Emily + Sam: how they met

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.


  1. Oh my goodness! Such a sweet story!

  2. OH my goodness!! How romantic!! And he washed her feet?! I love it! Best wishes to this sweet couple!

  3. AHHH! I love this story, I CANNOT wait to see you marry Sam tomorrow! :) I don't have the words to describe how excited I am for the two of you.

  4. what an amazing proposal!!! congrats, Emily.

  5. I love this more than words! So happy you two are together, LOVE how much you both discerned this, and waited and prayed and wishing you all the blessings and good things to come! Grá ~ Christine

  6. Congrats to them! Beautiful story and gorgeous ring!!!

  7. he washed your feet??!!! now that's true Christian manhood and soo cute.

  8. Hi Grace, I've never met you in person, but I just realized we have a connection! I met your sister Emily (and Sam) in small town IL on New Year's this past year. Emily works with my good friend, and I was visiting. I started reading this post, and thought that this story sounded so familiar. I took another look at their picture, and was blown away. It's a small world. I've commissioned my friend to say hello to you for me at the wedding. :) Thanks for your blog.

  9. Beautiful! God bless their marriage! :)

  10. "I bet you smile a lot as a friar." Gold! Thanks for sharing!!!

  11. This is so well-written!!! It's clear writing in a witty and entertaining way runs in the family. Thanks for sharing, Emily! Loveddddd reading this.

  12. Congrats! That is a beautiful story! Marriage is all about enjoying the little moments.

  13. So sweet! Thank y'all for sharing - just so wonderful to hear a sweet love story! God has already blessed you so richly. Congratulations!!

  14. This was amazing to read! We must never doubt that God has an incredible plan for each of our lives! Keep us all updated on this special couple!!!

  15. I love "how we met" stories! Especially ones where the girl is like "I just met the man I'm going to marry". Love this! Congrats to Emily & Sam! (Oh, & what a cool proposal w/ the feet washing!)

  16. I love this. What a beautiful wedding! <3

  17. Definitely got choked up at the feet washing part. Oh my word. I am so happy for the both of you, God could not be anymore clearer with his plan for the two of you!!!

  18. All the feels! What an inspiring and beautiful beginning :)

  19. Oh my goodness. He washed her feet!!! I just loved this story, thanks for sharing with us, Grace!! :D

  20. Cried at the feet washing!! Beautiful story. Congrats!!



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