The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


May 1, 2013

A new chapter begins

Life is an amazing journey. On April 13, in front of family and friends, I said ‘I do’ to my best friend, Mike Gabriel. After years of searching for “the one,” I found him when I least expected it thanks to a very persistent matchmaker.

I met Mike’s nephew, Brandon Bentley, by chance one Friday afternoon when my neighbor and his aunt, Sandy Gabriel, brought him and his sister, Abby, to visit my new batch of baby chicks. From that day on, the kids and I formed a chicken connection and friendship. Brandon and his sisters, Abby, Jasmine and JayCee, began venturing down to my house on a regular basis and the rest, you could say, is history.

Our first date was set up thanks to Brandon. He called me up to see if I was free on a Saturday night to go out on a date with his uncle chaperoned by none other than himself. I had been set up on dates before but none, obviously, turned out as well as this one did. I guess kids do have a sixth sense about things. My life, thanks to Brandon, will never be the same. I can never thank him enough for the lifetime of happiness that lies ahead for both of us.

I planned our wedding in just three months. At first it seemed like no big deal, but in the end, it became perfectly clear that planning a wedding is a lot of work. Throughout my wedding journey, I had a lot of help from my friend, Elise, and her fiancé, Nick, along with co-worker Kathy Huizenga. Mike’s aunt, Sandy, who also happened to be my friend long before we started dating, did an amazing job. I definitely could not have pulled this off without her.

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