I first met Cassi on a mission trip to Haiti back in 2013. It was her first trip and she jumped right into doing the hard work as well as playing with the kids. One of my favorite things about her was how welcoming she was to anyone she met. My oldest son Joseph was also making his first trip overseas. Over the course of the week, they developed a bit of a friendship and she gave him the nickname J-Money; partly due to his skill on the basketball court, and partly because nicknames are cool.
The next year, a trip to Belize brought more hanging out with J-Money as well as more basketball.
Last year, she met Sara and right away began investing and pouring into her life throughout the week.
(Even though they only see her about 7 days a year, our kids think Cassi is the best.)
A few weeks before our trip last year, I noticed a LOT of a certain boy showing up on Cassi’s Instagram feed. I checked in with her mom about the lad, and she assured me he was legit and might stick around. I knew Cassi would not be able to go a WHOLE week without seeing him, so I brought along a little cardboard cutout of Justin-the mystery boy. Much fun was had.
Fast forward about 8 months and guess who is engaged and getting married?!?! That’s right.
Cassi & Justin!
We started out by hitting their favorite date spot.
Cassi is a basketball coach way far away in Nazareth and her schedule is pretty tight. That left us only with a Sunday to shoot on.
Well, Chick-fil-A is all like… “We are closed on Sunday.”
Did that stop us? Nope.
Justin, being the winner that he is, went and bought food 2 days before and kept it nice and fresh for our session.
We then went on a little tour of San Angelo where these two met and went to school.
This was by far one of my favorite engagement session moments ever. While shooting, Justin reached into his pockets and found this piece of paper.
It was a note Cassi had left him from when she did his laundry a few weeks back.
And now we are getting to the good stuff. This is actually where these two met. They were on the same intramural flag football team. As Cassi tells it, this is a great team. To be on the team you either have to “know someone” or “be really good”.
Cassi said she knew someone, that’s how she joined the team.
Justin is just really good.
Look at that catch. I told you he was really good.
His second week on the team, they had an out of town trip and she made sure she ended up sitting at his table. Her excuse was that she didn’t want to have her “back to the door”, but hindsight being 20/20, we all now realize it’s just that she wanted to have her face facing his.
These two love to compete at everything. (Cassi is a killer basketball player having played for SanAngelo and now coaching at Nazareth.)
Cassi with the quick first step. Justin with the foul.
I think my favorite thing about these two is how comfortable they are with each other. Justin’s love for her is super obvious, but his respect for her is what really stands out. He values her input and treats her as his equal. Cassi is one of the most confident women I’ve ever met, but I also see the trust she has in him and the security she finds in him. I love seeing how their story, which began on separate but similar paths, has now joined up. Last year when Cassi was in Belize, Justin was on a mission trip to Africa. This year after the wedding, they are heading back to Africa together. As great as these two are as individuals, I can already tell they are going to be even better as teammates.