Back in the summer of 2021, my best friend and I were opening a coffee shop in this beautiful neighborhood called Sequoyah Hills. Before we opened, we were serving out of a big green coffee truck in the parking lot. One day while we were serving, this guy and his dad walked up to order. After they left I looked at my friend, Rachel, and said "that guy was pretty cute!" I tossed the idea aside, because our erratic truck schedule didn't often bring the same customers day after day. Fast forward a couple of months, and our brick and mortar shop is finally open, and low and behold that cute guy started coming into the shop! I would text Rachel "that cute guy came in again" thinking what are the odds this guy would come in here. Turns out...he lived in the apartments about 100 yards from the shop's front door. After many purchases of cups of coffee (sorry, JP) and short conversations at the register, JP bragged that he knew the best spot in Knoxville for Ramen. I was skeptical, but what the heck. We went to Suttree's, an actual bar and arcade, for Ramen. Surprisingly, he knew what he was talking about, and we had a great time. We played zero games, but ate plenty of ramen and had great conversation. Many dates, walks, and conversations later, JP proposed a little over half a mile from where we met, by the Tennessee River in Sequoyah Hills. Saying yes to him the night he proposed, and saying yes to him when he asked me to grab Ramen at a dive bar were two of the easiest yeses I've ever said. JP's Version When Courtney and her best friend, Rachel, first moved to Tennessee, they began serving coffee out of a big truck. They would park it a stone’s throw from my apartment, and I would watch all the neighbors flock to it every weekend. One weekend, when my parents were in town, my father and I walked over to order some coffee. Courtney greeted us with a big smile and introduced herself. We ordered, and as we were walking away, I remember turning to my father and saying, “She was pretty cute.” In characteristic Jim Dooley fashion, my father belly-laughed and said, “It can be whatever you want it to be, son.” Our short interaction would linger in my mind for days and weeks to come. Several months later, Courtney and Rachel opened a brick-and-mortar location in the neighborhood. I began frequenting the shop and talking to Courtney more and more and more. The first thing that stood out to me was how easy it was to talk to Courtney. There was a warmth in Courtney that drew me in from our first conversation. And every time her big blue eyes would meet mine, or her face would break into a smile, I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, she’s so pretty.” I eventually struck up the courage to ask her out to dinner and she said yes! We probably talked for 3 hours that night about everything. However, we deeply connected on our experiences in overseas missions. Courtney had served in El Salvador and I had served in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was very clear early on that we aligned in our desire to honor Jesus through our lives. These long conversations turned into a fun friendship, which turned into fun romantic feelings, and then into a fun love. I think my sweet Courtney Leigh is the most beautiful woman in the whole world. She makes my heart sing!