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So, sentimental and hopeless romantic that I am, I was typing this up to publish on our “first date” anniversary- July 30th. Embarrassingly enough I remember actual “does this really matter at all” dates like that. BUT Grace is hosting a link-up for people’s love stories, and you don’t have to twist my arm for that! I’ve been wanting to type up the details of how we became T+L 4ev, for prosperity’s sake if nothing else! So here goes:

May 12, 2007:

Day of my (and Tim’s sis Lucy) college graduation.

[Lucy and I were roommates freshman year. We’d never met but requested each other at the proddings of our older sisters, who were already friends at Franciscan University of Steubenville.]

Tim and I meet for the first time after the ceremony…and it is most definitely not love at first sight- he is a Benedictine monk (Yes.).  Lucy introduces me to her family, so Tim and I exchange “Hi’s” but that’s about it (I was acutely aware that he was most definitely off limits). I’d heard a lot about Tim and his friends throughout college- how he was in the seminary and then entered the monastery, so it was nice to finally meet him in person.

A week later most of their fam comes to Virginia for my sister’s wedding, but by this time Tim’s already back at the monastery in Oregon.

TL

I absolutely shudder at the abysmal state of my hair.

June 2007:

After much prayer Tim discerns the monastic life is not his vocation. He goes home for a bit (Oregon) and then finds a job teaching English in South Korea. I spend the summer in Virginia working odd jobs at a temp agency and studying for my nursing boards. I hear about Tim’s decision in passing, while talking to one of his sisters on the phone.

At the end of the summer I move to Orange County, CA and begin my first nursing job.

February 14, 2008:

I fly to Oregon to be a bridesmaid in Lucy’s wedding. Tim and I meet again at the wedding rehearsal. My initial reaction is, Wow, he is really handsome. There’s an ongoing joke between members of our families that someday our families will be related through marriage. Their dad quips that it’s sad my older brother (who was “chosen” to marry one of Tim’s sisters) is off the market, and our families now won’t ever be related. A little thought creeps into my mind, Hmm…you don’t consider Tim and I to be an option?

As the wedding festivities commence Tim and I don’t talk to each other much, but the more I’m around him the more I like him. However, I’m pretty sure he likes one of the other bridesmaids, and my hopes plummet when I see them slow dance during the reception. After the wedding we don’t even say goodbye. I go back to California and he goes back to Korea.

FUS crew at the reception.

FUS crew at the reception.

Fun times decorating the getaway vehicle!

Fun times decorating the getaway vehicle!

Tim’s sister Kathleen and I had been talking about traveling together to World Youth Day that summer in Sydney. Well, on the way to the airport after Lucy’s wedding, Kathleen mentions that she thinks we’re too late to plan a WYD trip, but that she and Tim had been talking about traveling to Europe that summer. His teaching year would be up in late July, and he could meet us across the pond. Oh, the bridesmaid who I thought he liked (and who had voiced interest in him) is planning to come too. I love Europe, but am not sure if I’m ready for what may be a very awkward trip!

February 18, 2008:

I get a call from Kathleen. We chat for a while and then she tells me, “So, I think you should be interested in Tim. Because he likes you.” I am on cloud nine. Hundred.

Tim then friends me on Facebook.

Next several months:

My roommate and I don’t have internet yet so I go to the library or Kinkos almost every day to use the public computers to check my email…and to see if Tim has written on my FB wall. Of course I’m thrilled when I see he has, but I always wait to write him back- don’t want to be too obvious. AND I try not to write too little or too much.

We write things like:

Screenshot (4) Screenshot (1) Screenshot (6)

And let me tell you, I was intimidated! Even through little Facebook wall posts I could see he was so witty, smart, and such a good writer. I felt completely out of my league.

***

So for several months we wrote back and forth on each other’s Facebook walls. We didn’t email or talk on the phone. And while I would not have minded communicating those ways, it somehow made it easier. We were oceans apart and hadn’t talked much in person, so this was us starting at square one. Don’t get me wrong, I was not detached or unemotional about it. I am an emotional girl, and the more I learned about him the more I liked him. I mean, how can you not like a guy who takes pictures like this:

There were many times, though, I thought he was just not interested in me anymore, and there were maybe several dramatic tear-filled entries into my journal about it.

I guess this is the part where I say I had never dated anyone before? I’d gone to a small Catholic high school where there were many more girls than guys, and then moved onto a little bit bigger Catholic college where there were still many more girls than guys. Add in the “discerning” guys to the mix and you have and even bigger girl:guy ratio! I think the most frustrating thing I heard over the years, as a single gal, was, “why aren’t you dating anyone?”.  Because, of course I have complete control over my dating situation. I guess I had a couple of fledgling chances to date a long the way but each one fizzled before it amounted to anything. By the time I graduated I felt like *maybe* I’ll finally meet a guy when I’m 80 and in a nursing home, and we’ll go to Bingo together. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, when I confided in close friends or family members that I was interested in “this guy Tim” they’d always ask how much we communicated. And when they heard our only communication was through FB they’d look at me like, You poor thing. Clearly he’s not interested. So yeah, that made it hard too. After all, I didn’t want to set myself up for heartache. I prayed a lot about it all, asking God for guidance and acceptance of whatever His will was.

Back to the story:

One of the big questions Tim has to answer is what to do after his year of teaching is up. Stay in Korea? Move back to the US of A? I’m also very, very interested in the answer to that question.

April 2008:

He answers it. Well, Kathleen first then Tim (at the time she was going through her own love story (although she didn’t know it at the time), so we talk often to commiserate). She calls me to tell me that he’s planning to move to Newport Beach, stay with their Grandpa who lives there, and find a job. Since Newport Beach is only about 30 minutes from where I live, I get quite a bit tachycardic when I hear that.

A day or so later Tim tells me via FB of his plans to move to Newport.

Commence another month of Facebooking, and then several weeks of silence on his end. Thankfully during that time I was busy with work and a trip back East, but I had an inkling Tim’s interest had moved on to someone else (and on our first date Tim told me that he had dated one of his co-workers during this time).

Trotted to OH for my brother's graduation.

Trotted to OH for my brother’s graduation.

End of May 2008:

I find out from Kathleen that Tim recently accepted a job teaching high school Theology at a school in Marin County (right near San Francisco). After I hear this I tell myself two things. 1. San Francisco is seven hours away, basically another state. NO way is he still interested. 2. He’s a great guy, but this obviously isn’t going to go anywhere, so move on (and oh, how I wished it were that easy).

June 2008:

Our communication amps up because he sends me a couple of messages (that no one else can read!) on FB, and we also have an unexpected FB chat session one morning (butterflies galore). In one of the messages he mentions his move to The City, but says he’s planning to be in Orange County pretty frequently visiting family and friends, so not to be surprised if he drops in some weekend. It would not be an understatement to say I am excited about this!

We exchange a couple more messages over the last few weeks before Europe basically chatting about our travel plans and his impending move. To be honest it wasn’t much communication, so when Kathleen and I fly out of LAX and make our way to Italy (for our lay over) I don’t know what will be in store for me.

Not to be all dramatic or anything, but I’m going to write the rest in another post since the next part is loong!

Tim and Lisa- Will they ever be anything more than Facebook friends? Stay tuned…

Part 2 here

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