Our Love Story
Hello #BracketLifer’s and welcome to this week’s blog post! It’s Rachel here – and I can’t believe it’s already August! This month, Brandon and I will be sharing about topics that are a bit more personal to us – in an effort to further introduce ourselves. This week, I’m sharing a closer look into our love story.
Let’s start all the way back in 2011 – at my first ever bracket race in Shannonville Motorsports Park – and where I first met Brandon and his family. I wish I could say we had an adorable ‘how we first met’ story, but the reality is – I met Brandon and his family after his brother beat me in first round, LOL. After that day, I don’t think we ever actually had a conversation with each other (that I can remember) until 2017. I guess you could say him and his brother were the junior drivers to beat back in the day, and I was slightly intimated!
In 2017, my family and I were making our annual 14-hour road trip up north to compete at the Northern Nationals in Wawa, Ontario. That year – Brandon had also made the road trip (with our regular crew of racers) to compete in the race. Friday night - we were all hanging out in the beer tent, and I finally worked up the courage to talk to him. Turns out, he wasn’t actually as intimidating as I thought and was a super fun person to hang out with. By the end of the weekend, we started to get to know each other pretty well. However, three weeks later I went back to university and it was another year before we’d talk again.
If you ask Brandon how he finally caught my attention, he’d tell you that it was because he won both races on opening weekend at Luskville Dragway in May 2018. Although I did think that was pretty cool, I was more impressed by how great he treated me, and how he’d lent me his coat when I was standing in the pouring rain to keep me warm that night.
It didn’t take long to fall head over heels for each other (cheesy, I know!). Three days after opening weekend we both ended up racing in Martin, Michigan for the week. Three months after that, we committed to a long-distance relationship, and were driving four-hours, back and forth EVERY weekend to see each other. I truly don’t think we slept for the entire first year of our relationship. Fun fact: in the first four months of doing long-distance, we travelled to five races together, two racing banquets, Las Vegas for a weekend, Alabama for the Million Dollar Race, and a business conference together.
I’ll admit, when we first talked about what it would be like to pursue a long-distance relationship, I wanted no part of it. I knew how hard it was going to be, and I truly didn’t think I could handle it. But, something I once thought wasn’t going to be worth it, actually turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Don’t get me wrong, a long-distance relationship isn’t easy, but when you are with someone who is 100% committed to putting in the work, travelling the distance, and over-communicating at times, it’s a hell of a lot easier. And that’s exactly what Brandon did.
By the time graduation came around, we were counting down the days until we could move in together. We were DONE with the long-distance thing, and after a lot of thought, we made the decision that I was going to move to Brandon’s hometown. Although many people thought we were moving too quickly, we truly never thought twice about it. We had put so much into our long-distance relationship, that it prepared us to live together happily, and we had so much support from our family. Brandon even called my dad to ask permission to live with me ... literally the cutest thing ever!
Six months into living together – we went back to being in a long-distance relationship, as Brandon had to go back to trade school for 8 weeks in Toronto. Little did I know that while he was away at school, he was planning his proposal for when he returned home at Christmas.
December 23, 2019 was the day that Brandon proposed to me. It was super late on a Monday night and we were watching a movie together. We always spent Christmas Eve/Day with our families – so I had kept bugging him to open our gifts for each other early. Fun fact: we both agreed to a $100 gift limit that year, LOL jokes on me! As the movie was coming to an end, he went into the bedroom and came back out with his gift. It was this tiny, cute gift bag – and I was so confused. All I had asked for was some new socks, LOL. All of a sudden, he got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. All I could think to say was ‘did you ask my dad?’. I was so shocked (and at first, I couldn’t tell if he was joking). It took Brandon asking me about three times before I realized he was definitely serious, and finally I answered ‘YES’.
The next night, we invited my family to Brandon’s grandma’s house for Christmas Eve and we made the announcement together. It was the most exciting moment, and something we will remember forever.
Currently, we are in the process of planning our wedding for October 2, 2021. Since our entire lives revolve around bracket racing, we will be getting married in my parents’ race car shop. Bracket racing is where it all started for us, and what we love to do together – so of course our race cars will be part of our special day.
Check out some of our favourite engagement photos taken by the amazing Chelsea Mason of Chelsea Mason Photography. Yes, before you ask – all of our pictures are taken at the race track (Luskville Dragway)!
Catch you next-next week,