Hello there friends! How is your week going? We are in the midst of lots of ups and downs. So many good things and then a little bit of clouds for the not so good things…. but it makes the good days or even just the normal days feel valuable. And we are in luck cause we got a few great days to review for our the last couple of weekends ….. so let’s break it down!!
Two weekends ago we were preparing to ride out Storm Joaquin. Every weatherman, news channel, and radio broadcast told us to batten down the hatches and prepare. We were lucky and our area was wet, but nothing over the top……luckily my nephew in New York still was prepared:
Friday night we were home just hanging out – but Saturday I was up and at’em early! My mother-in-law and I had a shopping date planned and our preference is ALWAYS to beat the mall crowds by getting to there on the early side. Pat was preparing for her upcoming sister’s weekend and I was just excited to peruse the new fall looks…..we had a great time! A few years earlier we lived with my in-laws for a few months and after that just a few minutes down the road – so our shopping days used to happen all the time. Sadly life has gotten busier and we live a little further away from their house – so time together has become less frequent. Meaning today’s girls’ day was much needed and we had an awesome time. As any of you think about what you may want in a husband, I really encourage you to consider a guy with all brothers and a mother-in-law who used to work in retail management – you will have a shopping buddy for life!
By early afternoon my in-laws were off to a movie and I had my regularly scheduled O’Connell Football date to see my girly dance. Although the rain had moved in and the temperatures dropped, my parents and I grabbed some extra-hot Starbucks with our rain coats and enjoyed a good game.
With all the wet and cool weather Danny and pup hung at home. We are into full flu season around here and mixing that with Danny’s already impaired lungs – he has to be extra selective about the elements he exposes his body too and how he spends his energy….. so a weekend at home avoiding the damp outdoors was perfect. And me – I was very happy to join him that night in the same activity.
Sunday we both planned to get up and be productive around the house, on our contract work, and prepare for the week ahead. Instead I felt really yucky and spent sometime in my office….but mostly we rested. This plan trickled over into Monday as we stayed home to continue to fight off any bugs that were attempting to make their home in my body. Sickness can be stinky….but Gilmore Girl’s really helped to keep me fighting the good fight to stay healthy.
That quiet weekend was about as opposite as possible from the weekend we just enjoyed. A weekend I feel I am still recovering from and have yet to shake the feeling of “this is the good life”! One of those weekends I was so grateful to have and will forever enjoy revisiting.
Friday night I got off work and met my Grandma and Mom to do some last minute outfit shopping! Saturday was O’Connell’s homecoming and my mom and I were pretty convinced this traditional fall day would require some new fall booties! Sadly no luck in any new shoes…..but I did manage to find my way to Target for all the necessary Blue and White accessories I would be needing for our Saturday tailgate. After a few more pre-Saturday errands, I went to my parents to hang out with my grandmother, review my mom’s “mother of the homecoming princess”outfit, and catch up on all the Homecoming details from Bridget. One of the best things about pending events, the holidays, and special occasions that will be the memories that we cherish as a family, is the buzz, energy, excitement, and FULL feeling you will find at my parent’s home. We all just love to hang around and sharing the anticipation of whats to come….in fact my poor grandma had to basically get in “bed” on the couch to get us to wrap up for the night.
Danny had experienced a VERY long and tiring week – so he opted to stay home and rest up for the MAIN EVENT – Saturday! This ended up being the best plan so he was up and rolling with me in the early Saturday hours to gather final food and Tailgating prep. This year we decided to up the fun to be had at our High School’s Homecoming with a Tailgate. So many of our closest, most favorite friends are from our days there – so why not include them in our enjoyment for all festive O’Connell events?? Grab a few makings for mimosas, Chick-fila mini-biscuit breakfast trays, a few salty and sweet treats for snacking, friends from over a decade and VOILA! We had our very own mini-tailgate – complete with spirited decor!
Beyond all the merriment and fun – was the very emotional realization after 17 years this is my parents’ last homecoming at DJO with one of their kiddos as a student. All of us found our own unique experience at O’Connell. Some loved it and some did not – but there is no denying this special school gave our family a lot of the kind of stuff that makes life good: faith, friendships, education, and experiences. As we celebrate the year that will be the last for a Heppes Kiddo to walk the halls, I am overwhelmed with the memories, the history, our stories, and the opportunities Bridget is presenting our family to be together and say so long to this chapter. Starting with her being elected to Homecoming Court.
My parents escorted her out on the field, and as they walked her bio was shared with the crowd. Her many leadership experiences, her hopes for the future and the honoring of her upbringing with naming her siblings, recognizing her parish, and most close to my heart – her dedication to supporting the CF Foundation. This little lady has forgone several birthday party gifts for a donation to the Foundation. Bridget is smart, funny, poised, confident, gentle, sweet, – a person who is truly beautiful inside and out – and to see her peers recognize her as that special person left my heart a flutter. We are so proud of you Bridget and the dedication you have made to soaking up everything life had to offer you while at O’Connell. It takes a smart person to realize life is not a dress rehearsal and you have to jump in 150% to get anything out of it…I think you have successfully given 200%!
After the game and visiting with friends – we headed to my in-laws house so Bridget could get ready for the dance. Ashburn is 45 minutes from the school and Bridget and to be back at a house near the school in an hour and half for pictures, making that drive back and forth to Ashburn nearly impossible. That and being able to do the hair style she had been practicing from an online tutorial (LOVE HER) – so my in-laws were gracious enough to host Brig and the whole family for the primping portion of the night.
Bridget would finally emerge looking gorgeous and the family picture taking ensued. Even Danny, who would much prefer to be behind the camera, asked if we could take a picture of all three of us. This is the point in the day when Danny grabbed me and sad under his breath, “when did she get so big”? How is she a senior? And is that skirt too short/should I drive her around to ensure she is being safe”…… Being the baby Bridget holds a special role in our family – loved and adored by all! Everyone was old enough to witness Bridget growing up and to offer her their advice/life experience – meaning: we all feel we had a part in her development. And Danny knowing Bridget since she was 6, he is not exempt from that feeling. In fact, being the baby in his own family, he has that protective side 100% free and ready for her! I love how much he loves her.
Sometimes Danny and I wonder if it is a bad thing we have not really ever left the area we called home most of our lives. We only really know the Northern Virginia way of life – yet days like today, where I can be there to see her walk on that field or OOOO and AHHH over her Homecoming dress – I would heartbroken to be anywhere else on a day like today.
Saturday ended with us being home relaxing – knowing that a day with friends, family, and watching how amazing this once freckled face, pigtail wearing little lady has turned into a beautiful young woman – was one we will cherish for a long time. We know the school that has meant so much to Danny and I have presented the same thing for Bridget and we are elated to have a chance to celebrate that with her this day – and the rest of the year. And yes – we will need more monogrammed tissues.
Sunday – well that was a BIG day in the Bessette household….the day Quinlan started school! He and Dan tried their hardest Ferris Bueller act, but it did not work and the trainer came!
Over the last few years we have debated the idea of trainer. For starters – to have the right experience it can be VERY expensive. Then there is the whole thing that he is not a puppy – he was 4 when we got him and he is 6 now….. and can old dogs learn new tricks? Finally there was the question of what was really going on….. 75% of the time he is a great dog. But when we run into a dog that is not one of our parents’ golden retrievers, or if we tell him to stop doing something and he doesn’t want to, his solution is fighter mode….. that we wonder if it is necessary. As we continue to prepare our lives for a potential transplant for Danny, we know Quin will have to spend some time with family and therefore needs to be manageable. Enter Bark Busters. I plan to share the details of this experience in an upcoming post but what I can say is that Quinlan feels like a dog with a new “leash” on life! He is learning, listening, and improving so much faster and better than we could even have imagined and we are both thrilled that we have decided to see how we can achieve a happier puppy status.
That evening wrapped up with evening mass, popping by my sister’s salon’s fundraiser for domestic abuse, and picking up my parents and their friends from a wedding set out in the countryside. WHEW! After our many, many weekends of hanging in and enjoying take-out, this FULL weekend was a lot for the Bessette’s! And yet all week I can’t keep from smiling knowing all the fun we did have and what fun remains in the coming weeks.
Going through these days, watching these events we have been talking about play out in real life is only made better by the fact that I look up from the party prep, or turn around from loading the car up, or check off something from my to do list and there is my husband. This man has chosen me to be his wife and has whole heartedly jumped into this life with me to hang the decor, carry the heavy bags, or split up the check lists. He is selected this life, our life, to do all the everyday stuff together. Seeing him here with me leaves my heart bursting with warmth, my stomach filled to the brim with butterflies – and my head letting go of the “what will happens” to soak up the here we are right now together…. a family. I am grateful for these weekends and can’t wait for what more is in store.
Have a happy rest of your week!
Thank you for reading and remember to make it a great day!