Ryan and I met the summer after our senior year of HS at a graduation party for a mutual friend. We talked about both going to Champaign for college that fall, our love for all Illini sports and how we both couldn't wait to move out and go away for college. Since that summer day in 1995 Ryan and I have been teammates on the basketball court as Hessel Park, roommates at First and Daniel, deployed to Iraq together and sounding boards for ideas on how we want to change the world. Ryan is more than a friend, he is a brother and a source of support when I have needed it most. If you see him at the wedding be sure to ask him, "What's for breakfast?"
Corey has literally been by my side since the day that I was born. I can count on my hands and feet the number of weekends we DIDN'T see each other growing up. During the summers Corey and I spent most of our time at the pool or playing "guns" outside in his backyard until his mom would force us inside after the sun went down. We loved watching "Spaceballs" on the VHS, waging fierce battles against each other on the Nintendo and playing basketball in the driveway. Corey can make me laugh at any time with just a one-liner or an obscure Simpson's reference. He's got significant dirt on me so I try to stay on his good side. If you see him at the wedding have him tell you about the Dikembe Mutombo shot.
Dan and I have been best friends since the third grade. Recess time in 1985 was full of talks about the Super Bowl Shuffle, Adidas headbands and garbage pale kids. Dan and I were big fans of all three. So, naturally, we became buds. Over the years we have a long list of great times and even better stories. Dan is one of the funniest, most enthusiastic, caring and smartest people I have ever known. He is orange and blue to the core…even though he will claim SoCal as his official roots now. If you see Dan at the wedding ask him about my Ford Fairmont bumper.
Ben is absolutely one of the hardest working people I have ever met. Even in college, after a late night of…umm…studying…Ben never missed a class. Not once! His level of dedication as a friend is just as strong. Even though he is now a Texan, Ben will always have his Midwestern sense of humor. Ben never takes life too seriously and always puts a positive spin on a tough situation. He is a great husband and an awesome dad to two amazing young boys Brendon and Ryan. I'm looking forward to the day I can tell stories to the little Weber kids about their dad and his affinity for Miller Lite. I'm asking all wedding guests to tell Mr. Ben Weber he's had a "hell of a time" the night of the reception.
In the two years I have known Beau he has shown me that Hulk Hogan was undoubtedly the best professional wrestler of all-time, Illinois football holds him captive on Saturdays, his generosity has no limits and you can definitely tell he is a Wilson because of his big heart. Beau is humble, but also very passionate. He and Brittany are definitely cut from the same cloth and I can't wait to have him for a brother-in-law. If you get the chance, talk to Beau about his annual 4th of July fireworks show.