Growing up, I once heard, “It’s just as easy to marry a rich man as it is a poor man.”
Before I truly begin, let me clarify before they pass out….MY PARENTS NEVER SAID THIS. It was uncomfortable to hear. It felt like I heard a secret that I did not want to know. That phrase was a big burden to put on a little girl.
I took the advice to heart, however, and married a very rich man. I married a man who’s riches are so overflowing that there are not enough hours in the day for him to count his blessings. I married a man who is so rich that he cannot sleep at night because his riches consume his thoughts. I married a man who is so rich that his head reaches the clouds when he walks (or drives his car) and he cannot see past them. Are you understanding me yet? I married a man who had a dream and pursued it with a passion and is now watching that dream and hard work come to fruition.
My husband, Patrick Szurpicki, loves designing homes and buildings. He also loves understanding how to construct them. As a child, he and his 2 best friends may or may not have stolen lumber from their elementary school to build a treehouse for the littlest brother in the group. They may or may not have spent an entire day hauling that lumber to a house where Patrick dreamed up an amazing treehouse. IF they did this childish theft, they definitely were told to return the lumber and take ownership of the theft. My point here is that the passion started young! He has brought much excitement and life to our 1300 square foot home over the last 10 years we have lived in it. Any idea we imagine, he finds a way to make happen. His gift transforms lives by making houses into homes. Home is where you retreat for peace and laughter. I cannot think of a better gift than what he has been able to give to both his family and his clients. He has spent the last 20 years honing his craft and has decided to take a leap of well planned faith to officially name his business and work for himself.
Best friends since grade school and now a client.
Designed by Studio Build CA
Because of his dream and passion for life, my children will grow up learning how to pursue what you love and how to have a strong work ethic; how to do things the right way because their father models that for them. I may have been uncomfortable hearing such an outlandish phrase as a child, but I heard what was being said, and followed it my own way. It is easy to marry a rich man.
Studio Build CA is officially open for business. I would ask for your support if you are on Instagram by following it @studiobuildca.
“Studio Build CA is where your vision becomes reality. Studio Build CA owner, Patrick Szurpicki, has over 20 years of experience in residential home design. He knows the client relationship is as important as the final project. Studio Build CA works with some of the most innovative contractors and engineers who are motivated by concierge style home remodeling. Feel confident choosing a team that knows how to get your project built with beauty and efficiency.”
I have been married for a dozen years on June 10th. I keep reflecting on this. I like the sound of it more than the sound of 12 years. I think it is the materialist in me. A dozen eggs, a dozen necklaces, a dozen doughnuts….mmmm. Like a dozen eggs, a couple of years have been cracked and (emotionally) discarded, but most of them have made wonderful food for the soul. I am happy. I am sated. I look forward with joy in my marriage. I know that a dozen years later, I am still beloved to him, as he is to me.
My husband and I met in high school. Adolescence threw me two giant curve balls otherwise known as breasts and I went from an A cup to a D cup in one year. This is NOT the stuff dreams are made of for a young girl, despite how it may sound. There was a traumatic bra buying incident where my mother learned that she could fit her head inside the cup of my bra. I loved that woman madly, but my 14-year-old humor had not evolved enough for that joke.
I reference my gigantic adolescent boobs because they are responsible for meeting my husband. Any and every 16-year-old boy is interested in advanced female physical development and we started dating. Any adult can tell you this is not enough to sustain a relationship and 4 weeks later it was over because he fell deeply in love with my dearest friend. I loved her far more than I liked him and we all moved on in high school. By that I mean that I detested him but still loved her.
Fast forward 10 years and a meeting as adults. I lived in Manhattan and he lived in Chicago. He found my email address we became really good friends. His humor got me. His humor! Our locations dictated that our friendship had to come first and I am forever grateful for this. Without a physical connection, we learned so much about each other. I went through a quarter life crisis and he was my rock, my sounding board and my greatest cheerleader. To this day, he is my greatest cheerleader. His belief in my abilities lifts my heart and I pray he never finds out I am not as talented as he believes.
We have had times when we did not really like one another. We have had times when a bit of the faith in love was lost. There was a year I was really mad and did not know how to get passed it. There were a few years where we were broken together trying to start a family.
In all of that, we had faith and perseverance because of our foundation. That friendship forged on a landline phone grounded us. Our knowledge and love of what was deep down inside has sustained our marriage. I love him and depend on his love returned. He is the best father for our two boys. I pinch myself when I think about what he does for our family. A lot of it he does because that is who he is as a man, but I know there is quite a bit in it because he loves me. That makes me swoon just as it did a dozen years ago saying “I do.”
A few years ago he asked me why I had chosen to get a breast reduction. I felt like he was speaking a different language. I looked at him and said it was because they were miserable, always in the way and probably would be to my waist by now. He said, “They were the coolest thing ever.”
I kind of love that the awful teenager still resides just a little bit inside the body of the most beloved man. Cheers Patrick, to us and a dozen years!
Katie: You know our neighbor’s cat pees on everything. If we don’t cover the hole to the crawl space, he’s going to come in here.
Pat: He’s not going to come in here.
(A couple of minutes later, cat strolls through house. Pat and I scramble while I repeat over and over “I told you so”.)
Welcome to the crack den. Pat does not find this term amusing. He also didn’t find it amusing when I told him I was sure I would find used needles in the backyard. In his defense, I am extremely dramatic. I did think of placing one of my ivf needles out there as a joke, but didn’t think it would go over very well.
Pat and I gutted and remodeled 90% of our house when we moved in. By ‘we’ I mean that I fully participated, in the heat, for 3 months and then complained and cleaned. It was brutal. One of the ways I kept myself from going completely savage while cleaning dishes in the bathroom sink was to have fresh flowers anywhere in the crack den. Sumatra and Stargazer lilies are my favorite. They are stunning and have a most glorious smell that can hide many chemical smells. When people came over, I could at least show them that while we lived like squatters, I had not forgotten my manners. I think outside of their visual fabulousness, I gained this love from my mother whose house is always filled with flowers. Her tip is to buy a bouquet and put 1 or 2 flowers in beautiful, tiny vases along window shelves. It looks so pretty and stretches the bouquet.
P.S. Pat is a very accomplished architect. For more of his work, see his website at www.studiobuildca.com. He would love to help you with your den too!
before work started
The crack den look.
The bathroom now only washes humans and canines. No dishes.