Brandon and Michele both grew up swimming in the Snohomish area. While they likely competed at many of the same meets and knew a lot of the same people, they wouldn't meet until years later, when a fellow swimmer introduced them. For Michele, it started with the words, "I know a guy I think you should meet." A few months earlier, Michele had decided that the dating scene sucked and had asked God to help her make peace with the idea that she'd be single forever. Blind dates are awkward, and being setup by a friend rarely works, or so she thought. Then the same friend asked Brandon if he'd be willing to go out with a girl she knew. But Brandon had also just recently decided that God was calling him to singleness. Dating had left some emotional scars and he didn't want to jump into a relationship without God's help. So what made them both say yes? Their mutual friend gave one reason why Michele and Brandon would make a great couple: they both love Jesus. And this fact, coupled with the persistence of their friend, led to a blind date at El Paraiso on January 21st, 2023. The couple were gladly chaperoned by their friend. As they nervously chomped on chips and bean dip, they found out they had a lot in common. And feelings started to develop on both sides. She was cute, and he was smoking hot! This first date led to another (this time without the chaperone) where the talks got deeper and feelings grew stronger. With each date, the feelings grew, but so did the fear that things might not work out. On February 20th, 2023, they both decided to stop letting the fear win and make things official. Both were cautious and nervous to begin with, but they knew this was something special. It felt like God had created them for each other. Brandon lives loudly and decisively. So about two weeks in, the words "I love you" spilled from his lips at the end of a date, leaving a stunned Michele to wonder if she had heard him correctly. Over the next few weeks, Brandon proved his love with his actions, encouraging and helping Michele to grow more confident each day. Michele lives a quieter, more contemplative life. So after about a month or two of Brandon's loyal love and care, her "I love you" came in an almost inaudible whisper. It was the end of the night, and Brandon had just finished praying a special blessing over Michele. And in the same breath as her whispered Amen, those three little words came floating out. The months that followed were full of growth, worship, lots of laughs, and lots of prayer. They both knew marriage was coming, but had decided that the wise thing to do would be to wait until they had been dating for two full years. God had other plans though. He worked on both their fears and grew their love until both were ready to start ring shopping in August of 2023. Unfortunately, the tragic fires in Lahaina changed those plans. Instead of shopping for rings on the beach, the couple was separated by 2000 miles with no cell service to keep them connected. By the grace of God, Brandon's family made it out safely. Those few weeks apart cemented an even stronger trust in the Lord for them both and made them even more sure of their commitment to each other. So on December 20th, 2023, 10 months into their dating relationship, Brandon asked Michele to marry him. They went on a scavenger hunt recreating the scenes from Arthur's Perfect Christmas (see the above slide show for the cute details). Brandon took Michele to the beach and gave her a ring tied to a little glass bird. Then he asked if they could build their Perfect Christmases together for the rest of their lives. Our Love story would not be possible without Jesus. And the support and guidance of our fantastic friends and family. You are just as much a part of this Love story as we are.