Falling in love
This high school romance was made to last forever — even if she was the "older woman"
Kimberly Heine fell for a younger man when they were both in high school at Kinkaid, she a full year ahead of Charlie Nettles, whom she says "has always been more mature for his age."
So in 2004, when she headed off to the University of Texas in Austin, the couple found themselves in two different worlds — he the high school senior, she the Kappa Alpha Theta pledge loving campus life. As only the very young at heart could see it, "being in two different worlds was hard but proved to us that our relationship could survive anything," Kimberly e-mailed.
Charlie made it to UT the following year, pledged SAE and joined the Texas Cowboys. They merged their separate worlds, sharing friends and interests. Probably an old soul, Charlie soon became known as "Papa" or "Dad" at the frat house. Before long, Kimberly was dubbed "Mom" by the brothers. Their dating was in full swing and, in her senior year, Charlie would regularly show up at Kimberly's house and cook dinner for her and her roommates.
She graduated in July 2008 and entered the working world at a private wealth management firm. Once again, they were on different courses. He became president of his fraternity just as she entered the 9 to 5 grind. But, of course, love prevailed under such easy circumstances and they were married last May, a week after his graduation. They honeymooned in Anguilla and St. Bart's and spent the summer traveling.
Today, their worlds are tightly joined in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. Charlie is financial director of Makarios International, a faith-based nonprofit dedicated to educating children in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Kimberly teaches preschool in the facility that serves 60 students, aged 3 to 7, from surrounding villages.
Since the earthquake in Haiti, Makarios International, based in Austin, and the Nettles have been focusing on relief efforts for Haiti including raising funds for medical aid and supplies for a hospital on the border between the two island countries. Kimberly e-mailed from her new home, "Although life is different here, we love it and are so thankful God led us on this journey."
Monday: Who knew that romance could bloom on Facebook?