Having a Ball

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Joanna & Sean Pustilnik First Date:  Richmond Cous Cous  September 2010 Wedding Date:  Sept. 6, 2015 Venue:  Royal Sonesta Baltimore Hotel Residence:  Rossyln, Va. Favorite Activity:  Trying new restaurants
Joanna & Sean Pustilnik
First Date:
Richmond Cous Cous
September 2010
Wedding Date:
Sept. 6, 2015
Venue:
Royal Sonesta Baltimore Hotel
Residence:
Rossyln, Va.
Favorite Activity:
Trying new restaurants

Joanna “Joey” Morris remembers the day clearly. It was three weeks after her move to Richmond, Va., for a dietician internship. She had joined a softball team with a friend through the River City Sports & Social Club in an effort to meet people.

For the first inning of the first game, Joey found herself occupying the bench. Alongside her sat Sean Pustilnik, who she had noticed when she first approached the field.


More than five years later, she can still rattle off his attire — orange socks, blue shorts and the green team jersey. His beautiful, greenish eyes drew her in.

“It was love at first sight,” explains Joey, 31, now a dietician with Evelont Health in Arlington, Va. “There was definitely something that drew me to him when I saw him.”Sean graciously offered to exchange phone numbers with Joey and the rest of the team. They all went out for a beer after the first game, and Sean invited both Joey and her friend to a party that weekend. The three hung out a few times before Sean admitted to chemistry with Joey, and they shared their first kiss.

Two days later, they were out on their first date for dinner at Cous Cous. Four other times that week, they found themselves together.  After a month, during a hike along the Shenandoah River, Sean lost his balance on a log bridge and fell in. But he didn’t lose his nerve as he professed his love to Joey. Three months later, as their living arrangements became unsettled, they moved in together.

Joey was not raised Jewish, although her maternal grandmother is Jewish. Her lineage aside, she wanted to officially convert and learn about the holidays, traditions and practices. Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen coordinated the conversion, which culminated in a mikvah bath on July 18, 2014.

Two weeks later, Sean, now 34, held a celebration, in conjunction with Joey’s 30th birthday, aboard a houseboat in Fells Point. About 40 friends and family members attended.

When the birthday cake was brought out, Sean presented a large gift box. After unwrapping two additional boxes, Joey found Sean on his knee as she opened a third box containing a beautiful engagement ring.

They married Sept. 6, 2015 at the Royal Sonesta Baltimore Hotel. Rabbi Sachs-Kohen officiated as 130 guests looked on. The reception was Baltimore-themed, featuring key sights around town, and celebrated their love.

“I felt like I was looking for Sean forever,” said Joey. “The moment I saw him, I just knew it.”

“We came into each other’s lives at the right time.” Sean added, “When we were ready for each other.”

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