Monday, July 16, 2012

Chapter 21

FINALLY getting this up! Hope yall are still following it, I promise I have more time now since graduating so I will do more updates! Enjoy :)

Morning comes, my parents spend time with my aunt and uncle, and James comes with Jordan and I to find an engagement ring for Heather.  Apparently he had done a bit of research when he helped James pick out my engagement ring.  He found a gorgeous ring for her.  He was beyond excited when he handed over his credit card.  I asked if he knew when he was going to propose, when James yelled at me to not get in his business, but Jordan didn’t mind. He came down to either asking her when we win the cup, or at the parade. I didn’t even try asking him what he would do if we didn’t win…because it’s a cardinal rule. And he brought it up first, so I just went with it. 

We ended up running into my family at South Side Works, so we decided to do lunch at the Cheesecake Factory before the boys wanted to go home and rest, because tomorrow is the big day! Game 1 of the finals against the Nashville Predators.

We won game 1, and then game 2 in overtime. The guys felt pretty confident heading out to Nashville, the girls had never been out there, so we decided to go, we left the day after I said bye to my parents until I’d see them again for the wedding.

Nashville was such a fun place to be, especially since the last time I was out there; my family and I got stuck in a tornado. Things were different this time; Heather, Janelle and Miranda joined Kelsey, Vero and I.  So while the boys had practice and whatnot, we explored the city.

Before we knew it, we were back in Pittsburgh.  The guys lost game 4, which was a heartbreaking, loss. Marc Andre had a tough game, having let in 5 goals in a 5-1 loss, but like he always does, he put it behind him and was ready for game 5. 

I don’t know how the boys were so calm, knowing that the Stanley Cup was in the building tonight, and that we had the chance to win it at home, in front of our fans.  Mario delivered another motivational message to the guys that got them pumped up, just like they were the last time they won the cup. James was even more excited to know that his parents were going to be sitting in the box with the girls and I tonight.

I had been doing well at keeping Jordan’s promise and not saying anything about him proposing to Heather.

“Hey Jay,” Jordan says, as I walk into the locker room with James
“Hi Jordan!” I say, giving him a hug
“So can I trust you with the ring for the game tonight?” He asks, with the box in his hand
“Absolutely! I don’t have my purse though to keep it in,” I tell him
“Here babe, why don’t you just wear my jacket, you can put it in there,” James tells me
“Ok, I can put it in the inside pocket,”
“Ok, just don’t forget it’s there and take it out on accident,”
“I wont, and if we run by the locker room later, I’ll take it out before I drop off the jacket,”
“Perfect!” he says

So I walk back out to the lounge right as Heather is walking in…keep your mouth shut Jay!

The game did NOT start out how we wanted to. The Predators took an early 2-0 lead, Vero was as nervous as ever, at one point she grabbed my hand and squeezed it so hard, I was almost positive I lost the feeling in it, but we were all in the same position when it came to being nervous for our guys. 

The team, and their hockey sticks, seemed to have woken up going into the 2nd period, scoring 3 goals within 10 minutes to take the lead, that let us girls breathe a sigh of relief. 

We were half way through the 3rd; the Predators had tied it up, before James scored the go-ahead (&his 2nd) goal of the game. I was so nervous at the fact that we were less then 7 minutes away from winning our 4th Stanley Cup. Jordan reassured us when he scored with 3 minutes left, and the most amazing backhanded shot ever.

“Oh, Lord Stanley, Lord Stanley, Bring me the Brandy!”

That was all we needed to hear & we are running through the arena to get to ice level. I made sure to take Jordan’s ring out of James’ jacket before throwing it in the locker room, and then we made our way to the ice with the Neal’s and the Staal’s close behind us.

The Predators had left the ice after the handshake and our celebrations were underway.  I was talking to Max and Kris when James skated over and picked me up in a hug.  I was unbelievably proud of him as well as they guys for their performance; their play through the entire playoffs had been like I’d never seen them play before.

Jordan came by to grab the ring from me and skated over to Heather, where she was talking with the rest of the Staal’s that made it down.  He pulled her to the side and got right down on one knee and asked her to marry him, cutest proposal ever!

The entire night was a blur of Jordan’s proposal, the on ice and locker room celebration, everyone running around everywhere…oh yeah and the presentation of the cup! And the Conn Smyth trophy to who? Mr. James Neal J

June was flying by so quickly.  Sid and some of the guys had planned on going to Vegas for the NHL Awards, James and I contemplated it…any excuse is an excuse to go to Vegas! But with the wedding coming up and us going back to New Mexico soon, we decided to pass. Vegas would always be there.  

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