relationship! I knew that I had found an incredible woman, and I was so excited to learn more and more about her during our months of dating. [Adrienne: Alright, alright, if I don’t interject here with something equally lovey-dovey, then I’ll never live it down! Brett truly had amazed me throughout the course of our dating relationship. When I was in a Biblestudy a couple years before we started dating, I had written a list of things I was looking for in my future spouse. Some fun ones made it to the list like “good story-telling skills” & “enjoys the outdoors.” Some were essentials like “must love dogs.” But the most important to my heart was that he would have a life-pervading faith in Christ. And that aspect of both our lives has become the most precious part of our relationship! I am truly one blessed woman to have Brett in my life!]

While both of us were excited for the relationship and knew that we wanted our relationship to head towards marriage, we decided early on that we wanted to date for at least six months before we would even think about engagement. This delay was the result of wise counsel which told us that it is good to see people over a prolonged period of time in order to see who they truly are. As it turned out, Adrienne and I celebrated our six month milestone while on vacation up in Napa with my aunt and uncle. It was a particularly special milestone for us because we both knew that we still wanted to pursue marriage; the only question left was when…

The when came just a few short months later. I went off on a short term mission trip to India in September which ended up being quite a memorable trip for me! All of my family had been to India multiple times, but this was my first trip. Yet, while I was there, I decided to take the opportunity to bring home a ring for Adrienne. When I told my friends in India that I was looking for a ring, they made it their personal mission to find a nice jewelry store for me. While shopping in downtown Bangalore, we found a company which sold fine jewelry, so we went in to see what they had. They took care of me and brought out many different rings to see. Among all those rings, I found one that stood out because it not only had a beautiful stone, but it also had a uniquely simple yet elegant setting. I knew that Adrienne would love it, so I purchased the ring and brought it home. [Adrienne: It was a conspiracy! They kept it a secret so well that I had absolutely no idea he had any intention of proposing so soon! Other than the fact that, before Brett left, he was asking some suspicious sorts of questions like… clothing size, shoe size, ring size…. Hmmm…..]

A funny thing happened next. Per tradition, I asked Adrienne’s dad for her hand in marriage. We had a great conversation in which he both granted permission and showed great support for our relationship. [Adrienne: Brett was sneaky there too because he made sure to call and meet with my father on days that I was working! Haha, I guess I am happy that he surprised me in the end… but I was still the last to know! :)] But, before he left, he asked me when I was thinking of popping the question. I told him that I was planning on proposing Sunday evening since I was working all weekend with the Army. However, on Saturday morning, I received a text from Adrienne saying that her dad had invited us over for a BBQ on Sunday evening… sneaky, sneaky! While this seemed to pose a problem to my plans, Adrienne also told me that she was unexpectedly free that evening (she had originally planned to go see a play with her sister Saturday evening, but those plans fell through). So, I figured I could shift fire and push the schedule up a day.

When we met that evening, I suggested that we take a walk around Bridgeport lake. Walking around the lake has been a favorite pastime of ours, and we have had a number of significant events there as well. It was at Bridgeport that we first had a conversation about wanting our relationship to head towards marriage, and it was where we first held hands together. So, it only seemed natural that I would add another significant event to the memories we had already created together there at Bridgeport. I had brought along a special journal that we have shared together since early on in our relationship. We each take the journal for a month, and, during that month, we write to each other. I had actually had the journal for more than a month because I had been gone in India and I had kept it once I returned so that I could use it for the proposal. The final entry that month was my written out proposal to Adrienne, and I had tied the ring inside the entry. So, while walking around the lake, I suggested that we sit down and read through the journal together. As soon as she opened up the journal, she saw the ring and I kneeled down before her. I read the entry to her, and finished by asking her to be my wife. [Adrienne: And with tears in my eyes, I said…. No…. ok, more like I whispered “Yes! I would absolutely love to spend the rest of my life with you!”] So, I untied the ring, and gently placed it on her hand before the two of us shared our very first kiss.

I don’t think either of us knew exactly what we were getting into that evening, or the depths of joy that we would find in our relationship together. We’ve had our ups and down like any relationship, but what has made our relationship so special is the fact that we desire to put God first and to live according to His standards and guidance. We are excited for the day when we can become man and wife, and we are very excited for all of you that will be there supporting us!

Photos by Robyn Preston Photography