Break Bread

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Let us live for the 32 who no longer have that chance, and live by our motto: Ut Prosim: That I May Serve. #neVerforgeT

Let us live for the 32 who no longer have that chance, and live by our motto: Ut Prosim: That I May Serve. #neVerforgeT

Apr 5
Felt like a Quesadilla Day- homemade with chicken, peppers, onions, sharp cheddar, and a tomato basil wrap #foodporn #yummoh

Felt like a Quesadilla Day- homemade with chicken, peppers, onions, sharp cheddar, and a tomato basil wrap #foodporn #yummoh

South River meets the Chesapeake Bay in Mayo, MD. This is perfect. #WaterTherapy

South River meets the Chesapeake Bay in Mayo, MD. This is perfect. #WaterTherapy

They see me rollin, they hatin #ridindirty #amishparadise #rollinondubs

They see me rollin, they hatin #ridindirty #amishparadise #rollinondubs

Mar 8
Sunbathing Payton #hisfavorite

Sunbathing Payton #hisfavorite

Mar 1
The Holy Grail of beer! #HeadyTopper

The Holy Grail of beer! #HeadyTopper

Mar 1
He may have missed her a little bit #sleepypayton #sleepyemmy

He may have missed her a little bit #sleepypayton #sleepyemmy

Can we go back now? Missing being here. #lakeplacid #whiteface #adk

Can we go back now? Missing being here. #lakeplacid #whiteface #adk

Miracle on Ice - 2014 edition. I’m still amazed by this moment. We’re engaged! Big big thanks to to @katsk8 for capturing this. #lakeplacid

Miracle on Ice - 2014 edition. I’m still amazed by this moment. We’re engaged! Big big thanks to to @katsk8 for capturing this. #lakeplacid

#Unstoppable. The Beginning of It All.

Leading up to the proposal, I had a plan to tweet 518 different facts, stories, and the like about our relationship in the 28 days leading up to the day. That plan had to be scratched. Long story short: I got a new phone and forgot/lost the password to the twitter account and the email address that I had saved in a note. Of course my phone was backed up, but not since I had created the note that contained all of my passwords. So, instead of rushing around to try to tweet 518 things again in just 19 days, I decided to write a blog post instead.

- - -

Our journey together officially began on May 18, 2012. Emily and I had originally met in 2010 through a few mutual friends. Blacksburg is a small place when you eliminate the undergraduate students from the total population. Graduate students and young professionals seem to gravitate towards the same type of social life in Blacksburg, which is how we originally met: Emily as a graduate student and I as a young professional.

Fast forward a couple of years to 2012. #Springsteen happened. I remember the first week of April in 2012 when Emily and I had talked about me making a trip to spend the weekend in Pennsylvania. I had never been north of the Mason-Dixon Line before in my life. When she first told me she was living and working in Pennsylvania, I first thought that she was living in some strange, far-off land with no sweet tea and no biscuits (which is true, at least partially). From that day in April when we agreed to have a weekend together through May 18 was the absolute longest 6 weeks of my life. I was so excited to be able to spend a weekend with Emily in Pennsylvania, this far off land that I had learned so much about over the phone. Leading up to May 18, Emily and I would chat on the phone each night – sometimes for over 2 hours, way past our bedtimes. After we would hang up, we usually would text for another 10-30 minutes longer until one of us (usually Emily) fell asleep.

Well, the May 18th weekend slowly, but surely arrived. I was excited! I took off from work on Friday May 18th to be sure that I was able to make the journey to the Union Territory in good time. In what seemed like the longest car ride I have ever made (note: I have driven from Charlottesville to Florida in a 14 hour trip and this seemed way, way longer) I finally made it to Harrisburg, PA. The stretch of I-81 from the Mason-Dixon Line all the way to the Susquehanna River seemed like some of the most beautiful farm country that I had ever seen. A good playlist helped me along the way too. #Springsteen.

I arrived at 1411 at just around 4:30p and Emily was still at work, trying to wrap things up before the weekend. She left a key for me under the mat. The best part is that I was about to meet Nittany for the first time. As I opened the door and walked in, I discovered that there were cupcakes that she had made for me! I later found out that this was a big, big deal since Em rarely bakes things, and if she does bake things – they usually burn. Anyways, just under the stairs leading up, was a little furry, fluffball, with lazy eyes, and growing excitement. This was Nittany. I took little Nittany outside to play while Em was still at work. Soon, Emily would arrive home. Emily looked absolutely breathtaking; so much so, that I’m pretty sure I fumbled more than a rookie running back in the NFL.

After catching up for a little bit, we headed off to enjoy a Harrisburg Senators game at Metro Bank Park. Don’t even ask me who they were playing – because I have no idea, and was still extremely giddy and fumbling every other word. All I remember is that Harrisburg won the game and we had a great time. No, I didn’t try to impress her by throwing a fastball to try to knock over 3 bottles and win a giant teddy bear- but probably should have! After catching the postgame fireworks, we returned home and heated up a pizza – one of Em’s cooking specialty – and had a few beers and called it a night.

The next day, we headed down to Moon Dancer Winery outside of Columbia, PA. It was an absolute gorgeous ride down Rt. 283. Moon Dancer sits on the top of a hill looking over the Susquehanna River. We couldn’t have asked for a more picturesque day. After spending a few hours, drinking vino, hanging out, and smiling in each other’s presence, we headed back to Harrisburg to grab a bite at Appalachian Brewing Company. We enjoyed a great dinner and great conversation again, and headed back to call it a night.

We had so much fun Friday and Saturday, but I was dreading Sunday – only because I knew at the end of the day, I would have to leave. On Sunday, we went to Hershey’s Chocolate World to spend the day. The coolest part of the whole trip was getting to make your own chocolate bar. Em and I, dressed in our stylish hairnets, made our way through the assembly line. We still to this day have a portion of our uneaten chocolate bars. Afterwards, it was time for me to go back south to Dixieland.

As I put the key into the ignition, and turned my wheels south, something was telling me I was headed in the wrong direction. Neither one of us wanted the weekend to come to an end – well – maybe Emily did because she was about to go to Bermuda! How awesome is that?! But from that moment, we both began to count down the days until June 15th, our next planned weekend.

In the weeks and days leading up to May 18, Emily and I had coined the hashtag #unstoppable. There was an unexplainable, knowing feeling that we shared and had expressed to each other; not a single thing in the world that was going to stop us. The weekend of May 18th proved that we were becoming more and more #unstoppable.

- - -

I know with all of my heart that I am in the right place with the right person. Even before I told Emily for the first time that I loved her, I knew, without a doubt, that I would do absolutely anything to make her smile, and to show her how much she means to me. Emily gives me a passion for life, and creates an exciting energy to live it to the fullest with her. I have followed my heart, and it has led me to a place with the person I love most, my best friend, and my future. I can never find the perfect words to describe how much I love her, but I know that I love Emily with all of my heart, and always will.

Today, I am proposing to Emily to be my wife. I have counted down the days, hours, and seconds, and have wanted to make this the most special moment for her. I am proposing on the same ice of where the US Hockey team beat the Russians in the 1980 Olympics: also known as “Miracle on Ice.” A miracle is an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God. God has led me to Emily; Emily is my miracle and together we have become #unstoppable.

Good Morning Whiteface Mountain. A gorgeous morning in Lake Placid

Good Morning Whiteface Mountain. A gorgeous morning in Lake Placid

Good ol Shenandoah Valley, VA - no filter.

Good ol Shenandoah Valley, VA - no filter.

Focused. #Payton

Feb 8
The Sunset shining through the ice on the trees made it look as if the trees were on fire.

The Sunset shining through the ice on the trees made it look as if the trees were on fire.

Feb 3
Snowy Woods #itssofluffy

Snowy Woods #itssofluffy