bluegrass lovebirds: erica + samuel

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we felt that we needed an extra dose of love this week in the form of another set of lovebirds, and maybe some chocolate madeleines, too.

The third couple in this year’s bluegrass lovebirds series are close to our heart, as Erica works at a place that we love–the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.  Introducing…


Tell us a bit about yourselves…

I was born in Saint Augustine, Florida and at the age of 8, my single mother and I moved to Costa Rica to reconnect with our family’s roots in Santa Ana. 10 years later, I graduated high school and moved to Ohio to attend college. After a semester, I realized it wasn’t a good fit for me so I moved to Brandenburg, Kentucky to live with my aunt where I enrolled in community college in Louisville. After earning my associates degree, I applied and was accepted to Berea College in Berea, KY. I graduated with a major in Communication and a minor in Peace and Social Justice in May 2013. Currently, I am the Youth Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. Originally from Lexington, Sam graduated with a degree in Political Science from Berea College in 2012. He is currently working at to save money for law school. We have a beautiful, sweet, spoiled grey tabby named Katniss. We adopted her from one of our Berea College professors in July 2013 when she was 10 weeks old.

How did you first meet? Was it “love at first sight” or were you “just friends”?

We first met in our Human Rights and International Law class at Berea College in August of 2011. We were both assigned to the same group. Our group project was to prepare a presentation about capital punishment. It was during one of the meetings that I realized I really liked him. Sam found out through the grapevine (as it happens at a very small school), but I wasn’t trying to hide my feelings for him. I’m sure my constant ‘looking over my shoulder’ to see him in class was a dead giveaway (haha).

Where did you go on your first date?

The first time we hung out one on one was for a Fairness march and rally in Berea. Our first date was to the Paddy Wagon, an Irish bar in Richmond.

Where did you share your first kiss?

The Paddy Wagon.


When did you know that he/she was “the one”?

I realized Sam was the one when he surprised me with a bag of goodies (soap, tissues, snacks, water) at the bus stop (after only having been dating for a month or so). I was headed to NYC for

Occupy Wall Street with 15 other Berea students. That realization was further reinforced when upon my return, he surprised me with flowers. He was just so considerate and sweet, how could I not fall for a man like that?!

Tell us about your engagement proposal…

Sam proposed to me during Mayfest 2014 in front of the bronze boy and girl fountain in Lexington with a ring he purchased from a local artist at the festival. He got down on one knee in front of hundreds of people. It was incredibly romantic and of course, I said YES!


What are your wedding plans?

As I’m writing this, we have not officially set a date but we do have one in mind. The small, intimate wedding will be sometime this year. For our honeymoon, we’d love to travel to Europe together.

He Said/She Said


My partner’s best quality is…

Erica: Sam is one of the most considerate and intelligent people I have ever met. He’s also a very talented writer. I don’t think I can pick just one quality!

Sam: What I love most about Erica is her indelible passion for helping people. She always gives so much of herself and never expects anything in return.
The thing about my partner that drives me crazy is…

Erica: He tends to be forgetful and a tad disorganized, but he makes up for it by being the house chef!

Sam: She likes everything to be clean and orderly, even if no one is coming over.

My number one piece of advice about love is…

Erica: Don’t rush it. If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Sam: Be yourself. Love someone for who they truly are.


Thanks, Erica and Sam!  Happy Valentine’s Day and best of luck with all of your wedding preparations!


Be sure to catch up on the 2015 lovebirds series here and here, or check out 2013 and 2014.  More coming your way this month!


To true love.




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28 year-old Lexingtonian life-long romantic married to her wonderful husband, loving life with a sweet baby boy likes movies (especially the classics), baking, throwing parties and entertaining, shopping for the best deals in town, taking long walks & playing with her golden retriever

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