Love of My Life 1

Three Missoula couples 
share their love stories

The Pure Maple Syrup to His Pancakes

Paige Devlin and Nick Littman

Paige Devlin and Nick Littman met eight years ago in spring, among the green wheat fields of Walla Walla, Washington. He was in his last semester of college, she was a sophomore, and they were both on the cycling team. Paige had her eye on him from the time he helped load her bike into the van at the end of a race, but as a much-too-serious cyclist, Nick was oblivious to her subtle advances until she asked him if he’d like to have breakfast and make pancakes together. (She knew he ate a plateful every day.)

On the first date, Nick made a heaping pile of pancakes from scratch and she brought pure maple syrup from her home in upstate New York. Afterward, they walked to a reservoir and immediately there was a feeling of familiarity. Their conversations were intimate: who they were, where they were from, and how much better pancakes were with pure maple syrup.

Early romantic highlights include Paige asking to borrow Nick’s helmet even though she knew it was way too big, Nick putting his arm around her even though he knew she wasn’t cold, and Paige walking home barefoot from a graduation dinner with his family because her feet were too squished in her shoes. After having been caught looking at Paige acutely love struck, Nick’s dad said to him, “Don’t screw it up,” the morning after the graduation dinner.

When the time came to propose—on a remote ridgetop, 15 miles deep into the Bitterroot Mountains—they were both ready, more ready than they’ve ever been for anything else in their lives. They married in September 2015 and they’re the proud fur-parents to Ollie, a black Lab/Border Collie mix.

A Game Not to Miss

Missy and James Adams

Their paths weren’t meant to cross, at least not the weekend they did. Missy, then a freshman at the University of Montana, was scheduled to ride with two girlfriends to Bozeman for the Griz-Cats football game. A snowstorm rolled in and the mother of one of the girls who was lending them the car said, “I don’t want you girls driving alone over the pass in this snow.”

They decided to catch a ride with the girl’s boyfriend, who had a 12-passenger van, and a half-dozen of his friends, one of whom was James, also a freshman at the university. The three girls piled in, taking the last row in the van. They buried their faces in books and mostly stayed quiet. The boys, however, didn’t, laughing, telling jokes and stories, making bets, doing what college-age boys do.

Three hours later, the van pulled into the Cats parking lot and bodies began to file out. James, who had been sitting shotgun, turned his head, confused: “There were girls in the van?” Yes, three. And one very special one. Missy and James married four and a half years later in Missoula and have two children, Isabella and Jake.

The Griz won that game (any surprise?), and so did James and Missy who celebrated 22 happy years together last month and are looking forward to many more.

Time to Play

Vicky and Robert Bostick

It happened on Labor Day 1969. Vicky’s arrow was still hot from playing cupid for a friend by introducing him to his wife. But before she knew it, Vicky, too, had been struck, fast and fierce by Robert, someone her friend had, in turn, introduced her to. And to no one’s surprise, they were engaged five weeks later on Vicky’s birthday.

They had planned for an August wedding the following year but Robert was sprinting to the altar, and toward starting a family. Vicky agreed to an earlier date, and then an even earlier date soon after. And, so it was: a small church ceremony in Lake Stevens, Washington, in March 1970.

Just a couple of kids themselves (Vicky, 18, and Robert, 19), Vicky was adamant about waiting to have children. But by the time they had hit their mid-20s, it was discovered that they couldn’t have children of their own. After a decade of marriage, Vicky and Robert delighted in bringing home their first adopted son, Bryan. And six years later, they brought home their second, Brandon.

Vicky and Robert settled in Missoula in 1992 and couldn’t imagine their lives elsewhere. Robert announced for the Big Sky basketball games for 13 years and Vicky, too, has a long list of volunteer experience with Mount Jumbo Little League and Missoula Aging Services.

After 36 years with his company, Robert happily retired last year, encouraging Vicky to do the same. “Come play, let’s go play,” he told her. And play they do. The happy couple celebrated 47 years in March, in Arizona, living the life of snowbirds. They have four grandchildren: Memphis, Kylan, Chanelle, and Bella.