VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE LOVE STORY
Celebrate ♥LOVE♥ with us by voting for your favorite Love Story. They are all so magical and are also featured in the February 2017 issue of Glancer Magazine. One lucky couple with the most "LIKES" on their photo posted here will win a $100 gift card to La Sorella di Francesca in Downtown Naperville. Best of luck to all of our beautiful couples! Photos submitted by area residents, otherwise written by Kristen Kucharski and Mindy Graika Kyle. Photos by Veronica Adams unless otherwise submitted. HURRY! Vote & Share Today One Vote Per User, Per Story DEADLINE TO VOTE: February 10, 2017
1. Matt & Nicky Turnbull, Wheaton
A MAGICAL SUMMER DAY – Matt and I met standing up in our best man’s wedding in 2009. Our spark was instant. Matt popped the question in Millennium Park on a February evening. We tied the knot in the summer of 2015. The day was pure magic. After settling into our newlywed lifestyle, Matt encouraged me to follow my dream of owning a boutique. In June of 2016, that dream finally became a reality when I opened Gym Chic in St. Charles. Together we’ve created a life full of love and genuine happiness. When it’s all said and done, what more can you ask for? -Submitted
2. Kari & Ryan Felkamp, Streamwood
WE MAKE A GREAT TEAM – My story doesn’t happen every day. To find your perfect pair is so incredibly rare, but I did. My husband is the most genuine, thoughtful, hard-working and kind person you’ll ever meet. When I became extremely ill after finding out I was pregnant, my husband was by my side every step of the way. The “in sickness and health” vow was incredibly tested and we came out even stronger! Our son is now three months old. We make such a great team, and while neither of us is perfect…we are so perfect for each other.” -Submitted VOTE HERE
3. Becci & Tim Hethcoat, Wheaton
TRULY MEANT TO BE – Everyone always thinks that we are making up our story, but it is absolutely true! My husband (Tim) was working at a boy scout camp in MI with my little brother when we were teens. I went to pick up my brother at camp and, while I waited for him, I took a walk and I met this guy with one of those fake arrows through his head. I still have the photo I took that day of him with that silly arrow. He was nice enough to keep me company. We spent a couple of hours together and when I was ready to leave he hugged me and told me that he knew he was going to marry me one day.
He was 16, I was 19. I laughed...a college girl who wanted nothing to do with a 16 year old boy. We kept in touch for a while sporadically after that but had drifted apart when, one night, I was with some friends at the beach and thought about Tim. I had a number written down for him (pre cell phone and internet days) so I called it from a pay phone. He answered. He was in the process of moving that day and had come back into the house to get the last item...the telephone.
After that day I would not have had any way to get a hold of him as he was changing his number in the move. It had to be fate...He came down to visit me the following weekend and when he came around the corner I saw a grown man where a boy had been before! We immediately started dating and got married just one year later...just as he predicted 5 years earlier. This year marks our 27 year anniversary. We have 3 beautiful kids and have been through a lot together. Our middle son is in a wheelchair and our other two kids both have medical conditions as well. Through it all, we have been fortunate to be one of those couples that are made closer by adversity. We are...to this day...each other's best friends. He is the first person I want to talk to in the morning and the last person I want to see when I go to sleep. I feel so blessed to have this crazy weird story as our love story. –Submitted VOTE HERE
4. Cathy & Ryan Schmeckpepper, Oswego
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT – Cathy and Ryan have known each other since they were toddlers. “I had a big crush on her my freshmen year and looked forward to the part of the day, when I had a class by her locker,” Ryan shares. The following year, Cathy moved to a different campus, so Ryan didn't see her as much; but by his junior year, the two were at the same campus again and fate brought them face to face in the office on the first day of school that year. “She smiled and said hi, and the flame was instantly reignited,” Ryan says. “I asked her to homecoming a few weeks later!” College, three kids, and 18 years of marriage have since passed, and that flame is still going strong. -KK VOTE HERE
5. Eric and Susan Carver, Plainfield
SECOND TIME'S A CHARM – Eric found Susan’s profile on Match.com and messaged her. Susan did not respond. A year later, Eric decided to try one more message. This time, Susan was receptive. Although Susan had started getting tired of her Match.com dates which all seemed like interviews, she decided to meet up with Eric. They made a date at the Sushi Train in Romeoville. “Before the date, I sat in the parking lot and googled ‘conversation starters if the table talk becomes dull’,” laughs Susan. “Turns out we didn’t need it.” The relationship seemed so easy, they both knew it was something they did not want to let go of. They soon married and just recently had a baby girl. –MK VOTE HERE
6. Paul & Rebecca Johnson, Wheaton
DANCING WITH HER PRINCE – Rebecca Johnson met her husband, Paul, at her college roommate’s sister’s wedding. He was the best man for his brother. She looked up his name in the program at the church and decided she would dance with him that night. Positioning herself across from the head table, she made sure he would notice her, and he did. When he gave his toast, Rebecca fell in love. She asked the bride to introduce them, and she did on the dance floor. The videographer caught the whole moment on video which was then later incorporated into their own wedding video. “We tell the kids it’s just like Cinderella dancing with her Prince,” says Rebecca.
–MK VOTE HERE
7. Pam & Hank Ebeling, Lisle
HELPING OTHERS TOGETHER–Pam & I grew about a block apart. We went to the same preschool, elementary, junior high, & high school, yet not once did we date or even hang out. It wasn't until I opened H4 Training that we met when Pam came to workout. After the training session, I took her for what she thought was just lunch, but I thought of it as more of a first date. A simple workout ended up turning into our love story. The best part of our relationship is our shared passion for health & fitness. Pam is a Diamond Coach at Beachbody & I own H4 Training a small group training boutique gym. Together we love to help others live happier & healthier lives.
8. Tracie Shane & Scott Taylor, Naperville
TRUE LOVE–I told her the very first night that she may fall in love with me. I knew my life would never be the same after the first kiss. Spent some romantic moments under the Christmas tree watching the lights sparkle in her eyes. Had the most romantic Valentine’s dinner with her. An amazing couple of days in Lake Geneva and a couple more in Niagra Falls. A lifetime of love, laughter and memories in just 2 years. The decisions I made in life have led me to her, the best thing to ever walk into my life. -Submitted VOTE
9. Chad & Stephanie Efnor, Naperville
WILLING TO WAIT – Chad and Stephanie knew each other in junior high, but they didn’t officially meet until high school. They became instant friends and hung out all through school. Although they both dated other people, Chad admits, “I knew one day I would marry her and was willing to wait.” After high school, Chad moved to another state and they both attended different colleges. By the end of her junior year, Stephanie was preparing to move to another state where her boyfriend lived. Chad heard of her plans, moved back to their hometown, and confessed he’d loved her from the first time they met. With this news, Stephanie canceled her move for the following weekend. They were married two years later. –MK VOTE
10. John & Lynn Elam, Batavia
OLD CAR CREATES CLASSIC COUPLE – John and Lynn were high school sweethearts and like many other high schoolers, they would escape in the car, hang at the park and talk and smooch for hours. John’s car was an old VW with no heat and no reverse gear. Lynn’s job was to scrape the ice from the inside of the car windows so John could see to drive. “One night, a police officer came and banged on the windshield,” says Lynn. “He told us to move on and get married. We ended up doing both of those.” Now, 37 years later, Lynn says she has a secret plan to take him back there because he has a better car. –MK VOTE
11. Tom & Jean Graika, Downers Grove
AN UNLIKELY MATCH – Growing up, Tom, the youngest of 7 brothers, remembers hard times living on the south side of Milwaukee – several children to one bed, charity baskets at the door and no money for college. His hard work and determination on the basketball court landed him a scholarship and place on the University of Wisconsin basketball team. While at the University, he set his sights on Jean, a beautiful young girl from the more affluent town of Shorewood. An unlikely match, but with Tom’s persistence, goofy sense of humor and poem writing skills, he won her heart. They have been happily married now for fifty-one years. –MK VOTE
12. Pete & Natalie Miscinski, Glen Ellyn
THE MEANING OF PARIS – Almost 25 years ago, I took my girlfriend, Natalie, on a “surprise” trip. The surprise was the destination – it was not until we arrived at the Air France gate that she knew we were going to Paris – for French Open tennis, of course (wink, wink) – she was a huge fan! The second evening of the trip, on the river Seine in front of the Eiffel Tower, I proposed – and she said yes! Three years ago, we were blessed to go back with our two girls, and our daughter Miranda was able to see firsthand why her middle name is “Paris”! -Submitted VOTE
13. Karen and Matt Toole, Elmhurst
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH – After 18 years and counting, Karen and Matt’s love continues to deepen. “I knew that once we started dating in 1995, we would get married and spend the rest of our lives together,” Matt says. Each year, their love strengthens regardless of highs and lows, from the birth of children to the loss of loved ones. “The last few years have been challenging since my diagnosis of ALS. Karen has been my rock, the one who keeps me motivated to be the best I can be,” Matt adds. “With Karen at my side, anything is possible. Karen’s selflessness and caring continues to show me what true love really means.” –KK VOTE
14. Carl & Linda Zamecnik, Naperville
HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY – Linda and Carl met playing volleyball at Four Lakes in Lisle, a setter and a hitter; a marriage made in heaven. After 35 years, the couple recalls laughter as being the center of their adventures. “Obviously, marriage is not only filled with joy, but challenges that demand a commitment to one another,” Linda says. “Over time, we learned that with our faith as our rudder we could make it through.” Hence, why they formed True Reflection Films, Inc. and are working on a major motion picture - a Christian comedy that the Zamecniks have invested all of their time and money, all the while believing in each other and almighty God. –KK VOTE
15. Benjamin & Rachel McCulloch, Lombard
ACROSS THE BORDERS – Ben and Rachel met during high school in Manila, Philippines in 1999, where both of their parents were serving as missionaries. Although they had speech class together, it wasn’t until after graduation, back in Chicago in 2008, that they reconnected on Facebook when Ben private messaged Rachel to see if she wanted to meet for drinks. “What I thought would be one awkward drink turned into an entire evening of laughing, talking and catching up on the past few years,” Rachel says. “He walked me home after the bars closed down and we sat on my front stairs talking until the sun came up.” After a quick courtship and 7.5 years of marriage, Rachel and Ben are vested and love their life with their 3 children. -KK VOTE
16. Brent & Lisa Atkinson, Geneva
COUPLES THERAPY – As practicing therapists, both Lisa and Brent attended a marriage and family therapy networking event in 1988. Shortly after, the two dated for six months and married in 1992. “After 25 years of marriage, we’re still crazy about each other,” Brent says. “We have similar values, both love adventure, like the same kind of movies and music, and we even share the same career as owners of The Couples Clinic in Geneva.” Yet, the love story of what makes their marriage work might surprise most - opposites attract! Across the years and four kids later, they’ve field-tested ideas on their own relationship and come up with some answers that work incredibly well! -KK VOTE
17. Kurt & Monica Padera, Glen Ellyn
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS–We met and became friends at EIU in 1982, but did not date. However, as fate would have it, we ran into each other in August of 1985 at Oliver's in D.G., which is now Rockwood Tap House. We began dating and fell in love shortly thereafter. Kurt wrote his first poem to me and presented it on Valentine’s Day 1986. We became engaged after seeing a Turtles Concert in July of that same year and married on April 11, 1987.We are blessed with three beautiful children and look forward to celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary this April 11. -Submitted
18. Lane & Kate Moeller, Naperville
I called my Mom at 2am.
“The man I’ll marry asked me to dance.
I don’t know his name or number.
I know it's crazy, but I’ll grow old with him.”
I got offered a job.
It's across the country.
Want to come with?
Six months since that first dance.
Everything he owns piled in the back of his car.
He's on his way.
9/11 and a tropical storm..
We are safe.
Grandma's engagement ring is on.
Only the court clerk knows-
The papers are already signed.
We called our siblings.
Come to the beach.
Big wedding later.
It's just another day.
Sixteen years and counting.
Three weddings. Two kids.
I'm so lucky.
I still get excited to hear his voice.
I know it's Crazy - but I will grow old with him.
19. Julie & Mike Prestegaard, Wheaton
IT’S A CUBS THING – My husband and I "met" at his aunt's wedding when we were eight and four, respectively. Twenty-three years later...his aunt (and my aunt, former college roommates) became match-makers by orchestrating our blind date. This first meeting involved endless conversation including our love of everything Cubs. After many adventures (and countless Cub games) we were married. Our aunts spoke at the ceremony, and "Go Cubs Go" played at our reception. We were ecstatic with the Cubs winning the World Series, now in combination with our 10th Anniversary! Added bonus - we have two Rizzo- and Bryant-loving daughters. -Submitted VOTE
20. Jennifer Lima, Addison
ONE LOOK AND HIS SEARCH WAS OVER – My husband's from Brazil, moved to Florida at 14, and went to Eastern Illinois University to play football. His good friend and my cousin were dating and my husband asked her to set him up with a girl four months prior. He'd given up his search the morning before we met. Supposedly, I gave him a mean look when we met, and so he was intrigued. We had talked about about how I was a high school special education teacher (his mom was too) and how my favorite song to dance to was a popular BrazilIan song. We're married four years! -Submitted VOTE
21. Gary Smith & Judith Brodhead, Naperville
A LIFETIME OF LOVE – My husband Gary Smith and I always marvel at how unlikely our meeting was. He grew up in Hawaii and went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis MD. I went to Douglass College (Rutgers University) in N.J. We met in the dining hall at Douglass, where some of the midshipmen went for dinner following the Rutgers-Navy game in 1969. That night we went to a mixer and he invited me to USNA for a weekend. If I hadn't gone to that dinner - our three children would not exist! We've been married 44 years. -Submitted VOTE
22. Eric & Trish Ambrosio, Glen Ellyn
AN UNBEATABLE TEAM – Eric and I met his senior year and my junior year in college. We were both theater majors. He walked by one of the small theaters and asked a friend, "Who is that girl singing?" It was me. He asked me out 6 times before I agreed, as I was still in a long distance relationship with my high school sweetheart. On that first date, he picked me up from work, had set up champagne and fresh cut fruit, and we talked for hours and hours. That June 25, 1984 was the beginning of the rest of our lives. The many years in between were made up of living in 7 states and 11 houses, 4 amazing kids that have had their challenges, 9 dogs, 6 cats, multiple hamsters and guinea pigs, and tons of fish. In July of this year, Eric was diagnosed with Bile Duct Cancer. It was a shocking experience and after quickly expediting scans and doctor consultations, we ended up finding a clinical trial at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. We spent our 29th wedding anniversary (married 8/2/87) getting the first chemo treatment. Since the trial requires us to drive to MN 2 weeks in a row and then one week off for as long as it keeps working, I needed to leave my teaching job. Eric and I have spent more one on one time together each day over the past 6 months than during our entire 30 years together. That has been the very bright spot in this whole ordeal. When we look at each other, we know we have the strength to fight through this and spend many more years as an unbeatable team. -Submitted VOTE
23. Christina Sullivan & Her Husband, Naperville/Palatine
YOU JUST NEVER KNOW – My mother always said to give guys a chance. Her exact words were, "You never know, he may have a cute brother or cute friends". With this advice, I went on a second date with a guy who I already thought was a dud. We went out to Pinstripes in Oakbrook to play Boche Ball. Neither of us knew how to play, so we were watching the couple next to us. I was secretly wishing I was on that date instead– they looked like they were having such a good time.
A few days later I went to Quigley's Irish Pub, which was down the street from my house in Naperville. I happened to run into the guy from Boche ball that was on that other date. I struck up a conversation with him and found that his date also did not workout. I asked if he wanted to go to the next bar down the street with me and my friend. I was sure to get his number just in-case we lost him on the way.
We didn't lose him, and we actually had a great time together. I kept his number and made plans to get together to see if we were more compatible. On our second date, he sent me a text in the morning to say he had a great time and wanted to see me again. That morning I woke up to standing water in my basement and was not feeling flowery. He asked if I needed help and I sent back a text saying "why would you".
After I moved some electronics upstairs and caught my breath, I re-read my text and realized that I FORGOT TO PUNCTUATE! I meant to say, "Why, would you?". We sent a few more texts and he ended up coming over. He had to enter through the backdoor since the street was so flooded and he helped me move all of my furniture up into the living room. I knew I was in love after that day. We married at St. James Farm this past summer and I'm so glad I listened to my mother and re-read my poorly punctuated text. -Submitted VOTE
24. Tim & Melissa Drechsel, Glen Ellyn
When I was nineteen and living at home on Long Island my parents sent me to pick my brother up from school after an evening sports practice. I drove over to the school in my pajamas thinking I wouldn't see anyone. I arrived at the school gym just as this handsome new math teacher from Illinois that I’d heard about was walking in to shoot hoops by himself. I had never met him, but in such a small school community it wasn’t difficult to spot a new faculty member. I explained who I was and what I was doing there and then left with my brother without thinking much more of our meeting.
Several weeks went by before my sister came home from school saying that her math teacher wanted to know if it was ok if he called me. I told her it was fine, but that I needed to find out his name first because I couldn't call him Mr. Drechsel when he called on the phone!
After we talked we met for ice cream and within a few minutes I knew that this was the man with whom I would be spending my whole life. When I got home that night my grandmother, who was suffering from advanced dementia at the time, asked me where I had been. I answered, 'oh, I was just out with the man I'm going to marry someday...' The words came out of my mouth without any hesitation and I could hardly believe I was saying them about a man I'd just barely met! My grandmother didn’t remember that announcement but I will never forget hearing myself say what my heart already knew- that this was the man I had been waiting for all my life. That was seventeen years ago.
Tim and I were married almost two years later AT the school where we met and had pictures taken in front of the gym where we saw each other for the first time. Fifteen years of marriage, three children and lots of joys and challenges later, our love has grown and matured and we are even more committed to one another than we were the day we took our vows at the school chapel. There's no one else in the world with whom I'd rather be on this adventure called life than my husband! I love him and I love the way he loves me and our family. I'm so grateful I ran into Mr. Drechsel at the gym that night in my pajamas!
Photo: Our family in front of the school gym on Long Island where Tim and I first saw each other.
25. Tina & Adam Hume, Winfield
I attended a bachelorette party at Tony n' Tina's wedding and that's where I met my future husband. He was an actor in the play and I was an audience member. If you're unfamiliar with the play, the groomsmen/ushers escort the guests to their seats in the "church" as if you were at a real wedding. My now husband escorted me to my seat and while in character made small talk with me...he says he knew at that moment I was going to be the girl he was going to choose to "pick" on for the remainder of the show.
As the play proceeded to the reception area my now husband stuck to his original plan and of course "picked" on me. He pulled me out onto the center of the dance floor, sat me in a chair and I was serenaded by all the groomsmen and of course Tony (the groom). They all sang Summerwind (which became our wedding song) and did a special little dance it was the sweetest memory ever. Needless to say, my now husband came and pulled me out on the dance floor 2 more times that evening for a slow dance. While dancing we of course chatted.
Long story short, the evening came to an end and the actors lined up and autographed the Playbills for the guests. While we were getting our Playbills autographed my cousin tells "Johnny" (the character my husband was playing that night) to give me his digits. He responds, "we can't give out our phone numbers or I would." Tony (the lead character) tells him, "go for it buddy, give her your number." He autographed my Playbill and gave me his number. I learned his name was Adam not Johnny and that he was a very good actor because the whole time we were dancing at the play he stayed in character.
The real kicker is that I had a boyfriend for 7 years who was actually standing up in my brother's wedding (which was taking place the following week), but something (we call it fate) drew me to Adam and I just knew I had to call him. This isn't my proudest moment, but I did it...I called him...met him for a drink and realized immediately that the 7 year relationship I was in was not meant to be and that whether Adam and I worked out or not we were definitely meant to meet. Fast forward to the present and we've been together almost 15 years, married almost 10 and have 3 beautiful children together. Going to Tony n' Tina's wedding and calling Adam (even though my guilty conscience said I shouldn't) was the best decision I could have ever made! -Submitted