Brady and Sydney
How We Met
Brady and I first met in college at Missouri Southern State University 4 years ago. I was on the volleyball team, and he was on the track team. Before we ever spoke, I would see him at the volleyball games in the crowd and think “Wow, he is handsome!” All of the volleyball girls called him “sunshine” (from Remember the Titans) because he had long golden hair at the time.
He seemed very quiet and there were several girls chasing him that he was totally oblivious to. My junior year of college I decided to transition from the volleyball team to the track team because I was in nursing school, and the track team worked better with my demanding nursing clinicals. I started to go to College Heights Christian Church with my best friend and track teammate, Whitney.
Brady went to that church too and was involved in the college-age group that Whitney and I also went to. In October we went on a college-age retreat with our church to Maranantha Bible Camp. There was a dance party going on at night and during it I went outside to get some fresh air. Brady didn’t know I went out, and he ended up going outside as well. We ended up walking and talking a couple miles and found ourselves on top of a zipline tower telling each other our whole life stories and what Christ was doing in our lives. Fast forward several months and he said to me one night “I just feel like we need to spend some life together.” Not long after that we started dating and putting Christ at the center of our relationship, we went on a Missions trip to the Dominican Republic together, and have been going strong ever since.
how they asked
For the last year of our relationship, we had been doing distance. Brady was still in Missouri taking classes and working while I was living in Florida training for beach volleyball and being a nurse. I had decided that I was going to move back to Missouri to be closer to Brady and my family and we had been talking about marriage and what our visions were for the future. My last day of work in Florida was March 3, and I was planning on moving back to Missouri March 10th. I thought Brady was going to come down for my last week in Florida to help me pack up my things and enjoy my last days, but he had told me he couldn’t get off work so I was not expecting him to be able to make it. My beach volleyball teammate/roommate Jade told me that our friend from church named Miranda who is a photographer needed some “beachy looking girls” to do a photo-shoot for her blog and that she had asked us to do it on Saturday, March 4th. I thought that it would be neat to have some pictures by the beach with my best friend to always remember my time in Florida so I said, sign me up!
All I wanted to do was take some pictures and go surfing one last time so we packed up the jeep and headed to cocoa beach. At first, Miranda took pictures of Jade and I by the beach and under the pier. We were almost done and she said she had one more place in mind. The place was a boardwalk and she told us to change while she went out and found a good spot for pictures because she wanted some of us walking on the boardwalk out to the beach. As soon as we changed, Jade told me to walk out first because I was the shorter one so it would look better…. I didn’t think much of it and just started walking. Meanwhile, Jade was behind me filming the whole thing. As I started to walk out I saw 4 tiki torches, and Brady standing in the middle of them! I was so shocked!!
I turned around to Jade and said, “Shut up… You’re so cute!! Can I run?!…BRADY!!!” I sprinted into the his arms as he spun me around, hugged, and kissed me. He then kneeled down on one knee while simultaneously pulled the ring out of his back pocket (very smoothly I might add) and told me how he wanted to continue to pursue Christ daily with me and asked me to be his wife. I said “Of course I will!” Miranda was snapping pictures the whole time, and then I noticed my friend/mentor Melissa and her one-year old, Roman (whom I babysit) hiding behind a sand dune.
I was so excited to see them and have this special moment captured in photographs and video. The rest of the day we went to eat at our favorite place Bagel 13, and then Brady and I spent the rest of the day to ourselves surfing and enjoying our time on the beach. It was so perfect!!
I couldn’t believe he pulled of the surprise so wonderfully! Fast forward a couple days and we had the sweetest photographer Abby spontaneously contact us to do some more engagement pictures at New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Every picture was gold, she was so personable, and we had so much fun in the process!