Friday, December 2, 2011

Chapter 18

 ***Sorry for the delay! Ive been so busy with school assignments and making sure Im getting everything together as I get closer to graduating! :) & on top of that Ive had writters block's the next chapter! Enjoy 

Almost 3 weeks had gone by, James was doing amazing in his recovery, and he started his on-ice workouts again.  Between working, packing up the old house plus my apartment, moving into our new house (so exciting to say OUR house) AND planning a wedding on top of that…I was such a busy girl.

[[This is the house...def not the house by the Lemieux's...but just imagine it to be...and gated too :)]]

I had already been preparing for another trip home by myself, before we went to another appointment for James. The doctor walked in with the look on his face saying, “You’re not going anywhere,” and that really bummed me out.  Then, out of nowhere, he said that a wedding should be planned by the bride AND the groom, so James was cleared to travel.  I was so excited that I jumped out of the chair to give him a hug.

“Hello?” I say, as I’m doing last minute packing
“Ello! Are you guys ready?” Vero says on the other line, her and Marc are taking us to the airport, before they head to Ottawa for All Star Weekend
“Almost! Are ya’ll outside?”
“Hurry up!” I hear Marc yell in the background
“Is someone a little impatient today?”
“Yes and I have no idea why,”
“Tell him to take a chill pill, we will be out in 2 minutes!”

Our flight back to New Mexico was the fastest flight ever, seems like we got there in no time, I guess it did help that we flew nonstop too. We got our luggage and walked out to the pick up area to find my parents waiting for us.

Even though I knew it was going to be a somewhat stressful weekend, it was good to be back home again, with my fiancé this time. All my friends here would be meeting him, so it was a pretty big deal.

Today is the day that James and I would be going to the casino so he could see where the reception would be.  I called Nicole in advance so she knew we were coming. We were able to pick out the centerpieces; they were vases of blue and yellow flowers. The food was an easy decision, a steak plate or a salmon plate; both would be served with green beans and a salad.   I was glad that we were able to get that taken care of.  We were also able to give her the final number of 218 guests.  And James loved the casino and was glad that we could work it out. 

I had sent an email to an old high school friend who has a photography business with her sister-in-law to see what their wedding packages included and if we could book them, so meeting up with them was our next stop.

When we got to Starbucks, Amanda & Nicole were already there with coffee in hand.  After everyone meets, we all sit down and figure things out.

“So when’s the wedding?” Amanda asks
“July 7th,” James responds
“And where is it going to be?” she asks again
“At my church, down on Montano, then the reception is going to be at Sandia Casino,”
“Good choice!” Nicole exclaims

They went over the list of what they do and ran prices by us, which was pretty decent; it would be $750 for all day, plus a CD with the edited pictures, and 120 prints. Plus I had seen their portfolio, and all their work is amazing.

After that, we went home for a while, James took a nap & I decided to knock some more things off the planning list.  The DJ was booked; and appointments were made for our hair, makeup and nails. More check marks on that list=1 happy bride-to-be.

Before we knew it, it was Sunday, last on our list was to go to church.  James loved the look of my church and thought it was the perfect place for us to get married.  He also met my pastor, who added that once we got our marriage license to bring it to him and he would keep it until the ceremony.

We spent our last night in, watching the All Star Game, before turning in to catch an early flight back to the Burgh.

“Hey guys!” Mario says as him and Natalie greet us at the airport
“Hi!” we say
“How were things back home?”
“Good! We got a lot of stuff done!”
“That’s good! Bet it’s taking some stress away?”

The boys were back in action on Tuesday against the Predators. Even though James had been progressing, he still wasn’t cleared for contact, and he still had to attend games. It was weird being at home and not going through his game day routine; it was also weird not going to the arena 3 hours before the game.

It was a close game the whole time, Engelland got in a fight (yeah, so what else is new) with Mike Fisher! Somewhere Carrie Underwood was probably wincing, no offence Carrie, but fighting Engo is never a good idea; and we won 4-3.

Doctor’s appointments had been going well, I was getting back into the swing of working.  It was hard going almost anywhere without someone asking me how James was doing, but I said what I was told to say (instructions from Ray, Dan and Mario), that James is progressing well, and that was all.

We were able to find a cute little store in downtown to do the wedding invitations, they looked amazing and I couldn’t be happier with the people we chose. The package we got included the invitations, reply cards with an envelope and our engagement photos that we will be taking next week.

To say the next week flew by and had better news everyday, well if I didn’t say that, I’d be lying.  The team photographer knew another local photographer that agreed to take our engagement photos for us.  We chose to take them at the arena, got a good wide range of different shots and we were happy with them all.  The one we chose to add with the invitation was a shot of us one the bench and James is down on one knee, tightening my skates while we’re looking at each other.

The other good news that had happened that week was that James was cleared to play in games again, we were so excited for him to get back into action. 

I was so busy again, to even realize that it was almost Valentine’s Day; the boys were off that night, with a road game the night before and a home game after.  The WAGs had given out roses on the game around this time before, but this time, we picked 100 roses to tie yellow ribbons around, and the women that got those, got free tickets to an upcoming game of their choice.

Valentine’s day was amazing to say the least, James and I went to my favorite restaurant, and one that we usually only go to for special occasions, The Melting Pot. We spent the rest of the night in our new hot tub at the house and it was so relaxing after the last couple weeks.

James first game back was against the Blue Jackets. He was excited because his best friend Jared plays for them and he hadn’t seen him in a while.  I finally got to meet him, before the game, when him and James were talking about going to dinner afterwards.

Pens got the win with the help of James’ 2 assists, and then we met up with Jared for dinner.  James and Jared together were so funny, and it was good to see James coming back to being himself again.  Jared was excited to come down to New Mexico for the wedding this summer, and that made us happy too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chapter 17

I woke up the next morning, pretty tired from tossing and turning the night before.  I wanted to go back to sleep but I knew I wouldn’t be able to, so the girls and I went to church with my parents so I could talk to my pastor about the wedding.

We got there early enough that I was able to catch him before the service started.  He checked the church calendar and crossed off July 7th for the wedding, which lifted a bit more stress off my shoulders.  He also said he would be honored to marry us, so I was happy about that too.  He opened the service by announcing that he would take part in the wedding of a church family member and was more then happy to be a part of it.

I got a call from Natalie in the middle of the service, and ran out to answer it.  She told me that James had done well in all the tests they had done and was in the process of getting discharged. He would be leaving with a bag of essentials, such as special sunglasses to wear outside, an eye cover to wear and earplugs to wear on the plane. They were Pittsburgh bound within the next hour.  Natalie knew how much I wanted to come home, but she told me to get wedding stuff done and that she would be taking the best care of James until I got home. I was unbelievably thankful for her. 

After church, we all went home to change, my mom, the girls and I went looking for a place for the reception. I had a list of places that I had in mind, and it didn’t take long to scratch off the first one, it was a 30 minute drive and at least $11,000 to rent a banquet hall.

Sandia Casino was next on the list.  It was in a gorgeous location, almost as nice as the first resort I was thinking about.  Nicole was our wedding planner/helper; she was very informative, adding that she has been throwing receptions for 10+ years. 

She gave me a price list for everything, the hall rental would be $8,060, and it would include the catering, a bar, as well as tables, chairs, centerpieces, all that important stuff, which was not included in the package at the first place. That left us to find the music, photography, cake, plus deciding on what centerpiece we wanted, and the kind of food and any extra stuff for the wedding party.  It was a lot of information to take in, but thankfully, Nicole had given me a folder full of all the information to take home with me.

Another thing to get was the cake.  We decided to have a vanilla cake, I found the perfect picture of what I wanted, so I had it with me when we decided to go to the cake shop to see if they could do it, which thankfully they could.  

The long and relatively stressful weekend was coming to an end, but I was thankful for being able to get a lot of stuff done and taken care of.  I mainly needed to talk to James so we could get a final number to give to Nicole, and figure out everything else.  I know that would have to wait a while, with James recovering, but I was ok with that, I wanted him to be back to 100%.

The girls and I were sitting in the airport waiting for the plane so I decided to call Natalie and see how James was doing.  She said he’d been sleeping off and on, and the team doctor went to see him and he was happy to see how well James had been progressing.  She also told me that she would be picking up Vero and I, while Max would be picking up Miranda.

Back in Pittsburgh:
“Well James, I’m really proud of how well you’ve been progressing,” Dr. Burke says
“Thank you,” I respond
“How are the headaches?”
“Still get them, but they aren’t as bad as they were,”
“That’s good, they will continue for a while, but will lessen in pain as time goes on,”
“Dr. Burke, how should we prepare his fiancé to take care of him when she gets back?” Mario asks him
“I’ll give you some information on that, but basically the same as here, keep the light to a minimum, no TV, or reading,”
“And Natalie is going to pick Jay up from the airport, is it ok that I go with her?”
“Absolutely, just make sure you wear the sunglasses I gave you,”
“Ok, and what about traveling? I won’t be going to Ottawa for All Star Weekend, but can I go anywhere else?”
“Let’s see how your doing when the time comes, but I don’t see it being a problem,”
“Ok, thank you,”

2 flights and 1 layover later, we land in Pittsburgh, and I never thought I’d be so excited to be home. I get up right away and impatiently wait for people to exit the plane. 

We make our way to the baggage claim, right away I see Natalie standing with Max, Marc…and James. Was this seriously happening?

“Oh my gosh!” I say running up to him
“Hi baby!”
“Hi! What a surprise! How are you feeling?”
“A lot better actually, Dr. Burke was just at the house to check up on me and he said I’ve been progressing really well,”
“Yay! Oh I don’t think I can explain how excited I am right now to see you!”
“Yeah, you should have seen her, she shot up in her seat right as the doors opened, she was a woman on a mission,” Vero says, laughing
“True story, but I had to make sure my baby was ok!”
“Let’s go home baby,”

While Natalie is driving us home, she tells me about James’ appointment this morning, how he’d still get headaches, which was expected; he would be sidelined for 4 weeks to be on the safe side, oh and not to mention those ridiculous sunglasses that he had to wear, I tried not to make fun of them but he looked adorable with them, I don’t think I’ll let him live that one down.  Unfortunately, it was still unknown if James would be able to come home with me, that would have to be a last minute deal.

I had been unpacking and doing laundry while James took a nap, “Sleep is the most important thing he can get right now,” I hear Natalie saying in my head, so I let him sleep. As I’m doing things around the house, I get a phone call from our realtor that we had been talking to.

“So, the house that you and James are interested is on the market, and your paper work is in the process of being cleared,” Danielle tells me
“Cleared? But we barely saw the house last week!” I say, shocked
“James faxed over everything to me, between the both of you, your line of credit is amazing, and it also helped that James had shown interest in that house the first time it went on the market,”
“Oh wow! I didn’t know that, so when will we know for sure if we got it?”
“Well right now I’m 90% sure it’s yours, but it should be official by Monday,”
“Oh my gosh, that’s so exciting! We couldn’t ask for better news right now,”
“Absolutely, I saw the game the other night, how’s he doing?”
“Better, it was only a grade I concussion so it’s not that bad, but he’s progressing really well,”
“That’s good. Ok, well send him my well wishes, and I will be calling you on Monday, ok?”
“Ok great, thank you so much Danielle!”
“Absolutely! Talk to you soon,”

James wakes up not much longer after I get off the phone, so I tell him the news and he’s excited to hear the official word next week.  It was a perfect location too, it was 2 houses down from the Lemieux’s, and it was security gated 4 bedrooms, 2-storys with an amazingly remodeled back yard, had a new swimming pool and hot tub, plus a mini kitchen to grill outside. I fell in love the minute I saw it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chapter 16

***Hey yall! just wanted to see what yall think of the story and if you like it or not? Im still writing it b/c as my major I love to write, its therapeutic let me know!

“So where are we going to watch the game?” Vero asks
“Buffalo Wild Wings, my old manager is the manager there and she’s a hockey fan too, so I texted her to see if she would have it on, she said yes, and I told her we were coming in,”
“Sweet! Then we’re going dancing after?” Miranda asks
“Yeah, Dirty Bourbon, it’s a country bar, it’s a lot of fun,”

So we go with my parents to watch the game, after changing into our jerseys. I invite the other girls in the wedding party but they had other plans, but Bailey said that her and her husband would be joining us afterwards.

“Hi Jamie!” Katie says as we walk in
“Hi! How are you??” I ask, giving her a hug
“I’m great, how are you? I didn’t know you were in town!”
“Yeah, just for the weekend... doing some wedding planning stuff,”
“Seriously? Congratulations! Who’s the lucky guy?”
“His name is James, he plays for the Penguins,” I say, showing off my jersey
“Oh my gosh, that’s awesome! So I’ll have the game on this big screen and then that one over there, so sit wherever!”
“Oh absolutely! I’ll come back and visit in a few,”

Our table only gets bigger as time passes until puck drop, my best friends Ashley and Laura join us, Laura is in her Kane jersey, much to my dismay, and clearly seems irritated to be there, but I wont let it get in my way, we came to watch our boys and have fun.

It’s a good start to the game. Sid scores 2 minutes in, which I was excited about, because James got his first assist of the night. We all had to admit, that top line with James, Sid and Geno was undeniable.  That was the lone goal of the first, and the 2nd one didn’t come until the Panthers were on a power play, with Jordan in the box. Not too long after that though, we were back within one, thanks to TK. 

And that’s when it happened.

I saw the play.

I saw the hit.

It was a nasty hit delivered by Tomas Kopecky; the man was a beast.

Within seconds, James was laying on the ice, motionless.

I was tearing up in no time, hoping and praying that my fiancé would get up.  He eventually did, only to fall back down, he got a concussion; I’d seen hits like that enough to know.  Sid and Jordan skated over with the trainers to help him off the ice. He didn’t look too good, I felt so bad and didn’t know what to do.  So I grab my phone and call the one person I knew was there

“Hi Jay,” Natalie says
“Natalie, please tell me he’s ok,” I try to say, through the crying
“Mario, Ray and I are going down there right now,”
“I’m scared, I don’t know what to do,”
“Sweetie, it’s going to be ok, he’s in good hands,”
“Ok, I just knew right when I saw it,”
“I know, we all did.  I’ll call you as soon as I get an update ok,”
“Ok, thank you so much,”
“Absolutely, talk to you soon,”

“Natalie is with Mario and Ray, they are going into the training room to check on him.” I tell everyone
“Honey, that was a bad hit, is he going to be ok?” Katie comes and asks me, so I tell her what Natalie said
“Ok, she’s right, he’s in good hands,” She says

At this point in time, I’m glad to have my close friends with me to help me with this.  The anxiety was killing me though. Waiting for Natalie to call me back seemed like it was taking forever. While I wait, I call Sharon to tell her, she was worried sick too, which I didn’t blame her, I told her I felt bad because I wasn’t out there, she told me not to blame it on myself, it could have happened at anytime.

It’s half way into the 3rd when Natalie calls me back, I decide to go outside so I can hear her better,

“Hi Natalie,”
“Hey Jay, so we’re actually at the hospital near the arena,”
“Oh my god,” I say, freaking out again
“James suffered a grade I concussion, which is the lowest grade of a concussion, he’s still confused as to the events of today, but he has been asking for you,”
“Really?” I thought of good signs
“Yes. As soon as he saw the 3 of us, the first thing he asked was where you were, so the doctor asked who you were, he said you are his fiancé, so the he kept asking James about you, like your wedding and such and he said you guys are getting married in July in New Mexico, and you were looking for dresses,”
“So him asking for me is a good sign?” I ask
“Yes, and his symptoms aren’t as bad now, with this grade of concussion, symptoms generally only last 15-20 minutes,”
“Ok, so what’s going to happen now?”
“The doctors want to keep him overnight to do a few more tests and additional observation due to post-traumatic amnesia. Mario, Ray and I are going to stay here while the guys go to Raleigh, then we’ll take him back to Pittsburgh,”
“Ok, should I come home? I feel like I need to be there,”
“I think so too, but no honey, it will be ok, he’s progressing very well,”
“But what about when ya’ll get back home?”
“He can stay with us for a few days, then we can get you adjusted when you get back,”
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely! We did this when Sid got his concussions, we’d do it for any of the other guys, including James,”
“Thank you so much, Natalie,”
“Oh sweetie, it’s no problem at all,”
“Is there any possibility that I can talk to him?”
“As much as I know you want to, it’s probably not good with his headaches, and we just got him checked in, so I would imagine he’s asleep right now,”
“Ok, well as long as he’s getting his sleep, can you tell him something for me?”
“Of course! What do you want me to tell him?”
“Tell him that I love him so much and I hope he’s getting better and I’ll see him back home on Tuesday,”
“Will do, sweetie, I’ll keep you posted with updates ok?”
“Ok, thank you again,”
“Your welcome, we’ll be in touch,”

So I go back in and inform everyone of what’s going on.  They are all as worried as I am, and I wanted nothing more then to be back there with him.  I text some of the girls and told them what happened and that I wasn’t feeling up to going dancing.

The boys won the game 3-1, most of the guys were too worried to do any post-game interviews, and Dan left right away to go to the hospital. 

My parents took us back to the house and I couldn’t hold it in any longer, I sat on the couch and cried. I had the worst scenarios running through my head.  The girls helped me calm down and my mom brought me some hot tea in hopes that it would help me sleep, because we all knew I needed it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chapter 15

***I know it's been forever....but I thought Id post this, in case any of yall are still reading it. Enjoy :)

The house was cleaned up, so James and I decided to lie on the couch and watch movies.

“So, I was thinking something,” James says
“Uh oh, that can’t be good,” I joke
“Oh but it is,” so I say ok and let him continue,
“Your lease is up soon right?” he asks me
“At the end of May,”
“Well, remember when I told you that if I was staying here longer that I wanted to upgrade?” I nod my head
“I was thinking about looking for a house, for us,”
“Yeah, I mean, we are engaged after all. Our houses are so far away from each other. So why not start our life right and get a house?”
“I’d love that!”
“I’m glad you like the idea,” he says, kissing me
“But would you want to move in the middle of the season?”
“Sure, we could hire movers,”
“And when I’m not working, I can unpack stuff,”
“See! So now I have to ask, how big? How many bedrooms?”
“Um, 3-4,”
“2 story?”
“Yeah, pretty sure that’s the majority of houses here,”
“Can we stay in Sewickley?”
“Absolutely, I wouldn’t want it any other way,”
“Ok good, well let’s start looking!”
“Looking for a new house and planning a wedding. Good thing I’m not in school!”
“I know, and I’ll help with whatever I can of course,”
“I’d hope so,” I respond, smiling
“Why don’t you grab a notebook, and we’ll knock out some wedding details,”
“Sounds perfect,”

Turns out we knocked out a lot of wedding details, we decided to have the wedding back in New Mexico. I wanted somewhere in Canada, but I didn’t know who has passports and who doesn’t, and everyone that James could think of had one.  We figured the wedding party would consist of: Ashley, Miranda, Bailey and Vero, with Mike, Max, Sid and Marc. We even got colors picked out, blue and yellow. James thought black and yellow would be cool, but I thought it would be a little stereotypical of our wedding, so we decided to do blue and yellow, us girls would carry yellow flowers, while the guys would have blue vests with yellow boutonnieres . The color scheme of it all looked really good.

Since we were planning on getting married in New Mexico, I had to plan time to go down there to look at dresses and ideas for a location of the reception…the ceremony would be at the church where I grew up.  I ran some dates by Vero and Miranda to see if they would make the trip with me.  Thankfully, Joey and Daniel are nice enough to give us both a few days off to go home.

We planned to leave for New Mexico on Friday before guys left for Florida, so our men decided to take us all out to dinner before we leave. Then they take us to the airport the next morning.

“You ladies going to behave in New Mexico?” Max asks us as they walk us to security
“Oh absolutely,” we all respond
“Yeah, you better,” James tells me
“Of course I will babe” I reassure him
“I trust you,”
“And I trust you,” I tell him with a kiss
“Call me when you get in?”
“I will, I love you,”
“I love you too, have fun,”

A few hours later, we land in New Mexico; thankfully it’s not as cold as it was back in the Burgh. My parents greeted us on the other side of security, before we grab our bags and head out.  I had called a few bridal stores the day before, and thankfully, I was able to get some appointments for us tomorrow afternoon, and it worked out perfectly with Bailey and Ashley. 

After dinner with my parents, we settled into my old room right when we got home, my dad had put 2 mattresses on the floor so we could crash there.

“Good morning girls,” My mom greets us in the kitchen
“Morning,” We respond
“There’s a couple football games on, dad and I were thinking about ordering some pizza and watch a few before we leave?” she asks
“Yeah, that sounds good,” I say, with the girls agreeing
“Bailey and Ashley are going to meet us there, right?”

So after lunch we head to the first bridal store, Alfred Angelo.  There were so many gorgeous dresses, and I was beginning to feel a little overwhelmed with the time I had to find a dress before having to go back home.

I tried on 8 dresses before I finally found THE ONE. It was one that I had an idea about for as long as I had been looking at dresses. Brandi, who was helping us, could see it in my eyes that it was the dress for me. 

“You ready to go out and show off your dress?” Brandi asks as she secures the back of it
“Absolutely!” I anxiously say as we walk out

“Oh my gosh!”
“Jay, you look amazing!”
“It’s beautiful!”

That’s all I needed to hear to know that I had their approval and I was a happy girl. 

“So, is this THE dress?” Bailey asks
“Yep. This is THE dress!” I say, smiling
“Jamie, Sharon is going to call back, since we had her on face time, she wants to talk to you ok,” My mom tells me, as she calls again
“Hi Sharon,” I answer
“Hi honey, I must say that the dress is absolutely beautiful on you!”
“Thank you!”
“I also wanted to say that I was talking to your mom, and she did notice that the dress is a little out of your price range. So I wanted to tell you that, Dave and I are going to help with the dress for you, it will be a present from us, and your parents,”
“Really? Oh my gosh, Sharon, you don’t have to,”
“No, we want to, once I saw your face light up in that dress, I couldn’t see you marrying my son in any other dress,”
“Wow, I can’t thank you enough, seriously, this is my dream dress and…I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless. Thank you so much!” I say tearing up a bit
“It’s our pleasure! We wouldn’t have it any other way,”
“Well I really appreciate it, did you want to talk to my mom again?”
“Yes, please,”

[[they are the 2 middle dresses! but in blue]]

So the dress had been picked out, the girls and I decided on bridesmaid dresses, which were going to be blue, with black heels. My stress level went down a bit once we got all that taken care of, my next step would be to figure out when to come down here again before the wedding for another fitting.  But finding all the dresses was good for today.

I had briefly talked to James, told him we found all the dresses and the shoes, he asked if his mom called me and I said yeah, we were both shocked that her and Dave were helping with my wedding dress. I told him we were going to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the game, before going out to Dirty Bourbon for a while.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chapter 14

***So I hate to be a mean person but if I dont get any feedback or anything from this story I dont think I'm going to continue it. I know yall read it it just gets discouraging when I dont get comments and that helps me to write more and hear what yall think of it. so please if yall want more of it leave me some comments! 
Enjoy :)

“Yeah, um hold on, ok?” He says before walking over to his jacket on the chair

“Jamie, since we’ve met, I have had nothing but good times with you and every minute we spend together, I’m wishing and hoping for more,” He says, now standing in front of me
“There’s no one else that gets me like you do, and I still remember that night at Diesel when Max told me to talk to you before someone else did, and I’m sure as hell glad that I did.  You’re…my entire world and I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” & with that, he gets down on one knee
“Make me the happiest man in the world. Will you marry me?”
“Oh my gosh!” I say as he opens the ring box
“Yes, absolutely!” he puts the GORGEOUS ring on my finger and stands up
“Baby, that was the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me,”
“And I meant every word of it. I love you so much,”
“I love you too!” I respond, kissing him, “So that’s why you seemed nervous?”
“Yeah. I was going to wait and ask you at midnight, but I think I would’ve been a wreck if I waited that long,”
“Well, I’m glad you asked me now, just the 2 of us makes it more special,”
“Exactly. Should we call family now or later?”
“Um, lets call them tomorrow? Or we could call our parents at least,”
“Yeah, lets do that real quick before we leave,”

So we call his family to share the news, then my parents, knowing they aren’t doing anything with it being 2 hours earlier.  They were beyond excited to hear our news and couldn’t wait to hear wedding details. I was shocked that my parents weren’t skeptical being that James and I have only been together for 7 months.  After we talked to them, it was almost 8:30 so we decided to walk down to the Lemieux’s house.

“Well hello James! Hi Jay!” Mario says, letting us in
“Hi, how are you?”
“Great! I see you couldn’t wait until midnight, to ask your lovely lady here,”
“Yeah, I got nervous at the house and she caught on,”
“You knew?” I asked him
“Of course I did! Just since yesterday though,”

“Hey! There they are!” Max says towards in a group with the rest of the guys and their women. So I decide to casually brush my hair out of my face with my left hand

“Oh. My. God!” Vero yells
“You’re engaged!!” Kelsey yells too
“Yes, we are,” I say happily
“Congratulations!” they all say
“Thanks guys!” James says
“Anything planned yet?” Allie asks as her and Beau walk up
“Not yet, we will be though within the coming days,” I say
“Right now we are just going to enjoy being engaged,”
“I’m going to get a drink,” I say excusing myself to the kitchen
“Hey Sid,” as I see him with his girlfriend (Yeah. True story.)
“Hey Jay! You girls remember each other, yeah? This is James’ girlfriend,” he says to Janelle
“Fiancée, actually. Its good to see you!” as I give her a hug
“Likewise! Congratulations!” she says
“From me too, you 2 are perfect for each other, and you are in good hands,” he tells me
“Thanks Sid, I really appreciate it,”
“Absolutely, you sure picked a good one, Nealer,” Sid says to James who walks up behind me
“Oh, thank you,”
“Have ya’ll seen Heather or Jordan yet?” I ask
“I think they are on their way, I talked to him earlier,” Sid says
“I haven’t met her yet,” Janelle says, skeptical
“She’s really sweet, I wondered about her before I met her because of what I had heard, but once you get to know her she’s really nice,”
“Ok, because yeah I have heard some things about her, so,”
“Just ignore it, and if she knows your not after Jordan, which obviously your not, she shouldn’t have a problem with you,”

The Lemieux’s had tons of food out and games and such planned. It was amazing to see all this that they did, but like Natalie said, they want the boys to be safe.

“So I hear we have another NHL wedding in the works,” Nat says as she joins us in the kitchen
“You heard right!” James tells her as she examines my ring
“That’s so exciting! And it’s a beautiful ring!” she gushes
“Thank you!” I respond
“I was going to ask you, Mario, if you think we should make an announcement?” James asks him
“That is completely up to you. Although I would recommend that you do one, run it by Pat and see what he says,”
“Ok, I figured that much,”
“But it’s not like you would need to make a big one, as soon as you tell Pat, he will help you decide,”
“Ok, that works too, I was thinking something small like in the Post-Gazette,”
“And that would be perfectly fine, you don’t have to broadcast it across the skyline,”
“Ok, sounds good. We’d rather be more private about it ya know,”
“Yeah, I understand the whole ‘keeping your private life private,”
“Jay!” I hear from across the house
“Jordan!” I say turning around to greet him and Heather
“So I hear you’re stuck with us for a few more years?” he asks
“Yes sir!”
“Jay, it’s beautiful! Congratulations!” Heather adds
“Thanks!” James and I say
“Are ya’ll coming over tomorrow to watch the winter classic?” I ask
“Yeah, we wouldn’t miss it!” Heather says
“It’s at noon right? Geez the Devils & the Canucks, that’s a tough one, eh?”
“Not even!” I protest
“Who are you gonna cheer for?” Jordan asks
“The Canucks, duh,” I tell him
“Yeah, I’m with Jay on that one,”
“Why not the Devils?”
“They are in our division, pretty sure I don’t cheer for any other teams in our division, much less the same conference,”
“So that’s why you cheered for the Canucks in the finals last year?” He asks again
“Yes. I don’t like Boston at all and I wanted to see the Canucks have their fairy tale ending,”
“Yeah, she’s a keeper here, Nealer,” Jordan says laughing
“Thanks,” James says

“Can I speak for a minute?” Mario says, getting our attention
“I just want to say that I’m happy to have all of you guys back this season, it’s been an amazing one and it’s only going to get better.  We’re as healthy and threatening as ever and we are going to go all the way until the end,” he says, getting some clapping
“I’d also like to say, on behalf of Natalie and I, congratulations to James & Jay on their engagement! And here’s to another year!” he says raising his glass as we follow

The New Year was rung in how it was supposed to be.  James and I were with our closest friends, our other family, and most importantly, each other.  I wouldn’t have wanted to give my new years kiss to anyone else but him.

It was New Years day and James and I were having everyone over to watch the winter classic. I sent out a mass text to all my friends back home informing them of the engagement, adding in one to my high school best friend that I would be needing her maid of honor services.  Everyone was excited for me, even though no one really knew who James was, but they would know soon enough!

Jordan and Heather were the first to arrive, with some pizza and snacks in hand.

“Hey guys!” I say, letting them in the house
“Hi! Long time no see!” Heather says
“Right? What’s it been like 8 hours?” I add, leading them to the kitchen
“This is a cute house!” she adds
“I know; I love it!”
“So who else is coming?” Heather asks
“Pretty much everyone that was at Mario’s last night,”
“Ok cool,”
“So have you guys started any planning yet?” Jordan asks as he and James walk into the kitchen
“No not yet,” James says
“We haven’t even been engaged for 24 hours, cut us some slack.”
“Ok, ok,”
“But we’ll start in a few days,”
“Yeah, I need to call Pat and tell him,”

After a few more minutes, more people start showing up and eventually, nearly the entire team is here, with their wives/girlfriends/kids.  Allie showed up with Beau and they came with Mel and Logan, it was good seeing them since it seems like I haven’t seen much of them lately.  It was a good game, no one was cheering for Boston, thank goodness! I’d kick them out if they were. The Canucks won 4-3, so I was happy about that.  Everyone stayed for a while after the game ended.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chapter 13**edited 9/5!**

The past few months flew by and it was already December.  Winter in the Burgh was my favorite for sure, I had quickly adjusted to the freezing temperatures and all the snow, and so I’ve grown to love it. 

“Hey babe,” James says as him, Jordan and Max sit at the bar top at work.
“Hi!” I say to him and then the boys
“So, we have a surprise for you 2,” Max tells me and Miranda
“Round 2 in Vegas?” Miranda asks
“Close…but no,” Jordan says
“Our last road trip before Christmas is to California,” James says
“And we want you girls to come with us,”
“Really?” I say
“Yeah, we figured we shouldn’t rub it in your face that were getting out of the cold weather, so were bringing you with us,”
“That sounds awesome!” Miranda says
“And don’t worry, it’s been discussed with Joey,”
“Wow, you sure are getting in good with him,”
“So when do we leave?”
“Next Tuesday.  Pack your bathing suits too, if we behave, we’ll get some beach time,” Jordan says, happily
“Is your lady friend coming Jordie?” I ask him
“Heather? No, she's in T-Bay,”
“Ya know, I'm beginning to think she doesn't exist!" I say, joking
"Whatever, she does!"
"Then we look forward to meeting her, sometime in the near future,"
“So did you get us a room too or what’s the plan?” Miranda asks
“Yeah, V and Kels are going out too so you can all room together,” Max says
“And there’s room on the team plane to fly out with us” James adds
“Sweet! This is gonna be amazing!”

Tuesday is here before we know it.  I had packed the night before and stayed with James at his house. 

“Good morning gentlemen…um and ladies,” Coach says as we get situated in the bus to go to the airport,
“Since we had our morning skate, once we land it will be all about relaxing.  We’ll check into the hotel around 2, then your free to do whatever you want until dinner at 6:30 which will probably be somewhere near the hotel. Then it’s lights out at 10. Got it?”
“Yes sir,” the boys respond
“Ladies, you have a room at each stop already?” Dan asks us
“A room? Oh I thought we could share with the boys?” V asks sarcastically
“Very funny V,” He says laughing
“Yes Dan, the 4 of us are sharing rooms at all the stops,” Kels says
“Thank god I don’t have daughters,” he replies still laughing
“Yeah, then we’d all be worried for you,” I say joking back

Our first stop was Anaheim. The hotel we were staying at was way nice, the girls and I had the best view from the balcony.  After we checked in and dropped off luggage, we went walking around the city and mainly enjoyed the dramatic change in weather.  While the guys got bored after a while, the girls and I did what we knew best…shopping.

The boys beat the Ducks then lost to the Kings. Dan held practice before the game against the Sharks while the girls and I went shopping.  I found the most gorgeous Chanel necklace that I fell in love with, so I took a picture of it to send to my mom, and sent it to James on accident…oops.

We beat the Sharks in Logan’s first game against his former team, the fans were still welcoming of him, which was nice, especially since he started his career there. 

Back in Pitt and back to reality.  James family came down for Christmas, they stayed at the hotel at Station Square, because with all 6 of them, James’ house was super crowded.

Christmas with the Neal’s was a great one.  He had been really good at being sneaky, and got me the Chanel necklace that I was looking at in San Jose…I was shocked that he went back to get it, and even more shocked that he kept it a secret. 

It was New Year’s Eve and Mario was throwing his annual party for the team and their families.  Me, Kelsi, Vero and Miranda all went to get our hair and make-up done before going our separate ways before going to Mario's tonight.  I had brought stuff with me to stay at James' house again, which was becoming more frequent.  James and I were talking while we finished getting ready.  We had a glass of wine before heading out when I noticed that James was kind of shaky and a little nervous.

"Babe, are you ok?" I ask him