In April of 2011, I went to lunch one day with Justin Shanks and Chris Hwang. They both had burgeoning relationships, and my singleness quickly become a topic of conversation. Justin mentioned that Sarah Jane had a friend that I should meet from her bible study. However, he wouldn’t tell me her name, saying I needed to wait. Not helpful!
Fast forward a few months. I was preparing for my mom to arrive in NY for her first visit since I had moved to the city. I told her that I had decided to treat her to a fun night on the town that would include a surprise (tickets to a Broadway show). My big decision of 2011 was to take my mom to see the musical Wicked. I had no idea how impactful that decision would be.
Through a series of conversations, particularly with my roommate Doug Segulja, I realized the woman Justin spoke about was Miss Katie Clarke. From that moment on, I did everything I could to allow our paths to cross. One thing led to another before Sarah Jane graciously volunteered Katie to give my mom and me a tour after the show, promising “she wouldn’t mind.”
One evening, I received a text from Sarah Jane Shanks asking me to give Justin’s friend a backstage tour after the show. This is how that texting conversation looked:
SJ: Hey Justin’s friend is bringing his mom to Wicked. Would you mind giving them a tour?
SJ: Don’t wear sweats
Katie: Umm…. what?
SJ: He’s really hot and he loves Jesus
Katie: OK, but SJ this is not a setup! I can’t do that!
Cut to the night of the show, I meet Chris and his mom after the show and bring them backstage. Then Chris’ mom invites me to dessert. We all stay at the restaurant talking until it closes. I was nervous about it, but I was completely SMITTEN! 3 weeks later Chris and I finally coordinated our schedules to go on a date. 3 weeks after that date we made our relationship “official”. Almost a year after that, Chris asked me to be his wife!