About Alex and Catie
Alexander Johnathan Mikolaschek: Alex was born to Alfred and Barbara Mikolaschek in Rio Cuarto, Argentina on January 3rd, 1981. After 3 years his family moved to Huntsville, AL where he was raised. He loves outdoor activities which include soccer, water and snow skiing, surfing and exercising. He went to highschool at St. Bernard Prepartory and graduated with honors in 1999. He went to Birmingham-Southern College for two and a half years. While he was there he joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity and majored in psychology. After deciding to be a registered nurse, he transferred to UAB and graduated with his B.S.N. in 2005. His first job was in Emergency/Trauma and worked there for one year. His second year was spent in the Trauma and Burn Intensive Care Unit at UAB where he learned how to be a critical care nurse. The third year he spent as a travel nurse and traveled to Los Angeles, CA where he learned to surf and worked in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Providence St. Joe's in Burbank, CA. He then traveled to Denver, CO where he worked in Medical Intensive Care Unit at the VA Hospital. While there he enjoyed skiing twice a week at famous resorts such as Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin in Frisco County, CO. He returned to Huntsville, AL in May of 2008 and currently works as a registered nurse in the Cardiac Cath Lab at Huntsville Hospital. Five months into work his good friend and colleague, Chris Thornton, offered a blind date with his wife's friend Catie Girardi. The rest, as they say, is history.
Catherine Mary Girardi:
Catie was born to Tom and Carol Girardi on June 8th, 1982 in Landstuhl, Germany. After three years in Germany, the family returned to the States and were stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama. After Catie's dad retired from the Army, the family moved to Wisconsin and lived four years north of Green Bay and four years just outside of Madison. Moving every four years brought about Catie's love for traveling. The family then moved to Huntsville, Alabama where Catie was homeschooled for high school. She then attended Jacksonville State University. After two years of studying, she was accepted and majored in the Fine Arts program with a concentration in drawing and painting. She has always loved to draw and hopes to one day illustrate children's books. After two years she returned to Huntsville to attend UAH and majored in Elementary Education with a minor in art. She graduated with honors in 2005 and started teaching that year. Catie is currently teaching at Endeavor Elementary where she teaches 5th grade, specifically math, reading and language. It was here at Endeavor that Catie met Shelly Thornton who asked her if she wanted to go on a blind date with a friend of her husband's- Alex Mikolaschek.
December 22, 2008
The moment I saw Alex , I knew he was something special. It was something that I saw in him, deep in him. Alex and I met on a blind date. My friend Shelly from work said that her husband worked with someone she thought I might be interested in. She told me the important things first- he was tall! ( 6’ 3” ) He was good looking! AND he was Catholic! Well, that sounded like everything I was looking for, so I agreed to meet on a blind date. I was not really anxious to meet him at first. I had come out of a bad relationship and I didn’t think my heart could take any more.
We had a wonderful time on the date. Right away we knew that we were right for each other. Both Alex and I had the same sense of humor, we valued the same things, enjoyed the same things and there was a definite chemistry between us. Alex says that he loved me the first time he saw me. By the end of the date, he teased that we should get married! I was a little wary though. As a girl, I am naturally cautious, especially after being in so many bad relationships where my heart was the victim. I knew Alex was in love. I told him right away that my heart needed time to heal. Of course, Alex , being the amazingly sweet man that he is, said that he would wait for me as long as it would take. By that night, I could already feel my heart warming. I knew that he would be the one to finally take good care of me. From that date on we spent every day together. Every day seemed like a lifetime. We grew so much together in that time. Both he and I had so much hurt to break through, but we healed each other. Our hearts healed more and more every day that we spent in each other’s arms. We knew what we had was more than just an infatuation. What we had was love.
Ever so cautiously we continued. Both of us wondered when we would wake from this dream. We waited until we were absolutely sure before we said that we loved each other. Keep in mind that it has only been a week since our first date! I knew I loved him with all my heart the night we were watching movies at my apartment. I looked in his eyes and as hard as it is to believe, I saw my future. I saw how happy he made me. I saw the way he looked at me as if I was the only woman in the world. I saw a life of love that I didn’t want to be without. I knew. I loved him with all my heart.
Alex met my family on Thanksgiving. They all loved him, and could see how much we cared for each other. His family was next. They were very happy for us as well. We spent all day staring at each other. We finally knew. This was it. We were hooked.
Thanksgiving was very warm that year. We sat in the backyard, he played his guitar and I watched him. He went to his car for something, looked over and whispered to me that he loved me. It was as if the whole world froze and only he and I were moving. Alex came over to where I was and sat with me. I put my arms around him as he played his guitar and I told him that I loved him too with all my heart. We both sat quietly listening to him play the guitar, thinking how perfect all of it was. I knew I would never forget that moment. I reached for his camera and took a picture. The dream seemed to never end. Every day we loved each other more and more. Days seemed like years. We grew closer and closer. We were the best of friends. We loved each other more than anyone ever could.
For as long as I can remember, I have been praying to St. Joseph, the patron saint of husbands, fathers, and families, to send me someone that would be perfect for me. Year after year, it seemed that I would never find anyone. Year after year, my heart grew more sorrowful. I was in a shadow. But then Alex came into my life. Like a dark room with the door flung open to the light, he appeared. He seemed like everything I had always been praying for. I wanted to be sure though. I couldn’t take any more heart ache. I asked St. Joseph for a sign to let me know that this is what God wants. There is a tradition that tells the story of how God sent Mary to find a husband. Mary asked God how she would know who the right man would be. He responded by saying that there would be a sign. The suitors came and lined up in front of Mary. As she passed each man, she looked for the sign. Finally, she passed Joseph, his staff in hand. As she passed him, his staff immediately bloomed! Beautiful lilies blossomed from the end of his staff! She knew this was the man that God had chosen for her.
The Thursday after Thanksgiving was a particularly rough day at school for me. The students were restless for Christmas break which was only two weeks away. It seemed that I wouldn’t be able to get a moment's peace that day. Finally, P.E. time came, and my one and only break for the day. The students rushed out the door to the gym and around the corner came Alex. In his hands he held a bouquet of the most beautiful lilies I have ever seen. It was my sign from God and from St. Joseph.
Alex’s sign came later. We had been dating two and a half weeks. We were talking about being married. We prayed to make the right decisions. We didn’t want to rush into anything. Neither of us wanted to be divorced. We knew that marriage was a lifelong commitment. Christmas was quickly approaching. He said he had some shopping to do. He was gone for hours! Little did I know that he was looking at rings. He found one that he really liked. He wanted to be sure before he bought it though. We had both been hurt so much, he needed to know it was right. He prayed that night for God to give him a sign. The next day I told him that I had had the strangest dream and in it he had asked me to marry him and had given me a ring. The ring was a square cut diamond with two diamonds on each side. I had described the exact ring he saw the day before! He ran that day and bought the ring.
Of course I had no idea about all of this . He says now that the ring was burning a hole in his pocket. He wanted to give it to me every day. He had planned on asking me New Year’s Eve at the beach. But he had one more thing to do before he could ask me. He visited my parents. My dad said he knew as soon as Alex walked in the door that he was going to ask for permission. They talked and Alex promised to love me always, to provide for me, and to treat me as I should be treated . All that was left was to ask me.
And so we come to today, December 22, one month and one day from the day we met. Alex couldn’t wait any longer. He had to ask me. We did some last minute shopping, ran some errands, and then decided to look at a house. We loved it. Every moment we spent together seemed like a lifetime. When he holds my hand I can feel him holding my heart. When he looks at me I can feel my heart beating only for him. He wanted to take a walk down by the lake near his dad’s house. It was finally a beautiful day. It had been raining for weeks before and then the sun came out- shining down on everything. As we were driving down to the lake he told me how much he loved me as he held my hand. I was his everything he said, his world. We walked hand in hand down the path. He told me how much he wanted everyone to know how much he loved me. I, of course, was clueless, still thinking that he didn’t have a ring yet. As we walked, he asked me if I thought we would be happy. I told him that I was happy from the moment I met him and hadn’t stopped being happy since then. He told me that he had come through hell and out the other side and I was waiting for him. I was his heaven. He looked at me, he had tears in his eyes. “I love you”, he said, as he dropped to a knee. “Will you marry me?” and pulled out the ring from his pocket. “Of course”, I said. He slipped the ring onto my finger, the exact ring I had dreamed about that night.
It stills seems like a dream. A dream that I never want to wake from. I know that this dream will last forever.