By: Sarah Vahlkamp
“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.” -Nicholas Sparks
Kristen Roof ’98 and Craig Liesen ’98 felt the love the first time they met. It was their junior year, and Kristen was walking by Craig on the stairs leading to the second floor of Francis Hall when her book bag broke, spewing books across the floor. Craig, being a knight in shining armor, helped her picked up the books.
“I thought he was cute and asked some friends who he was. I thought his name was Chris for the longest time!” Kristen said.
Their story was only beginning, however. A mutual friend of the couple, Jen, decided to set them up on a blind date later after hearing about the chance meeting on the staircase. When Jen told Kristen that she would be going on a blind date, Kristen thought she would be meeting with the boy she met on the staircase. Both Kristen and Craig hoped they would be meeting each other, but neither knew for sure.
On the night of the date, Craig brought his friend John along in case the date went badly and he needed an escape plan. The two friends greeted Kristen at the door of her senior house, but when they got to the car to leave, John’s 6’6” height made it nearly impossible for him to fit in the back seat, leaving Kristen to ride in the back alone. The date night turned into a movie night and after watching Face Off, what had begun as a three person night had turned into the young couple alone on the ride back.
“He walked me to my college house, and I remember picking a leaf off the tree on the way there and telling him to keep it. Years later, I found it in a box of cards, etc. My favorite part of our story is that his mom asked how the date went that night, and he said he had met the girl he was going to marry.” Kristen said.
After that first date, Kristen and Craig had an instant connection. They continued to date throughout college and both graduated in 1998. When Christmas time came, Kristen was an avid believer in all things Christmas while Craig was not. However, one fateful night, Kristen arrived home to her apartment to the sound of bells and the love of her life kneeling in a Santa suit by the Christmas tree.
Craig and Kristen Liesen were married in October 1999, in Unionville, Missouri. They had two girls together, Chloe, 13, and Courtney, 10, and will be celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary this year.
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