Love Story

every once in awhile, in an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale. . .

allow me to share mine.

From the outside it may seem that Matt and I had a whirlwind romance.  We began dating in spring of 2009, got engaged December 9, 2009 and married on September 25, 2010.  If I didn’t know any better I’d say SLOOOWWW DOWN PEOPLE!  But that’s simply not the case. 

Those who know us well and know our hearts know that this was no whirlwind romance.  In fact, our love began years ago when we were awkward teenagers with spiky hair and cornrows (don’t worry there are pictures).  God knew what he was doing when he prepared both of us for each other.  Maybe that’s why I wake up beside him every morning and still pinch myself.  “Did this really happen to me?”  “Did I really get him as my husband?”  Whatever it is – our love is true and our love is strong.  I am grateful everyday for him and he inspires me in ways I never imagined.  So how did it all start?  Well it went a little something like this . . .
 My fairytale started in Montego Bay, Jamaica circa 2002. It was summertime and I was with my church youth group on a mission trip. My church was infamous for planning amazing mission trips every year. The first 5-6 days were usually spent in the middle of poverty while we built homes and churches and held vacation bible study for the kids. While the last day or two was spent in a resort somewhere relaxing and reflecting. So here I was - 16 years old and headed to Jamaica with my best friends, my church and my dad. Yep - my dad happened to be there as a chaperone when it all began J

 Well - guess what? There was a boy on that trip. Well 35 boys to be exact but there was one special boy - a tall, skinny and somewhat awkward 18 year old with spiky hair named Matt. Matt and I had been friends for awhile but on the trip in Jamaica something happened. Neither of us can put our finger on exactly what it was or where it happened - but somewhere in the midst of dancing in the dirt, swaying to gospel music and a lack of showers for all - we fell in love. The whole bus ride home - from Miami to Wilmington, NC - we sat beside each other and talked. Just talked. Our ability to talk for hours about anything and everything became our stronghold in the future. But as we pulled into the FBC Activity Center parking lot, reality set in for me. I realized that I had still had 2 more years of high school left while he was headed off to bigger and better things at Wake Forest University in two short months. So I retracted, wished him the best and said goodbye.  I was sad and scared.

corn rows and spiky hair

in our matching Jamaica shirts - 2002

We talked often over those next 6 years - and by often I mean the kind of talking that involved 2 hours a night on the phone always losing track of time. Matt has the ability to listen and make me feel like what I have to say is the most important thing in the world. I graduated from high school and headed to Raleigh to NC State. College happened. We both dated other people. But even then Matt was always the one I wanted to share things with. And I was that for him. I was the one he called from the Dominican Republic on his medical mission trip and when he got Kenny Chesney tickets in the smallest venue in Winston. He was the one I called when I was crying and having the worst day of my life or when a song came on the radio that I knew he would love. We chalked it up to great friends but in the end - we knew it was more.
Charleston, 2009

Fast forward to spring of 2009. Matt was in pharmacy school at UNC Chapel Hill and I was working in Raleigh - just a measly 30 minutes down the road. We started to see each other a lot and boom – on December 9, 2009 he got down on one knee and I said AHHHH YESSSS (amidst the tears).  The next few months were filled with parties, flowers and place settings and on September 25, 2010 my fairytale officially came true.  I married my best friend – truly the man of my dreams.  We just moved back to Wilmington and are enjoying our 2nd year of marital, newlywed bliss.

engagement session with Furnished Photography

the best day of my life

So that’s my fairytale.  That’s how it all came together for me.  Could I have imagined 10 years ago that I would be married to Matt Lopatka? Sitting here on a leather couch bought at Big Lots in our man cave with the hottest man I’ve ever seen?  Never.  But that’s just it.  You’re not supposed to guess how it turns out.  That would take all of the fun out it - crying over the loser that broke your heart when you were 16, dishing about the cute boy in your English class to your best friend and trying on 154 outfits before your first date with The One.  SO here’s to surprises and fairytales – everyone’s got one and none of them look the same. 
So what’s your fairytale?  How did it all come together for you?  Email me your fairytale and you could be featured here!

Want more?  Check out our Wedding Website Here

And more about Our Wedding Day Here.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  - Isaiah 40:31


Celeste said...

What a sweet fairytale! If I wasn't at work.. I'd prob be crying, haha! God had great plans for you both from the beginning and it's so apparent here. So amazing!

Ashley Robyn said...

This makes my heart smile. So meant to be. Love, love, love.

Megan said...

What a lovely story. When I read the first paragraph, I also though Woah! Where's the brakes? But then I read the rest, so lovely!

Elsa de Diego said...

God bless you and your love. It is so beautiful to read stories like this,and I'm blessed enough to be able to relate to you. XOXO

Unknown said...

Hi! I found yur blog through Simply Clarke and I am loving it! You certainly have a new subscriber. I love your heart for God and I look forward to reading more.

Ashley Danielle

Katie Cook said...

This is seriously THE BEST! I love it:) oh man...those cornrows are AWESOME girl! haha love it:)

MaddyChristine Hope-Brokopp said...

Hmmm, we too had a fast love. And only the people close to us knew God was at work. We were intentional about letting people in and come alongside us, after all, we WERE moving fast. Now we are 4 plus months into this. It is Good, God is still at work and we celebrate.

Katie said...

Your story makes me so happy. Thank you for sharing! It's so wonderful how God works out things at the best possible moments.

Take care,

Liz said...

I love this story! I'm a new follower, and your blog is quickly becoming one of my favorites! xo

Josie said...

This is a beautiful love story!! and what amazes me the most is how God's handwriting can be found in every step of your fairytale. HE wrote the fairytale and HE chose your husband! He does that for everyone, we just have to listen to his voice! Good thing you listened :)

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