Bart was living an active life, building up his web development company and doing frequent travel. The 30-year-old originally from Texas was in Seattle and wanting to find a quality group of Catholics to add to his social circle, and ideally to meet his future spouse. CatholicMatch was where he turned. “You pound the Internet pretty good with your advertising,” he told me wryly.
He made a connection with Nikole, a 24-year-old political speechwriter from Alaska. She filled out Bart’s questionnaire and scored the highest. “The quiz was mostly in jest,” he said. “She got all the jokes, and off we were.”
It’s easy to “off we were” in retrospect, but the Texas-Seattle-Anchorage corridor presented it’s shared of geographic challenges. “A lot of long distance sweet-talking was required to pull this off,” Bart told CatholicMatch. “Face time with the iPhone was critical.”
Bart traveled to Anchorage first, and got a first-hand look at Alaskan life. Nikole took him on rides by dogsled, horse-drawn carriage by boat. They got on a plane over Mount McKinley and a scary car ride over ice streets. There were some limits though. “At no point did we ride a polar bear,” Bart jokingly assured CatholicMatch.
He also got to know her father, who works as an auctioneer and one of the trips they made together was to the FBI building to pick up a jaguar and a white rhinoceros. Even though they were at the office of federal law enforcement, Bart again hastened to dispel any notion that Nikole’s father might have strapped him to the lie detector test.
“Our courtship was fun, and lighthearted,” Bart recalled fondly. Though he’s very committed to his Catholic faith, including an active interesting in the works of G.K. Chesterton and a staunch political conservative, Bart lamented the tendency to become uptight.
The fun and faith-filled courtship was now about to make its way to Texas, as Nikole came to visit and Bart was determined to match her hosting skills. They took part in a 5K Gorilla run, where they 700 other people wore their monkey suits and ran through downtown Austin. So yes, Nikole’s first gift upon her arrival to the Lone Star State was a gorilla outfit.
After a year of getting to know each other, Bart decided it was time to make the next move. They were getting together in Seattle in Elliot Bay, when he proposed marriage. When asked how it all unfolded, he responded candidly—“All I remember is that she said yes.”
Bart and Nikole were married this past August down in Texas. At the wedding, Nikole’s father auctioned her off—her new husband knew to make sure he won the bidding. They still have the monkey suits as a memory of her trip to Texas. And come early July they’ll have something else—their first child.