It is crazy how fast time has gone when you look back, but in the moment it can seem so slow. Two years ago today, November 25, 2015, my soon-to-become husband drove a total of twelve hours to come visit my family and I for only twenty-four hours.

I had absolutely no idea he was coming, and his arrival came to a complete shock for me, but by the reaction of everyone else in my family, they already knew.

I woke up and it was a pretty much normal day. I stayed in my pj’s for most the morning, took my car to the local tire shop to get the tires checked on, then went to take a shower before going to pick up my dad from the airport, for at that time he had been living in Colorado and he was flying in for the holidays.

It is quite funny because when I look back it is very obvious everyone in my household knew Branson was coming to town, with his sister Calyn, and they were all trying to help me out. “You’re wearing that today” my sister asked as she saw me come downstairs in sweatpants with my hair all nappy. If you ever hear me tell this story in person, I will only quote that she told me to “go take a shower and fix your hair” about a dozen times, and funny thing is I never caught on. Haha, that is what good sisters are for though, right? To help you out when the guy you are interested in is making a long drive for a short amount of time trip.

As soon as I got out of the shower, my sister, Cassidy, was standing by our upstairs window and looked at me with the most smirk smile on her face and said was like, ” who’s here?” Immediately, at that moment, I caught on. I ran over to the window and peaked out and just started jumping up and down with tears in my eyes, because I never expected to see them all the way up here again, at least not for another few months and again, I just thought that would be when I would make a visit down to see them all.

I quickly threw on some clothes, and ran downstairs to greet them with my sister.

We visited for a while, and I realized they were only in town for literally the next twenty-four hours. They would be leaving tomorrow morning to drive six hours back to his hometown, then an additional four hours with his family to go to Galveston beach with his family for the holidays.

My initial reaction was like, well what are y’all doing here?! Because that is a LONG drive for such a short trip, but I was happy to have them over, so I did not question them too much.

Noon arrived and we went to town to meet up with my pawpaw for lunch, before I had to leave with my sister to go to the airport. Branson and his sister, Calyn, stayed behind at our house to relax a little from being in the car so long, and also they understood it had been a while since we had last seen our dad.

After a good three hours, we made it back to our house and were able to hang out and catch up until the guys, my dad, brother, and Branson, left to go pick up pizza for us for dinner in town.

Later that night we started a campfire, made s’mores, and had hot cocoa.

Not too much longer after that, we needed to take my dad over to his parents’ house, and we were going to visit with them for a while, because Nana and Pawpaw were able to meet Branson last time he came to town with his sister, Jordyn, but  they had never met Calyn before. Before we left the house I realized Branson and my dad had disappeared, and I was told that they were off talking about man stuff.

Eventually they made their way back to the house and we all loaded up in the car and went on to our grandparents’ house.

Once back at our house, Branson, Calyn, Cassidy, and I went back out to enjoy the campfire that was still burning. Laughing and just enjoying our time together, we decided we were going to go up to the house to get a board game and some cards to bring down. Or at least that was what I thought we all were going to do. But as we started walking away from the fire, Brans just kind of stood by the fire and did not move. The girls were already making their way up our big hill to go to the house, and I was like, “Brans, aren’t you coming?”

He was so cute standing across the fire with his hands in his pockets just looking deeply into the fire, with a shy look on his face. I mean I really wish I had a picture of that moment, him on the one side of the fire so nervous with me on the other side just anxiously waiting for him to say what he wanted to say. 

He then started saying, “I bought a ticket to fly to Colorado for the weekend of the fourth of December to meet your dad, but then your brother Preston informed me he was coming in today…”

At that moment, I knew why he was here. And I felt like the most special person in the world. He was going to fly all the way up to Colorado to meet my dad, who he did not even know yet, to talk to him about courting me…It meant the world to me.

“So that is why I went off to talk to him, I wanted to see if I had his blessing to court you and I would like to know if you would like to court me with the intention of marriage?”

I then just started asking a dozen questions a minute, you could tell he was not expecting nor prepared for that and when we look back we both just laugh. I wanted to make sure that he understood how much his family as a whole meant to me, and I did not want that to be messed up if we did not work out together. I also just did not know what exactly courting meant or what all was in store so I had a lot of questions I needed to know. But I realized I was asking all these questions and I never gave him an answer to his one question.

“Of course, my answer is yes,” I blurted out mid in my talking, “I just have a lot of questions.”

You could then just see him relax and smile and start talking to me about it all.

We remained on opposite sides of the campfire just talking about it all and how we would see if we were compatible and wanted to spend our lives together, but that to this day still amuses us both. Their was immediate relief for him and we were both happy and excited, but neither of us walked to the other side of the fire. There was no hug or big celebration at that moment, we were just like two awkward, happy, shy kids.

A couple of minutes later, Calyn and Cassidy came back down to the campfire. Apparently during that entire time they were sitting on the side of the hill watching us as Calyn spilled the beans to Cassidy why they were here on such a quick trip, not knowing that at that moment he was actually asking to court me. Calyn made Cassidy promise not to say a word to me, but as soon as they walked down, we told them and they both just starting jumping around and hugging us, as Calyn cried happy tears. It was such a great moment. And I could not believe it.

I had been praying for my future husband for over a year at that point, and all the qualities I wanted him to have. Branson matched it all. And the way he went about it all was such a blessing and breath of fresh air for me, because I had never courted before, and, well, dating, I was not interested in doing again for a long time. But courting for us was dating with a purpose, with the end goal either being married or realizing soon it would never work out for us, if we were not the two people God intended to end up being married to; which was obviously not the case for us. We remained best friends and continued to grow in our relationship together, getting to know each other more and more. We saved our first kiss for our wedding day, which came eleven months later.

To this day, he remains my best friend and I am so thankful to God for our story. We have shared so many great, fun memories together and here is to many more.


peyton marie

 Pictured below is the only picture we got from that day, November 25, 2015… Brans, Calyn, Cassidy, and I on the swing. (and it is two different pictures merged into one:)

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