On May 29, 2015, there were no wedding jitters for Kristin as she walked down the aisle to meet Travis. Beautiful in a vintage wedding gown, Kristin had chosen to wear her mother’s wedding dress as a tribute to her mom.
During Kristin’s birth, her mom suffered a stroke resulting in severe brain damage. “My mom had a blood clot in the back of her brain that caused the stroke during labor with me,” Kristin, 30, explains.
The stroke changed her mother mentally and greatly impacted Kristin’s life. “Growing up in a family with someone with a disability requires a certain amount of sacrifice for each person in the family so that the family can run smoothly. It takes someone who has been there to really understand how challenging everyday tasks can be.”
Little did Kristin know when she answered Travis's message, he had had a similar experience. “Neither of us had anything posted about our mothers on our page,” she shares. “Travis's mom suffered a blood clot when he was in 10th grade, and her stroke caused her to lose the use of her right arm.”
They both say, “Our mothers' strokes have taught us how to love and give grace. It has made us great spouses to one another because we appreciate our gifts from God more fully and strive to love others the way God has made them.”
Kristin muses, “We would never have met by passing each other in the street. We were a thousand miles apart and not open to moving. God used CatholicMatch and our common interests to open the door for a lifetime of support, understanding, and love.”
My life before Kristin
“Saying that my romantic life had been uneventful up to the 29-year-old point in my life would be a drastic understatement. I’d had a handful of relationships up to that point in my life, but all of them hit various insurmountable hurdles. Grad school and work had moved me around the country quite a bit for several years making it pretty difficult for my romantic charm to have an effect on the ladies. I was still searching for Mrs. Right,” Travis, 32, explains.
His mother persistently encouraged him to give CatholicMatch a try since Travis’s Catholic faith was a priority in his life. “I had always told myself I would never try an online dating site. The thought of not being able to find a lady on my own and having to use the internet tugged strongly at my manhood. But living in a small town in Wisconsin made my options limited. I exchanged some messages with a few ladies over the next several months, but didn’t have much success overall.”
Meanwhile, his boss had plans to move Travis to Colorado where they were opening a new office. “I had lived there once before for grad school at the School of Mines, so I was excited about the opportunity.”
Travis set his search on CatholicMatch to include Colorado, and that’s when his romantic track record began to improve. He came upon the profile of a pretty woman named Kristin, who appeared to have a lot of the same interests.
“Family and friends were important to her, she enjoyed traveling, outdoors activities, and relaxing around a fire in the backyard with a cold beverage to name a few things.”
He agonized for a while over writing her a message. “I figured it would just be a waste of my time. Eventually, that little voice on my shoulder won out and persuaded me to write her since the worst that could happen was I wouldn’t hear anything back, my manhood would take a slightly bigger hit, and I’d lose a little more hair.”
Kristin had stopped checking her messages
After converting to Catholicism in April of 2011 and after a handful of bad dates with non-Catholics, Kristin discovered CatholicMatch in the fall of 2012. “I had never done online dating, but I knew that the traditional way of dating was not a reliable way to find a partner who shared my religious views,” Kristin says.
She was only looking for men who lived in her area, Colorado, because she wasn’t interested in moving. After being on CatholicMatch for several months without luck, she stopped checking her messages. “One night out of boredom, I logged on and one email caught my eye.”
Tuesday Jan.8, 2013
I wanted to say "hi" and introduce myself not only because I think you sound like a really cool young lady, but because there is a pretty good chance I'll be moving back to the Denver area this spring/summer for my job so I thought it would be worth taking a chance to give you a shout :) Shoot me a message if you have any interest in chatting! Take care, Travis
"Gello" from Kristin
A week or two later, Kristin sent him a reply. “I’d never been so happy in my life to read the word “gello." Autocorrect on Kristin’s phone did her no favors while she attempted to type ‘hello’.”
While Kristen was patiently waiting for a response from Travis, he took over a week to respond. “I think my reasoning for that was I figured somebody had hacked her account. There was no way this wonderful young lady had written me back.”
Messages between Kristin and Travis started out slow, but eventually they were writing each other about once a day.
“I enjoyed our conversations, getting to know her, and helping her get to know me. I like to think that the connection with our mothers, our Catholic faith, and some other things we shared with each other blessed us with a much deeper affection and understanding for each other before we were even able to meet in person,” Travis says.
Kristin was enjoying their written conversations too, but she wanted to hear Travis' voice. For some reason, he was putting off talking on the phone, so she began wondering why?
Was Travis a serial killer?
Kristen informed Travis that her friends and family were pretty sure he was either married or a serial killer since he was avoiding talking to her on the phone. Travis couldn't have Kristin's friends and family talking about him like that, so he put aside his nerves and called her.
“I’ll never forget our first phone conversation. It literally took me about six minutes to push the 'call' button on my phone because I was so nervous. After talking to Kristin for about 30 seconds, my nervousness went away, and I began to enjoy myself. For the next hour and a half or so, we got to know each other better, and I got to listen to her giggle at most of the things I said as she thought I had an accent. Things just seemed to get better from that point as we began talking quite frequently.”
First, let's hug. Then could you check my tires?
“The very first time we ever met in person, the first thing Kristin did, after we gave each other a hug, was to have me check a tire on her car that she feared had low air pressure. After serving as Kristin’s mechanic for a few minutes and not being able to think about anything except how beautiful she was, we went to Daniel’s Park for a dinner date.”
They hung out several more times the next few days while Travis was in town, which also happened to be during Kristin’s birthday, resulting in his getting to meet her family. Travis says that he made a less than stellar first impression. “In my defense, the Badgers were playing Indiana, but luckily my majestic beard kept her interested.”
They had a great weekend together, but it all felt bittersweet because they didn't know when they would see each other again. Travis’s boss had changed his plans about opening an office in Denver and was now asking him to move to Radford, Virginia.
“My heart told me that I had been extremely blessed when God decided to have my life cross paths with this wonderful young lady, so I decided to officially ask Kristin to be my girlfriend. When she surprisingly said ‘yes,' I made the decision to move forward with moving back to the Denver area to explore other job opportunities.”
Finding a new job
Travis made one more trip to Colorado to search for an apartment, and he was able to spend some more valuable time with Kristin. “From that point forward, it was painful waiting for a little over a month until my moving date when Kristin planned to fly to Wisconsin and ride with me for my move to Colorado.”
Kristen was able to meet some of Travis family and friends while in Wisconsin. His family and friends instantly saw how special she was and gave their stamp of approval.
They had a smooth road trip to Colorado “It's been a fairytale ever since,” she beams.
The largest bug massacre of all time
For Kristin, Travis’s proposal was perfection, and she’ll always remember how handsome he looked while proposing. “It was just the two of us sitting at the campfire, which is one of our favorite places to be together. I like keeping most of the details just between us, but I will say this: it was the largest bug massacre we have ever seen. We had the fire going for a few hours and moths were dying everywhere—talk about a moth to a flame. When Travis got down on one knee, I remember him leaving his right hand on my left shoulder to stay stable. He used my full name, which I thought was pretty classy and very official. We were two deer in the headlights.”
Travis adds, “After I lost more hair while waiting for her answer.”
They celebrated with both of their parents, and then jumped in the car and headed down to Kansas City to surprise her Grandparents with the news.
Kristin says she fell in love with Travis because he is one of the most incredible people she has ever known. “He has the character of the man I have dreamed of since I was a little girl. Sometimes I look at him and wonder how on earth I got so lucky. I love his humble heart, and I cannot believe that God has gifted me someone so admirable. He is the only person I know that can finish an entire tube of chapstick without losing it. He accepts my faults and can make me laugh just as hard as my Grandpa does. His integrity is formed by what matters most: faith, family and football.”
Travis puts in his two cents, “I love sharing my Catholic faith with Kristin, and I have enjoyed so much watching our relationship and love for God strengthen more and more during our time together.”
Almost a year after being wed, Kristin and Travis gave birth to a baby girl, whom they named Maren.