James and I first met in 1995 in an LMU Honors course called Race In America. I was a Biology major just struggling to keep up in her first-ever Political Science class, whereas James was a year ahead of me at LMU and a Political Science/History major. I thought he was brilliant because he had such great contributions to our class discussions and he thought I was deeply reflective because I was so quiet (I was truly just trying to keep up with all the amazingly smart Humanities majors in the class!). The catch was we were both dating other people at the time!
Two years later, our time would come. Both of us were single and had graduated, although James was pursuing his Masters in Education at LMU. My roommates and I decided to have a Halloween party in the fall of 1997. One of my roommates at the time was taking graduate classes with James and we invited him to the party. We reconnected and started dating just as I started my Ph.D. program at UCLA. On our first date, we were actually supposed to go to see the movie Titanic, but we talked so long at dinner that we missed the movie! Our waitress asked us if we had been dating for a while because we seemed so perfect together. We were incredibly lucky to get married at the Sacred Heart Chapel on August 12, 2000 by Fr. Michael Engh. Twenty years later, we have two talented and beautiful daughters, Brianna and Katelyn and an inspiring son, Kristopher, our angel in heaven. We are forever grateful to LMU for our education, the amazing memories, and lifelong love and friendship.