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The Winter Soldier

Posted on September 30, 2020 by under Confessions, Life.    

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I had some friends from pickleball over one night and, when we went down to the basement, Jen T was like, “Is that Pat on your wall?” I burst into a fit of laughter because of my sheer and utter nerdiness. Why, yes, it is Patrick Smith (and also Jocelyn Devilliers). What do you guys think of it? The poster was an early birthday present from my friend Matt Mayfield and, being a fan girl through and through, I had to frame and hang it.

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Here are a couple of pictures that Matt took of the guys signing the poster, which proves the authenticity of their signatures.

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I actually saw these photos posted on Facebook and, at the time, had no idea that the poster was for me. Matt said he would give me one but I thought he was just joking. I didn’t realize he was serious. I happened to be at Chicken N Pickle the Tuesday before Pat’s birthday when Matt came over and surprised me with the poster. I thought it was ironic that I was getting a present when it wasn’t even my birthday but I guess it’s in honor of Pat’s birthday. Besides, any reason to get (or give) a present is as good an excuse as any.

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Anyway, Pat and I are friendly but we aren’t close friends. Our relationship is mostly fan girl to pickleball idol but I still felt compelled to do something nice for him for his birthday. Karen had this brilliant idea to get fan shirts made. It was perfect timing too because that previous weekend Lauren McLaughlin (of Live with Lauren fame) christened Pat with his official pickleball nickname – the Winter Solider. Karen gave me free reign on the t-shirt design so I decided to embrace his new nickname and hashtag by putting it on our fan shirts. I pictured something like the “I <3 NY" shirts but with #WinterSoldier underneath it and Nicole with Simply Charming Designs executed on this vision perfectly.

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Karen and I gleefully wore our “I <3 PAT SMI" fan shirts to pickleball during Pat's birthday weekend proving, without a doubt, that we are his biggest fans.

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Karen, who is an amazing cook, also baked a delicious cheesecake for Pat on his birthday. We got to enjoy it on Saturday evening and then she brought him a slice the next day. Karen makes such delicious food. So far I’ve had her lasagna (twice), peach pie, Dutch baby pancakes, and cheesecake, and I have enjoyed all of it.

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Anyway, Lauren saw the fan shirts we made and she wanted one too but she wanted a tank top instead of a t-shirt. I got these very special white ones made for the two of us and sent hers as a gift to show my appreciation for the very awesome nickname that she gave to Pat. I can’t wait to see her wear hers! There’s an APP tournament coming up that it will be perfect for — the Cincinnati Pickleball Open coming up in a couple of weeks will be hosted by Jocelyn Devilliers and Patrick Smith. Lauren will be one of the commentators for that event so I’m hoping to see her wear her shirt then. I won’t be there in person but I’ll wear mine at home to show my support. At least we can twin from afar.

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Speaking of showing support, I got a couple of other shirts made for me and Karen for the weekend of the Cincinnati Open. We got blue shirts this time because it’s Pat’s favorite color. I’m so excited to wear these shirts because I think they turned out great. Also, Nicole got them done early enough that we can even wear them this weekend for the Texas Open, which Jay and Pat are playing in together.

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Besides the Texas Open, the Wichita Fall-Out pickleball tournament is also happening this weekend. It sucks that they’re happening at the same time because I know some people really wanted to be able to play in both tournaments and had to make some difficult choices (can’t be in two places at once). Anyway, I’m glad that tournaments are happening again. One of these days I’ll be able to play in one. Until then, GNG.

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