Emily + Sam: how they met

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24 February 2017

We're getting closer and closer to my sister, Emily and her husband-to-be's nuptials so I thought it was a good time to drop their "how we met" story on you. I take credit for snagging the following photo from Facebook and my brother Andrew takes credit for taking the photo.

Without further prattle from ME ... Emily, take it away!

The First 9 Years

Well well well, what have we here? A love story.

Funnily enough neither Sam or I remember the first time we met. Or the 2nd, or possibly the 3rd. What we do remember is at one point toward the end of our first year at Franciscan we were at a volleyball game and he introduced himself to me, at which point I had the gall to say something sassy like, “I know, I’ve met you 3 times already.” I mean come on - who doesn’t remember their future fiancé.

Our time at Franciscan passed by innocently enough. We were in the same group of students that traveled to Austria together and ran in fairly similar circles. I (Emily) am sad to admit I don’t remember many interactions with Sam.

Sam says it wasn’t until our senior year, when we both spent the summer in Ohio taking classes did he really notice how beautiful I was and was pretty taken aback. But (ah, there is always some iteration of “but”, isn’t there?) he didn’t do anything about it because Sam was feeling a call to the religious life. Which. Is. Great. And a wonderful vocation for so many! Emily was clueless as all get out about Sam’s attraction and remembers praying for his vocation and his call to religious life! In my mind, he was (and is still!) a great guy, and I thought (no longer think) he would make a great brother/priest.

After Sam graduated in December (one semester before me) I made the traditional trek back from Ohio to New Mexico and this time around I was doing it solo. I reached out and asked if I could spend the night at his parent’s house so I didn’t have to stay in a creepy Motel 8 by myself and plus, I would get to say goodbye to Sam before he joined the CFR’s!

He agreed. If memory serves me correctly, we ate pizza for dinner and I promptly went to bed. The next day I was saying goodbye to Sam and I said, “I like you Sam.” He didn’t really respond and mumbled some sort of goodbye as well. We didn’t speak or see each other for the next 2.5 years.

Fast forward 2.5 years. Samuel is cruising along as a brother (in my opinion). I’m struggling through life, living in smalltown, Illinois working a job and trying to figure out life in my twenties. I took a trip to NYC to see my dearest of friends Chanelle for Easter and who do we happen to run into but Brother Lazarus (Aka Sam, Aka my fiancé!).

After the Stations of Cross on Good Friday I walked out of the church to see Sam and (Again, don’t remember the details THAT well) but Bro Laz walks up to me, grabs me and says, “Emily, it is REALLY good to see you.” Apparently I turned bright red and awkwardly mumbled something like, “It’s good to see you too Sam.” Note I called him SAM, not Brother Lazarus (foreshadowing?...I think so!) He had to run off and be holy and I had touristing things to do. End Scene.

Fast forward another 1.5 years. I still live in Illinois and I’m still hanging out with my Franciscan Friends. Jessica and Elliot. As a little tid bit, to give you an example of how close we are, we share an Amazon Prime account, a costco membership, a phone bill and pretty much our entire wardrobes (okay not Elliot’s since he’s a 6’2’’ 200 lb man, but Jessica’s clothes!) Elliot shares the good news that Sam has discerned out of religious life and he is going to see Sam this coming weekend. I am thrilled to hear Elliot gets to see his dear friend Sam and am equally excited I get to spend some girl time with Jessica this weekend.

The next week I find myself at their home once again and Elliot fills me in on how great it was to see Sam and that he wants to come up soon and spend time with all of us. At one point Elliot mentioned that Sam asked about me and I was shocked! I believe the exact words were, “I can’t believe he even remembers me.”

Now -- let’s back up for a quick second to Elliot’s visit to Kansas. While my impression is that they had a great time (accurate), I had absolutely no idea what “Sam asked about you” meant. I was sure he was just being polite and I hoped I would get to see him for a group get together when he came to visit. Little did I know, once my name was mentioned, Sam essentially talked about me all weekend and was hell bent on coming to see me. But, Jessica and Elliot BOTH knew this and despite their excitement, I did not catch on.

The Weekend

Very soon after Elliot’s visit, Sam decided to drive up to Illinois for a visit and was staying with the Foley’s. Once I found out Sam was coming into town, I realized I had the day off of work and thought to myself, “It would be great to grab coffee with him and catch up. Maybe I’ll ask Elliot for his phone number.” After some self doubt and hanging out with my friend Denise in the early afternoon, I told her how I might see an old friend this afternoon, but I felt silly. I didn’t want to be that weird girl who reaches out and is like, “Hey, wanna get together with someone you weren’t that close with in college and talk about our feelings over coffee?” I told Denise all about what a great guy Sam was and I even remember describing him to her and saying, “He is probably one of the top 10 people I’ve ever met.” I decided to reach out. Documented here (don’t you love technology?) (Also Mom, sorry for the typo)


After reading that he was excited to see me, I got my first hint of butterflies in my stomach, but thought that maybe I’d just had too much caffeine that morning. Boy was I wrong. Right around 4:30 he showed up, rang my door and I buzzed him in. As I saw him coming up the stairs I was shocked. Grinning from ear to ear and more handsome than I had ever remembered him, I instantly blushed and lost all concept of reality. He gave me a hug (more blushing) and I invited him in. And so began the weekend we fell in love.

We talked and drank coffee for a couple of hours and boy was I smitten. When I wasn’t smiling I was forcing myself not to smile so as not to look like a wierdo and ask myself why my face was so sore. We then went to the Foley’s for dinner. There, it was notable that Elliot and Jess were acting strange. And while I was feeling strange as well, I didn’t think it was so obvious that it would force them to be acting strange as well.

I unfortunately had to leave early as a friend of mine wasn’t feeling well and I went to go take care of her. I was pretty crushed, but made sure I knew what the Foley’s plan were for the next day and quickly invited myself over for breakfast to ensure I would see Sam again. Throughout the night I caught him staring and smiling at me more than once, which was odd, but also probably expected. I bet you smile a lot as a friar.

After I left, Sam looked at Jessica who was waiting to see what his thoughts were on the matter and he looked at Jessica and said, “She is so pretty.” Jessica swears he said that on repeat all night. :)

I didn’t sleep a single wink that night.

We hung out pretty much all day on Saturday. Jessica and Elliot conveniently had an appointment that afternoon, and I couldn’t very well leave Sam all by himself in a strange town now could I? We talked all afternoon about life and all this time I’m so excited to be spending time with him and my feelings are growing stronger and stronger, but I’m also a bit distraught. This is Sam Sharpe everyone. Top 10 people in the world remember? There is no way he would have feelings for me! I decided I needed talk to Jessica about it that night because I hadn’t slept in over 36 hours and was getting delirious at this point.

From there, we hung out almost the entire weekend. Dinner parties, long talks, brunches, drinks and lots of laughter and fun.

Sunday night rolled around (far too quickly in my opinion) and we had plans to get together with friends for dinner when Sam called me. He asked if he could come over for some coffee. I was a little surprised since we were supposed to be meeting for dinner in about 30 minutes, but a chance at some one on one time with Sam? How could I say no?

He soon arrived at my door for the second time that weekend and we sat down for some coffee. He was (again) really smiley and started laughing saying, “I haven’t done this in a really long time.” He described how for a number of years in the friary he had thought of me on and off and when he discerned out, he didn’t know how, but he knew he would want to try and get back in touch with me. That he wasn’t looking to do it right away, but when my name came up during Elliot’s visit, there was a joy and peace within him that he knew he wanted to see me, and once he did, well...he liked me.

*Insert Emily mentally squealing with delight here.*

We both ended up agreeing that Sam should come back to visit IL again soon and we should go on a proper date.

Two weeks later, after I sent this text to my sister, we made it official.

Several months later, Sam moved up to Illinois. He conveniently works from home so it was much easier for him to move up here than for me to move down to Kansas. And a few months after that, plus many, many, many conversations later, we discerned an engagement was likely in our near future.

The Proposal
Once we both felt confident the Lord was calling us to marriage, Sam got right to work. He asked my Dad’s permission to marry me, and ordered the ring. I think he waited roughly 27 hours after picking the ring up to propose. (Must’ve been burning a hole in his pocket!) August 24th, 2016, I left work to find a note/poem on my windshield. I took a moment to collect myself and prayed God would bless this special time/event I was pretty sure was coming. The poem said to go where the water was and we have a park with a small pond a couple miles from my office. When I arrived Sam was standing there, smiling that electric smile that I saw the first day he came to Sycamore. He walked up to greet me, and asked me to sit down on a bench. There were sunflowers, a pitcher of water, a towel and a bowl.

Sam knelt down and silently washed my feet. Then grab both my hands and expressed how in love with me he was and that he wanted to spend his life serving me and the Lord and asked me to be his wife! It was a moment I will treasure forever.

We spent time calling family and then went to dinner to celebrate. It’s been one big celebration from that moment on.
Not happy at all.
I know it’s not polite to stare, but I couldn’t stop. He done good.


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22 February 2017

There were a lot of nights and eternal call weekends throughout residency that I swore when Simon was finished we were going to celebrate with a big trip to somewhere crazy like Italy (lolol - I have to applaud my uncharacteristically bold optimism). Our imaginary Italian getaway obviously didn't happen as we had to get down to Florida so Simon could start his fellowship and Bosco was about a week old BUT we still said we'd have to do something to commemorate residency's end. I can't say this was a dedicated celebratory trip (there's always the end of fellowship!!) but it was a huge Valentine's day surprise when Simon presented me with an actual date card a la Bachelor franchise style for an overnight date across the bay (so many fantasy suite jokes! so little time!) this past weekend.

I think he knew that unless he just went ahead and booked it and arranged to have a sitter some - I wouldn't agree because leaving the kids feel so daunting (but was actually much easier than anticipated - don't tell them) and easier to just not do anything. But! We went and we had a blast. We love our life and kids and the chaos but it felt really nice to have a string of uninterrupted conversations, pack a bag sans sound machines and gear galore, and enjoy a couple of meals on our own.

Our digs weren't too shabby either ...

We're not at the Camp anymore, Toto  Diego. Mom humor at its finest worst.

As fate would have it - they had oversold the room Simon booked so we got a fancy pants upgrade to a bigger room. We got there just in time to take a walk along the beach and watch the sunset before walking to a nearby hotel for dinner. Simon even indulged my excitement over a Britney Spears documentary on cable television later that night while talking about baby names which generally involves Grace tossing out a name and Simon grimacing before saying, "I'll have to let that one marinate" over and over again.

We enjoyed a little (aka huge) brunch the next morning and after one trip through the buffet line Simon said he had eaten too much and felt ill while I was happy to roll right back up not two but three times total. The baby was hungry. And there was Nutella.

Overall it was the most perfect 20 hour getaway I've ever been on and we both promised not to let 6 1/2 years slip by before doing it again.

I gave Simon a Fitbit for Valentine's Day thinking I'd been really thoughtful but methinks that maybe he outgifted me this year - just this once! Just this once, Patton.

ps. speaking of gifts - did you see that Amazon is taking $8.62 off all orders over $50 today (enter code BIGTHANKS at checkout)? Time to stock up on diapers, dog food, and well, maybe that's it.

heads up

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20 February 2017

Wellllll, I think we all miraculously managed to steer clear of Simon's flu but someone (and that usually means someone else followed by someone else etc etc) woke up with a bit of a stomach bug so all plans (all plans being a haircut) are on hold for the day while I dole out the Welch's (see what I did there? I hope you did, I HOPE you did) and pray the bug is blessed with a short shelf life.

totally and completely related: the baby is growing right along

crisp full length photo fail. couldn't leave you hanging though.

President Day sales weren't on my radar but then I kept seeing them so I thought I'd share in the event that you're homebound too or on the hunt for a deal/steal.

LOFT - always pulling through with a generous 60% of their sale items and 40% off everything else. I LOVE this blouse and this sweater.

Urban Outfitters - 40% off home and tech items. My favorite place to find Anthro-style bedding at very unAnthro-style prices.

Old Navy - loads of items are 50% off and then an additional 30% off with code HUGE. I've sung my loud and proud praises for their sculpting denim and lots of my friends echo my sentiments so don't just take my word for it. I also have and love the maternity version of this shirt and it's the perfect spring into summer top (I'm getting ahead of myself, always! always).

Amazon - not Presidents Day specific but I've been checking their Deals of the Day lately because you can find some really crazy steals. I'm in the market for some sort of dust bust buster/dirt devil because I've tricked myself into thinking it's going to make life easier (they do have this one on sale today but the reviews are meh).

Madewell - 30% off sale styles. If you're in the market for some rain boots or cute tennis shoes - they're all over it.

I'll stop there. Let me know if you find any sales worth sharing - I'd be much obliged!

oh! and did you see there's going to be a Downton prequel?!

Happy(ish) Monday!

gotta get down on ...

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17 February 2017


I know, I've used that post title before. I think we'll all survive.

1. I'm not sure we'll survive Simon's grimace on the left, on the left - though. He was excited about the father/daughter dance - I promise.

As excited as Julia? I don't think it's possible that anyone was as excited as Julia about the father/daughter dance this past weekend. She started asking at 8am if she could put her dress on and I thought her eyes would pop out of her head when Simon gave her that corsage. He said she didn't stop high speed dancing the entire evening - even breaking her plastic pearl necklace at one point. He tried to take it off so that she wouldn't keep bouncing faux pearls all over the floor but she was in the middle of a dance contest and told him, "Dad, I really need to keep dancing". Yeah DAD. The first thing she asked when they got in the car to come home was, "can we come to the dance next year?" -- she gets her planning and competitive dancing skills from her mother.

2. I keep reading and seeing how sick everyone has been this winter and I kept hoping and praying that we'd be spared and feeling terrible for all of my family and friends that were down for the count. Wellllll for the first time in med school/residency/fellowship history Simon called in sick because he's down for the count with the flu today. We are making sure he doesn't breathe on, touch, or look at anyone and I wouldn't put it past me to purchase a mask (hazmat suit?) for him to wear until he's better. I think we'd be less crazy + cautious if we weren't about to travel to my sister's wedding. I think.

3. Alright, so I finished Nine Women, One Dress last night and I really enjoyed it! I wish some of the stories had tied together more but overall it was light and pleasant and now I just really want that Max Hammer dress!! A kind reader recently recommended The Winter Sea (after she saw one of you recommend it in the comments) and the library had it (!!!!) so I snatched it up and so far - so great. I also have to admit that I reserved the most cliché beach read ever only because I thought it might be nice to have something breezy for our flights where Bosco will inevitably let me read in 3-4 minute snatches - if that. Always prepared, that Grace.

4. I loved these tips (and YAY for a new blog to love and read obsessively) for those of us that hate packing kids lunches (that I forwarded onto Simon because he packs them - I packed them on Valentine's Day and he said that it truly was the best gift I could ever give him - maybe I should just make his life and make them myself?) and now I'm wondering if these lunch boxes are worth the hype?

5. Who else is super excited about Rachel being the Bachelorette??? Of course - it's kind of a huge spoiler for the current season (surely Corinne doesn't make it to the final two?!) and I've listened to multiple podcasts speculating as to why they announced her so early but I'm so excited (as already stated) and always love that the Bachelorette starts so quickly after the Bachelor. Almost makes up for the fall drought ABC always puts us through. Always. Jones is back to her recapping ways (!!!), both of Sharleen's recaps are already live (blog + Flare recap) and Nick was on the Channel 33 podcast this week and Ashley I was on Afterbuzz (I never thought I'd love her so much after Chris' season but I can't help it - I DO).

6. I always get so excited when Anthropologie runs their 40% off clearance items sale because it's the only time I really let myself look at their gorgeous inventory. I rarely buy but it's fun to look, you know? I always start with shoes and move onto house and home because I'm wild and crazy like that. I have to admit this tank did catch my eye and I'll hope it's around after I have the baby.

7. I'm guessing you already follow Kate on her blog and various forms of social media because she's so great and that you already saw her genius rec for buying Gap's vintage wash t-shirts in tall (even if you aren't super tall). I heeded her advice and am so SO glad I did. Because while leggings aren't pants (will that notfunny debate ever die?) sometimes I wear leggings to the gym, grocery store, post office, etc and I love the longer length of the t-shirts with my "pants". I owe you, K. Bryan. I prefer the scoop neck but they have more colors in the v-neck and on top of already being 40% off they are an additional 25% off with code MORE right now.

Hope your weekend holds lots of promises of fun and relaxation.


Paleo friendly & Whole30 compliant Ramen with zucchini noodles

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16 February 2017

... no spiralizer needed. Nor do you need be an eater of the Paleo variety or doing a Whole30 to enjoy this - promise. Simon-dislikes-cooked-vegetables-Patton loves this. Or so he claims.

Disclaimer alert! I'm not a cook/check/foodie so proceed at your own risk but I wouldn't share a recipe unless it was worth making - mom's honor.

I had some real deal Ramen about a year or so ago and it was so good. I also like the stuff that comes in the packets but the real deal left an impact and while we aren't doing a whole30 nor do we eat Paleo I still thought it wouldn't be terrible to try with zucchini noodles (zoodles, if you must). And so! I did and the results were pretty tasty.

4 chicken thighs cooked/baked/fried to your liking (I HIGHLY recommend this method but if you want to bake them or whatever them - do it up)
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock of your choosing (we like this stuff from Costco and its whole30 compliant anyway)
two heads of Bok Choy (washed and chopped - not super finely)
3/4 cup carrots chopped
3 zucchinis worth of "noodles" (I just use a veggie peeler because it's super fast and makes the perfect ribbon noodles for the recipe but spiralize your little heart out if it makes you happy!)
2 soft boiled eggs, sliced
3-5 cloves of garlic - minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ginger (fresh or not - I rarely have fresh on hand)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp anchovy paste
1 Tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce if you don't care about the Paleo/whole30 factor
1 Tbsp hot sauce (I just use Frank's Red Hot)

Okay. It's tough to screw this up, promise. I know you were worried.

zoodles ready for action.

Heat the olive oil up on medium heat in a large skillet or tall pot (or I just use the pan and drippings from the chicken) and sauté the garlic until soft. Chop (or I just tear it apart) your chicken.

Slowly add the broth, tomato paste, anchovy paste, hot sauce, ginger, and chicken. Cover loosely with foil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add the chopped carrots and stir in one head of the chopped Bok Choy. Let simmer a few more minutes (this is when I start the eggs).

right after the Bok Choy and right before the carrots went in.

Add the zucchini and coconut aminos and stir but don't let the zoodles get super soft before serving. I dish up the bowls and there's usually enough left over for a lunch (or admittedly - I love this for breakfast) for two. I just don't let it sit in the pan too long so that the noodles remain slightly crunchy. I reserve the other head of Bok Choy to put over the leftovers but if you're not a Boy Choy fanatic like I am - you don't have to do that!

Top with sliced egg and enjoy! I like eating with plantain chips but to each their own!

This makes enough to feed me and Simon and a little bit to a couple of non-picky kids (yes, I make a separate but simple meal for the kids - yes I'm the biggest enabler known to moms).

This is at the top of my freezer meal list to make before the baby comes. I might do a trial run to see how the Zucchini & Bok Choy freezes and if it's meh - I'll just add those along with the egg when I heat it back up.

The end. 


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