How The Girl Met The Kiwi – Our Love Story

Going through photos of us in Rotorua the other day made me reminisce about our love story. We have quite the tale to tell, so I thought I’d share our story!

It started in January 2010. I was 17. I was ski instructing at the Otsego Club & Resort in Gaylord, Michigan, and the Vancouver Olympics were right around the corner. The whole club was buzzing with excitement because we had snowboarding teams from all over the world coming to train at OUR ski club!  It was pretty exciting, and our parents even took us out of school (I was in my Senior year of High School) for a long weekend.

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So, it was Thursday night. My sister and ski instructing friends were gathered at the pool table. My friend introduced me to a long, blonde haired snowboarder from New Zealand named James.

At the same pool table, 5 years later

Not many people know this (and if you know James, not many people believe this), but after that first introduction James actually approached me again first!  We talked for awhile, and played pool on a team together. But the night wasn’t over. It was like “The Bachelor”. James was surrounded by girls. I mean, there aren’t many Olympic snowboard athletes with a NZ accent in northern Michigan. I actually found out that he was three years older than me, I thought “he’s too old, he’s not going to be interested in me”. We were like magnets, though, we flirted and hung out in a group all night. I got home that night an bust into my parents room and yelled “He’s so cute, he’s so cute, I’m going to marry him I SWEAR!”

And the story goes, James woke up on Friday and said to our friend, “I like Brooke. Tell me more about Brooke”. Each night, less and less girls, as James and I were connecting more and more. And to be honest, I had a pretty phenomenal wing woman in my sister, who helped get us get more time together. Like, sending girls in the opposite direction of James (“Oh, James? I think I saw him walk over there *pointing down the hall away from where James and I were talking*).
Until, finally I received his “final rose” (any Bachelor fans out there?) And by rose I mean high five. Yes, James HIGH FIVED me after our long weekend together. Let me explain.

Otsego was about three hours from where I lived. I was hugging all my friends good bye, so when I got to James I could naturally hug him, too. But James wanted to be different from my friends and so – he gave me a high five.
Well, Allie (my sister/wing woman) and I knew that that is now how this weekend should end. Allie pretended to lose her glove liners to give us an excuse to go BACK into the club so I could see James. So I went to go find James, and Allie went to go “look for her glove liner”. In reality she flopped on the couch in the lodge after a long weekend ski instructing and staying up late with the  James and his teammates. So, when James offered to go help Allie look for her glove liners, I yelled before we went into the room “Allie did you find it?!” Allie said she rolled off the couch, pretended to reach under the couch and stuffed something into her pocket. “Yep, I got it!” she replied. I told you, phenomenal wing woman.
James walked me out to my car and kissed me by the lamp post, which in his words “sealed the deal”. We were inseparable from there on out. He started introducing me to his teammates and coach as his “girlfriend” and then invited me to watch him compete in the Olympics.
The same lamp post, five years later
I flew to Vancouver in February, the day before his event. James didn’t even pick me up from the airport (I mean, he was competing in the Olympics the next day… he had things to do). I met his parents AND aunt and uncle for the first time and had dinner with them… without my boyfriend!

See the World for Less!

He returned to New Zealand in March. But as you can guess, the story doesn’t end there. We dated long distance for a year, and then I moved out to New Zealand! I went to University, and James competed professionally for several more years. We dated for five years, and were married in 2015. We’re living in Michigan now. And though international relationships can be tricky, we are still madly in love and are best friends.
So we met in northern Michigan. Fell in love in Vancouver. Fell madly in love in New Zealand. Got engaged in New Zealand. Married in northern Michigan. Lived in New Zealand as newly weds but now are living in Michigan.

And that’s our love story.

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2 Replies to “How The Girl Met The Kiwi – Our Love Story”

  1. Love this story! This really is a great love story. Laughed out loud about the glove liners-Allie is the best wing women!
    Thank you for sharing!

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