Monday, June 11, 2012

Our 10th Anniversary!!

Today marks a very special day!  10 years ago today I was married to my sweetheart, Andrea Allen!  It's fun to think back over the last 10 years and count the many blessings we have been given.  Three of which are our 3 beautiful children! 

I thought I might share how Andrea and I met in honor of the special day.  In 2002, I had recently returned home from serving a 2 year mission for my church to Peru.  I was just getting ready to start college and was ready to take on the world!  I was over at a good friends house one evening and he asked me when I was going to go on my first date after returning from my mission.  During my 2 years as a missionary, we focused 100% on our missionary work and did not date.  I told him that I was excited to start dating again, but I was looking for a certain type of girl to date and I proceeded to repeat a long list of attributes that I was looking for.  He gave me a funny look and shook his head.  It was obvious that with my missionary "zeal", I had gotten a little carried away with my hope for the "perfect" date!

A few minutes later, he proclaimed, "I do have someone in my class that is an awesome girl.  How about I set you up with her."  Excited, I began asking him questions about this mystery girl in my friends Biology class.  He told me about this girl who he had gotten to know over the last semester that was cute, funny, and an all around good person.  I started to ask more questions and he continued to answer them.  This was going to be great!

After spending some time talking about this girl, I started to realize that there may be an issue with me asking her out.  Allow me to give some background.  Upon finishing full time missionary service for our church, it is common practice for the returned missionaries to take on multiple speaking assignments in the different congregations throughout the local communities.  When you go on this speaking tour, you are assigned to one of the local leaders as a speaking companion.  These are individuals that I respect very much for their service and Christian attributes.  After spending some time talking to my friend, I put two and two together that this girl I was going to ask out had to be my speaking companion's daughter!  I didn't even know he had a daughter!

I was disappointed because I knew I didn't want to just call up their house and say, "Hello Mike, I know we just met, and I'm very excited to get to speak with you at the different local congregations.  By the way, is your daughter home, I'd like to ask her on a date!"

That night on my way home I knew that I may run into this girl on campus, and that there were plenty of other girls I would be able to go on a date with, but I have to say I was disappointed to say the least.  There was something about this girl that seemed special.  It was weird because I hadn't even met her, but I felt something different.

The next day was Sunday.  That morning I was getting ready to go to church when the phone rang.  To my surprise, it was Mike Allen, my speaking companion.  I figured he was calling to talk about one of our upcoming speaking assignments.  I just about fell off the couch, had a heart attack and dropped over dead, when I heard what he had to say next.  He asked me if I would like to come over to dinner that night.  He knew a family from Peru that didn't speak very good English and he wanted to know if I would help him translate so he could talk with them.  Of course I wanted to go over to dinner that night!

Upon arriving at the Allen's I was as nervous as I've ever been in my life.  I met Mike's wife Kaylene and their son Ryan.  I also met his youngest daughter Amber and the Peruvian family, the Rivera's, that he had told me about, but I didn't see Andrea.  Now remember, Mike had no idea that I was planning on asking his daughter out on a date.  For all he knew, I didn't even know he had another daughter.  So I played it cool.  I asked him, "Mike, how many children do you have?"  He said he had Ryan, and Amber and that Jordan, his oldest son was on a mission.  He then said his oldest daughter Andrea was downstairs and asked Ryan to ask her to come up stairs!  Score!  A few minutes later I saw Andrea for the first time.  Now this may sound a little weird, but I knew I was going to marry her the second I saw her.  She was such a beautiful girl.  As I talked to her, I realized she was not only beautiful on the outside, but she was beautiful on the inside as well.   I knew that she was going to be my wife and the mother of our children.  Our courting and future engagement is a story in and of itself, but I'll save that for another day!  However, I do want to say I love you Andrea Allen and thank you for the best 10 years of my life!  I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you!! 

So you might be saying, hey, this is a blog about orphans with Down syndrome.  Where's the connection?  Let me explain.  As you may already know, we are one week into a two week finals voting campaign for my mine and Nash's "Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome" video.  We are currently in first place, but not by much!  In honor of mine and Andrea's 10th Anniversary, we are shooting for 10,000 views of the video today!  If we can reach 10,000 views, we have a donor who will give $500 to Maggie's (our orphan we are racing for currently) adoption account!  That would bring her account to over $10,000!  That's the connection!

We are currently at 44,292 views.  Last night at 10pm we were at 42,002.  The goal is to reach 52,002 by 10pm tonight for the $500 donation to Maggie!   Along the way, I'm giving away RODS Racing TShirts to whoever is closest to the thousandth view (45,000, 46,000, etc) throughout the day.  You can follow the give away's throughout the day HERE.  If you are close to winning the TShirt, just add to the comments with where you came in! 

As a reminder, you can view and vote multiple times a day by refreshing the browser once you start the video and click vote (lower left corner of the video).  Thanks for all the support!  Let's get to 52,002 today!!



Jodi said...

Brady, what a beautiful story! You have a beautiful wife and a beautiful family. I really hope to meet you and your wife one day. I am just sitting here in tears after watching your One True Media video abou Nash. It really touched my heart and makes me comforted and excited for our journey ahead.

Devan Dagley said...


I've been following your story for awhile and I have to admit that, although I've held you in such high regard since our mission days, seing your work and dedication to these kids and especially your family makes me think that much more of you. You were my ZL in Chiclayo (Zona El Dorado) and have always looked up to you and admired you for the type of man you are. I'm glad to hear that things are going well for you and next time you come down to San Diego, I'd love to get together with you. Take care and good luck with the Kona Inspired!!!!!


(Elder) Devan Dagley

Devan Dagley said...


I have been following your story for awhile and I must admit that, although I already looked up to you and admirde you immensely, seeing your dedication to these kids (what a great cause!!!) as well as to your wife and children has caused me to hold you in even higher regard. You were my ZL in Chiclayo (Zona El Dorado) and was amazed at the type of missionary and man you were; one which I strove to emulate. The next time you're in San Diego, I'd love to get together and catch up. Good luck with everything and I'm hoping and praying that yours and Nash's "Kona Inspired" video wins. You definitely deserve it!

Cuidate mucho amigo!

(Elder) Devan Dagley