During my freshman year of college, I started a routine of going to 5:00 pm mass after all my classes. This was a great opportunity for me to grow closer to God and get to know all my good friends in campus ministry. One day nearing the end of the second semester, someone "intriguing," as my friend Meghan and I described him, attended daily mass. He sat way in the back, and I could not help but notice his cowboy boots when he went up for communion. And then he started coming back, everyday. I did not let myself think too much about it. After all, I was NOT finding a boyfriend in college. The night of my last day of freshman year, it stormed and I love storms. So naturally, I eagerly suggested to my group of friends who were celebrating with me to go run around in the rain. While we ventured around campus, we met some people. Dakota was with a group of people skate boarding in the rain! I found out he was becoming a monk at the Abbey and thought oh well. During that summer I participated in FOCUS Summer Projects in Petoskey, MI which was the greatest experience of my life. I met wonderful people, and the most important person I met was Jesus Christ. I felt he was the greatest spouse I could ever ask for and considered becoming a sister. However, in that same encounter, I felt God tell me that He was not asking that of me. He had another plan and He did not let me altogether forget him. Ellie, my little sister, FaceTimed me about my "friend" becoming a novice monk at the monastery during a mass that summer. When back home, I started praying more at the monastery before the semester started. One day I walked out and saw a monk, or rather Brother Barnabas, sitting on a bench who had something on his mind. It was a casual conversation, nothing eventful. But then I went to the welcome back mass the next day and saw him back in his boots and hat. Curiosity sparked! When I was walking to my car afterwards, I heard whistling and turned to see someone strolling through the grass. I stopped and our eyes met. And there we went, walking towards each other. He told me his name was Dakota again and that he was only 24! I thought he was almost 30! That's when the crush began. I was so joyful to see everyone back at school. All I wanted to do was hang out and share something I learned during the summer, swing dancing! Dakota soon found out how much I love it! On October 25th, I walked down the steps of the Abbey church after mass. I gave Dakota a wave who was on the bench a few feet away and was on my way. Oh well, I had a friends birthday party to get to anyway. Just before I walked out of his sight, I heard a loud "IZZY" behind me. I turned around and there he was walking through the grass towards me. So I headed that way, once again. Finally, after weeks of knowing Dakota was not becoming a monk, he asked me to go dancing! After the third date, I knew I was going to marry him :) There are lots more details of course... like apparently he liked me from the first day he saw me "glowing" in the church, and that he was so nervous when talking to me and just could not tell if I liked him (I thought it was obvious), and he even got a huge group of people to go to Denny's at 2:00 am after a bonfire just to see me longer. I was so oblivious and only went because a friend asked me to! Thank you for reading my timeline of how things began and how God put the most kind, generous, loving person in my life! I look forward to seeing each and every one of you at our wedding!