Born and raised in Dixon, Illinois, Brittlyn grew up playing soccer and accepted a scholarship to attend the University of South Dakota. Brandon was raised on the north side of the border in Markham, Ontario and he too decided to attend USD on a basketball scholarship. Oddly, schools in South Carolina were on both of their radars, but they couldn't resist the booming metropolis of the Midwest.
It didn't take long for Brandon and Brittlyn to meet each other at USD considering they were stationed in rooms directly across the hall from each other in "The Village." Their first encounter consisted of little to no conversation and a seemingly disinterested Brittlyn, who preferred to quietly sit and fiddle with her phone. Brandon, noticing the lack of excitement shown from Brittlyn and also too shy to strike up much conversation, felt equally as uncomfortable. After declining a can of Bud Light that was offered, Brittlyn gladly went back to her room.
As weeks passed, the two encountered each other more and more at athletic events, academic buildings, and less awkward hangouts in the Village. By Spring of 2012, Brittlyn and Brandon shared an inseparable bond that would only strengthen with time.
February 23rd, 2017 - It was a sunny day in St. Louis, Missouri, and Brandon was in town visiting Brittlyn. Brandon had planned a Valentine's Day celebration which consisted of a walk through Missouri's beautiful Botanical Garden followed by a favorite steak dinner. Little to Brittlyn's knowledge, this day would be extra special.
After deciding what to wear for their "walk through the Garden," the couple made their way toward downtown St. Louis, but Brandon knew they had some time to kill- but not much. They decided to make a pit stop at an ice cream parlor. Brittlyn noticed a slight limp in Brandon's walk, which she quickly asked him, "Are you limping?" Brandon responded with a quick "Nope I'm fine. Does it look like I am?" He definitely was limping, caused by a ring box digging into the side of his leg that was secured in his left sock. Brushing it off like it was nothing, the two proceeded to order some ice cream and head off to the Garden.
On the way there, the stress levels began to rise for Brandon. He knew there was a photographer at a specific location that was ready to capture the big moment, and it was scheduled to happen at 2pm. That time was quickly approaching and there was still plenty of ice cream to be eaten. Being a gorgeous and warm February day, Brittlyn was confused why Brandon was forcefully feeding her ice cream in the car. She had hopes of sitting on a bench in the sun, enjoying her "lunch" among a scene of colorful flowers. This would not be the case.
As they entered the visitor's desk of the Botanical Garden, Brandon had asked to make sure their fare had included the Shoenberg Temperate House, which included the precise location of where the proposal would occur. Brittlyn was curious yet impressed by Brandon's research of the area, but thought nothing more of it. Brandon had explained that he looked online and thought the spot looked cool!
It was then just after 2pm and the loving couple opened the doors to the Temperate House, where Brandon caught a glimpse of the photographer in the background, shaded by a group of trees. Breathing one sigh of relief while trying not to shake, it was time to pop the question. Stopping Brittlyn in the spot of his choice, he suggested they take a couple pictures to capture themselves in the scenery. "But first," he said, "I know we agreed on no gifts this year, but I did get you a little something." Brittlyn was quite unhappy with this news, but quickly turned to speechless. Brandon struggled a bit with getting the box out of his sock, but then got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. After a long pause and some tears of joy, she said yes!
The photographer captured the big moment and then spoiled the newly engaged couple with a fantastic photo shoot around the Gardens.