Patrick and Andrea met on a dating app (don’t ask which one, they don’t remember!) in June of 2020, although they didn’t actually meet in person until July. On July 25, Andrea went to a Christmas in July party hosted by her friends Kayla and Dan, who coincidentally live around the corner from Patrick’s parents, where Patrick was hanging out for the night. The pair put two and two together, and Andrea convinced Patrick to swing by the party. Patrick showed up shoeless (he had officiated a wedding earlier and didn’t have a change of shoes) but brought an offering of Bud Light so Andrea figured he was alright. Before leaving, Patrick asked to take Andrea out for dinner the next day and she agreed. Patrick will tell you that that night was their first date, however, the REAL first date occurred the next day when they met for dinner at Santora’s. A few hours of conversation and a shared goat cheese and prosciutto flatbread (highly recommend by the way) was all it took! The two have been inseparable ever since.
So what’s up with all of the Chip and Jo references and what is the significance? Andrea has loved Chip and Joanna since they debuted on HGTV. A dream of Andrea’s has always been to remodel old homes and to restore their character. She loves Joanna’s design aesthetic and hoped to one day design her future home like Jo did. Andrea also loved Chip and Jo’s story, specifically their marriage. Chip is Joanna’s biggest cheerleader and puts her onto the highest pedestal. Andrea had told her mom that she wanted to find a man like Chip and hoped for a love like theirs one day. While Andrea was aimlessly scrolling through whatever dating app it was they met on, Andrea came across Patrick’s profile. Not only was he handsome, but his bio read “just a Chip Gaines looking for his Joanna”. Andrea immediately swiped right (said yes to matching for anyone isn’t familiar with the dating app lingo) and was happy to see Patrick had already swiped right and the two matched. When Andrea asked Patrick what he meant by looking for a Joanna, Patrick explained that he had recently purchased a building that is in need of serious renovations and is looking for someone with an eye for design. He also told Andrea that he was looking for someone who is independent, strong willed, and opinionated just like Joanna. (Poor Patrick had no idea what he was asking for…) Andrea and Patrick spent many many hours together remodeling “Bird” (the name given to the building Patrick purchased); getting to know one another while painting, sanding, and mudding. Patrick taught Andrea how to install flooring, while Andrea came up with colors and kitchen layouts. The couple not only learned how to work together, but how to compromise and how to navigate through projects. Soon enough, 3 out of the 5 apartments were completely remodeled. When Patrick asked Andrea to marry him, he asked her to build an empire with him, and that’s exactly what they’re set out to do. The couple is closing on another rental property in January 2023 with dreams of one day making this their full time gig. And this is all thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Our lives were forever changed with one phone call on January 23, 2023. Positive for invasive ductal carcinoma. When the call came, Patrick rushed home from work. He walked through the door and wrapped his arms around me and said “it’s going to be okay. We are going to get through this”. We. From the moment I found out, Patrick became my secretary. He took charge of scheduling consults, speaking with the insurance company, contacting our wedding vendors. You name it, he did it. You see, Patrick is a fixer. He couldn’t make my cancer go away, but he would do everything he could to make my life a little bit easier. At our first consult, he took notes as the doctor spoke because he knew I wasn’t processing anything. Patrick began researching Paxman Cooling Caps, because a coworker he knew had used it. At our consult, Patrick learned how to put the cap on me and how to make sure it was on tightly and securely. Most women have to learn how to do it for themselves. Not me. He also became my advocate, speaking up when I couldn’t. Before every appointment, Patrick would ask “so what are we going to ask about today?” because he knew I would forget in the moment. When treatment began, we quickly became popular with the nurses. Although I’m not sure it was me. Patrick is pretty popular with the ladies! Let’s be real, it’s because we’re young, we didn’t need much, and they knew that we knew what we were doing. Out of the 16 treatment sessions, Patrick never missed one. If he had to leave halfway or had to run to a meeting after, he coordinated with my mom so I didn’t have to worry about it. This was just as much his fight as it was mine. I’ve never questioned his love or my love for him. But after going through cancer, I’ve never been more sure that he’s the love of my life. A few people have joked by saying “well this is the ultimate test!” and they’re right. Marriage is hard. It’s full of ups and downs and stressful times. Learning how to navigate an extremely difficult and stressful time while engaged has been the biggest blessing for us. We’ve learned how to give each other grace, how to grieve together, and how to support each other. Breast cancer threw us for a loop, but we’ve grown so much stronger from it. We’ve certainly made the breast of it.