Sarah Morris didn’t remember Timothy Stevenson when he asked her out.
Sarah, who lived in Monroe, La., had signed up for a couple of online dating sites, and in the fall of 2007, Timothy had messaged her through one of them.
The first time I saw my future spouse:
He says: “I thought she was super cute and funny.”
She says: “I thought he was very cute and that I probably wouldn’t have to use my phone-a-friend.”
On our wedding day:
He says: “I thought I probably shouldn’t have stayed out so long the night before.”
She says: “It turned noon and I was supposed to leave to head out the door. Hannah was getting ready to go because she was my maid of honor and my feet would not move.”
My advice for a long happy marriage:
He says: “Have separate bank accounts. And you have to be able to laugh together.”
She says: “It’s easy to have the butterflies when you’re falling in love but you have to like the person, too. They have to be someone you don’t mind hanging out with. And you should tell your significant other every day how cute they are.”
“We talked back and forth for a little while and then he just kind of dropped off the radar, and I thought, well, you know, there goes another one and just kept on doing my thing,” she says. “I kept going out on really, really awful dates.”
A couple of days after New Year’s 2008, she got a text message from someone who said he was moving to Louisiana and wondered if she might like to have dinner.
“My response was, ‘Who is this?'” she says.
Timothy was in the Army, and he had messaged her originally from his post in Germany. He was moving to Fort Polk, La., though, not far from where Sarah lived.
“Her profile was kind of free-spirited,” Timothy says. “It looked like she was just an easy-going, easy-to-talk-to person.”
Sarah decided there would be no harm in meeting him but her expectations were low — they became lower when he texted her the next day to let her know he was being deployed to Iraq a few days later.
They met at a swanky Mexican restaurant. There was an hour wait to be seated, though, so Sarah suggested a smaller local Mexican place instead.
They ate at 5:30 p.m. and sat talking for a couple of hours. They went to a coffee shop from there.
“At midnight, the owner of the coffee shop came over and said, ‘Folks, you gotta go,'” Sarah says.
She had already decided Timothy was someone special, but in the parking lot, he uttered an off-color phrase that matched word for word one that she and her friends had coined on a trip to Greece a couple of years before. That tipped the scales in his favor.
“It was one of those weird moments,” she says.
They talked every day after that but only saw each other one more time before he left for Iraq. He told her not to worry if she didn’t hear from him for a while, unsure how long it would take him to get settled.
“I was in Kuwait, going to Baghdad, and we crossed the Iraqi border and got blown up with an IED,” Timothy says. “I took a load of shrapnel in the back of the neck and the back, and I was on a medivac back to Germany. And they sent me from Germany back to Fort Polk.”
Sarah was none the wiser until he called to tell her he was back in Louisiana. They saw each other a couple more times during the couple of weeks he was there to recover, and then he was sent back to Iraq.
He had an office job so they were able to email back and forth and he called when he could. He was gone for 13 months, returning once, in October 2008, for an 18-day leave.
That’s when they got engaged. Sarah had described the kind of ring she might like, and they browsed a few jewelry stores to be sure. He could tell by the look in her eye that she had found the one she wanted.
“It was vintage antique meets old New Orleans, estate jewelry,” he says.
He bought it while Sarah, a middle school English teacher, was at work. She anticipated a proposal during a New Orleans trip they had planned for the next week.
“I had the ring, but I honestly hadn’t planned anything past that,” Timothy says.
Back in Monroe, they went to dinner and when they got back to her house he made a comment about how many rings she had in her jewelry box.
“I said, ‘How do you decide what ring you’re going to wear?'” he says. “It all just kind of fell into place.”
As she answered his question, he pulled out the ring she had chosen and asked if she would like to wear that one.
Sarah was divorced and before she met Timothy she had no intention of remarrying — ever.
“I was really fond of telling people that I thought marriage was a wonderful institution, but I didn’t need to be institutionalized,” she says.
He had changed her mind, though. Timothy’s tour ended in March 2009 and they exchanged their vows on June 6, 2009, in a small courtyard ceremony in New Orleans. They did a second-line march from the courtyard to Muriel’s in Jackson Square for dinner with friends and family, and Sarah’s friends sent them away afterward in a horse-drawn carriage.
Timothy and Sarah Stevenson met through an online dating site while Timothy was stationed in Germany. When he was trans- ferred to Fort Polk, La., near where Sarah lived, he got in touch to see if she might like to meet. “Her pro le was kind of free-spirited,” Timothy says. “It looked like she was just an easy-going, easy-to- talk-to person.”
(Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
Sarah and Timothy moved to Rogers last year. Her daughter, Hannah, and Timothy’s son, Jared, both live in Rogers. His daughter, Audrey, lives in Carnegie, Okla.
“I have a thing about real smart guys, and Timothy likes to joke about it. But he’s super sharp and just lightning quick with his sense of humor,” she says. “At the end of the day, he’s my best friend.”
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High Profile on 04/26/2020