Life Update

emily gemma blog, the sweetest thing blog, emily gemma blog life update, emily gemma house, emily gemma residency post
(OUTFIT: LA Dodgers hat | Mules (similar) | Black denim | LV Neverfull (buy it used HERE) | Sweater)

So, a lot of exciting things have been going on lately…  If you saw on Snapchat on Sunday, I shared that John, (Fitz), and I decided to buy a house (bc let’s be real – Fitz runs the show in the Gemma household!). I know this is my space for style & beauty, but I wanted to kind of give a little life update.. Mainly because I love following other bloggers and YouTubers and I love when I get to know them a little better! Anyway, I thought it would be fun to just update you all on what is going on with us as well as what our journey through medicine has been like! You may want to grab an iced coffee or something because we all know I can not make a long story short… 

So if you are new here, you may not know that John and I moved to Tulsa, OK June of 2014 for John to start residency. He went to medical school in Virginia so that’s where were were in the beginning (I’ll explain more of that in a second!). My family is in Arkansas (scattered throughout the more northwestern part) so we chose Tulsa for residency because that would mean we were only a couple of hours from them. Tulsa is also much larger than the largest cities in Arkansas and I really liked that it was 4 hours from Dallas. 

Here’s a little backstory on where all we’ve lived.. and just how many times we have moved since we have been married! When I finished grad school, I moved to Virginia to be with John. He was just finishing his first year of medical school. Looking back, I do NOT know how I did it, I know the Lord was guiding me, though (and I was in love, lol!) because I am such a homebody and I definitely am not one to move far from my family (Virginia was 14 hours away). My family is very close knit (I have a brother who is married with 4 kids and a sister who is married with 2 kids and I love both of their families very much). My family really liked John and knew we were serious and my dad (whose opinion I value like no other) told me that if John and I wanted for our relationship to work out with the distance + John’s studies, I would probably need to make the move. The town John lived in was a huge college town so I knew it would be tough for me to find a ‘dream’ job there since I wanted to work for a marketing company. BUT, I moved and I’m so glad I did. I lived totally out of my comfort zone but it was good for me and changed me for the better. That is actually why I started a blog – I wanted my parents to see what we were doing and how wedding planning was going (John proposed during his second year of medical school.) I never started this space thinking it would be a fashion blog or people who weren’t family/friends would ever read it.

When I moved to that town in Virginia, I lived with two girls who were medical students with John. They both are good friends of mine now and we love them so much! They lived in a pretty big house and needed a third roommate and it just happened to work out. The photo below is of John proposing in that house, he had my two roommates hiding on the balcony to snap photos. Moving on… after his second year of medical school we had to move for his 3rd year rotations. His school has a system like the Match process sort of, where you rank where you want to go (its complicated). We ended up on the Virginia/Tennessee state line. We got married right after 2nd year and moved to this new town and lived in a loft downtown which was incredible! The loft was on top of a store on the Main Street (photos below of the inside) and we loved living there during our first year of marriage. There were pretty much no doors in our loft, it was wide open and had gorgeous exposed brick throughout. Anyway, after third year of medical school, we moved because John was doing his audition rotations during his 4th year as well as interviewing for residencies and doing elective rotations. SO, my dad flew in and helped us pack up our loft and drove us back to Arkansas. We left our belongings in a storage unit in my parents town and had to live with them for a couple of months. (Not sure why I say had because we loved it! I’m so grateful to have parents that I am close with!) Then John’s rotations started and that’s when life got even more crazy! He was in Fort Smith, AR one month, Broken Arrow, OK for two months, Little Rock, AR for one month, Lawton, OK for one month.. needless to say it was stressful looking for living arrangements each month, there were times where I felt so down because of this. However, we were blessed to have friends & family friends who literally came to our rescue. For example, when we moved to Broken Arrow for two months – my sister’s best friend from college’s parents (lol), had a house on the market that was empty and they opened it up to us to live in since they were living in a new house. Really though, things always worked out – and again, I was living completely out of my comfort zone! The tough part was that last semester of medical school when we had to move back to Virginia for two rotations and then to Charlotte, NC for a rotation. Again, we were fortunate because a couple from the medical school who knew John’s family had a basement and let us live there for two of the months. And then, for the Charlotte rotation we had to live in an extended stay. What is really funny about Charlotte is — you know how @cmcoving and I are good friends?! Well we followed each other on IG throughout all of this and the first day John started his rotation in Charlotte, I had lunch with Caitlin and then we spent the rest of the month together! I didn’t have an address and I was blogging full time by then, so she let me use her address to get my packages. We grew pretty close that month and have been friends ever since. (We’ve traveled together to Mexico, Vermont, NY, LA, London, Paris, Bermuda, Jamaica, and Dallas.) It’s crazy to look back on all of this and just see how God was working in our lives. It is humbling and reminds me of Proverbs 10:21.. ‘many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails’.  I never in a million years dreamt I’d have to move that many times, live far from my family, OR have a blog! haha. And, who would have thought that a simple one month long medical school rotation would bring a friendship along like I have with Caitlin.. AND, this is funny too, but I doubt John ever imagined he’d be moonlighting as a blogger photographer. (Seriously I am so grateful to have him as my photographer, I realize how fortunate I am to have him help me in what little free time he has.)

John graduated medical school in May of 2014 and then we moved to Tulsa. Our plan was to stay here for 3 years and then we would move on… so we rented a home here. It was not until about 6 mos. ago that we both realized we love Tulsa, we love the hospitals, John’s co-workers, our church, our friends, etc. and we didn’t think we would be ready to leave in 3 years. At this point we realized it would be wise to invest in a home (as opposed to renting each month and paying someone else’s mortgage!). When we first started looking for a home to buy, it was a lot of fun — and after so many weeks of not seeing what we wanted we I kind of gave up! The same night that I gave up and said ‘let’s wait a month and start looking again’, John found the house that we bought. He said ‘come on, lets just go look at it’ and I was reluctant. But! So glad I did because it was exactly what we wanted. The timing was perfect on everything because there were a couple of other serious buyers and we got our offer in, in the nick of time. 

Today is our big day… we are moving. Okay, wait, John is at work (lucky dog!!) But, the movers are coming and my parents as well. John and I spent his vacation time last week moving most of the stuff (minus furniture). SO, you’ll probably see my content change up a bit as we start re-doing stuff, decorating, and COOKING. lol! If you know me at all, you know I am a terrible cook!! But really, the kitchen is big so I told myself and my family that I am going to become a cook and make use out of the kitchen! WE will see how it goes, but thanks to all of you who gave me recipes in the comments last week! I am printing those and using them!! 

So that’s the story – and I am sorry it’s so long but I thought it may be a good way to explain why we are so excited about settling down for more than a year. This will be the first time pretty much. 
^These are just throwbacks from places we lived our first years together.^

I’m going to link some of our furniture/decor that we purchased in the widget below.

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89 thoughts on “Life Update

  1. Funny, I never realised that you live not far away from where I live (Wichita Falls, TX)! It's always great to get to know more about the person behind a blog!
    I am so happy for you two πŸ™‚
    β™‘ Kristina

  2. I just read your post Emily and I can relate so much to it. I am also a fashion blogger who is from Arkansas and went to college there as well. I recently had to move to Indianapolis for my internship for the Dietetic Internship program and luckily, my sweet boyfriend followed me! I loved reading this post because I just felt like it was so relatable to myself. Glad to see another Arkansas girl doing work in the blogging scene! Your blog is fabulous! XOXO Morgan

    P.S. Happy Moving Day!

  3. I love these types of posts & learning more about you! I am so happy for you and John and Fitz! It will be so nice to settle down and I'm really excited for more home decor posts. Love your blog and your snapchat is my absolute favorite to follow!

  4. Emily I absolutely adored this post and learning more about your story with John!! God has truly blessed both of you, especially in how your blog has grown. I admire you for being so honest with readers! I would love to meet you someday in the future when you're back visiting Caitlin here in beautiful Charlotte.

    This post couldn't have come at a better time for me to read because I am preparing to graduate college in less than two months (I went to school here in Charlotte and am staying here post college, despite being from up North!) and getting ready to move into my first apartment after living on campus for 4 years. πŸ™‚ I will be following along for all of your decorating and cooking posts for sure- as these will be new adventures for me too!

    xoxo A

  5. omg emily!! first of all, happy moving day!! Second of all..I read your blog every single day and absolutely LOVED reading every word of this post… It's so amazing to get to know you and to hear your story. I love your bible quote…seriously so meaningful!! I love your and john's story and how I'm sure you guys became stronger throughout the moves and hectic times! Seriously loved this post. Thanks for sharing and LOVE the propsoal pic!!! So cute!! xo


  6. I cant wait to see the house – we need a tour soon! As a fellow Tulsa transplant I totally get the feelings. My parents live in Dallas and I always swore I would move back – little did I know I would fall in love with Tulsa. Its the best "oversized suburb" as I like to call it. Enjoy the new digs

  7. congrats on your new house! that is SO exciting! thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. my husband and I went through quite the transition too when we moved to where he got in to grad school. luckily his first clinical is in our town but who knows where we will head off to for the rest.

    I have a few questions… πŸ™‚
    1. I would love to hear more about your faith! Have you ever done a post about that?
    2. with medical school (and most grad schools) it is inevitable that you have to take out school loans. wondering how you guys have navigated through that and if you have any advice! it seems like you are able to have a lot of fun without being too stingy!

    love your blog.
    XO Lo

  8. I'm so happy for you to have found a great house and not have to move for awhile! I actually live near the Tennessee/Virginia State Line and am guessing you were in Johnson City?! It's a beautiful area, but I totally understand wanting to be near family πŸ™‚ Can't wait to see your new house and your decor!

  9. Congratulations!!! Such wonderful and exciting news!!! I know that you will make your new home beautiful and that you will be cooking up a storm!! πŸ™‚ I loved learning more about you and your story and your photos are great too. You are seriously a beautiful person inside and out too!! This is also proof that if we have faith in God's plan for us, that everything always works out. Thank you so much for sharing and I hope that everything goes well today!! πŸ™‚

  10. Need more posts like this. I loved it! So inspiring and knowing GOD is the one directing your path. You two are amazing! I can't wait to see the new place and how you decorate! Much love to you both and happiness always. xo Tiffany

  11. So happy for you guys! I had no idea you are in Tulsa! My husband and I live in Stillwater and we have family in Tulsa. Enjoy making your new house a home! οΏ½οΏ½

  12. So happy for you and John!! Having a house just makes things feel like they're yours and you can make it into the home that you want. I also absolutely needed this today because I am about to move away from my family and my boyfriend for my pharmacy residency and I am in panic mode. It's so great to hear about how God's plan has shaped your life in these past few years. It is so encouraging!

  13. So, so exciting! From the snaps I saw it looks like a beautiful place. How awesome that you are truly settling down in your own place after all that moving. Nice to see a life update too!!

  14. Congratulations on your new home! I've been following your blog for only a couple of months but one day I went on a binge read from your very first post to the most recent. I couldn't get enough. My family and I are so not ready to "settle down" yet… we're moving to Fort Carson, Colorado in December! After that PCS move, we plan to settle & build our own home. Please post pictures/write a blog about your decor in your new home. You have wonderful taste. Again, congratulations!

  15. How exciting! I don't know why but I'm glad you are staying in Tulsa. Makes me feel like cool people really do live in the Midwest! I live in Joplin, MO so I'm only about 2 hours from you! Good luck on the move and I can not wait to see what you do with your new home!

  16. I love that you took the time to write a little update on your life! I am so excited for you guys to have a house! Right now my hubby is in grad school and we move about every 8 months or so between internships, changing apartments, etc., so I am also really looking forward to the day that we have a home of our own. We also have a 2 year old and a little boy coming in May so a home would be SO amazing haha! I can't wait to see how your home and how you decorate it. πŸ™‚

    Simply Rachel Nicole

  17. This was fun to read. I've been following you for fashion for a while, and then I started following you on Snapchat and feel like I "got to know you". I love hearing all of your back story. Congrats on your new house! You will have SO much fun setting down roots and making it your own.

  18. Wow!! This is an awesome story! I've been following your Instagram and blog for awhile now and never realized you lived in Tulsa! I'm from Oklahoma as well and am in awe of how stylish you are! Thank you for sharing! God bless!!

  19. Congratulations!! I love blog posts like this where you get to know the person behind it a little better. Also, I love that bible verse and it was something I really needed. Good luck with getting settled and I can't wait to hopefully see some decor posts soon!


  20. Oh wow. I don't even know you but I'm so happy for you! I've been following your blog for a while now and it's great to see how real you are. I know the difficulties of moving (maybe not as many times haha), but my hubby and I will be moving on 1st April for the second time since we got married (we've been married for a year and 5 months). All the best with your move today. Glad you like your new place and hope to see a home tour on YouTube (wink wink) hehe. God bless you hun.

    Mich x

  21. Awwww! I love posts like this, Emily! I hardly ever comment on here, but it's certainly been an adventure following you! I know how you feel, I've moved every year for the last seven years and it was because situations that arose that forced me to leave so I can imagine how excited you are to stay put for awhile. I'm so glad you get to settle down! Can't wait to see your decor posts! xo

  22. I can't believe how many times you've moved. And your room always looks so sparkling clean and put together! Thanks for sharing this journey – it just goes to show you there is always more than meets the eye (though I do always love your cute mirror selfies and glimpses into your beautiful room:)) I'm glad you had support going through those crazy times – family and friends really are the best and get us through everything. Congratulations on your new home!!!! XOXO Christine

  23. I can't believe how many times you've moved. And your room always looks so sparkling clean and put together! Thanks for sharing this journey – it just goes to show you there is always more than meets the eye (though I do always love your cute mirror selfies and glimpses into your beautiful room:)) I'm glad you had support going through those crazy times – family and friends really are the best and get us through everything. Congratulations on your new home!!!! XOXO Christine

  24. I love that you shared this story. I think it's great when bloggers step out of the box and let others get to know them better. I also love that you visited Charlotte. I am born and raised in Charlotte and new to blogging, so I've been meaning to contact Caitlin and grab coffee to chat. Good luck with your move (moving can be so hectic) and if you are ever back in the Charlotte area, I'd love to get together! πŸ™‚

    Here's The Skinny

  25. Hi Emily! Congratulations to you and John! I love that you shared this story, it makes me feel like I know a part of you a little better. Best of luck to you both!! I wanted to share some recipes with you: I dont know if you and John like chili, but this is one of my favorite comfort foods:

    I'll definitey share more with you! I have tons! She is one of my favorite food bloggers/has some of the best recipes out there!

    The best Italian meatballs!

    Definitely check out any of recipes, they are all amazing!

    Happy Easter Weekend! @southerncoffeelover

  26. Congrats on your new house!!! I just saw your snap story and recognized your brother- he coached my little sister and knows my brother from Greenwood ☺️ What a small world!!

  27. So thankful for this post and for you! You've given me hope for a bright future and proof that our Lord's plan is way greater than ours!!! I'm Marrying my love of almost 5 years in 45 days, and he is about to finish his second year of med school in Charleston SC! We will be getting married right before his step 1 exam(crazy I know) and I will be moving to charleston. We have been technically long distance for almost 5 years and this will be the first time we've ever lived together, let alone in the same town! (Aside from our home town where he stayed on weekends in college) anyways, like you I can never make a long story short!! So thankful I found your blog and a hope for a tough, fulfilling future filled with crazy moves, and all the love! You also just went where we are going on our honeymoon after his Step 1(I commented on your insta @KatieBarrs22) so thank you for the sneak peak! πŸ˜‰ so thankful for you! Hope we can maybe connect one day, I'd love more incite into being a med student wife(tips, pointers, how to not completely screw up and distract him lol)

    Praying fiercely for the new home and y'all settling in! Congratulations.
    All the love – Katie Barrs

  28. I have been an active follower of your blog for the past 2 years and love following you. I just read your story about you moving all the time and funny thing is, I live by the Tennessee/Virginia border too – did you happen to live in Bristol??? That's where I live!! If so, too funny. Such a small, small world.

  29. A little late to the party here but I say your announcement on snap. CONGRATS!!! I was born and raised in Tulsa and love it even more each day. I'm already jelly of your amazing new kitchen! I actually met you at the Suite One boutique opening in Utica Square a month ago and mentioned my love for cooking and food pics (@laur3664). We joked about me having a dinner party for you but I really do love hosting and showing friends new tricks in the kitchen!

  30. Oh thats great that he was able to have a rotation in your town! That makes it so much better!!!

    As far as faith goes, I used to talk more about my faith & other personal topics when my blog was just a hobby and for friends & family. Now that it is my job, I limit what I share & try to reflect my faith in my actions and other small ways. I think people often forget that my blog is also my job. As far as finances, I recommend saving and living within your means no matter what! It can be really hard and disheartening but it is completely worth it. I didn't have any loans for undergrad or grad school because I always has 1-2 jobs and I am indian and they gave me scholarships for having good grades! In grad school, I worked as a GA and had job! I was always saving and living frugally! Medical school is a different story – John went to a private medical school so he only took out loans for tuition. We lived within our means and saved and I always worked and had jobs no matter how much we were moving! Now that we are in residency we are both working so things are picked up. Some of my friends and family are really into Dave Ramsey. (You may already be using him?!) He's a Christian money-managing expert! Goodluck with everything – hard work always pays off!

  31. Oh girl!! Im so excited for you – the tough times are honestly what make you a better, stronger person! What's the phrase… 'diamonds are created under pressure'?! It's so true, pharmacy school will be tough but so worth it! Keep me updated!

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  33. Wait did John go to VCOM, and did ya'll live in Blacksburg VA?? Im 24, and just finished up at Virginia Tech, and I am a big fan. So weird to think that we were in the same town at the same time, what a small world!!

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