Local love stories

Crash and let love burn, the Katzers

It seems that today when you hear about love, it involves him being charming and her swooning dramatically.  But that is not always the case. We all know that in real life love can be more difficult and even more rewarding than the romances strewn across the box offices. Love can come in so many different shapes and forms. Sometimes, romances can start out awkward, or even comically funny.  Take for instance how Brittany Katzer met her future husband Cody Katzer. On their first date, she got in a wreck while she was on the phone calling him for directions. A driver sideswiped her car in an uncontrolled intersection. She had to call the police, then call Cody back to tell him she was going to be late. Looks like she clearly made an impression on him, as they have three beautiful boys and years under their belts now.

Cody and Brittany Katzer and their three handsome boys. Photo and story courtesy of Danielle Nason, The Montanian

Mother in law (to be) moments, the Fosgates

Another impression that was made was the one Ben Fosgate made on his soon to be wife, Laura Fosgate’s mother. “When I was 14 or 15, one of my closest guy friends (Ben) called to invite me to go bowling with him and some friends. We ended up talking for about ten minutes, and my mom kept telling me (so Ben could hear), that I needed to get off the phone. I didn’t get off fast enough for her, so she got on the other phone line, and told Ben that he was a bad influence on me. In response, he hung up on my mom! We have now been married for almost 12 years, and we still joke about his ‘bad influence,” Laura remembers.

Ben and Laura Fosgate and children pose for a family photo. Photo and story courtesy of Danielle Nason, The Montanian

Better late than never, Cody and Ryan

And then there are the kind of romances that start and no matter where you go or what you do, the magnetism between you pulls you back to one another. Perhaps, you truly must be meant to be together, as seems the story of Cody Taylor and Ryan Ehrlich.

“My twin sister and I were introduced to our new classroom. Little did I know that day in that room, I would meet the boy who would later steal my heart as a man (Ryan Ehrlich). And who would give me two beautiful children. We were only friends the few years I attended that school. In fact, he dated my sister for a short period of time; and I was his best friend. We both would go completely different directions with our lives.”

They had no idea what had become of the other, but often found themselves thinking about each other. Both of Cody and Ryan attempted other relationships and even marriages, but it wasn’t meant to be. Cody would travel all over the U.S., going through different jobs but never finding home. Until one day 20 years later, when they re-connected by accident on Facebook. They began to rekindle their relationship and within a few months they were having dreams and making plans for their future together. Eventually Cody drove 800 miles to lay eyes on Ryan for the first time in almost two decades.

“That was the longest drive of my life. And it ended with our very first kiss, before I even spoke a word to him. It’s been eight years since that day. We’ve been through a lot but we’re still here holding strong. We are completely dedicated to each other and the family we created together. I love our love story. It’s been a very long time in the making.”

Cody Taylor and Ryan Ehrlich  20 years later. Photos and story courtesy of Danielle Nason, The Montanian

Roommate romance, the Nasons

Sometimes when you least expect it, love comes wiping its feet on your clean carpets, and all you can do is smile and roll with it.  That was the case with how I met my husband Mark Nason. He tells our unexpected love story in his own words.

“My wife and I met on April first, 2012 (April Fools’ Day) as new roommates. I actually figured someone was playing an April fool’s joke on me as there was no way this beautiful woman standing before me was going to be my roommate.

Good news. There was no joke. We connected quickly as friends and could be found most nights working out at the gym and then heading over to The Rock Pizza for a few beers and margarita buckets. We continued to spend more time together and continued to grow closer. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this woman was the only one I could imagine spending the rest of my life with, so after getting asked repeatedly; I finally said yes. Kidding…so, with a backpack of beer, margaritas and cigars, we ventured to our favorite bench on the hillside, overlooking the valley below our house and at sunset I asked her to make me the luckiest man in the world. Well, she said yes, and has been paying for it ever since. Our love and life have continued to grow, and seven years later we are now collectively corrupting our beautiful daughter.

Mark and Danielle Nason. Photo and story courtesy

Love much, the Munroes’ story

True and honest love is the kind that changes you without you even knowing it, changing you for the better and making you stronger. Jenna Monroe tells her love story.

“My husband and I met almost 5 years ago. We were the ones you thought that were never going to make it, the ones that had dated one month and found out we were having a baby. We never would’ve imagined how this love was real. We choose to love each other, and we chose to fight for (or even with) each other. And let me tell you, it has been worth every smile, every kiss, every fight, every act of kindness. He is my best friend and worthy of my love with every moment that passes by. If you can choose anything, choose to love. To give. To cherish it. To receive it. You will be surprised how much it changes you from the inside out.”

The Monroe family. Photos and stories courtesy of Danielle Nason, The Montanian.

Pizza parlor partners, the Lafonds

No matter the how or why, every love story is unique and beautiful in its own right. The moment that two people can know that the other person they are looking at is the person for them, the one that they alone will cherish and adore. May every person find that in their lifetime, maybe even more than once. You never know when or how love will find you, only that it always seems to in unexpected ways, times and places.

Jennie and Pete Lafond: “In March of 2016 a new restaurant opened in Libby. My friend, her husband and I took their little boy for dinner. We were impressed, so we became regulars. The manager (Pete) was particularly fond of my friend’s little boy, (or so I thought) to the point where he was excited to see us all come in. One night we went for pizza and Pete had “our table” ready for us (my friends and I), when we got there. Fast forward to June 3, 2016. We were all there for dinner, Pete said he had a question for me, then like a little kid, said “never mind, I’ll be back.” After dinner, I went up to pay and caught Pete at the register, so I asked him what he wanted. He wanted to know if I would go out to dinner with him. I told him, I had just come out of a bad relationship, and if he would be patient, I would go to dinner with him. Our first date, June 20, 2016 was awesome, we went to dinner, shared a milk shake and spent time at the Kootenai falls. What a great first date. The next day, his co-workers couldn’t wait to hear all about it. He told them he was going to marry me! (I was in shock.). One of his co-workers came up to me and said, “I don’t know what you did to him, but thank you, he is like a little kid in a candy store and he adores you!”  By mid-August, we were engaged. September 24, 2016 we were married, and I never knew life could be so good.”

Wedding photo of Jennie and Pete Lafond.