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.