US: Chapter 1

Before delving into the next two chapters, I would like to say something:

This is the story of Tyler & me.

It's our love story,
but unfortunately-
I can't talk about it
without mentioning other people.

Their names are dropped...
but people who "knew" me
at this point of my life
will be able to fill the gaps.

To the rest of you,
your reactions remind me how much I love blogging.

Consider this portion of our story the "adolescent stage."
There are going to be some awkward features appearing,
and it's not easy to see how they will all settle...
but they somehow do.

You'll just have to trust me.


Lauren goes to West Africa for the summer.

Spending nights in huts,
endless hours of driving through the desert,
wearing long skirts in the relentless heat,
and not speaking French fluently
combine to make this a really challenging summer.

At night, she lays in bed and dreams of Italy.

The occasional emails she receives over Togolese dial-up
from her newly-titled "boyfriend" back in Italy
brings her back to her happy place.

But after returning home in August and spending a week rafting with friends,
Lauren decides one night to end this, in her opinion, stale relationship
and move on with college life as it existed before...

The next morning she checks her email to learn that a plane ticket has been purchased
and in a few weeks, her boyfriend would be coming to visit her.

Lauren quickly logs off her email,
stares out the window into the early morning sunshine 
and passively resolves to play this one by ear.

FALL 2004

Tyler is back for his second semester.

He knows his way around,
and he is now living in his own house
with several of his new friends.

He also has, what I like to call, his band of hoes.

Editors note: Who, in reality, are all nice, functional females of society...
but, as his wife, I feel entitled to lump this stage of his life under such terms.

Lauren is back to dorm-life with her friends...
all of whom are in relationships,
including Lauren.

All of them except for one...
but, fear not, this girl has scoped out her soul mate
and she can't stop talking about him.

His name is Tyler Knight, 
he transferred in while I was in Italy,
and she's taking him to a party at a Pumpkin Patch...

But after a few weeks,
her roommate regretfully starts to suspect 
that he may not feel the same.

And so she introduces our suite into a revolutionary book that just been on Oprah.

It's telling girls how it really is when it comes to men,
and it's abruptly titled:

He's Just Not That Into You.

We reference this book when Tyler doesn't call her
to see, what in fact, this could possibly mean.

When we see Tyler out with another girl at dinner
we scan through its pages and look for guidance.

We flip through the chapters when Tyler gives her a side-hug
to diagnose the real status of their "relationship."

But all it seems to say is
that there isn't really a relationship...
and he doesn't really like her back.

In the meantime,
Lauren's Italian Stallion comes to the US for two weeks,
he passionately loves on her and says how much he misses her,
they spend the weekends with each other's families...

The night before he returns to Italy,
he looks into her eyes and tells her that he loves her,
that this relationship will work because he cares so much for her.

Lauren feels her heart swell that someone cares for her so much.

She assumes that this is what love must be...
and happily returns the sentiment.

As Lauren drives back to school that night, 
her giddiness begins to turn into a unsettling feeling in her stomach
and realizes that she may have just gotten in over her head.

The following week her roommate convinces her to go to a concert with her.

It's a band called the Drive by Truckers 
and, regardless of what kind of music it is,
 Tyler is going to be there.

It's the perfect place for Lauren to meet him and tell her friend what she observes.

The concert is at a classy place called Juanita's,
and that night, Lauren endures a brutal assault to her ears.

She hates this music and finds "the scene" to be far too cool for her.

As she stands against the back wall playing snake on her phone,
a friend introduces Lauren to a guy named Tyler.


She quickly assumes the role of "laid-back roommate" 
to help validate the eligibility of her friend.

As she talks over the loud music,
she's excited to learn that Tyler grew up knowing her cousins.

As it turns out, they have more in common than she could have guessed.

After the concert is over,
they say goodbye and return to their respective groups.

Lauren feels quite satisfied with her interaction,
she had never expected to make a new friend that night.

Tyler is ready to leave this awful concert
and wonders what that random girl was saying for the past hour.

All he knows is it he couldn't hear a thing, she wouldn't stop talking,
and the lighting was so weird he has no idea who she is.

Lauren & Tyler pass each other on campus the next week.

She excitedly waves hello to her new friend,
stops along the sidewalk,
and adjusts her Quicksilver messenger bag to a conversational position.

Tyler looks at the giddy stranger standing in his path,
 politely smiles and nods,
and walks straight past her.

If you were expecting a story involving love at first sight...
you might have come to the wrong place.

*I wish I had more pictures of this stage of our life, but facebook wouldn't open up to our college until Fall 05...
so I'm a bit limited to what I can scrounge up.


  1. Ha ha , I love Drive By Truckers.
    Oh hurry up, I'm dying to read the next part girl!

  2. I think I can see where this is going ;)

    Love your pics from Ghana!


  3. Awesome. Love the Quicksilver ref - so funny!!

    This totally rivals the pioneer womans romance. Maybe you should have it printed and bound- for the grandkids!!

  4. I am laughing hysterically. This just confirms, as I told your Dad last time I was in Dallas, that you need to write a book!

  5. Hilarious! I can't wait for Chapter 2!!

  6. I am joke. Can't wait to hear how this all comes together!

  7. Tease!!
    Oh I'm on the edge of my seat. Must. Hear. More!

  8. two things, one love a good awkward moments while passing someone they sadly ALWAYS happen to me! Second, senior year of HS i went to ACL and my friends wanted to see drive by truckers, I laughed and went to jose Gonzales.

  9. What a great story and experience! I want to hear more!

  10. Love this! You are killing me telling it in pieces but I'll survive I guess...
    Also since I'm commenting, I love the way you write and what you write about. Such classy grace without coming across as better than everyone. A mix most people can't find. =)
    Can't wait to read the next love story installment!

  11. HAHAHAHAHAH! I love that Tyler is obviously too cool for school and you were the giddy overly friendly type. That just cracks me up!

  12. OMG. I'm on pins and needles too. I'm so not connected to this, but bc I know some of these people I'm kind of dying over here!! :) Is #5, the short one, who I think it might be?!?! Did I tell you I'm dying over here?? I can't wait to read the rest.

  13. Okay you have me hooked. I am so excited you are sharing your love story:D It sounds very familiar best friend was crazy about my now hubby before we dated. ;)
    Can't wait to read the rest!!

  14. Ack! You're killing me! I'm laughing and then I'm bummed because I have to wait another day for the next part of the story! I love it!

  15. Oh the suspense!!! Thank goodness I know how this story ends or I'd have to come & stalk you to find out. You guys are the best...

  16. Can't wait until the next chapter is posted!

  17. I'm glad you decided to do this! Too cute :) and I can't believe you didn't think juanitas was classy! Ha!

  18. my friends and i have referenced 'he's just not into you' one too many times. that book is a savior (or the devil) depending on your situation. either way im excited to hear more...

  19. You are such a great writer! I love reading this. :)

  20. Eeep! I love this, can't wait for chapter 2!

  21. I love this- especially the part where you talk about your Quicksilver bag (hello high school years). I can tell that this is going to be a wonderful story.

  22. So glad this is in so many parts..... I feel like an idiot going to see Titanic and being like "what happens?!" I know you marry him.. yet still am wondering whats coming! And Lord... that book brings me back to the early sorority days!!

  23. I'm so happy you commented on my blog because now I found yours and I can't stop reading! Your story is so sweet so far...I can't wait to read the rest<3

  24. I just love hearing other people's love stories! Can't wait for the rest!

  25. Hahahaha, this is so cute and hilarious. And I totally remember when that book came out too. I was a junior and it was all anyone could talk about!

  26. This is sooo exciting!!! It's like a book I just can't put down! I want more NOW!! :)

  27. These kinds of stories are better than love at first sight. You have to end up with the person you're meant to be with at the time you're meant to be with them. Which is obviously what happened with you and Tyler.

  28. Definitely enjoying yours & Tyler's love story so far. Can't wait to hear more!!


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