The couple featured on the blog today are incredibly important to me. Brandon is my husband Geoff’s baby brother. He met Lauren while playing football for Eastern Washington University near Spokane. She was there on a full ride soccer scholarship when they fell in love. But, before I delve into their relationship I wanted to talk a little bit about what it has meant to me to marry into the Kaufman family. I don’t think I could ever forget the first time I met them as a collective group. It was Passover and my new boyfriend Geoff invited me over to meet his family for the Seder dinner. I used to be really shy and I was definitely a little nervous to meet everyone. After stepping into their house I knew that this family was a little different from most. They were loud and I remember being shocked that they were louder than my own family which is pretty impressive since I am the oldest of 7 kids. In a head to head decibel contest the Kaufmans would have prevailed over the O’Hares, hands down. But the chaos of that first encounter was strangely comforting. Here was a family where you could really just be yourself. They weren’t the kind of people who tell the kids that they should be seen and not heard. And they took turns singing at the dinner table…from a little kid’s coloring book. And as a new guest they were kind enough to let me just read from it and not have to attempt to sing in Hebrew. That was just the first act of kindness in a series of many to follow.
I eventually learned that Geoff has a pretty special relationship with his youngest and only brother. He was 12 when Brandon was born (almost the same age I was when my youngest brother was born) and I know from personal experience that when you have that many years between you and a sibling you just do not have the same kind of relationship that you do with your brothers and sisters who are closer in age to you. My youngest brother was only 5 years old when I graduated from high school and moved away. In many ways he is like a stranger to me since we didn’t grow up together like most siblings do. But, Geoff and Brandon are different. Geoff straddled the line between being another father type of figure for Brandon and also just his older brother and friend. He would come home from college as much as he could to be a part of Brandon’s life so they were able to develop a closer bond with each other. He gave him as much advice as he could which I’m sure was half blessing and half incredibly annoying for Brandon. It can’t be easy to grow up with not only your parents telling you what to do all of the time but also your big brother and big sister getting all bossy pants on you too. I can’t tell if Brandon has turned out to be such an awesome person in spite of or because of all the meddling but it doesn’t really matter. He’s all grown up now and he’s one of the most sensitive souls that I know. He really cares about people and he falls in love easily.
Which is why some of us in the family had a little twinge of an “uh-oh” feeling when he first started talking about a new lady in his life. There had been other girlfriends of his that we were less than thrilled with but Lauren was different. She clearly loves Brandon because of who he is and not because he is a star football player or anything like that. She’s been incredibly patient with the curveballs that life has thrown their way (some of them thrown by Brandon himself. Does the name Roxy mean anything to anyone? This is the surprise dog Brandon brought home with no consulting with Lauren first!) and been supportive of him. She always says “I just want him to be happy” when asked about the changing directions their life always seems to be taking. And I know he feels the same for her. Brandon proposed to Lauren here in Colorado while they were visiting back in December of 2012. (Check out their proposal photos on the link below!) And last weekend on Valentine’s Day they finally tied the knot at the Highlands Ranch Mansion. Friends and family came from California, Washington, and New Jersey to witness their vows and there were so many highlights from the weekend. In no particular order here are a few of my favorites:
*That time when Geoff called his little brother a dildo in front of everyone at the wedding. We all remember that time.
*Speaking of Geoff’s epic speech I can’t help but point out my personal favorite line from it. It still makes me tear up to think of it. “So here we are at another milestone, and I kind of hate milestones because we have so few miles.” Truer words have never been spoken. I wish we could all live two more lifetimes.
*When Lauren’s Uncle Andy filled in for her dad Gary who passed away suddenly three years ago for a special dance to remember him by.
*When they finally changed their minds about their vows and chose to read them themselves!
There are so many more great moments from the wedding day. I know that my strong suit is not writing but in the photography so I’ll just get on with sharing the photos.
Brandon and Lauren,
I love you.
HOTEL GETTING READY:
BRANDON GETTING READY:
LAUREN GETTING READY:
What a handsome group of guys!
Here’s our family!
I love that Lauren held her dad close to her all day.
The next generation of Kaufman speech-givers.
That is a classic Brandon expression:)
Classic Geoff impression of Brandon.
Brandon and Lauren picked a great first dance song. Go play “When I Get My Hands On You ” by The New Basement Tapes when you look at these:)
And keeping with tradition, Brandon and his mama Rhonda got the party started with their song.
One last happy one:)