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Woodlands Lifestyles and Homes February 2014 : Page 62

Carla and Drew Rogers SWEET STUFF W hen Carla, a radio station sales rep, first walked into Drew’s office, he offered her cookies. At that time he handled advertising for Little Caesar’s, and after notic-ing a picture of a little girl behind his desk Carla assumed he was married to a cookie-baking wife. But as they chatted she learned the picture was of his niece, and that he was wearing a pinky ring, not a wedding ring. As for those cook-ies… he had baked them himself. “THIS guy is not like all the rest,” she thought. They hit it off as friends, laughed a lot, and she asked him out on their first date to an all-weekend company seminar. They enjoyed dinner on the Clear Lake Queen paddlewheeler boat, and when a Bruce Springsteen song wafted over the sound sys-tem Carla blurted that she was so over Bruce Springsteen and didn’t really see why people insisted on calling him “The Boss.” Drew, a New Jersey native (like Springsteen), just stared at her. He was also confused as to whether he had been invited as a date or because he was a client — and she wanted it that way until she could evaluate further (and let her friends do the same). After passing muster, Drew proposed five months later on Valentine’s weekend at La Colombe d’Or, where he had booked a dinner reservation in one of the private dining rooms upstairs. He filled the space with flowers and a banner that boldly asked, “Carla, will you marry me?” They were married September 22, 1990, the one-year anniversary weekend of their special first date. It seems that destiny smiled on the couple over that plate of cookies so many years ago. Drew’s love of baking led to a midlife career change, and today he owns Drew’s Pastry Place in the Champions area. He’ll be featured on an upcom-ing episode of TLC’s “Bakery Boss” — a welcomed connec-tion back to his New Jersey roots. Carla is in radio sales for CBS Radio. With son Jordan and daughter Taylor both in college, they look forward to a destination vacation. “After making plans for 23 years, we will travel to Italy this fall on a two-week cruise to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary,” says Carla. That’s sweet stuff, indeed! § Chrissy and Joey Bernal INSTANT FAMILY oey and Chrissy started off as friends… and “acci-dentally” turned into soul mates. One day she leaned in to give him a hug and inadvertently pecked him right on the lips! She’ll never forget the shock on his face, at both the kiss and the sparks that flew. Joey had a son, Austin, and Chrissy had twins, and she notes that Joey was caught off guard the first time he met her toddlers. Sierra was an average-sized 3-year-old, while Sienna, a primordial dwarf, was infant-sized. A few of Joey’s friends thought he was crazy for even thinking of marrying someone with twins, one of whom had special needs and might very well be at home the rest of her life. The blended family thrived. Joey officially adopted the girls after several years of marriage. Chrissy can’t bear to call Austin her “stepson” and wishes there was another word to describe their parent/child relationship. The couple celebrated a 10-year anniversary in 2013. Chrissy fondly recalls Joey’s surprise proposal, which turned out to be fun, especially because sev-eral of his friends were in cahoots. They were invited to a birthday party and walked inside a darkened room — except for spotlights on a pair of gorgeous champagne glasses, a bottle of champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries and a gift box with Chrissy’s name on it. Joey got down on one knee and didn’t even get a chance to pop the question — she said “Yes!” and tackled him. “At the end of the day,” says Chrissy, who is an author and fitness expert, “our marriage and instant family is a result of God joining together two imperfect people who realize that ‘baggage’ is part of life. Marriage is chaotic, challenging, fun, rewarding, energizing, motivational, and is certainly not boring!” She and Joey believe it’s all about growing an amazing family with amazing kids — and they couldn’t see their lives being any other way. § J 62 T HE W OODLANDS L IFESTYLES & H OMES / F EBRUARY 2014

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