Aviry and Brett

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How We Met

Two years ago was my first day of graduate school orientation and in walks a tall, handsome, slightly older, and quiet gentleman that took a seat right next to me. Given the fact I knew no one in the room, I figured I should immediately introduce myself to this guy to lessen my own discomfort and anxiety. I know what you might be thinking….it was love at first sight as soon as I reached out my hand and said hello? Well that’s not quite how our love story unfolded. I extended my hand and introduced myself and the extent of our interaction that day was “Hey I’m Brett…”. I’m pretty sure I thought to myself, “wow he’s not the friendliness person I’ve ever met”, and then continued along my way trying to get through the stressful orientation day.

Being colleagues and all, we saw quite a bit of each other every day. In our specific case given the fact we were in a counseling graduate program automatically lends itself to getting to know your classmates on an intimate and personal level without even trying. A few weeks into the program I had developed a respect and admiration for Brett as a person and colleague. A few months into the program Brett and I had become friends, and I found myself somehow always gravitating towards him whether it was during class, on our lunch breaks, or being supervised in the same groups. There was a feeling of safety, comfort, and authenticity that was ignited whenever we interacted. Given that Brett is a good bit older than I am I did not immediately entertain the idea that maybe there was something more than a friendship between us.

That all changed one day when we both happened to be waiting around for the same class and decided to grab coffee and lunch together. What I anticipated to be a 15 minutes dine and dash experience as we made small talk about our assignments and upcoming tests, turned into an hour and half conversation. It was one of those moments where you feel like you’ve been talking for five minutes and are completely shocked to see you are about to be late to your class almost two hours later. We talked about our families, friends, dreams, hopes, setbacks, beliefs, and purpose and everything else in between. As I stood up from the conversation I knew that was something different. There was a level of honesty, connection, and authenticity between us that neither of us could deny, but also that we could not admit to each other either.

A few weeks went by, and I found myself thinking about him often but with reluctance given our age gap and the fact I was not sure if he felt the same way. During this season in grad school I kept getting all this feedback from different sources (friends, professors, supervisors, and family) about taking risks and not being afraid to be vulnerable, honest, and genuine with yourself and others around you. I do not believe in coincidences so naturally I took it as a sign from God and the universe that I needed to approach Brett and have a talk about “us”. In hindsight, making that phone call to him was one of the boldest, bravest, and riskiest decisions I’ve ever made, but was easily one of the best. Oh and just to be clear on that phone call he told me he felt the same way I did, and the rest is history…

How He Asked

Brett and I had planned a vacation earlier on in the summer to travel to Wyoming. We both love the mountains, hiking, and outdoorsy activities so it was a no brainer that this would be the trip of a lifetime for both of us! Well, life has a funny way of interrupting your plans sometimes. Almost immediately after we got there I became severely ill and couldn’t get out of bed for two days. Meanwhile Brett (without my knowledge) was constantly on the phone with the jeweler who kept telling him my custom ring (that was supposed to be delivered out to his sister’s place in Wyoming weeks before our arrival) would not be able to get there before the end of our trip. When you consider roadblocks to proposing I think two of the biggest could arguably be 1. A sick partner 2. No ring (both of which impeded Brett’s original plan to propose during the beginning of our trip).

Finally, our second to last day of the trip I made a miraculous recovery (thanks to some strong antibiotics) and Brett (being kindly relentless) got joyous news that the ring would be delivered that morning. Brett had told me that morning he wanted us to drive to Jenny Lake near Jackson Hole, WY because it was one of his family’s favorite spots. I have heard numerous stories from Brett and seen pictures from this lake, so I was naturally very excited to go. As we are on our way to what I thought at the time was Jenny Lake, Brett told me that he needed to stop at the UPS store to pick up a package for his brother-in-law. Being that I’m extra inquisitive I asked what specifically was in the package. Mark (Brett’s brother-in-law) co-owns his own small plane, so he told me we were picking up a part for the plane. I honestly did not consider that he would ship an engagement ring out there (kudos Brett).

After waiting patiently in the car during his UPS stop he finally returned and we began our journey down the road to Jenny Lake. On our drive we stopped at a couple overlook points to get some pictures with the Grand Tetons. About ten minutes out from our arrival Brett told me that he wanted us to stop at this small chapel called the Chapel of Transfiguration on the way that his sister recommended we check out. I was on board with that plan, so we parked walked around/in the chapel and took some pictures.

Brett suggested that we walk around behind the chapel because that was where the best view of the Grand Tetons were. He knows how much I love taking pictures, so I was getting pretty excited. As we begin our walk behind the chapel I immediately pull out my phone and start snapping as many pictures as possible-smiley and giddy at the incredible and scenic view in front of us. Next thing I know Brett walked over and grabbed my shoulders and begins positioning me to stand parallel to the fence as he takes out multiple sheets of paper.

Almost simultaneously when he is doing all of this I immediately started crying and knew “this was the moment I’ve been waiting for my whole life.”  Next I heard “click click click” which was Brett’s sister positioned in the bushes capturing the whole moment. He begins reading the most romantic, genuine, and moving proposal speech. I was so excited, shocked, and mesmerized by what was happening I could not register anything he was saying for the first five seconds. Finally, I pulled it together and allowed his thoughtful, loving, and kind words to sink in as he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

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I said yes. After the tears, hugs, kissing, and pictures were all accounted for after the proposal we walked back inside the chapel as we were approached by a woman that works there.

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She said that she overheard Brett’s speech and that she had been married for 25 years and her husband had never said anything as romantic, eloquent, or beautiful to her in their entire marriage.

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She then added how she would marry Brett and would say yes to him any day of the week! I smiled, laughed and broke the news to this kind woman that Brett is officially off the market. There is only enough room in this love story for two and their names are Aviry and Brett. August 13th, 2016 was the best day of my life!

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Special Thanks

Carlen Hervig | 
Groom's sister