Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chapter 20

***Better late then never...right? I got caught up in all the hockey games tonight :)

“So do we know what’s happening for your bachelorette party?” Vero asks while having breakfast with Kelsey and Miranda
“No, I told Ashley to hold off on planning it…I’m kinda wondering about what the guys are going to do though,” I say
“Jay, you shouldn’t be worrying about that!” Kelsey says
“I know, but I mean everything’s going to happen back home, the guys don’t know anything out there!”
“Oh, yeah I could see that being a problem then,” Miranda says
“So I was kind of thinking of an idea, that I’d run by the guys obviously, but how random would it be to do a combined bachelor and bachelorette party?”
“Not completely random, it’s been done before,” V says
“And I mean, I thought we could do our separate dinners, and then meet up for dancing or something,”
“That’s actually sounds like a good idea!”
“I’m totally not saying this because I’m worried about what the boys are going to do, I would just feel bad if they went golfing or something and then we were out all night, you know?”
“Well, run it past James and see what he says?”
“Do you think your men would be cool with it?”
“I think Ty would like it, he loves country dancing!” Kelsey says…her and Tyler were added to our wedding party; James & I came to terms that we wanted to include them J so that made the entire wedding party to 12 people.

Later that night, I ran the idea by James, and he thought it was a great idea; the rest of the guys did too. So with that, we would plan our own dinners, then go dancing at Dirty Bourbon, and last minute things were being set in stone. All the family members had rooms booked at the casino where the reception would be & all the wedding guests would be in town by Friday the 6th.

I was shocked at how fast the time had gone by that I was almost too busy to notice that the boys had made it through the first 2 rounds of the playoffs and were nearing the finals. Almost. Ok, so not really, with the fiancé I have and the environment I was in, I’d probably get fired if I forgot.

We beat Tampa Bay, then Toronto, and tonight was game 4 against the Hurricanes in Carolina…with the chance to sweep them. YEAH. Like I couldn’t notice that. At least the Hurricanes fans were welcoming, maybe cause we were like family…we both have a Staal.

GUESS WHOSE GOING TO THE STANLEY CUP FINALS?  Yep, we are! We had to wait to see who we would be playing, as the series between the Predators and the Avs was tied at 2 apiece, but the guys were glad for that because it meant a few days off for them to gear up and get prepared.

“Are you guys ready for the finals?” I ask my mom as I’m grocery shopping
“Yeah, we’ll be home for the games, so we will be watching them,” she responds
“Ok, good. James wouldn’t let you live it down if you missed it,”
“We know, dad is kind of bummed that we can’t make it out there,”
“I know, I wish ya’ll could too,”
“Yeah, he was like my son in law is playing in the finals and I’ll be watching it from my couch,”
“Aw, well next year, you guys will be out here,”
“He’ll hold you too that!”
“Oh, I know! But mom I gotta go and finish at the store,”
“Ok, bye sweetie, talk to you soon,”
“Ok, bye,”

Last night was game 6 between the Preds and the Avs, which had the series win from the Predators, our opponent for Lord Stanley. Game on.  Once again, we had home ice advantage.

The next day, James and I go to lunch with Sid and Janelle at the pizza parlor in Sewickley.  James seems distracted the entire time through lunch, but I was figuring it was just nerves for the game, so I blow it off.  After lunch, we get back home and decide to pick something for our wedding that we haven’t done yet…pick our first dance song. So we sit on the couch with my laptop and iTunes and get to work.

Our list included:
“The Way You Look Tonight”
“I Could Not Ask for More”
“You Had Me From Hello”
“My Best Friend”
“Me & You”
“I Love You This Big”

We narrowed it down to “My Best Friend”, “Me and You” and “I Love You This Big”

“I think I like the Kenny Chesney song the best,” James says
“Me and You?” I ask
“Yeah, and remember, he sang it when we saw him at Heinz Field,”
“Oh yeah!” I say as he stands up
“So, can I have this dance?” He asks, putting his hand out
“Absolutely” I say, gladly accepting

[[Here's the video of the song in case ya'll haven't heard it...I absolutely LOVE it! I actually want it for my own wedding song :)]]

Cheesy, I know, but moments like this, when it’s just the two of us, are what I love the most, just us together. And there we were, dancing away in the middle of our living room. Perfection.

“I think it’s perfect,” he says, looking down at me
“I love it,” I respond, smiling
“Then it sounds like we found our song,”
“Definitely,” I say before he leans down to kiss me

Just then the doorbell interrupted us

“You expecting anybody?” I ask
“It might be Jordan, he was dropping off a video game,” James says as I walk to the door
“Oh my God!” I'm shocked to see my parents on the other side of the door
“Hi!” my mom says
“Hi! What…how did…when did this happen?”
“Dad had airline points, so we used them to surprise you!”
“And now were here,” dad said
“Well come on in! How did you plan this?” I ask
“We had a little help,” mom said, looking at James
“You did?” I ask him
“I tell ya, he’s amazing at keeping secrets!”
“What can I say,” James says
“What a beautiful house you guys got!”
“Thanks! Want a tour?” I ask

So we give them the tour of the house, and spend some time catching up.  It was a gorgeous day outside, so we decided to throw some burgers on the grill and eat dinner outside on the porch.

We start cleaning up and decide to go to Bruster’s for some desert, when Jordan calls me

“Hi Jordan!” I say answering it
“Hey Jay, how’s it going?” Jordan says on the other line
“Good, just hanging out with my parents, and you?”
“Just relaxing, hey listen, I need your help with something,”
“Ok, what’s that?”
“I need help picking out…an engagement ring…”
“AH! You’re going to propose to Heather?”
“Yeah, I am!”
“Oh my gosh, I’d be more then happy to help you!”
“Ok, so she is back in T-Bay, she will be back on Wednesday before the game, so any chance we could go tomorrow?”
“Yeah, that should work, my parents are here, but I’m sure they can spend a few hours with my aunt and uncle, or around town,”
“Ok, awesome, I’ll call you tomorrow then, ok?”
“Sounds great, talk to you then!”
“Oh and Jay, don’t say anything about this, not even to Vero…because I know how you girls are,”
“You got it Jordan,”

Oh boy...secrets are SO hard for me to keep. But I'm not going to disappoint Jordan, and I'm going to stick with his promise.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chapter 19

It’s March? Holy cow, where has the year gone? James was completely recovered from his concussion, no more headaches or anything. The first road trip of the month was against the Blackhawks and the Devils; I had a few days off, so Kelsey, Vero, Miranda and I decided to tag along…Chicago, here we come! J I was beyond excited because I love Chicago and the United Center is definitely one of my favorite arenas. 

We got into Chicago the day before the game. The team stayed at the Sutton Place hotel, while the girls and I decided to go all out and stay at the Trump Tower…we thought we deserved it with as hard as we worked, and our men agreed, TK also said that we “should be in the middle of everything on the Magnificent Mile”, yeah TK, in the middle of all the shopping is the PERFECT place for us.  

We were heading out to go shopping, when we ran into none other then Patrick Kane near the elevators. Vero and I know countless stories about him, so we weren’t surprised when he tried to hit on us.

“Hey ladies, I’m Patrick Kane the II,” He says, trying to work his charm
“Hi Kane,” we respond
“What are you all doing today?”
“Shopping on the mile,” Kelsey says
“Then going to watch our men kick some Blackhawk ass tonight,” Vero says proudly
“Oh, so you’re the beautiful ladies of those men,”
“Yep,” I respond
“Well, me and some of the other guys would be more then happy to show you a good time after the game tonight,” …oh here he goes
“I don’t think they would appreciate that,” Miranda says
“Yeah, besides we have better things to do,” I say
“And we know all about you and your whoreish ways” Vero says
“Well what they don’t know won’t hurt them, lets just go up to my condo, 5 minutes, max.”
“& Have what, a 5-some? Hell no” Kelsey says
“Your sick, we’re not cheaters, nor do we plan on it, because we love our men, and we stick beside them,”
“Wait, so there’s men that play for the Penguins? I thought they were all just little boys, cause they sure act like it.”
“Woah, Kane. You don’t even know them, and from what I know they are all more of a man then you would ever be,” I snap at him
“Um, doubt that. You probably don’t even have reliable information,”
“You don’t need to worry about that. If I were you, I’d worry about how your girlfriend even trusts you, hitting on us who are all taken,”

That did it, Kane was speechless, and you could see it in his face

“Have a good day, Patrick. Hope we didn’t bruise your ego too much,” I say with a smile

The team split up for dinner that night, Vero and I went with Marc Andre, James and a few other guys to Rockit, while Kelsey and Miranda went with another group to a sushi restaurant.

Game day!  We got to the arena and sat in the box with Kris and Dustin, who were nursing injuries.  At some point in the game, Kane ran Geno into the boards and Engelland wasn’t having it, so he stepped in, which (of course) led to a fight between Engo and Kane…who was clearly on the wrong end of that fight, and lost. We won that one 5-2, with a goal and 2 assists from James, and as much fighting and shoving as we could handle.

The Devils definitely gave us a run for our money in the game the next night, they were a better rested team coming off of a 2 night break, but the boys didn’t let any tiredness show.  We left with a point in the standings on a 3-2-overtime loss.

Back in Pittsburgh, I was cleaning around the house, when Ray Shero called me

“I have a job offer for you,” He says
“Yeah, Danielle is leaving her position with the marketing and promotions department because Alexi is going to play for KHL. I wanted to offer the job to you before anyone else, mainly because I know how good of a worker you are, and also because you’ve already done a lot of work for us,”
“Oh wow!”
“It would be full time, and paid obviously. Now, I know it’s another big change for you; so I’ll give you some time to think about it if you want, and talk to James as well,”
“Ok, I think I will do that, he should be home soon, can I give you a call in about an hour?”
“Yes, definitely, I look forward to hearing from you,”
“Thanks Ray, I’ll talk to you soon,”

James gets home and I tell him about the conversation I had with Ray. He thought it would be a good fit if I took the job, minus it being my dream job; I’d also be working for one of the best teams in the league.  Since it was full time, I would have to leave my job at Joe’s, which I was sad about, but I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I turned it down, so it was meant to be.

I called Ray back and told him that I would love to accept the job and he was thrilled to have me with the organization. We arranged for me to go in the next day to fill out paper work and get everything situated, before going to Joe’s to put my 2 weeks notice in. I then called my parents to share the news.

We went out to the grocery store, then invite Miranda and Max over for dinner.

“First you move away from me, now your leaving me at Joe’s!” Miranda says as we start cooking
“I know! I’m sorry,” I say sadly
“Your cheating on me aren’t you?” She cries
“Yes, Miranda, I’m cheating on you with my fiancé.” I respond laughing
“So typical,” She fires back
“It’s not like we wont see each other still, I mean, if we should worry about any cheating it should be the bromance between my fiancé and your boyfriend,” I say
“Yeah, true.” She says, as we both turn to see them playing video games

My bridal shower is today and I was beyond excited.  Vero and Anne had planned an amazing party at the Adams’ house.  Vero put together a type of Jeopardy game, with help from Marc Andre, there were questions about James that I had to answer, yeah ladies, way to put me on the spot. Needlessly to say, I did good! I only missed 2…oops!  James and I had gotten so much stuff! More then we would know what to do with, especially since we already had a lot of stuff, but some things were due for replacement.

“This one is a late arrival,” Anne says, handing me a box

I open the box to see a bracelet with 3 charms on it: a little penguin, a hockey stick and #18 in the middle of it.
In the box was a letter from James,

“Baby, everyday I am thankful for that one night we started talking, I’m so glad that Max broke me out of my shell to get to know you.  I love waking up to you in the morning and going to sleep with you at night, you make each day even better, and I truly cherish those days. Lord knows how I would have dealt with my concussion if you hadn’t been here to help me. You’ve made me a better person, a better man. I couldn’t see myself spending the rest of my life with anyone else but you.  Words can’t explain how much I love you. I’m so excited to see what our life has in store for us. You’re the missing piece to my puzzle, and I can’t wait for the day that I can call you my wife. I love you so much!
Xoxo James”

Awe! I never knew that he was such a hopeless romantic; I really do love that man.