Monday, February 25, 2013


When we had talked about the wedding we had wanted we definitely thought we would be having an outdoor wedding and knew it would be on his church grounds. BUT- in January you just never know what weather you are going to get and outside was no longer an option. His church was too small to hold our guest list, and I have attended his church since we started dating. Knowing his church was not an option we looked elsewhere. We only scheduled one ceremony venue appointment, knowing this was closest to our #1 reception place and very convenient.

This is where things get tricky.

Conrad loved it, I didn't.
I expected to love it and to just see things fall into place perfectly. Which they did anyways, just not my original plan.
The first thing I noticed when I walked in was two aisles, each one on the side of the middle pew. No middle aisle. CHAOS.
I seem to be the person who can't hide my feelings- thanks momma.
It was very obvious that I was not going to get married in this place the second I walked in. It just wasn't it for me. Along with that, I felt that the person the church assigned to do our wedding was not someone who related to Conrad and I and didn't feel like she would help make our day what we wanted, but that it would follow a more traditional feel. There were a few other things that I didn't like, but in the end I knew I wanted to walk down a middle aisle to my groom.

I spent some time on google and searched for many churches around the area that we could call and ask questions. (At this time we had decided on our reception location, so we knew somewhere close to it would be ideal.)

Questions We asked:

  • How many people can fit in the sanctuary?
  • Do you have a middle aisle?
  • Can anyone marry us in your church or does it have to be your pastor? (Obviously we wanted to be able to bring in our own person.)
  • Is counseling required through the church? (We are doing a kind of counseling, but since we are long distance we couldn't get married in a church that required so many weeks of counseling, and also didn't want to do it with someone we didn't know.)
  • What time can we get into the church the day of the wedding?
  • Is the space available the night before for rehearsal dinner?
  • How close together are the bridal suite and the place where the groom gets ready? We do not want to be able to run into each other before the ceremony!
Where we finally decided.. UP NEXT!

Monday, February 18, 2013


One of the first things I did, even before date was look at venues.
I loved looking at possible places to get married, they each had something different to offer and it was so fun to look. I made appointments with 6 places for us to go look, and ended up cancelling 5 of them! What can I say, we knew what we wanted! 

  • Open Vendor policy- I wanted to be able to get catering and other services through different companies. I found that many places that provided food were racking up the prices and it was very pricey. Plus, with our wedding not being super formal we didn't need baked salmon with gold and special asparagus. Too fancy for this shindig. 
  • Close- Location was very important. We didn't want to have to travel a far way. Many of the places we looked at were in downtown KC- 30 minutes away. A little inconvenient for travelers and not my cup of joe.
  • Fun!- We needed something that could allow us to be us. We didn't need chandeliers, nakey men statues, and any other odd decorations. We just needed fun and colorful.
  • Modern- We didn't want something vintage or old. We weren't super set on a church for our location, but knew we didn't want something oldish looking.
  • A middle aisle- I didn't know this was a want of mine until we looked at the first church and I sound found out that was a definite requirement. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

332 days.

Yes, I know. A little soon to have a countdown but when you have been together for almost 6 years how can you resist counting down the days that you get to be together, physically, NEAR each other and not long distance bull crap. (you can tell how I feel about that).

I am so looking forward to our marriage. and I don't want that to get lost in the bulk of wedding related posts I will be doing coming up. But! Weddings are so much fun to talk about and there are so many details that go into planning a wedding and I am so excited to share this journey on my new blog!

First things first.

Picking a date. 
This is one of the first things Conrad and I did. There were so many options, and if it had been left entirely up to us and including no common sense we might have got married this summer. (Yes, in a few months.) Once we actually thought about it, we realized it would be even better if we could get married and be able to stay together and not go our separate ways back to college. 
We each have to return to school in the Fall. He will be playing his last season of college football, while I will be student teaching. We will each graduate and be done with college in December 2013. Sooo..

That brings us to...
January 11th 2014. 
OUR wedding day! 
We decided to pick a day soon after our graduation because we will be moving to Chicago. We didn't want to postpone moving out there for six months in order to have a summer wedding. So we are breaking the mold and going to have a blast at our winter wedding. 

Don't let this picture fool you... It will not be on a beach. 
Hang on. Location next!

Monday, February 11, 2013


People. Places. and lastly- Things.

Things I love.

My bible. 
This book is everything I need in life. Sometimes I think if there was a fire and I had to escape I would grab my bible and run. Weird that I think that? Maybe. Welcome to the mind of Samantha. 
This is a life plan. There are so many answers to life in this book and its all I need.

Yes that is my sweet lil niece Finley Joy. She is being a glow worm sleepy head. But for real. Being away from my family and love for all this long hasn't been easy. I am so thankful for Skype to be able to talk to my family and Conrad a little bit easier. Also add on Facetime- now that I am in the iPhone club.

My Tattoos.
I love these things. I think of Tattoos as a way of art, a way of style, and a way to represent yourself.
My first tattoo was on my side and it says Mema. That is for my grandma that passed away and I will never forget her and love having her name on me at all times. 
My second tattoo is Jeremiah 29:11. This has been such a cool addition to my life. I love sharing with people what Jeremiah 29:11 says. (GO READ IT!) and everyone who sees my tattoo asks. Hello spreading the Gospel! Yes it is on my arm, yes it is public- just how I want my faith to be.

I am so thankful to have softball in my life. I only have 4 months left of this wonderful sport, but I will cherish the lifelong memories, friendships, and growth that have occurred because of it. 

This is a packet of lesson plans I will be teaching in a Kindergarten classroom this spring. I love teaching and being in the classroom and learning what it takes to be a teacher. I am so thankful for my education at Drake and the resources and materials we have to help me and my classmates become better teachers. 

These are things that easily came to my mind- there are probably so many more, but this is all for now.

TO COME- Wedding planning details. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013



I started off this blog talking about places that have my heart. Now I want to venture over to the living, breathing, wonderful people who have forever had my heart and always will.-- My beautiful family.

You are my rock. I sometimes wonder what my life would be like without you, and I know it would be so different because you have had an EVERLASTING effect on everything in my life. I am going to marry such an amazing guy and he is just like you. You have been the best role model and have challenged me to have such high standards for my future mate, and I have found that- because of you. You are my first love, and will always hold that place in my heart, a place no one can ever fill. You are everything I have ever needed in a daddy. Sometimes people say that what they think of God comes a lot from their father and you have started off my relationship with him on the perfect note. You never let me down and love me unconditionally, just as the Lord does. I love the passion you have about so many different things, and am so grateful that your passion is something I have acquired. Softball holds a lot of my passion, and I am thankful that we have sports to talk about and share pure joy in. I love the way you love my mommy. I love the way you love Bailey and I. I love the way you laugh so hard you can barely breathe. I love looking into the stands and seeing you, knowing you want the best for me. I love the way you listen and I love the help you offer to me. I just love you so much, for you, exactly how you are. So thank you, for making me cry writing this, but really for being the best dad I could have ever imagined and believing in me no matter what.

Wow. I don't even know where to start. The other day in class we had to write down someone we admire. It was the easiest question I have ever answered- YOU. You are my best friend in the whole world. I love you more than words can describe. I am so sorry for all the years that we fought so much, but am so thankful that we are beyond that now. I look at you and see someone that I want to become. Someone who enjoys life so much, someone who isn't afraid to be herself, someone who will speak her mind. Because of this we have grown so much closer. I can always rely on you for a honest opinion. I see the pain you go through with your headaches, pain that I can't imagine and I see you wake up on days without those and seize the day no matter what happened the day before. You make my heart smile and I hope that if ever faced with a challenge like you that I can handle it exactly as you have.  I love when we are both home and I come lay in bed and hang out with you in the mornings. I love waiting all day for you to get off work and going and grabbing a sonic drink. I love jamming with you in the car and singing. I love sitting with you and Aunt Sue in the garage and talking about anything and everything. I love that we share the sense of importance, that little things become huge topics and we can talk about them for hours. I couldn't imagine not having you with wedding planning, it has been such a joy. I love that you want to better yourself every day and you love your family more than life. I love you mommy.

I desire to become someone that you look up to. Someone that you know will always be here for you, to laugh, to cry, to talk, and to listen. I want to be the best big sister to you. I want us to understand each other, to love each other, and to share life with each other. Our friendship is one of the most important to me in the world. I look at Mom, Aunt Sue, and Aunt Sharon and I love watching them together. I want that to be us. I have enjoyed nothing more than seeing you succeed. I am so thankful that you loved cheer and watching you go through that process was so rewarding as your big sissy. I am so thankful that you love college and are making friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I love that you love your friends, that you would do anything for them. I love your weird cravings and that you always are needing a sweet tea. I love that we might be messy, but we don't care. I love looking at you and laughing without even having to say a word. I love that you can come to me about anything, and I hope that never stops. I love living life with you. Even 6 hours away I feel like we are closer than ever. I have loved watching you grow up and become a strong woman of God. Knowing I will get to hang out with you in Heaven makes my heart happy. I love you Bay, you are the best sister a girl could have. 

Bubby. I am so so thankful for you. Our family wouldn't be the same with out you. I love how content you are with life. I love that you know who you are and aren't afraid to share it. One thing I like about being older is being able to have talks with you at another level. When you call me at school it is such a great feeling. I love knowing you care and take the time out of your life to give me a call. I feel like we are on the same page about so many things in life. I feel like you understand me. I love laughing with you about such random things. I love making up nicknames for Bay with you. (sup BP)  I have loved seeing you on this journey to become a  Dad. I am so sad I won't be close to see you every day, but I know we will still stay in touch. You are going to be such a good Dad to Finley and she will be so lucky to have you. And in 15 years when she is giving you problems, give me a call and I can help you out. I am so thankful for our friendship and for the growth. I am so thankful that we are always here for each other. I love you brother.

New (but really not) Sissy. This is so funny to write, because you have been apart of my life for so long. I think back to my childhood and you were there, and that is so amazing. You and Patrick's relationship is so awesome and I love having you two to look up to. It is such a cool feeling to have someone who fits in with our weird and quirky family. I will never forget when you wrote me letters when I was younger. I loved receiving them in the mail. I loved that you loved Tinkerbell  and had that youth in your heart. You were always someone I looked up to and I loved that you loved me. I cannot believe it has been 12 years that you have been in Patrick and our lives. Seeing you becoming a Mommy is so awesome. I know that 2012 was hard for you, but God has such an amazing plan and I can't wait to see more of it happen. God wants you to be a mom- how freaking cool is that. I am so thankful to have another sissy, and so thankful that it is you! I love you Jenny.

Future family member  Finley Joy-
Tomorrow I will have a brand new baby niece! She is going to be the sweetest lil thang ever. I can't wait to teach her how to shake her booty! 

Well--- that was emotional. Does anyone have a Kleenex? :)

 I am BEYOND blessed with the family God has given me and just wanted to share how thankful I am for each of them. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One Story. Two Sides.

I shared with Conrad that I was going to talk about our love story and he said he wanted to write something too. So we are going to introduce each other and tell our side of our love story. Get ready. Warning- possible mushy stuff ahead.

Take a second. Go ahead and stare at the handsome man above. WOW! That is my fiance, Conrad! (still is so weird to say). HE IS SOOO FINE! His personality is even more attractive than his looks. I know, you are wondering how that is possible- keep reading ;)

This love journey began a long time ago (almost 6 years) in the best town ever. I knew of him from sports and school and thought he was definitely a hottie! I knew he was on the football and basketball teams. I knew he was the perfect height and his winks in the hallway melted my heart. We were sophomores in high school, each 15 years old. I remember a birthday party and playing underground church and snuggling while we were hiding. I remember text messages and AIM exchanged. I remember our first date. Sledding and Chilis date (which became such a memorable booth).  March 3, 2007 while hanging out in his basement Conrad drew on my back with his finger "let's go out". I did the ARE YOU SERIOUSSSSSS and the rest is history. :)

Favorites of our relationship: Our first date, high school football games, all the Christmas dates, all the tears and growth, traveling to see each other, surprise visits, and dinner dates.

Conrad proposed November 24th 2012 at Chili's at the same booth that we had our first date. It was the most perfect and beautiful thing that has ever happened to me. I had no idea it was coming, and thought it was at least a year away from now. He picked out the ring with the help of his mother and sister and it is AMAZING. Everything I have ever imagined and more.
Our wedding day is something I think about ALL the time. I can't wait to walk down the aisle and see his smiling face. 

Things you should know about Conrad:
  • He is such a man. He is honest, forgiving, and the strongest person I know.
  • He loves the Lord. He is always wanting to grow closer to God and I love praying with him.  
  • He makes me laugh. No one can make me laugh like he does, I sometimes act like he is ridiculous, but that's because he is so hysterical. 
  • He is literally the hardest worker I have ever met. I have never met someone who pushes past their limits all the time. He works out so hard and puts in a lot of extra time to better himself and be the quarterback his team needs. 
  • He is a dreamer. He has huge dreams and is not afraid to follow them. He wants to help so many people. Which is why he has started a non-profit with his best friend to help others. 
  • He loves me like Jesus does. He sees past my flaws, forgives me, and loves me no matter what.
I am so thankful that I have such a God loving man in my life and can't wait to share with you all the fun things that are ahead on this road.


Well this is my side of the Schottel story. My account of the original events that would eventually throw two personalities the equivalent of William Wallace and Cinderella into a roller coaster of Love and War that Samantha and I call our own story. 6 yrs later it proves to be true that these initial scenes of our life together would lead us into the ecstatic yet challenging process of planning a wedding together. But that post is for another day.
1st let me introduce you to my fancy fiance Samantha West. I refer to her as ‘Samantha soon to be Schottel.’ She is a beautiful soul with a captivating smile and one quirky personality that I love and cherish. She loves softball, she loves her family, and she loves me (Most of the time).  She is extremely competitive and strong willed. Samantha has knack for listening to and identifying with others, no matter what place in life they find themselves.  She loves to dance goofily, and typically owns an original quote or slogan she will consistently use no matter if a situation calls for it. She is finishing up her last year of softball playing at Drake University and she loves to be around her teammates.

Now I’ll start with the official time period in which Samantha and I first became tighter than butt cheeks. This time period of euphoric love began for us in 10th grade. We were both sophomores at the illustrious Kearney R-1 School district. She was one cute gal, and I had always had a thing for her. We had been friend for a little over the year at this time. I wanted to pursue her but there was a slight problem. She had a boyfriend who was a senior at the time… So I naturally did what any young man in his right mind does to a taken woman he is attracted to….I walked her to and from Biology 6th hour, and utilized a charming wink to her across the hustle and bustle of high school traffic during passing periods.

To make a long story longer….. We went to a party our sophomore year. A really crazy one. Raging Kegger. And when I say a really crazy raging kegger, I mean a birthday party at which there were multiple chaperones serving us cake and ice cream while we recreationally played board games. One thing led to another, and I found myself in a life and death game of Underground church (it's like hide and seek, only on steroids.) Samantha and I were on the same team and we were hiding partners. Ooo la la. While being searched for by the enemy we quickly jumped into a nearby bedroom, and hid under the covers. TOGETHER. (I was one nervous/giddy schoolboy). While our captors entered the room to look for us, I performed the courageous act of pulling Samantha very close to me. We dodged a bullet and were not found. As our opponents left the room, we decided to get out of the bed, and hide in the loft area of the room. There we sat and talked nervously and giddily for a few moments, neither of us bringing up the recent groundbreaking occurrence of a 5 second snuggle we shared. While we continued to chat, I gently put my arm around Samantha and pulled her closer to me. We talked for what seemed like hours, and as the saying goes, the rest was history. 

 and Conrad

Monday, February 4, 2013


Places that have my heart.

Kearney, Missouri.

  • Where I grew up and made great friends.
  • Where I spent my summers at the pool.
  • Where I fell in love.
  • Where I spent my Friday nights at the football field cheering on my quarterback.
  • Where I wore purple and gold as much as I could.
  • Where I was a member of the State Championship Softball team.

Des Moines, Iowa
  • Where I branched out from everything I have ever known.
  • Where I decided to follow my dreams and play college softball.
  • Where I joined a team of 15 girls who will forever hold a place in my heart.
  • Where I have learned the hardest lessons of my life.
  • Where I have grown as a future educator.
  • Where I have learned to be forgiving. 
  • Where I have found a sense of being, and identity.
  • Where God captured my heart. 

Kirksville, Missouri

  • Where my true love, best friend, and fiance resides.
  • Where I spend my weekends in the fall.
  • Where I wear my #14 jersey.
  • Where I lose my voice from cheering so loud.
  • Where I have felt a home away from home. 

Liberty, Missouri

  • Where I had my first date with Conrad at Chilis.
  • Where almost 6 years later he got down on his knee and asked my hand in Marriage.
  • Where we will tie the knot in 341 days!

Read this blog and follow the journey that Conrad and I are about to embark on with the end of our college athletic careers, graduating college, wedding planning, and packing up our lives and moving to Illinois. 

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