it was her first semester away from home. A new college student at the University of Oklahoma, Haleigh decided to join a club on campus to meet some new friends. What was the club she chose? An international student club where Americans and Internationals could meet, do fun things and meet people. She had so much fun at the first club meeting and got invited to a party that evening with some of her American friends. She was nervous to go since she didn’t know any one but took the leap anyway.
As soon as she walked in the door, her eyes met with a striking blond in the corner of the room. Her heart stopped. She thought to herself this could end up being the best thing in her life or it could end very badly. She was introduced to the blond, Hans, and they chatted about music until it was time for her to leave in order for her to wake up for her morning class.
The next day, she kept thinking about the blond and if she would ever see him again. A few days later a new friend request on facebook made butterflies in her stomach and happy with excitment. A few facebook messages and msn chats later, Haleigh went on her first date with Hans. They talked the entire time at the restaurant and it was the first time that a first date went so smoothly.
Haleigh later found out that Hans had no where to go for Christmas. She could not think of him staying alone in Norman with no one to spend Christmas with. So, she urgently asked her family if it was alright if some Swedish dude came home with her Christmas. Reluctantly, they said yes.
Haleigh had an amazing 4 days with Hans during Christmas before he went off on a road trip with a Swedish friend. The only bad part? Haleigh fell in love despite the warnings from her family that this boy was leaving the US in May. She didn’t listen even though her mind was telling her to break it off, she would get hurt.. her heart told her something else. Their relationship grew stronger than ever in a short 3 months.
At the beginning of February, spring break plans were being made and Haleigh and Hans decided to go to Negril, Jamaica for a romantic trip together. Haleigh was excited but reluctant because she didn’t want to fall deeper when Hans had to leave in a short 8 weeks.
The first morning in Jamaica, they woke up for a walk on the beach overlooking the sunrise.. when Hans proposed. Haleigh immediately sat yes while fighting back the tears and thought, finally we can actually be together.
Haleigh and Hans tried frantically to figure out how to be together when Hans visa ended in June. Hans had 1 year left of graduate school and Haleigh had just started university. So, she applied for a Swedish visa. Hans left on June 6 and it was a long summer waiting to hear if she would ever see her fiance again. She filled her time with working 40+ hours a week and spending a lot of time with friends.
When her visa finally came in the mail 2 months later.
After a long, emotional 12 weeks apart, Haleigh and Hans were reunited in Sweden. Haleigh didn’t know how long she would be in Sweden, it ended up being close to 2 years.
During the first few months in Sweden, Haleigh went to school and met a new best friend from Germany, Inga.
She took a fabulous trip to Paris with Hans.
and brought in the new year with her love, his family and friends.
All the while, with the help of her mother.. she was trying to plan a wedding from thousands of miles away. After 6 months of living abroad. Haleigh went back home to get ready for the wedding, plan last minute details and attend her bridal showers and bachelorette parties.
After 1 month of wedding planning while Hans was studying in Sweden, it was a much awaited day when Haleigh and Hans would reunited in Anna Maria Island, Florida.
They said “I do” in front of their closest family and friends in the beautiful Marie Selby garden overlooking the bay.
They became a Mr. & Mrs.
After the best day of their lives, they spend their honeymoon at the “most magical place on earth.”
They returned back to Sweden after the wedding while Hans finished his studies. Of course, they had time for a little fun in the mix. As a wedding present, some of their swedish friends put together a fun horseback riding adventure.
and Haleigh had an amazing Swedish summer celebrating Midsommar
and going to the peace and love festival.
After the best summer of her life, they moved to Norrköping in August 2008 for Hans final semester of school and promptly awaited the beloved ‘green card’. It was a stressful process but it came and they made plans to move back state-side so Haleigh could resume her studies. In the winter of 2009, they finally moved back to the US and waited for news on the job front for Hans.
Luckily, he found a job as a logistics engineer quickly and they moved to the fabulous city of Charlotte, NC.
It has been a hard path trying to figure out visas, how things will work out, etc… but with love, anything is possible.
I love you Hans!