Monthly Archives: June 2014

How Leslie met Sam, fell in love and got married!!

A few people have been asking for a blog post about my recent wedding (YAY!) so here it is!

How we met: Long story short we met through a mutual friend!  My former coach from University (Santiago Restrepo who is the head coach at Oklahoma right now) and I kept in touch after he left our team to pursue a head coaching position at Oklahoma University.  Even though he only coached me for 2 seasons we got along very well and became good friends (even though I hated him for the first 4 months of my university career!)  In November of 2010 I was looking for a mini vacation and had been emailing back and forth with Santiago.  He suggested that I come visit him and my other friends (Nicki and Kelly who also played at Southern Miss) for homecoming weekend.  Being the impulsive person I am I said “SURE!” and booked  cheap flight to Oklahoma City.  Oh I forgot to mention that during our emails back and forth he mentioned his assistant coach Sam and that he wanted to introduce us….I was a little hesitant as I was seeing someone at the time but it wasn’t at all serious SO I told him sure I would go out with Sam for dinner.  Obviously the date went very well and Sam says that he knew I was “the one” the moment we looked at each other as I walked into the gym (crazy right?) and I while I took a bit longer, I definitely knew that I was very excited to spend an evening with this tall, dark, handsome, gentle, confident, volleyball loving, intelligent and good looking man but it took me a bit longer to realize that he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  Here is a pic of us at breakfast with everyone the morning I was leaving to fly home 😦

The weekend was amazing. I wish I could say that after this weekend the rest is history, but it isn’t exactly that way….if it were that easy then how boring would that story be? When I came back home Sam and I talked once in awhile for a few months but I was impatient and couldn’t deal with the distance between us and I met someone else a few months later in Ottawa and we were together for almost 2 years.   Funny thing though, I thought about Sam all the time AND just as my relationship with my ex ended, I received a random facebook message from Sam, wishing me a “happy Canadian Thanksgiving”.  This filled my heart with so much joy and excitment! We starting talking on the phone every night and then (crazy as Sam is) Sam told me he wanted to see me SO he was going to DRIVE TO OTTAWA!  I was like WHAT?! And he said yes as he was going to be in Louisville for a Coaches Convention so why not stop by for a few days?!  It took him 2 days (and it was December brrrr) but he made it and we had the most amazing long weekend…and it was after THAT  that the rest is history….we have had a few bumps along the way (mostly from my end, not being sure of what I wanted blah blah, how is the long distance going to work blah blah) but I eventually realized how amazing Sam is and how happy we are together OR apart!  We also had many long discussions about who would move where and we decided that it would be best for him to move to Ottawa so that made me even happier 🙂

The night he proposed: We planned a trip to Florida to visit my parents for about a week.  Sam and I had discussed getting married already and he thought that this would be a great time to talk to my parents about us getting  married and ask for their blessing.  So he did (infront of me which made me bawl my eyes out!) and that went so well.  On the last night of his trip he thought it would be a great idea to head to Orlando and get our own room for the night (as we were staying at my parents house all week).  So we did and he got us an amazing room at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando. This place is beautiful and like no other hotel! I felt so special 🙂  We checked in, put our bags down and were looking up places to go eat.  Sam really wanted to go to BJ’s (which is one of the restaurants where we had our first (or second) date the first wknd we met) but it was too far away so I said no. I still feel bad for this but I had no idea why he wanted to go there so badly! ANYWAY, we decided on a brazilian steak house that wasn’t far away…and we went there! The atmosphere, service, decor and food was AMAZING! It was soo good that I ate way too  much and felt so uncomfortable lol!  So after dinner we went for a walk around the resort once we got back to the hotel and while on our walk we came to this beautiful atrium….

I remember I said something like “wow, this is beautiful! I wonder if people get married here?!” And then Sam started to get quiet and pulled me close and started telling me how much he loved me and didn’t want this moment to end, etc etc (sorry I won’t bore you with all the romanticism) and I put my hand on his chest and could feel his heart beating a mile a minute, I asked him what was wrong and if he was ok and he said yes….then he bent over to the little garden behind him, then turned around and was on one knee and was holding a ring in his hand and he asked me to marry him!! I covered my mouth with both hands, screamed out loud as tears streamed down my face and he grabbed my hand and put the ring on my finger, we hugged and I said YES!  He completely surprised me but it was one of the best feelings in the world 🙂  We had a wonderful night sharing the news with my parents and my sisters and of course we enjoyed our hotel room that evening 😉  The next morning we ordered room service with mimosas and then I drove him to the airport 😦  It was during the next few weeks that we decided we were going to get married in May 2014 and then have a reception May 2015 for all our friends and family to celebrate with us!

A quick summary of our wedding ceremony in Southampton: Sam has 1 month off every year and this year he wanted to spend his time off with ME!  So for the month of May Sam visited Ottawa and we made the decision to travel to visit my parents place in Southampton to get married on the long weekend.  We invited boh of my sisters to be there as well.  It ended up being the perfect weekend, the best part was having my whole family together but even better was my mom (and dad) had planned the entire wedding! I am a very easy going girl (especially when it comes to my own wedding apparently) so it was a stress free day! We all got ready at  my parents house (the girls downstairs and the boys upstairs) and then we headed off to the church for 5pm 🙂

Since Sam’s family lives so far away they were unable to come BUT thank you to technology his sister and niece were able to watch the ceremony via facetime from London, England!  It was a very special treat having them with us.  Our minister was wonderful and I’ll never forget our ceremony and the kind words he shared.

After the ceremony we had a quick photo session with a local photographer (like really fast, 20 minutes!)

and then we were off to Cobble Beach for dinner and more celebrating!

My parents booked us a night in the bridal suite (which was fantastic btw).  Before dinner we had champagne, speeches, tears (lots of tears when Sam gave him impromptu speech, wish we recorded that one!), some great pictures,  dancing and lots of laughs. Dinner was delicious and then after a few more pictures we headed back to the room to cut our wedding cake- my mom’s homemade rum cake (Sam’s favourite and it was SOOOO GOOD!)  Then we got to spend our wedding night in this spectacular room…

It was definitely one of the happiest days of my life! I’ll never forget it 🙂

Why did we get married right away? Why wait? But truthfully, in order to speed up the immigration process, being married is very helpful (in case some of you were curious as to why we were married 2 months after we were engaged)  We definitely have a very unique story but we know that every decision we have made has been the right one.  It’s crazy but when you meet the right person everything that happens seems to be happen so naturally.  I couldn’t be happier to have married this man as he is the first person I have met who loves me for who I am and doesn’t want to change anything about me.  He motivates me to be the best woman I can be and I think he can agree that I inspire him to be the best man he can possibly be.  I can’t wait for us to be in the same country, building our lives together and enjoying each other’s company, one day at a time!

Les 🙂