Happy Thursday people! How are you? Summer weeks treating you well I hope! Today is a day off for me from the “real world” and we are loving life, spending some extra time around these parts especially….our new blog site!! How ya’ll liking it? So far I have gotten great feedback – but the trick there? The blog is still a bit under wraps and only my favorite family and friends are reading it thus far – and they all have chosen to love me for better or worse. Even still their encouragement is great and to see this little dream of mine coming true a little more each day has left me somewhere on cloud 9….. thanks for keeping with me – the best is yet to come!
Speaking of best – this past weekend was centered around our 5 year wedding anniversary. In so many ways I can’t believe it has been 5 years already, but in the same breath I look at those young innocent faces of ours on that July 17 day and think, yes – that was a lifetime ago! Life is so funny that way and I wish I could bottle up the awe it inspires to open and breath in whenever I want to….. incredible. Since we did some extra special efforts to celebrate this year I will share in an upcoming post – life is a journey that is meant to be honored, and we loved cherishing what our years together have meant. So please know now, the mushy stuff…. it is going to keep on going all month…sorry!!
Since we are so close to our families in both proximity and kinship, we are lucky enough that they celebrate with us too. So with all those celebrations to be had – we started our weekend fun little early with a Thursday night dinner with my mother-in-law, Pat (John was camping up North) at Cheesecake Factory. Between some good wine, tasty treats, and a cheesecake assortment we toasted, laughed, and marveled that somehow we have been a part of each others’ lives for 10 years! So many fun, exciting, sad, hard, big, small – adventures really – have been shared and with any true family, we are messy and crazy and misunderstand each other, and try to hard – but most important, we love like crazy. And sitting across from Pat I am reminded that she has held her own in a family of boys for many years before I came along. Her example of being incredibly strong between a tough crowd of alpha dogs – while still revealing in girly stuff (her outfits are NEVER out of place….ever), being a supportive wife, hockey mom, and run a company…..I got some pretty big shoes to fill as a Mrs. Bessette- and I am so grateful we have the kind of true friendship that she has chosen to share her secrets with me to uphold the title.
What else was I thinking that night? Just in case you wanted to know…..well Danny has so many qualities that remind me of John – but there is no doubt he is his mom’s son. I always think it is so crazy as they chat and I observed – that have the EXACT profile, share the exact nose and eye placement….. and crazy, uncontrollable legs…..it is a neat bond to witness. That and Pat gave Danny a love of cooking, reading, and ability to laugh at himself that I will be forever grateful he has….those qualities bring a lot of joy to my world.
The best part of this night – besides the “Real Housewives of Ashburn” wine glasses Pat gave me – was being back at Cheesecake. Those 10 years ago this is where Danny was working when we met. Many a summer a night I would be hanging with my friends eyeing the clock hoping his shift would end soon and my cell phone would start buzzing….. Danny really liked waiting tables and lucky for me was really good at it – so that summer those tips took us to Baltimore and outdoor movies, endless dinners, or to fire work picnics. We had a lot of laughs about his white hospital looking shoes and planned many dates around his shift schedule. Driving home that night fingers interlocked over the console of our car, to go to our home – we wondered what our 20 year old selves would think of how this all ended up…. and how five years before that night we were toasting at a restaurant with some of the most important people in our lives. Thursday night was AWESOME and the perfect start to our weekend.
Friday I worked my normal hours but when that closing bell rang rushed home…… Danny had nervously been calling and texting all day to assure I was not going to surprise him and come home early. He had something up his sleeve and by the breathless sound of the calls and one request for bandaids, my curiosity was PEAKED. Racing home I flung open the door to gorgeous roses and my little pup. As Danny rustled with a few things upstairs I got a “come up when your ready”…..and began the decent. My mind racing through our list of DIYs that maybe he had wrapped up for me…..but glancing around that did not seem to be the answer….. Dan encouraged me a little further – so I headed up one more flight to my loft and found…..
Framed image of my first blog’s logo! July 17, 2014 I started that blog – after MANY, MANY hours of research, conversations, fears, watching of “American Blogger”, wondering if I could really do it….and Danny’s surprising support. He of course would ALWAYS welcome any passion I had, but Danny is not into Social Media, has suffered the consequences of angry Facebook misunderstandings in his extended family, and overall would prefer to be more of a private person. But knowing what it meant to me he encouraged me. Now a year later he acts as an editor, helps with the creative, (unbeknownst to me at this time a contributor) and has not only given the white flag, but also the financial contributions, so that I could go out and really make a splash with this dream…. it has meant the absolute world to me. And this gift to remember that not only was today about us, but the anniversary of my dream – I was speechless.
In true Dan fashion – we may make a change, it was not exactly as he wanted it to look…..but after asking for help from my mom and sisters, after HOURS of working with pixels and printing several reprints…. visits to several craft stores for frames…. I am not sure I can part with this gesture and final result.
And in true Jackie fashion- I got all wrapped up in this idea of commemorating the blog in the loft…and was suddenly going to be late for dinner!! So we both quickly got ready and headed out.
For this year’s anniversary dinner we returned to the restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner. A place close to Ashuburn, so it also felt special in its own way that we were eating in our new “home town” area. The food, ambiance – an old wine mill- and the THOUSANDS of little scenes of our rehearsal dinner swirled in the summer night air around us- and we felt pretty damn blessed.
Knowing the night and week we had spent celebrating could only be complete with a Quinlan walk at home – that is how we rang in our 5 years…. and I loved every moment. As we pulled in front of our house Danny did say I had one more present and started with the riddles. It is not tangible, but can be found somewhere I spend a lot of time. I was totally confused…..and after a few more hints, I realized – he posted on the blog. I raced in, jumped on my laptop and the tears just flowed. I was SHOCKED… not only did his words touch me in a way I will never, ever do justice trying to describe here – but to have him be an author on our blog story, I was speechless. I have left the post EXACTLY as it appeared – incorrect formatting and all – it was just too perfect to touch.
Saturday was quiet. We both had contract work lists looming, house chores, and a pup that needed some extra loving, he had been left home alone on Friday night – our normal take out and movie night – we owed him extra attention: this translates to a Starbucks Croissant in Shiba speak. That evening though – it was the Heppes turn to celebrate!!
The country club where we had our reception just recently got an overhaul – complete with new bar and fire pits outside – that Danny has not had a chance to see. So I was really excited to spend time with my family around this venue that felt a little new and exciting….. but lucky for me and my passionate love for reminiscing – the halls, the bathrooms, the outside structure itself has not changed one bit…..and I was able to quietly revisit my wedding day.
As girls do, my sister and I hit the ladies room together and I remembered my college roommate and high school friends helping me wrestle my wedding dress….. another wedding was going on and as the music pumped through the walls a bit – we all laughed remembering that CRAZY dance floor….. as we headed out to the views of the golf course I remember going amongst the treelined walkways holding the hands of my NEW husband, him whispering how beauftifl I was, talking about how we had made it, and repeating how much we loved each other – stealing kisses as we went. The magnitude of your dress, of the toasts, of the gorgeous decor makes a wedding just pure fun….but your heart? Well its wrapped around those little stolen, quiet moments that still to this day give me goosebumps… July 17 I became Danny’s wife.
To top off a night that not only did I have my sisters and parents toasting with us – I had my Ganmommy. I don’t need remind you all of the love I have for that woman – but for today’s post I will say, she taught me the true meaning of being a wife. Every month she celebrated with my grandfather their wedding day and by the time he passed away – they had 602 months of celebrating. From their union they had 7 kids, 23 grandkids….. and as much as they love us all, beings fixtures in all our lives, paying for education, flying all over the country for sacraments and graduations – there is no doubt they had their VIP person in each other….. and although WE ALL witnessed their frustrations at times – the love never ran out….still hasn’t as she talks about her boyfriend or encourages us all to love our spouse with the same excitement as the first day…..I love that she was there.
Sunday – well by the time Sunday rolled around the Bessettes were pretty celebrated OUT. We had a great weekend so a day of catching up on work and on some rays, was the best way to end our weekend. That and mass at the same church that we said our I Dos….. this weekend was marked with so may incredible memories and I STILL wear a HUGE plastered smile for the unbelievable twists and turns my life journey has taken me on to land in this place. Life will not always be so happy, it won’t always feel so perfect….. in fact as I type this Danny has been feeling rough and our original plans for an adventure were canceled. So to celebrate the little moments of pure joy God places in our laps to relish…. go ahead, soak them up. And why don’t you add a cocktail to really commemorate them? That’s what I would do….it helps with all the gushing!
Happy almost Friday people!