Most love stories begin with boy meets girl. This love story begins with girl meets girl. Amanda moved into the Flagler College dorms freshman year of September 2001. On that first day she met Lyndsey - college roommate, bestie, partner in crime - you get the point. Fast-forward to 2005 when Lyndsey moved home to Portsmouth, NH after graduation. That summer she falls in love with a boy named Tony and a year later follows him back to Tampa, FL while he finishes school.
Tony and Lyndsey happen to share the same birthday. And so in November of 2006 Amanda came from Jacksonville to celebrate with Lyndsey for her birthday and Tony's brother, Taras, flew down from MA to see Tony. Bet you can’t guess where this is headed…
Taras’s first words to Amanda? She had just walked through the door to Lyndsey and Tony’s apartment and was introduced to Taras; she held out her hand expecting the typical, "hi, nice to meet you" hand shake. Taras ignored the hand, said, "we give hugs in this family," then he hugged her. Everyone went out for the night to celebrate the birthdays, had a great time, and that was that.
A few days later Amanda found Taras on MySpace (cyber-stalking, anyone?). Yes, this was back when MySpace was cooler than Facebook. There was back and forth messaging for days, and eventually the "conversations" were moved to Gmail. Then finally, after a couple weeks of electronic communication, one evening Amanda called Taras. It was just a matter of time until that first call was made. Let’s just say Amanda isn’t so much forward as she is impatient (to this day, she’s still the more impatient half of the relationship). The cover was that she needed help picking out a camera; a good story since Taras was into photography and had just made a camera purchase himself.
Taras helped pick out a camera and, in true Taras fashion, even found an online coupon code. That first phone conversation was followed by a couple weeks of every-night chatter for hours at a time.
Then finally the day came. Feelings were admitted. Lyndsey and Tony were let in on the budding romance – awww! It was time to give this long distance relationship a chance. It was quickly decided that Taras would stop off in Jacksonville during New Year's weekend of 2007, on his way to South Florida to help coach his college swim team.
Taras sent Amanda flowers at work on the day of the first meeting. Adorable, yes? However, the flowers didn’t calm the nerves. The nervous energy was palpable when Amanda picked Taras up at the airport. But, no worries, by the end of the weekend the relationship was at “official” status.
The next five months were a blur of working, grad school, flower deliveries, long phone conversations, and a significant increase in frequent flier miles. Let’s just say this relationship was destined for travel from the very beginning.
Taras proposed in May of 2007. In typical Taras and Amanda style, neither saw the point in drawing out the engagement and settled on a January 2008 wedding. For those of you taking notes, this is just one year after the official first date!
The wedding was in Jacksonville, FL on January 19, 2008. Neither Taras nor Amanda ever imagined a winter wedding, after just over a year of knowing each other, or that they would marry a partner before even having lived in the same state as one another. But love is nothing if unpredictable, right?
And because the only thing better than a love story is a second love story: Lyndsey and Tony were married in August of 2009. Amanda got a sweet three-for-one deal: a husband, a sister, and another brother!