Going to the chapel...
That's right, my sweet sister and her wonderful fiancé are getting married!
Two years ago (almost to the day), my sister, Courtney, who is seven years younger than me, started officially dating a boy named Brett Moore, from Dallas, who was attending school at Vanderbilt. They had met that summer when Brett had come to Fayetteville to visit his best friend from high school. The worlds between Brett and Courtney collided when his high school friends and her college friends introduced them. He eventually returned to Dallas (on summer break), and that's when she got the phone call. I, as her sister, remember this phone call, because I was in Fayetteville visiting her and she played the voicemail that Brett had left on her phone at least three times for me to hear. He wanted to know if he could take her on a date when she was in Dallas. She was so excited.
When she returned to Dallas a few short weeks later, they went on their date...and a few more. In fact, she delayed her departure from Dallas for a few days, just so she could spend more time with him. She was staying at my house while she was in town and they would pull into the driveway around Midnight, but I would not hear her come in until 3 or 4am, as they would sit my driveway and talk for hours. He may or may not have even dropped her off and had driven away, only to return to give her a kiss. Yep, I remember those beginning moments so clearly, and I thought to myself, "this guy better not break her heart. He better realize how great she is." The good news is, he did. They began dating exclusively, long distance, and would make trips back in forth between Fayetteville and Nashville, with some trips to Kansas City and Dallas to spend time with each others families.
I remember telling my mom just 3 or 4 months after they had started dating, that I thought this guy was different than any other guy Courtney had dated. Adam and I both were starting to feel pretty confident that he could be THE guy. The following January, when they were visiting Dallas, Adam and I went to breakfast with them. Brett was very inquisitive about what it was like to be married while in school (something Adam and I know a whole lot about). We knew he was interested in potentially pursuing law school, and we had great suspicion as to why he was asking such questions.
In May of 2007, Courtney moved back to Kansas City to work on her Masters and complete an internship to become a Registered Dietitian. He followed, knowing that he had to move closer to the girl he was in love with. That summer, they went from being 530 miles apart to 5.3 miles apart.
Living in the same city, they continued to learn a lot about each other. I'm fairly confident that Brett learned about Courtney's pendulum mood swings that happened, based on her hunger levels. Courtney learned that Brett has a tendency to run a few minutes behind schedule. And, I'm assuming that Courtney saw Brett's laid back take on life and his confidence in the Lord, and felt safe. Brett saw Court's compassion for others and her deep desire to please the Lord with her life. And they fell head over heals.
And somewhere along the way, they decided that they would rather walk through life together instead of apart. The Lord had given them hearts for each other, and Brett was ready to take the next step.
One evening, several weeks ago, we got a phone call from Brett, letting us know that he had spoken with my parents the previous weekend and had asked for permission to marry my sister. We were so excited for them! He told me the game plan and said that he would love for me to be there, but that he knew it was short notice and long distance, and would totally understand if I could not make it. That never crossed my mind. It wasn't an option for me to NOT be there...she is my only sister and this is one of the biggest moments of her (their) life. No way would I miss this. Thankfully, I have a precious husband who knows that this is a non-negotiable for me and helped me figure out some logistics with care for Cale so that I could make it to Kansas City.
A few days before the BIG day, I received a text from him with a picture of this...
He had gotten the ring in and it was perfect! Courtney was going to be shocked!
Thursday, September 20, 2012, I was given the privilege of capturing one of the most precious moments that the two of them will ever experience on this side of heaven. Brett had given me the game plan and asked me to hide out (play paparazzi) and take pictures of the entire event. Of course that was the best job my future brother-in-law could have EVER given me. I was so excited.
Brett told Courtney that he wanted to take her on a surprise date for their two year anniversary. He loves surprises (she doesn't love them nearly as much, but was letting Brett have fun), and would not give her any clues. They met at my parent's KC apartment and then hopped in his car to head to the Overland Park Arboretum for a picnic.
Brett had asked my mom to help with the set up and then had gone with her to the arboretum a few nights before to stake out the perfect location...
Brett had found a bench located off of the walking trail. It was secluded and beautiful. A creek ran behind the bench and the trees were beginning to turn.
I hid behind trees and watched as Courtney and Brett entered the arboretum. She had no idea that she was moments from the biggest surprise of her life!
This picture is a great foreshadowing!
Courtney is on a mission and Brett is trying his hardest to keep up! :)
Sitting down for a little picnic
After the picnic, they took a walk down the walking trail...
And ended up here...
Brett made the most precious book for Courtney. He had compiled pictures of each of them growing up and through their dating years.
There were cute stories, inside jokes, memorable moments, and on the last page, it said,
"9.20.12 The day he asked her."
In true Brett form, he was calm and confident as he spoke to her...
And then it was time...
Courtney accepted his proposal with an "I will", and took off her True Love Waits ring that she had worn on her left ring finger for years, and handed it over to Brett, before he put the engagement ring on her finger...
It was such a precious moment.
I snuck out of there and quickly went to my parents apartment to change clothes (since mine were covered in dirt from scooting along the ground at the arboretum), so that I could meet up with Brett's parents and my parents at a restaurant to surprise Courtney when they walked in. I beat them there and we all waited for them to make their entrance. They finally arrived and Courtney was shocked to see us all there.
They were both beaming - so sweet!
The next several months will be fun as Courtney and Brett pick a wedding date and make plans to celebrate the Lord's work in their lives. In a few short months, they will become Mr. and Mrs. Brett Moore. When Adam and I got married, Courtney was only 15. She was in her own high school world and the reality of a wedding and marriage were too far away for her to even comprehend. Now it's her turn, and I am excited to walk through this season with her. She has chosen a great guy. I cannot imagine a better match for her...of course I can't...there is nothing more perfect than the plans that the Lord makes for us. I am thankful that they were obedient to His will for their lives and they are experiencing the joy that comes with it. I am looking forward to the celebration that will happen in a few months, but mostly, I am looking forward to the years ahead. Continuing to learn what it means to be a wife, raising children together, and making Cooper+Moore family memories.
Congratulations, Courtney + Brett!
The best is yet to come!