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my name is sydney, but you can call me syd.


me to we, part three


my stomach completely dropped. i was sure i wasn't seeing correctly. this couldn't be right. he hadn't spoken to me in MONTHS. why would he be contacting me now? when i was hundreds of miles away? i slowly clicked on the message, not allowing myself to get my hopes up, and waited for it to load.

"hey, how are you? how is spain? i'm not sure if you'll get this or if you'll even see this, but i hope you're having fun. i feel like a jerk for talking to you and you don't have to reply if you don't want to. i just thought that, by now, i wouldn't be thinking about you anymore. we've been broken up for a while. but you make your way into my head almost on an hourly basis and you have ever since we broke up. i always thought that that was the right decision, but the truth is is that i've never been so sure... anyway, reply if you want but you don't have to. by the way your hair is getting really long, i like it"

"your hair is getting really long, i like it"?!?!?!?!?!?! the worst possible thing to say to a girl who is trying to get over you?!?!

i wrote back: "hey! i'm not on another planet hahah i can text or FaceTime just like normal when i'm connected to wifi. i'd definitely prefer to FaceTime, so just let me know when you're available/awake with the time difference and your work schedule. hope you have a great day!!"

I WAS A WRECK!!! i knew it was early in the morning for him in texas, and he might not have time to call me until after work, which was about 3:00 in the morning for me. i was going CRAZY, so i purposely left the house so i wouldn't have wifi and wouldn't get any texts or calls anyway. my roommate and i rented segways and zipped through the cobblestoned streets of sevilla and drowned my emotions in gelato. that night was conveniently our friend's birthday, so we took her out to dinner and went on a horsedrawn carriage ride through the city at sunset.

i got back to my house around 10:00 PM, which was 3:00 PM his time. i waited for my phone to reconnect to wifi, heart pounding... i had a text from him!! "cool! i'll FaceTime you as soon as you can. i know you're busy, so just let me know!" i texted back: "i just got home for the night, so i'm available now!"

two seconds later: brandtly thornton wants to FaceTime.

i screamed with my roommate and then ran into the bathroom for some privacy. i accepted the call and saw his handsome face for the first time in over three months. "hi!", he said, "how are you?"

we talked for three hours.

he started the conversation apologizing. apologizing for the hurt he had caused, asked how my mom was, told me that he was going to do his best to earn my trust back. and then we just laughed and caught up. i remember feeling like it was all too good to be true. we were talking like we had never been apart. i felt happy. i felt whole. i felt like me again.

after we hung up, he texted me "goodnight pretty girl, talk to you tomorrow" just like he always used to. and i replied, "if you don't want to marry me, then i don't even care anymore because i don't want to marry someone stupid. we would be stupid not to marry each other. love you :)" which was pretty bold for me to say! but when we had broken up, we were talking about getting engaged and starting a life together. since things felt exactly the same when we spoke on the phone, it just felt natural to pick up right where we left off three months ago. he texted back "hahahaha i know. you're right. i love you too."

and then we started planning our wedding!!!

i was going absolutely CRAZY in spain. i just wanted to be with brandtly. it felt wrong to be in such an amazing place without him. i wanted to experience everything with him, and if he wasn't here, i didn't want to be, either. i made a very impulsive decision to come home to the united states and not stay in europe for the rest of the summer as i had originally planned.

madrid to oslo. oslo to LA. LA to phoenix. broken on the way to europe, and completely healed on the way back. i landed in phoenix at 2:00 AM, launched myself straight into my mom's arms, and jumped up and down and cried and laughed and talked all night long about how in love i was and how crazy the situation was and how good God is. the date was june 29th.

july 1st, my family and i packed up and drove to durango, colorado. we do this every year for a family reunion with my mom's side of the family. we absolutely LOVE it up there. we have been coming up for the 4th of july for as long as i could remember and always made such good memories there. i spent time with my cousins and caught up with family members in the beautiful mountains. i didn't tell anyone about my life-changing event because it was so recent and such a complete 180 degree change. i left for spain just six weeks prior without a boyfriend, and came home with a quasi-fiance. so i kept the secret, texting brandtly as sneakily as i could and enjoying every minute with my family.

on the 4th, we always drive up into the mountains and down the canyon to celebrate the holiday in a tiny little mining town called silverton. the 629 person town has parades, water fights, live music, and delicious food. it's the perfect place to spend the 4th! we spent the day taking pictures, eating fudge, visiting old shops, and buying trinkets. the sun went down and we watched the fireworks light up the black sky and boom off of the mountains surrounding us. it was such a happy day.

after the firework show, we all headed back to our hotel. everyone was winding down to settle for the night,  AND THEN BRANDTLY BURST THROUGH THE DOORS!!!!

i was shocked!! he was beaming, my mom was crying, everyone was cheering, and i wasn't letting go of him. ever.

the next day (sunday), brandtly went for a walk after church. since he had gotten in late the night before, this really was the first time we had been together since... hmmm... march :):):) similar to our first phone conversation when i was still in spain, it felt like we had never even been apart. being with him was effortless. we ended up in a beautifully green clearing, which, i quickly noticed, had a very picturesque picnic all set up for us.

trying to remain calm, i said something stupid like "ooh! grapes!" and plopped down on the white picnic blanket. "syd", brandtly said from behind me, "you might want to stand up". i turned my head and he was behind me down on one knee.

i stood up breathlessly. he said some words that i will never remember, but looked at me with a look that i will never forget. i think he asked me if i would marry him and i think i said yes, because then he was slipping a ring on my left hand and standing up and kissing me.


that's our story. it's my favorite one. it didn't go exactly as planned, but life never does. after the most perfect vacation in colorado, i went back to arizona and he went back to texas to finish working for the rest of the summer. we reunited in washington and were married on august 22nd, 2015. and that's how me, sydney ann soelberg, became a we, with brandtly jake thornton.

and it's my favorite thing to be.



engagement photos

engagement photos

me to we, part two