This is Nuno.
He has been my best friend since 1988.
Brother by blood, best friend by choice, then and now.
He has held my hand through every obstacle in my life, was my first room mate once we left the nest, and my favorite person to FaceTime with on a daily basis. Once Travis and I got married, I became the token third wheel because they were often leaving me out of their “broments.” But I feel so blessed to have my two favorite guys in my life love each other like they do…even if I am left out of their skiing vacations due to my abundance of whining.
Ever since I can remember, Nuno has loved, love. He had a few serious relationships but honestly none that passed the “over-protective-you’re-too-good-for-her” sister test. Fact: He had a girlfriend pour the remaining remnants of her drink on my head at our dads surprise 50th birthday. So there’s that. The last five years or so, once I had popped out my kids and we were knee deep in diapers and sleepless nights, he confided in us many times how he just longed for a family. How he couldn’t wait to have what we have. When Amelia was born, he stepped up to the plate and became the most amazing uncle to my kids, never missing a beat. He can play games on the floor for hours and spark their imagination with his bizarre toy voices and play endless hours of Candyland, and has always dreamed of being a father. I spent many nights worrying if he would ever settle down and find happiness in the way I knew he wanted and needed. If there was anyone who could come into our dysfunctional family and not run away screaming. If my kids would ever have cousins or would he forever be just the “fun uncle.”
Over four years ago my mom met Hannah while she was working at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, MS. Hannah was young and had JUST had her daughter, Ava, but that didn’t stop my mom from dragging me up there to meet her a few times and saying “isn’t she perfect for Nuno?”
That’s not where their story starts. Years pass but one thing didn’t change: my moms ability to instagram stalk. Her and my mom kept in touch via social media and one random day out of the blue, my mom sees Hannah & Ava at a park near her house. They have lunch. My mom reminds Nuno how perfect she is. He slides into her DM’s.
Nuno called me before their first lunch date, naturally nervous, tells me he will touch base once the date was over. HOURS PASS. I blew up his phone for a solid two hours. DID THIS PSYCHO MURDER MY BROTHER? No. Their date went so well that they chatted for hours and solidified plans to go out the following evening, and haven’t been apart since. When Nuno called me that evening, he told me she was perfect, and once I met her (and did my own fair share of internet investigating) I couldn’t agree more. I don’t just like Hannah- I LOVE HANNAH. She has quickly become one of my dearest friends, we call each other crying when we are being overdramatic, we tag each other in memes, she loves my babies as much as I love Ava, she is perfect for me. I MEAN NUNO, she’s perfect for Nuno. Not only is Hannah a blessing, but can we talk about how perfect her daughter is for a second? Ava is the cherry on top. Nuno finally has a baby girl of his own, the family he always wanted. But most importantly, my kids have a cousin their age, y’all! I’ll spare you with all the cute little stories Amelia writes about her new cousin and how perfect and precious they all play together, but just know its what modern-day fairytales are made of yall.
When they came down to visit just a few months into their relationship, he told me she was the one, and by July while we were vacationing in Portugal, his mind was ticking on when, where and how he was going to propose. One night over dinner my dad made the comment “whenever Nuno gets married…you know…to whoever” and Hannah has been called “whoever” ever since. It quickly became a tag line in our family whenever we talked future plans.
This passed Christmas was the time. We (because lets be honest, I wasn’t about to let Nuno design a ring) started designing her ring back in October. It’s a collaboration of heirlooms, the center stone being my mom’s first wedding ring and the setting (although modified) from my mothers great great aunt. It turned out so unique and perfect, just like the lady wearing it. That morning while discussing the plans, I ask Travis where the lights/stands were. HE FORGOT THEM, YALL (see what happens when I’m not around *eyeroll*) Instead of filing for divorce, we were quick on our feet and borrowed some flashes from my moms photographer friend (thank you Neil!). I only mention this because the flashes didn’t quite sync with my camera so while I was taking images during the proposal, the flash wasn’t going off often and the images are quite grainy, but don’t worry, there’s video (YOU MUST WATCH!)
While guests arrived for the party, I took Nuno and Hannah to the dock in front of my parents house for photos so my mom could explain to everyone exactly what was going on and what bag to avoid during the game. I was so nervous y’all. I couldn’t even get my light right, I was sweating profusely just counting down the minutes until we could go back inside.
After a rigged game of our annual “white elephant” gift exchange, she opened her box and in a pillow of moss (because she’s a granola-eating-earthy kinda girl) was a little scroll that read “Will you be my whoever, forever?” Followed by the whole “get down on one knee bit.” Immediately after she had her moment, we brought Ava into the room where Nuno also had my dad craft her a ring for her little finger, because after all, He was proposing to her too. With her best friend on FaceTime, and family in the room, SHE SAID YES!
Nuno, Nunz, Johnny…you will always be partner in crime. You will always be the fun uncle. You will always be the caring voice of reason who calls me out on my BS. You will never know how your friendship and love impacted my life…not every girl has a big brother that makes them feel worthy and special. You pushed me to pursue my talents and have supported me in every thing I have done. You deserve happiness and I’m so glad that you found it. I have tears running down my face as I type, because you mean so much to me and I don’t know if I will ever be able to adequately express that in words. “We are one and one are we, Portuguese promise.”
Hannah, I never thought anyone was worthy of him. I never thought I truly ever would. You are every bit of amazing and I have prayed for someone like you for years. Thank you for completing our family and being the best mama to little Ava and openly sharing her sunshine with all of us. You are strong, brave, honest and as beautiful as they come, inside and out. Everyone asks me “do you like her?” and my response is always “no. I love her.” Let me tell you somethin….love is good fer me.
I can’t wait to see where this crazy life takes you two. Thank you for letting my family come along for the ride. I love you both!
HERE’S THE VIDEO TO PROVE IT. Thank you Travis for lugging out kids and gear nine hours to fulfill this little idea of mine! Check it out below: