About Courtney as told by Mike
Courtney Caye Barbour was born on December 19th, 1977 in Greeley, Colorado. She, along with her sister Carrie Jo, had fun challenging their parents through their formative years. Courtney attended Greeley Central High School, Aims Community College and the University of Northern Colorado. After trying her hand in banking and physician front office management, she settled in her current career of medical underwriting at WINhealth Partners in 2002. She gave birth to three beautiful children: Cailyn, Trenton and Gavin and settled in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, where she lived until 2010. In February of 2010, Courtney moved to Cheyenne, and added two kittens to her household, Joey and Phoebe. These well behaved felines now reside with Mike at his house, where they guard the place night and day.
When I consider the circle of friends and family that surrounds Courtney and me, I think to myself that it might be somewhat of a surprise to many of these people that she and I had some humorously inauspicious beginnings to our relationship. I met Courtney on October 20, 2008, the first day of my new job with the Cheyenne HMO, WINhealth Partners. As it turns out, Courtney had planned to leave the company and was in her last few days of work there. She greeted me kindly enough, but there was a hint of "I wish you luck, you don't know what you are getting yourself into here." Later, Courtney reconsidered her resignation and continues her career with the company to this day.
Courtney and I developed a friendly, working relationship over the next fifteen months. In January of 2010, we were both scheduled to attend a conference on actuarial analysis and underwriting in Orlando. While attending one of the conference sessions, I offered to explain a mathematical model that was being presented later that day. Courtney was agitated that I assumed she didn't understand the model and I spent a good portion of the next few days trying to return to her good side.
After the conference, Courtney and I became closer and closer friends and enjoyed sharing activities outside of work, including movies, shopping and, occasionally, church. We met each other's friends and some family members and spent more and more time together.
What grew over the next two years would become the most important relationship in my life. Our bond and attraction to each other evolved and strengthened into a real and lasting love--one built on the everlasting rock that is Him. I found that I had a best friend, partner, confidant, and supporter. Someone who would challenge me while encouraging me. Someone who would let me "color outside of the lines," yet would hold me accountable for how I treated people and for the choices I made. Someone who could facilitate me become the best version of me I could become.
That is some of the history, but it's really just the beginning. I look forward to love and family. I look forward to so many pathways to travel with Courtney through the mountains, valleys and forests of life. Some of these paths have been traveled and some will be new, but I know I have beside me the one who should be there for all of the frontiers that await.
About Mike as told by Courtney
When Mike and I decided to put this website together and write about each other, rather than ourselves, I thought it would be easy. As most who know me know, I’m not typically a person short on words. On this day though, as I sit and try to type, it’s difficult for me to put into words my thoughts about the most intelligent, funny and thoughtful man I’ve ever known. I guess I’ll start with the basics and see where it goes…
Mike was born and raised in Cheyenne and graduated in 1988 from Cheyenne Central High School (when I was in fourth grade, he often reminds me). After graduating from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas (with all sorts of fancy smart guy credentials on his degree), he spent several years working in the accounting field in Los Angeles and Chicago and taking on the local scenery (mostly bar scenery from what I understand) all over the country with his best friend, Mike. In 2003, Mike returned to his native Wyoming where he opened and managed the local Sprint store. In 2008, after earning his MBA (also with fancy smart guy credentials), he decided to take a chance and learn the world of health insurance, accepting a position as controller at WINhealth Partners, where he worked tirelessly to become an expert in the exciting field of statutory accounting. His expertise in his field and the financial work done for the company in the past three years has been recognized by many. Beginning May 14th, Mike will start a new professional journey as an executive team member with First Wyoming Capital, the first life insurance company domiciled in the state of Wyoming in over 50 years. And of course in July, he’ll be taking on the role of husband and step-father to the craziest circus on earth. Did I also mention that he’s ambitious?
There are so many stories that I could tell about Mike and me, my favorite of which is a trip we took in 2010 to a weeklong underwriting and actuarial seminar at the Walt Disney World Resort. Sitting in a principles of rate setting session, Mike passed me a note explaining to me that he could show me later how to interpret a fairly complicated actuarial model. Seething, I wrote a note back that I was perfectly capable of interpreting the model. My frustration at being unable to retort until the class ended over an hour later was highly entertaining to Mike. After returning from the conference, the most beautiful friendship in my lifetime began. As much as we are alike, we are have many differences. His patience to my quick fuse, his high intellect to my common sense approach and our differing political opinions (that one gets interesting at times) create a balance that I never thought possible in my life.
As our friendship developed, we both made an effort to bring Christ back to the center of our lives. Through this, God provided me with my best friend, cheerleader, protector and partner in Mike. Every day as our bond grows stronger, I understand that He is giving me this life with Michael Theron Mason. I could not feel more blessed.
We met on October 20, 2008, when Mike came to work for the same health insurance company Courtney had been employed at since 2002. Given Mike's social nature and infectious smile, he was excited on his first day of work to take the building tour and meet all of his new coworkers. He made his way around the building to all of the various departments, eventually getting to Courtney's department. His bright smile and introduction was met with a fairly flat, "nice to meet you and good luck" from a tired, cranky underwriter who was planning on leaving the company that same week. Fortunately for us, Courtney never left the company...
In 2010, Courtney moved from Pine Bluffs, Wyoming to Cheyenne, Wyoming and we quickly realized our love for God, travel, sports, good books, better movies, great music, mexican food, witty debate and laughing together (and at each other) made us, in the words of Forrest Gump, Best Good Friends. It wasn't until the spring of 2011 we realized we weren't quite sure, but we kinda liked each other....maybe even loved each other. Mike began spending more time with Courtney's kids and we all quickly fell in love with each other.
In fall 2011, we unofficially made it official and decided that best good friends like us should never be apart and we should in Mike's CFO talk terms, "merge our businesses." On a spur of the moment shopping trip on November 19, 2011, Mike made the merger official and asked Courtney to marry him on a beautiful afternoon at Centerra. Within a couple hours, Courtney had a ring and Mike had his own "engagement watch." And that's the story....We can't wait to see what God has in store for us next!