Jonah is loving and strong-willed. These are two adjectives that I think anyone who knows Patrice would use to describe her. Being strong-willed is what makes him a fighter, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What first attracted you to Patrice?
I was attracted to her for the first time on our senior trip after high school graduation. She had just gotten out of the shower. Seriously. (Note from Patrice: I was fully dressed with a towel on my head. Don’t freak out, Dad... See? Inappropriate. I told you guys.) It was because of her playfulness and sense of humor. She was and still is so much fun to be around.
What is something that you have learned about Patrice since you had Jonah?
The fact that she became Supermom did not surprise me. I expected this all along. It’s one of the reasons I married her.
Her ability to adapt did surprise me. I would have never have imagined how quickly she adapted to caring for an EB baby, and how quickly she used the resources available to her to make the best decisions for Jonah.
Do you think you have the coolest wife ever?
What do you love most about Patrice?
What I love the most about Patrice is her laugh. If she laughs, I laugh. There are few things in this world that make me feel more alive than her laugh.
What do you respect most about Patrice?
She is herself all the time. You may have guessed by the transparency on her blog, and she is like that in real life. You don’t have to wonder where she stands on any issue or how she is feeling at that moment.
What do you think is her most beautiful feature?
Her eyes. I am so thankful that Jonah has her blue eyes.
What is one thing about Jonah that makes you smile?
Jonah laughs at the pictures of himself on the wall. He loves looking at himself. He must get that from me. Patrice says that I look in the mirror a lot. I also think it’s funny when he farts.
What is the single most important event in WFU sports history and why?
In my lifetime, many would say the most important was winning the ACC football championship in 2006 and playing in the Orange Bowl and proving that WFU can contend on a national scale. But I would have to say that my favorite event was the 1995 ACC Tournament in which Wake won by beating Duke, UVA, and UNC in the championship game. Randolph Childress (my favorite basketball player of all time), broke the single tournament scoring record with 40, 30, and 37 points respectively.
What is your perfect date? If you had 4-5 hours of date time with Patrice what would you do to sweep her off of her feet?
Humphrey Bogart once said, “A hot dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz.” That said, my dream date would be a couple of hot dogs at a baseball game followed by a trip to Waffle House for a cheese steak omelet, grits, and hashbrowns scattered (on the grill), smothered (with onions) and covered (with cheese). If you’d like, you can also get them chunked (with ham), diced (with tomatoes), and topped (with chili).
Oh wait, the point was to sweep Patrice off of her feet? Oops. I am not much of a romantic, even though I wish I were. Patrice likes to eat, so I would definitely take her to a restaurant. Somewhere where we could sit outside that had some nice scenery. She also likes to take walks, either through downtown, on a beach, in the park. No movies and no sports for sure.
How many Target charges appear on your credit card statement each month?
Wow, so far in October only four. I would estimate eight to ten per month.
What do you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
For breakfast, Pop Tarts. Usually Frosted Strawberry.
For lunch, usually leftovers at work during the week, but on weekends, usually a double decker fried bologna sandwich on toast with Honey BBQ Fritos.
For dinner, whatever Patrice cooks. If she doesn’t cook, then Chick-fil-A. Sunday night is always pizza night.
I don’t claim to eat healthy, but at least the Pop Tarts that I eat are low fat.
What do you do for work? Is your work supportive of some of the extra needs Jonah has? Are they willing to work with your schedule?
I am an accountant for a staffing company. I would tell you the name the company that I work for, but the last time that it got out some freaksickle called me at work while Jonah was in the NICU and told me he could help Jonah if I could convince the hospital to use his machine along with water treatments. I don’t know exactly what kind of machine it was, but I am imagining that it is like the death machine in The Princess Bride that takes a year off of your life every time you use it.
My work is super supportive of Jonah’s special needs. I work a little bit of a modified schedule and I also have the capability to work from home when needed.
What are some of these “hilariously inappropriate” things that Patrice is referring to?
Hilariously inappropriate? She may be referring to me constantly quoting lines from some of my favorite movies, wholesome flicks like Clerks, Dogma, Old School, and Wedding Crashers or maybe the fact that I am too open with my bodily functions.
We know that Patrice wants more kids? What is your perspective on this? Do you want more kids?
I used to joke that I wanted nine kids so I could have my own baseball team. I definitely want more kids. It is tough to come to terms with the fact that we will most likely never have another child that is genetically ours. That being said, Jonah is more than enough for me in that respect. So, yes, I definitely want more kids. Patrice and I have discussed embryo adoption. She wants to get this process started sooner than later. I just want to be able to sleep past 9:00 a.m. one Saturday before we have another kid.
Are you sarcastic?
Yes. I would try to think of something sarcastic to say to prove this, but that just seems like a lot of work.
Do you speak Spanish?
I can understand it better than I can speak it. Patrice and I were in the same Spanish class our junior year and senior year of high school. Patrice was very good student, and I liked to watch TV. I made a higher grade than her when we had a test on a play we had to read “La Dama del Alba.” The test also had some vocabulary on it. Patrice says I only made a higher grade than her because she didn’t know there was going to be any vocab on the test, so she didn’t study it, but I didn’t even read the play. I use this one instance to illustrate my superiority over Patrice in the world of Spanish even though she is fluent and I can’t even order at El Maguey.
Matt’s Spanish lesson for the day- How do you say “I would win”?
Say it out loud.
What words of wisdom/fatherly advice can you pass on to first time parents?
You think you know, but you have no idea. I didn’t realize the constancy of it all. It is 100% full throttle all the time. You have to be able to put your needs aside and focus all of your energy into someone who is totally dependent on you, and it’s totally worth it. At the same time appreciate every little moment, because you never know when it will be taken away.
How did you propose to Patrice?
I proposed to Patrice the day she got back from three weeks in Argentina. She had been there over winter break. When she came home, we went out to eat at a Japanese steakhouse and then to my apartment to exchange Christmas gifts, and I had our song “Blue Sky” by the Allman Brothers Band playing and I had written her a letter so that when she was done she would see me down on one knee with the ring. She said yes and also gave me a baseball card autographed by Marcus Giles. That was a good night.
What is your favorite dish that Patrice makes? Can I have the recipe?
My favorite dish that Patrice makes is bacon wrapped beef tenderloin and baked potatoes stuffed with cheese, onions, and mushrooms.
Recipe: Wrap meat in meat. Take potato and put cheese, onions, and mushrooms in it. Patrice can probably give you the real one.
Do you like Target?
Target is okay. I like it best when Diet Dr. Pepper is on sale.
Do you like Chick-fil-A?
Yes, I love it every bit as much as Patrice. I get a #1, no pickle, value sized with Diet Dr. Pepper. And of course Chick-fil-A sauce, which I have you guys to thank for.
What is your favorite sport? Who is your favorite pro and college team?
What an excellent question. Living on Tobacco Road, I would have to say that basketball is my favorite sport. I am also a huge fan of baseball and football. My favorite college team is Wake Forest and my favorite pro team is the Atlanta Braves.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Edy’s Girl Scouts Somoas Cookie Ice Cream.
What is your most favorite food ever that you swear you could not live without?
Well, my favorite food is probably pizza. I think I could live without it though. The one thing I could not live without is Diet Dr. Pepper. My dentist asked me if I was going to stop drinking it after I had nine cavities one visit. I said no and quit going to that dentist.
Do you use insensitive remarks and/or stares as an opportunity to educate others about EB?
I have not gotten any insensitive remarks yet, but we get a lot of terrible stares. I just stare right back. If we are outside, I make sure to take off my sunglasses so the person knows I am staring at them. I know it’s bad. I am working on it.
If you could give Jonah one pieces of advice to help him in life what would it be?
I tell Jonah every time that I am dressing him that we are putting his pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else. It is important that he realizes that he is no different than anyone else, and can still do anything that he sets his mind to, but won’t be given anything either. He could be a missionary who brings people to Christ or he could be a doctor that finds a cure for EB, but he will have to work for it. He may be physically limited, but the power of his heart, soul and mind are limitless. EB cannot touch any one of these things.
Don't miss the post below if you'd like a Jonah update.