How I Met My Husband Part 4: Our “short” distance romance

After several weeks of dates, Zack visited me at Notre Dame. I took him to see Saint Mary’s College where I went for undergrad. We walked through LeMans Hall, my residence during junior year of college. We visited the beautiful Holy Spirit Chapel and said some prayers together. Afterwards, we wandered outside to sit on a bench by the lake. Zack asked me to be his girlfriend, and I was quick to say yes!

The next two years consisted of many drives between Illinois and Notre Dame to see one another on weekends. It was demanding because both of us were in rigorous graduate school programs, but we cared for each other so we made the “short” distance work! Fortunately, I had no shortage of support while we developed our relationship with one another and grew in relationship with God. My family and friends, especially those at Notre Dame, instantly embraced Zack. From the beginning they could tell our relationship was something special.

In May 2016 I graduated from the M.Div. program. As I looked for ministry jobs there was no question that I wanted to move to Illinois to be near Zack. By the grace of God and some providential timing, I received a job offer at a wonderful Catholic Church in Zack’s town. We were finally able to live in the same place, just minutes apart from one another. This experience only confirmed what we already knew in our hearts: God was calling us to marriage.

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Part 3: Our first date lasted eight hours!

Welcome back for Part 3 of How I Met My Husband. Thanks for reading our story!

Zack and I met up in Fort Wayne, Indiana for our first date in July 2014. He was traveling back to Illinois from a road trip, and we wanted to meet in a neutral location. Zack arrived at the restaurant first. I will always remember being so excited and full of hope as I walked up to meet him! He gave me a hug, and then I immediately asked if he had any extra quarters for the parking meter. Luckily, he was prepared to help me out.

Our lunch date was super fun. To this day we laugh about how it took forever for me to finish my enormous salad! I remember him asking what my plans were during the rest of the summer and if I would be coming to Illinois (where my family was living). I thought he was just making conversation, but he was already planning for a second date even though we were barely an hour into the first one! 🙂

I wanted to visit the Cathedral in Fort Wayne so I told Zack I had a surprise planned for our second stop on the date. Well the Cathedral ended up being closed! However, the side chapel was open so we stopped inside to pray. Confession happened to be going on so we went to Reconciliation on our first date. Not the most normal first date activity, but neither of us minded. In fact we both enjoyed the opportunity to pray together and begin our relationship with the healing grace of the sacrament of Reconciliation.

After our visit to the chapel, we stopped at a local park for a heart to heart and then went to Steak N Shake for milkshakes. Terrific guy that he is, Zack also agreed to swing by the local grocery store to pick up some Blue Bell ice cream for a friend of mine. South Bend didn’t carry Blue Bell ice cream so she begged me to bring her some and ice cream lover that I am, I happily obliged my Texan friend. All these stops made our date an eight hour event!

The drive back to South Bend made for a late evening, but it was well worth it. We continued meeting up for dates over the next few weeks. I did in fact come to Illinois later that summer (partly to visit family and partly to get to know Zack a little better). We had a blast going on walks, eating yummy meals, exploring new towns, and even going on a bike ride and picnic at a state park. I knew from those earliest dates that I was in the presence of an incredibly wonderful man.

Come back next Wednesday for Part 4, the final installment of How I Met My Husband!

Talking as Fast as I Can: from Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything In Between)

I love Gilmore Girls. It is one of my favorite shows, and I have fond memories of watching it together with my mom and sister. Therefore, my excitement to read Lauren’s book was through the roof! Though I enjoyed this book, the content was much different than I expected. I assumed most of the book would be about her initial experience filming Gilmore Girls and then her journey of returning to the role of Lorelai for A Year in the Life. Really though, this book is a memoir of her journey of becoming an actress and highlights her two biggest roles as Lorelai on Gilmore Girls and Sarah on Parenthood.

The chapters on Gilmore Girls were naturally my favorites! I enjoyed Lauren’s perspective on the series and her humor about things like the fashion on the show. I loved that she spoke so highly of the all star cast as a truly team ensemble, and I could tell she was proud to be part of the show.  If you are a Gilmore Girls fan, definitely check out this book to hear her insights! In fact, you may be like me and wonder whether Lorelai actually wrote this book because of its pop culture reference and witty conversational tone.

When Gilmore Girls ended abruptly, fans were left wanting more. A Year in the Life came about as a way to continue that story. It sounds like a dream come true for Lauren and the cast to return to Stars Hollow for more of the Gilmore Girls story. Lauren writes beautifully about the emotions behind the weeks of filming, giving us glimpses into her journals from that time. She speaks with love and admiration about the late Edward Herrmann (the patriarch Richard Gilmore). It is clear the whole group felt his absence strongly while filming A Year in the Life.

Most of all, this book offered a look into the life of a prominent Hollywood actress. It can be easy to look at celebrities and think they have it all – glamorous career, endless money, fabulous houses, and a parade of relationships. But Lauren reveals that she had a difficult time being single for so long, faced sexism in Hollywood, and often felt concerned about her job security. Though Lauren hit it big with Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, her book shows us that she’s a real person with her own joys and challenges just like any of us.

How I Met My Husband Part 2: A life changing smile

By June of 2014 I had been on CatholicMatch for several months. On the site, there are features to assist the members in meeting and mingling with each other. One feature is the “personality test” where members answer numerous questions about themselves and their lifestyle. One of the men I “matched” with on the personality test was named Zack.

As I looked through his profile a few things jumped out at me immediately. First of all, he was getting a PhD in ORGANIC CHEMISTRY. I thought “WOAH he is intelligent.” That is impressive. Clearly we are both passionate about our areas of study! Second, he wrote about how faith plays a role in his daily life as well as his desire to share a prayer life with his future spouse. I knew right away that we shared the same Catholic beliefs and values which was a great sign. Third, he had really silly pictures that made me laugh! Overall, I just got a wonderful vibe from his profile so I decided to express interest in the match!

 I was thrilled to receive a message that Zack had also expressed interest in me! This was the first time I received a mutual “match” so naturally I was quite excited. I waited eagerly for him to contact me because of course he would…. right?!

Well, I was wrong! After one week of silence….. I took matters into my own hands and sent Zack an emotigram (a smiley face). Fortunately for me, Zack was very interested in the match. He was experiencing a busy week in his chemistry lab and wasn’t checking into his CatholicMatch profile! He sent a kind message to me immediately and a conversation progressed from there. Every morning I would read a new message from Zack, noticing myself smiling and enjoying everything he wrote to me. After several weeks corresponding, we had our first Skype date. During that conversation Zack asked me for our first date!

Come back next Wednesday for Part 3!

Grateful Thursday: Our Home

My husband and I recently moved into our first home together as newlyweds. This month I’m grateful for our home. I’m grateful for the beautiful wedding gifts that surround us with beauty and purpose. I’m grateful for our spacious kitchen and the meals I cook with love for others.

I’m grateful for the fun we had purchasing furniture (and I’m glad that part is over with because it was not without stress). I’m grateful for our safe place to live and the community we are becoming a part of in Ohio. I’m grateful for our house, the physical space where we live, and for our home, the place where we share our life as a family.

Gratitude is a virtue that I strive to embody. The last Thursday of each month will be a “Grateful Thursday” where I share what I’m grateful for lately.