6 Years and Counting

Let’s go back to July 2013.

My parents just bought a fixer upper in Waucoma. I was about to move off to college and start the nursing program in about a month. My brother was just about to get married in August. Hobbies included singing and songwriting, playing guitar, heading to the river with my best friend Regan, and daydreaming about having a boyfriend.

Craig and I met when I was barely 18 and he was 19 at a parking lot party.

We both went to the same community college. I was seeing a guy and he was seeing a girl. My guy had asked me to meet him at a party after work. His girl drug him along to this party.

I had just gotten off work as a CNA at a nursing home. I still lived at home – I was about a month away from moving out. I still had to call mom and ask permission to be able to go out after work. She said I had to be home at midnight and I had just gotten off work at 10 pm.

I showed up in my scrubs and I took my hair out of the braids I had in. Craig said that was the first thing he noticed about me was my big wavy hair.

I was one of three girls at the party. It was Craig’s girl, my future roommate, and me. I was new to the crowd and I don’t mean to brag, but I was the life of the party in a sea of drunk single college boys.

This is the only picture I have from the night we met – I can’t remember any of these guys’ names. Also note – Craig is not in the picture either.

“Are you wearing scrubs?” Someone asked me from the row of diesel pick ups. I said “Yeah?” Craig says I looked at him like I was dumb and I went back to talking to the other guys.

I was giving them my number when Craig (stumbled) up to our group and also put my number in his phone. He asked me what name I should put in with the phone number. I said “Kalissa Kramer” – he reaches his hand out to greet me.

I can still remember that smile. If I close my eyes I see it in my mind like it was yesterday. The fluorescent lights in the parking lot shining behind him, his braces he was trying so hard to hide, his black baseball cap and plaid striped shirt. Later he told me he was about 18 Coors lights in and had to run home to his apartment from the cops through a corn field.

As I’m laying in bed typing this blog post we cannot remember what we talked about after that. I know he apologized for asking such a stupid question: Are you wearing scrubs? I know we chatted about my job in the nursing home. I know he was trying so hard to be sober. I know I got swept away in another conversation after that.

The guy I came with and the girl he came with ditched the both of us and rumor has it someone caught them together in a closet later that night.

Before I got home I had a text on my phone from him introducing himself again to make sure I had his number. We ended up texting after I got home and fell sleep with my phone in my hand. I was performing at the Jones county fair. Craig was on a field trip to the big John Deere factory. We were texting non stop…but I was also texting the rest of the guys in his class too.

About two days later, the night he came home from his John Deere field trip, I was scheduled to work in the nursing home 2 pm – 10 pm again. I had been texting about 3 different guys I had met that night. I had a “date” set up with one of them at 10 pm when I got off of work. His name was John. He texted me and cancelled on me claiming he had food poisoning. I praise God every day he had food poisoning.

I had permission to go out, I wasn’t going to waste that. So I called Craig. I asked him if he would come and meet me at the Whippy Dip (a Decorah ice cream shop) at 10 pm and even though they close at 10 pm, could you buy us both ice cream so we can have ice cream when I get there?

Craig said yes right away.

He met me there after work and we talked and talked and talked until it was way too far after my curfew. I thought it was weird that I had ice cream and he didn’t. The conversation was so natural.

I was driving home and I didn’t see his headlights following me to Calmar. So I called him. I said “I just want to make sure you didn’t have any car problems and that you’re on the road.” He laughed and said he was fine. Then with all the nerves that I had I asked him, “Can I see you again?” and he said YES.

After I hung up with him, around 12 am, I left a voicemail on my sister’s telephone telling her I just met the man I was going to marry.

We started dating the next day. He asked me if I would be his girlfriend. It was an immediate and enthusiastic YES. He came over that night and met my parents. We got so lost in conversation at 3 am we finally looked up and I kicked Craig out before my dad got up for chores.

We met July 2013 when I was 18 and he was 19

Taken on my parent’s couch on my Samsung Electrify 🙂
At one point I was grounded and wasn’t allowed to go on a date with Craig while I still was living at home…so I convinced my parents to let him be grounded with me…and we fell asleep 🙂

We moved in together November 2013

Black Friday Shopping the year we met – it was COLD.
Celebrating Craig’s 20th birthday in Dubuque at Texas Roadhouse. What a FUN weekend. He got on the horse and yelled BANG BANG IT’s MY BIRTHDAY for free dessert 🙂

We got engaged August 2014 when I was 19 and he was 20

Our engagement pictures – I wish someone would have told me NOT TO WEAR BROWN AND BLACK TOGETHER! Also – Check out Craig’s baby face 🙂

We got married September 2015 when I was 20 and he was 21

We bought our first home in November 2015

We had our first child, Carver John Friedman in September 2016 when I was 21 and he was 22

I was moments from giving birth in this picture – epidurals make everything better
Carver’s third birthday party

We had our second child, Gannon Jospeph Friedman in February of 2019 when I was 23 and he was 25

The rest is history.

On our 6 year anniversary of meeting each other
Our boys <3
Our most recent photo together 🙂

There you have it folks! A modern day love story.



  1. Sherri C
    October 30, 2019 / 5:45 am

    Love, love this post!

  2. Donna
    October 30, 2019 / 12:21 pm

    What a beautiful love story! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  3. Dian
    October 30, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    Wonderful tale of young love. i enjoy all your blog entries but am in amazement how you have time for it with a busy, busy life of motherhood, professional career and your community involvement. Thanks so much for sharing your writings.

    • Jean
      October 30, 2019 / 7:56 pm

      Thank you for this…. A really great love story!!
      -Jean ❤

  4. Ellie
    October 30, 2019 / 1:25 pm

    What a sweet story! Wishing only the best for all of you!

  5. Marie
    October 30, 2019 / 8:32 pm

    Thanks for a great love story. Your blog is so inspiring and interesting. Thanks for sharing your life both happy and sad with us, makes us feel like family.

  6. Jeri Niksich
    October 30, 2019 / 10:49 pm

    What wonderful memories you have! May God bless you with many more. I started following you Mom’s blog as they were having things done on their present home. I love peeking in empty houses to see the lay out of them and picture my things inside the vacant houses so looking at all the phases of work on Mom’s had me immediately loving her blog and her being a quilter was an extra bonus. I feel I’ve watch all you kids grow and seek out your soul mates and your future. Keep on keeping on with your blog!

  7. Sherri C
    February 14, 2020 / 4:47 pm

    Great blog post. I too started following your Mom’s blog shortly after they purchased their house. I’m a quilter too so read her blog every day and now yours–and Kayla’s.

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