They both grew up in Iowa City, but never ran into each other until medical school. “We had a pathology small group together and sat at a long conference table. When it came my turn to present weekly, the group would look at my presentation on the screen, but Nick always had his eyes on me presenting—how obvious!” They started studying together and quickly became friends.
She claims that he tricked her into their first date. “Aforementioned, Nick clearly had eyes on my from the start, but it took me a while to warm up! We became friends and started studying together as that’s really the only thing we did in med school, but we usually kept our study time to the weeknights. After a while, he asked me to study on a Saturday night and I was (secretly) excited with the idea that could be a date! I got to the Java House early and he walked in with another girl (one of our mutual friends). I quickly dismissed the idea that this was a date and reverted to the plan that we were better as friends.
“Eventually, our other friend, Royce, joined the study group and recommended we grab a beer at Sanctuary later in the night. We got to Sanctuary and Lisa sat next to Royce and he put his arm around her, while Nick sat next to me. That’s when I realized that it was a double date! I was caught off guard, but pleasantly surprised!! I still tease Nick that he tricked me into our first date.”
To be fair, he later asked her on an official first date which has now turned into a whole lifetime together ahead of them!
The beginning to their relationship has been anything but ordinary. With both in medical school together, they faced the challenges of the school workload on top of residency relocation. “With medical school finishing, we planned to ‘couple’s match’ together—couple our residency applications so we could end up in the same place. This makes relationships serious because in this process you’re possibly sacrificing your first choice location for your career to be with the other person. [After matching together in Minnesota] and moving their together without knowing anyone, adopting our pup, and getting through the strenuous first year of residency, I knew that we could handle anything together.”
Emily is a self-proclaimed marathon addict (she’s already done 9 and wants to complete the remaining 4 of 6 world marathons) so Nick took the opportunity to schedule a couple’s massage for them with the excuse that she needed one as she was training for an upcoming marathon. “He usually isn’t the one to plan events like this so I had some idea what was happening,” she says. “After the massage, we drove home and there was no ring so I decided that it wasn’t the time after all.”
“I coordinated with a bunch of our friends up here in Minneapolis to have them come over to our apartment while we were gone and set things up (including chilling the champagne and attaching the engagement ring to our dog’s collar). Our friends then proceeded to hide on our small deck with the blinds closed. When Emily and I got back to the apartment, Archie ran over to us with the ring attached to his collar. I got down on one knee and proposed and our friends came inside as a surprise afterwards.”