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Late night pizza slices, a killer blonde mustache and one fanny pack

On June 26th in 2016 on a very warm Arizona summer night a girlfriend and I decided to hit the town and just be girls! It was my two year anniversary of our new lululemon Westgate Outlet store being open and we thought "what better way to bring a great day to an end than going out to Old Town Scottsdale for the night!?"

After a few hours of sweating and dancing, the lights came on and it was time to head home. We were waiting for our ride to come get us when my girlfriend decided to go hit the stalls before the long ride home and I told her I would work on getting us some pizza for the drive and not to worry I would be right here when she got back!

As I was standing outside of Gus' pizza alone waiting for her, trying to devise my plan around this long line going all the way out the door and around the building, it happened!! Just like that, a man with a blonde mustache walked up to me with a large pepperoni pie and asked if I wanted a slice....... WANTED A SLICE?! Sir I have been waiting for you, of course I wanted a slice, what took you so long to get here?

After talking for a few minutes I knew there was something different about him. First off, I had never really seen a blonde mustache like that. so I told him how I liked it and that he looked so cool. He responded with excitement, "really?! All my friends think its nasty." I told him, his friends were wrong and to not listen to them. The second thing that had my attention was his outfit? He was wearing cowboy boots, wrangler jeans, and a shirt with a giant bass on it, in Old Town, he was definitely different! Being from the small town of Wickenburg I loved what I saw!

As My friend Shelbie came outside, she rushed over to "rescue" me from this random guy, little did she know that was the last thing that I needed, I could have stood there forever talking to him, but that wouldn't happen tonight. Both of our friends rushed us away and for the first time, I gave someone my real name and phone number. We went our separate ways and continued to chat back and forth for a little while. After about a month of not talking, I decided to text him, something inside me kept going back to Chad. Thinking about this guy Chad, Who was this guy? I hardly knew him and I couldn't figure out why I was so intrigued by this man, so I took a shot in the dark and said "Hey Chad when are you taking me out to dinner?" Immediately he responded with "whenever you would like".

By October, we were texting back and forth again, but we still hadn't hung out yet. On a whim thinking that he would say no I invited him to a soccer game. He said "yeah you are right down the street from my house I will come!" Well that was a shock, I really didn't expect him to say yes to me! When he saw me walk around the corner at the bottom of the stairs I was holding a tiny cup of beer in each hand, a had a crazy rainbow/cat/unicorn shirt on and a fanny pack.... I was really not expecting a yes and I looked all sorts of crazy! Chad did not care at all, he actually liked that I had a Coors light in hand and no make up on! We sat at the game and talked for a few hours not paying attention to anything else in the world except each other. The rest is history, we have been inseparable since that day. We slowly got to know each other and fell in love. Chad is the best friend that I have ever had and I could not imagine choosing to spend my life with anyone else! Thank goodness he feels the same way!!

Chad and I had only really been dating for around seven months when we decided to take a quick day trip to our favorite spot, Sedona. The views are beautiful, the air is clean, the life is slow, and the vibes are indescribable! The perfect set up for an engagement right?! I had no idea what would be coming my way in the next few hours.

We hiked Devils' Bridge Trail on Memorial day and boy was it PACKED UP THERE!! As we decided to descend back down the trail in the blazing summer sun, Chad asked to take a photo, now I was dying and really just wanted to head to some AC, but Chad had something very different in mind. This was it, the moment we both had been waiting for our whole lives. I asked someone to take a photo of us and I handed my phone over and walked to the edge waiting for a photo, Chad the little sneak that he is told the guy what was happening and to record it. We got together and got a photo, as we parted after he got down in front of me, on one knee, I thought this was a joke! I couldn't believe what was happening, I thought he was maybe just going to just tie his shoe and joke around...... WRONG, SO WRONG!! He pulled out this little black box and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him, with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen in hand and I said yes! I was even so excited I tried to grab the ring and put it on myself ha! And just like that we were engaged, and I knew I would never need anything else again in life as long as he was there beside me.

Now it is 2018 and we are getting married on August 25th on the beautiful Van Dickson Ranch. A nice little country boho wedding right back where we met two years prior, under the Arizona heat wave of summer time.

Chad and I are two totally different people, we are opposite in almost everything that we do, but nothing has ever worked so well in my life. He is strong when I am not, I am strong when he needs me to be, we continue to be the perfect balance for one another. I love that no matter what I know he is there and he loves me unconditionally. We love to adventure to new places and being outside together is one of our favorite things. We strive to help people but in such different ways. I am a yoga teacher guiding people with a loving nurturing energy, he is working on EMT and Firefighting, helping people in ways I could never dream. I love that I know that we will always have continuous support for each other. My heart flutters every time he pulls me close, I have never felt stronger about knowing this is exactly where I am suppose to be, doing just what I should be. He is 24 and I am creeping up on 27 so we have a long life full of laughter ahead of us. Working on the next step of creating our home together and continuing to write our love story.

Gena Willis

Jonathan Allison Photography

Gena Willis, Bride to be and Author of Human Lights Blog Ge

Instagram @geenwill - The Modern Gypsy

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