His Name is Brandon….

Ever wonder why you married your spouse?
I have been thinking a lot lately about my husband. About how almost 9 years ago we “re-met” and started “dating”– even though I was clueless and thought we were “just friends”. I thought about the many late nights we spent wandering around the streets of San Francisco, eating Subway at the old salt baths located underneath the Cliffhouse, talking endless hours on the phone, laughing until our sides hurt….
Well, I’m sure you know what I mean. If you are married, you were there at one point.
Brandon and I met somewhere between my 16th and 17th birthday, which would have made him somewhere around, oh….12 or 13! I’m sure you can imagine that he was THE LAST person I thought I would ever marry {said in the best Elizabeth Bennett voice! :) }.  Truthfully, Brandon was just a friend of my brother’s and at one point he dated one of my favorite young girls that attended my high school mentoring group that I had while in college.
Now if that isn’t embarrassing, I don’t know what is. HA.
Anyway, the “Eighth Grade Brandon”, as I jokingly call the Brandon somewhere around the ages of 14-18, was the goofball of the Christian school campus that we both attended…the class clown. He was a horrible student…but had an incredible sense of style {still does, better than me even} and had the ability to mimic the  JCrew catalog- thanks to many great thrift store finds since he never had any money. He had the rugged look{although SKINNY- ha}…with a skater hair cut that he combed back when he was wanting to be preppy and then when he was in his “skater mode” it hung in front of his face. I always thought he was adorable in a “eighth grade” kind of way.
DEFINATELY NOT a romantic way… AT ALL!
When I graduated from Bible college and moved home to Santa Rosa to get my teaching credentials, I didn’t see Brandon for a while. I did run into him at a church function sometime during my credential classes, but just briefly and he was still “Eighth Grade Brandon”. After I received my crendentials, I started working as a full time sub at an elementary school in the heart of the wine country. I was 25, happy, having fun with my single friends, traveling, spending all my money on GREAT clothes and going out for incredible food.
And then one weekend, I went back to Stockton to visit a friend….
I decided to attend an evening church serivce at Christian Life Center, the church that Brandon has attended all his life{and where he is now the youth pastor} and where I attended during Bible School. I stepped into the back entryway of the sanctuary, and out of nowhere this VERY handsome young man steps up to me. He had on a navy blue suit, with a preppy tie. His hair was cut short and he was much taller than remembered. It was Brandon! And I was SHOCKED!
Brandon overlooking Twin Peaks

Where did he come from?!? Seriously, this was not the Brandon I knew. The Brandon I knew was a little boy, not handsome like this!! He gave me a hug and said hello, and then asked me if I was wearing Michael perfume, which I was. Hmmmm…good taste in perfume.
Anyway, after service, he somehow tagged along everywhere I went and we ended up at Marie Callendars. We both were oblivious to the others around us, we chatted it up, exchanged phone numbers and decided to meet up the next morning while my friend who I was visiting was working. We ended up visiting the local zoo and we just clicked, you know? We became fast friends…at least that all I thought we were. We just got along and I was super excited to have a new “friend” to hang out with.
When I got back home later that week, I started receiving cute little cards and post cards from Brandon. I just thought, “How nice! What a great friend!” Yeah, I was clueless…WHAT was wrong with me?!? HA. Anyway, he got a job in the city as a finish contractrator at a high rise apartment and they put him on the top floor overlooking Pac Bell Park {now ATT}. Since he was just a short drive from my home, we would meet up often in the city for dinner or coffee. We built a budding relationship, and I would have to be honest with myself and say that he became one of my best friends very quickly. We just saw eye to eye on so many things in life. It surprised me, really. I had never had that happen before with any other guy.
It took me a while to realize that Brandon was not just a “friend” to me. I will never forget one late fall evening, we were walking along Ocean Beach on the westside of the city. The night was warm enough for us to walk barefoot in the sand and let the water hit our feet. It was a beautiful night. Very clear with no fog and you could see out over the ocean for miles. We were just talking about life, and really, it wasn’t romatic at all, but at one point we stopped walking and he had his back to the ocean with the moon shinning on him. I can’t remember what he was talking about, but he smiled, and I remember at that point it hit me.
OH MY WORD…I think I love this man.
It scared me to DEATH.
Us down by the creek behind my parent’s old house

We chatted a bit more and then it was time for me to get in the car and drive back home, as I had to work in the morning. I called my friend SoShawna and told her my frightening realization, and dear God, WHAT should I do about it? I mean this was silly! He was four years younger than me, had little education {a big one for me}, no money{another big one}…how was he going to take care of me? We came from totally  different socioeconomic backgrounds, educational backgrounds, how was that going to work? Or how would we even get along for that matter? Dear Lord, I HAD to control my feelings.
SoShawna laughed, told me to lighten up…and for crying out loud, couldn’t I just a fling for once in my life?
So there you have it….
I had a fling.
And 9 years later, here I am.
You know, I probably “shouldn’t” have married him. Really, he was probably the last person I should have married. But I did. And it was right. Because he was my best friend. He was the only person who ever REALLY gave me butterflies in my stomach. He was my hero. He was able to calm my emotional storms even before they brewed. He loved me in spite of my “issues” {and I had/have many}. He saw me unkept and still loved me. He loved the ME, not the THOUGHT of me.
But even more than that, I feel that God ordained our paths to meet. God put this person in my life who has been able to make me laugh at life. Live a little freer. Smile a little bigger. Love a lot fuller.
Goofing off at our wedding with our good friends Joy and Thaddeus
You know, I have learned, you should never judge who people marry and why they marry them. I have done that before, and it severely ruined a good friendship. I have learned that people need the room to make their own mistakes…and find their own love. I have learned that NOTHING is better that having a home full of love…no amount of money can replace it, clothes, cars, friends, kids…if you don’t have love, your life is miserable.
I’m not sure why I even felt to write this out. It’s not our anniversary or anything, and I admit that this is very random. I guess I just wanted to tell someone…if you are trying to choose a spouse, don’t look at how much money they make, what kind of educational background they have, what their family life is like. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that those things ARE important and DO need to be considered.
But they aren’t #1.
Marry the person you love. Marry your best friend. Marry the one that you are CERTAIN God has put in your life- the one who you are equally matched not physically or monetarily, but emotionally and spiritually. Because life has a way of setting people up, and taking them back down again. So many friends over the last several years have lost their jobs, their homes, their “stability”.
But love sticks around.
Pretty cool, huh?
So thanks, Babe. Thanks for being you. For being my rock and for being so darn cute. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. I love you!

22 thoughts on “His Name is Brandon….

  1. 1
    Jennifer says:

    Very cute story! Love it!!! You two are gorgeous by the way! I hope P training is going better! I am still struggling with Stella Marie!

  2. 2
    Beckie says:

    Awe, you made me cry ;0)

  3. 3
    SoShawna says:

    Love this blog. So cute and 'real'. Brought back memories! I remember thinking; "If Amy just has a 'fling' then maybe she'll lighten up a bit and this will prepare her for the NEXT guy that she'll meet, and maybe HE will be the one and she'll be emotionally ready for HIM. But if BRANDON is THE ONE then she'll realize it eventually and they'll be happy forever after." I didn't think he was really THE ONE until you started talking with an excitement in your voice. A thrill. Sort of like stars in your eyes but this was in the way you talked. And then…I was just very, very happy that you let love find you.

  4. 4
    Carolyn says:

    Amy! I love this post! I want to fall in love in San Francisco :> LOL, Subway under the cliff by the old Salt Baths! Wow so romantic (And I mean that). Love it, love you!

  5. 5
    Tara W says:

    i absolutely LOVE hearing your love story Amy. i have heard you tell it to several people throughout the past 7(??) years that i have known you, and it's almost like a new story every time ha ha I love it. <3

  6. 6
    brandonmiraflor says:

    I feel odd commenting on this post seeing that it concerns me. But I just wanted to say "I love my wife" with all my heart.

    Amy thank you for taking time to document this era in our lives for our children. All be it there are many details omitted in this story, namely the one about the fact that you had been stalking me MONTHS before we supposedly "re-met". The details where you taped my phones, hacked my computer, etc.

    Any-who, Love you with all my Heart babe – Good Times

    - Brandon

  7. 7
    Mande says:

    This is beautiful. There is nothing like being married to your best friend. I thank God for my best friend everyday. xoxo

  8. 8
    Prencie says:

    I'm reading your post Amy, feeling like I was reading a chapter from a romance novel:) I love the way you write and how you are able to put your emotions and feelings out on paper for all to read. I wear mind on my sleeve:) Not any good at writing:( I remember thinking the same thoughts of my younger husband. I grew up Pentecostal and he grew up in the hood in Brooklyn. I graduated and went to college, he dropped out to help support his family when his dad left them. I had 2 parents still together and very much in love, he barely had a family. It was like a black and white situation (not saying I'm perfect!). But I feel the same way. I couldn't imagine my life with any one else:) God has His plan for our lives and I hope that I can fulfill His plan and not "my" plan.

  9. 9
    Collecting Moments of 3 Petites Dames says:

    Amy Darling! this was one of my favorite post…brought tears to my eyes and was just beautiful! Love you Guys to pieces!

  10. 10
    leah says:

    This has to be my favorite post of yours!

    I also married the "only one that ever put butterflies in my stomach" and the one that I NEVER thought I would marry. =) While it has not always been perfect (or easy), I have never doubted that I made the right decision. God always gives us what we need (I figure he likes to be entertained by us too, since we seem to wind up with our complete opposite…and spend majority of our time driving each other crazy! haha).

    I love you guys and know without a doubt you were made for each other!


  11. 11
    Danae says:

    LOVE this Amy!! Thank you for sharing such a sweet and well told story. ♥

  12. 12
    Cylinda Nickel says:

    This is too adorable. Love this! God has a way of placing the perfect two people together!

  13. 13
    Jenni says:

    I love the sweetness and randomness of this post! It was beautiful and so well put.

    I also love your hubby commenting in on this one as well…never knew you were a stalker?! Heehee!

    You guys are adorable together and I am so happy that you found each other!

  14. 14
    - Lindsy Weidner - says:

    What an awesome post! Thanks for sharing your sweet story.
    It is so wonderful to know that God makes a special way for two to become friends and then start an incredible journey.

    I am SO thankful for my special guy as well. ;-)

  15. 15
    Bryony Sowers says:

    Aww Amy, I'm so glad you re-met too. You're such a wonderful sister-in-law, our family would not be the same without you. I love you so

  16. 16
    Nic says:

    Amy, such a great story. And, so well written too!

  17. 17
    Amy says:

    Thanks everyone for the kind comments and for reading. Sheesh, I really felt stupid posting it actually, cause it was so random and soooo long!! ha.

    But I just realized its father's day coming up, so I'll just count it for that! :)

    And Jenni…yes, can you believe him?!? NO!! I WAS NOT A STALKER. Did I mention he was {and still is} the class clown? Good grief, he'll do anything for a good laugh. And I wonder where Jake gets it from!! ha.

    love you all


  18. 18
    Girly Muse says:

    hi, nice to meet you!!! thanks for saying hello and leaving such an insightful comment.

    i loved reading your love story! what a great romance. the pictures are beautiful too. i firmly believe in marrying the one you love, no matter what. you did the right thing.

    i'm going to have fun getting to know you and your blog, i can tell. :) it's great!

  19. 19
    Dear Lillie says:

    Amy this might be one of my favorite posts I have ever read on any blog. You are such a beautiful writer and your story is so touching!

  20. 20
    Us Four & No More says:

    love it – the two of you were clearly made for eachother… stalker or not =)

  21. 21
    eleanor hope says:

    wow. that's all i can say.

  22. 22
    eleanor hope says:

    wow. i'm left speechless at this amazing post.

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