TESSA + MATT | ENGAGEMENT

May 11

Matt and I were just little tykes when we first met, although I barely remember it. I was born and raised on my family’s ranch in Danner Oregon, west of Jordan Valley, I now own a salon in Nampa Idaho. Matt was born and raised on his family’s ranch, the historic Alvord Ranch in Princeton Oregon, where he still lives and works. The Ruby Ranch neighbors our’s, and back then Matt’s Great Aunt and Uncle had the place. While keeping their place at the Alvord, Matt’s parents, Paul and Toni did move to the Ruby for a few years with their five kids and lived in the old school house down the road from us. Aside from my grandparents, they were our closest neighbors! I forgot about Matt and his siblings as we were so little then and they sold the Ruby Ranch. We re-acquainted at my brother’s wedding about two years ago when he asked me to dance. He sent me a friend request, and to be honest I kind of forgot about him again…oops! Around Christmas time we started to message back and forth, and he asked if I’d like to go to the New Year’s Eve 2020 Winnemucca Ranch Rodeo with him and I said yes! I’ve never accepted a first date invite that included a road trip, hotel room, the works, but I thought what the heck, why not. What a first date, He drove his pickup and horse trailer two hours the opposite direction of Winnemucca to come and pick my up at my dad’s house (I live in Idaho, so we decided to meet at my family’s place). I felt like a high schooler again, he came in to shake Dad’s hand and promise to have me home safe. I rode with him to Winnemucca and we made in time to put up his horse and toast a drink before midnight! We stayed out until four in the morning, and between the drive and then we talked about everything, and the whole time I thought he must not like me because he never made a move. Poor guy driving all over the country to come get me and now he’s just being polite, LOL. He got dinner for us at the casino, we contemplated getting matching tattoo’s but couldn’t find an open shop, we danced and walked back to the hotel, he remained a perfect gentleman the whole time. I got to watch him rope the next day, he took me to breakfast, lunch and dinner again! Then drove me back to Jordan Valley, first date coming in at over 24 hours! I don’t think, for a day since then, provided we have cell service, we’ve skipped a day of talking since then, and don’t worry after the first date he eventually made a move. COVID-19 really sped things along, in March I had to shut down my salon as mandated, I didn’t know what to do, my Dad didn’t have enough work to keep me and no way would unemployment cover my home and salon rent and bills. Without hesitation Matt said, you can come live with me, work for us. So I did, I went to go work on the Alvord with Matt and his family for two and a half months. I already loved Matt and knew he was a good man, but that experience really showed me what a generous man he was. There was so much he didn’t have to do, but he was always giving and sharing, and finding ways to Brighton my day. He shared everything from his cell phone, T-shirts, horses, toothpaste, blue tooth speaker, you name it. I’d never needed help before, had always been pridefully independent, and he never shamed me for it. All this time I’d thought guys want a good looking gal, dressed up, fixed up, makeup, hair, cute clothes, has her own money, but coming to the Alvord in my ranch clothes with enough clothes for two weeks, hair a mess, no makeup, broke and working, I guess I had the formula wrong. When I finally got to re-open, I said my goodbye’s and felt like I was leaving home, I loved being there with Matt, his family, the dogs, loved the Alvord. I came back the next weekend for the Davis’s annual Memorial Day party. Saturday they had a band, everyone was dancing, my family even came, and as we were walking off the dance floor he said he had a question for me and got down on one knee and said “Will you marry me?” I first said “For real?!” And then “Yes! Yes! Of course!!” It was beautiful, it will forever be one of my favorite memories. We’re getting married July 10th, back in Danner, I will keep my salon and work in town about ten days a month or so and spend the rest of my time working with Matt on the Alvord. I am so blessed by this man, he makes everyday an adventure, he’s always coming up with something crazy! I am so excited to start the next part of our lives together.

Photographer @footstepphoto
Alvord Ranch
Alvord Lake
Alvord Hot Springs
Pendleton Whiskey
Wrangler (her jeans)
Kimes Ranch Jeans (his)
Ariat shirts (his)

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