Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year from the 3 of us!

Wishing you all a blessed and happy holiday! This year has been quite a ride for us, with the usual transition and change we’ve come to know together, but at the end of it we are so much closer to fulfilling our family and dreams.

We’ve enjoyed celebrating these special moments with you and are grateful for your love, prayers and support along the way. Baby Girl ‘A’ is on the way due February 7, 2018 as far as we know today. She’s doing well and outside of tiredness, I am doing great too. Not working has brought a lot less stress for me, and the ability to really focus on this time of becoming a mom. Michael has been fabulous at preparing painting, assembling, getting the house ready and we’ve been attending classes together. Such a special bonding experience for both of us. Once again team JaM is in play. I’m certain his tiredness is equal to mine!

We are both thrilled to become parents and embrace this new stage in our lives.

We are finishing up preparations in the nursery and getting ready to welcome our little girl in, whenever she is ready. It’s a true miracle we have this blessing in our lives and we don’t take a minute of it for granted. Just saying “welcome our little girl in” is something we only could have dreamed of a few years ago.

We can’t wait for a celebratory quiet holiday and an exciting 2018. We are taking the season to enjoy at home peacefully.

Wishing you and your families love, peace and happiness and pure moments of joy this holiday season, and especially time away from the hustle and bustle.

As we’ve learned the past year with the loss of Moms, time is short, moments are fleeting and precious, but the love in your heart can last forever when you are present for it.

Isn’t that the greatest gift of all ~ being present.

Much love from the Pelfinis ~ JaM ~

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Revealing LBP- she’s our “a” in JaM

IMG_0019How exciting it was for us to gather our California family and friends together to reveal LBP (Little Baby Pelfini)! To us, the party represented so much after many transitions during our first year of marriage – a true reason to celebrate life! The party was also a week after we celebrated our first anniversary.

Early on the theme presented challenges. I mean where in the world do you find a pink crab? And a blue fish that is NOT Nemo? Thank goodness for the ability to search and buy anywhere! We put months of work into developing the party theme, concepts and purchases, nothing too small to disregard. All things equal blue AND pink. Even down to every other napkin, every other plate!

Meanwhile, on the little one… Earlier that week we received good news, the final hurdles of fetal tests and screens came back all positive and we were moved from the high risk to low risk category. Huge big sigh of relief! Some of this is because of AMA (eeks, Advanced Maternal Age), and some is just general health stuff they were watching. The week after the party we had an echocardiogram and that went well too. Although another visit to the fetal specialist warned against a planned trip to Hawaii for our Babymoon in October (yes it’s a thing), we quickly adjusted our plans to Scottsdale. But getting ahead here, back to the party…

There was one surprise I was not expecting (thank you Michael, the ultimate secret keeper) when my also pregnant-sister Beckey (due 4 weeks after me) shocked me by walking up the porch stairs on the day before the party, completely blowing my mind away. She flew in from Ohio as a total surprise and was the best gift I could have received- Michael agreed. Getting to share pregnancy moments together and some “bump” photos is something we will both always cherish. She also ended up being so instrumental in helping us execute the final setting up and decorating. As usual, the aggressive vision exceeded the timeline to make it all happen. Hey, that’s what marketers do! But working together, we were able to get it all done. In fact, we were feeling good a few minutes before the party even started. Whew!

We didn’t tell anyone what we had planned for the party. I tried my best to be the secret keeper on the details (this is no challenge for Michael). We wanted the element of surprise to be there too, to make it special. Our invitation, “You are Invited to Sea What LBP Will Be…”, included showcasing a pink crab (girl) and blue fish (boy) for a reason. But you’d have to know us really well as to why (no one at the party could guess that either). LBP is an Aquarius baby (if she’s any bit on track for her delivery date early Feb!). Michael is a Pisces and I am a Crab. We both love the ocean and the water. So we figured naturally LBP will love all that too… We turned our home into a fun sea scene, inside and outside of the house.

Surprises to our guest included a full-on wine tasting and charcuterie from our local wine shop, and a taco truck in our front yard! I’ve heard people say it was some of the best Mexican food they have had. We agree!

So many highlights and moments to the party. Michael’s heartwarming speech brought tears to my eyes– also recognizing the love of his mother and her missing presence; our past and present plans for our home with our family; and the eyes and hearts of all at the party. It was quite overwhelming, with around 90 people at our home, but no doubt a day we will love to share with LBP. A lasting memory of the party will land on her nursery wall, as we had our guests write one word they would like LBP to know on a canvas we will have framed… and in the middle of the canvas, her first initial making it a timeless piece.

Ah the good stuff, we revealed we are having a girl! Both Michael and I were surprised. He never guessed and I was pretty much thinking boy. But we’ve been so wrong on guessing genders lately! We also revealed the first initial of her name to be “A”. Yes we have a name picked out. At the party we were still debating our very small shortlist (we had a very shortlist for a boy as well also with A), but we are now talking to her by her name and we can’t wait for you all to meet her soon. Why did we pick “A”? We really like being JaM, which as you know, represents Jennifer and Michael, but now we have a really meaningful “A” that unifies us all as a family. Awwww, right? That’s what we thought.

The main event in February will be the next big reveal… what is her name Baby Girl A? You can guess, but we won’t tell. It’s fun to have a little secret!

Since our love for the water and ocean is something we can both agree on, Baby Girl A’s nursery will be an ocean theme. I’ve been planning and reviewing concepts and ideas with Michael and we’ve started making our first purchases. It’s so exciting! Never a dull moment.

We wanted to especially thank you for all your love and support! LBP/Baby Girl A is one lucky baby. A life filled with love is all you can ask for. We are truly blessed with that and Baby Girl A is feeling the love already. Yep, she’s swimming in her pond, hitting walls occasionally. Uh, I mean kicking and moving around. We think she’s happy. We know we are!

Team JaM thanks the following services that made our party fabulous and we are pleased to support and to recommend:

JaM’in news

We have some JaM’in news… 
Michael and I are thrilled to share we are expecting LBP (Little Baby Pelfini) in early February! Currently we are headed into Week 13 (month 4). 

We could already know if we are having a girl or a boy (we have the sealed envelope in hand), but we will find out together at our LBP Reveal Party 9/16. We are so excited to share our joy with family and friends. The party will be lots of fun and be a true celebration for us as the week prior will be our first anniversary! What a year we’ve had… we feel very blessed and grateful for this special time in our lives. A true gift from God. 

A few snaps, including yes LBP’s already been indoctrinated to our love of sports and loyalty to our teams, kicking off with the SF Giants vs. CLE Indians. A little hometown rivalry for mom and dad! We’ll be sure to be fair and let LBP decide which way to go!

On our 3rd year of our first date, we also were celebrating the pregnancy of LBP!
The joyous morning we heard LBPs heartbeat for the very first time!
LBPs first baseball game featuring the SF Giants and CLE Indians!
Momma to be at 13 weeks.

Winter Wonderland Wedding Party 12/26/16

What a year for growth 2016 was for our families. We added new family members with a new niece, Olivia, born at the end of May, and a new nephew Hunter and sister-in-law Melissa in October when my brother was married in Palm Harbor, Florida. And of course a new brother-in-law with Michael. It’s an exciting time to see our family grow!

We all reunited at Christmas to share our wedding experiences with our families and friends to celebrate in Ohio. Michael’s family was able to join the party as well with family in attendance from both Ohio and in making the trip to see us from Pennsylvania. It was a fabulous day of laughs and reunions. Besides lovely cake, we had incredible local faire food with plenty of Polish, Italian and Czech classics to eat. We also had some major laughs and moments of glee with a “white elephant” exchange, where the $5 or less gifts went the range of a lava lamp, to drinking straw glasses, to toilet paper and everything cute and fun in between. Ah you gotta love the humor in our family…

Family and friends pitched in to help and host – and the results were a very special evening. Not many times in our lives we get the joy of having most of the family in the room. For this day, and this reason, it was a very special occasion! We only wish we had more time. It was a true blessing to be with everyone.

On the behalf of all of us (Michael, myself, Philip and Melissa and the Houdek family) thank you for being a part of our journey!

Photos courtesy of Tamara Koski.

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Video of fun “white elephant” gift exchange!

Loving Mother, a Bright Shining Light to Family, Friends and All Who Knew Her

It is with my heartfelt sadness to share with you that Michael’s dear mom, Stephenie Marie Pelfini passed away on Thanksgiving, November 24th, 2016. We were with Mom at her bedside when she took her last breath. It was a beautiful experience.

Stephenie was a true light in life, she loved her life and her family and friends, travelled the world, and was an energetic soul who always brought her own happiness to everyone and anyone who knew her.

We were so very fortunate with the gift of her in our lives and being a part of our wedding was so very important to her- we had both of our mothers sign the marriage certificate. We were truly blessed on that day with her in attendance. She celebrated with us and couldn’t be happier that her son had found the love he was seeking. I couldn’t have asked for a better mother-in-law who I shared a kindred spirit with.

Honoring her life has been the greatest responsibility of love we’ve had together.  Join us visiting her online memorial—  Stephenie’s services and Life Celebration information are found here. (Thursday December 1 and Friday December 2).

As a part of celebrating her life, we are asking friends to share memories of her on her memorial website, and also, as she held cards dear to her, to share a memory of her in a note and pop it in the mail, so Michael can have an ongoing memory of her. During services, the many cards she had in her home ready to send out at a moments notice, will be available and addressed to our home to easily mail.

We appreciate your love, prayers and sharing your memories of Stephenie with us, during this difficult time, and for the months and years to come, as each Thanksgiving we will remember her in a very special way, but every day, she lives on in our lives.

Our Wedding Day

It’s hard to believe that one month ago we were on this day preparing to get married! We cherish every moment of that time…and reflect on the joy and love of it often…

When planning this event, every little detail, as in any wedding, became important. We’ve both planned many, many events before, but this one was on a compressed timeline, so decisions and commitments had to be made fast. The decision to get married soon, versus later, and finding an elopement package were the first step. And at this point, we started calling it the anti-elopement, as we realized we could not do this day alone, nor in our hearts, did we really wish to do so.

Quick phone calls and emails went out, confirmations were a day turn-around, guests booked flights and at the Inns, and we were on our way– keeping to the promise we made, that this was to be a small gathering, where we felt we could have the personal, intimate weekend we desired. It was difficult to do that, and hard to keep quiet, but the results were fantastic and we couldn’t have done it any other way for us.

Our day was amazing, but we never could have imagined, with all the planning we did, that the site- we never saw together before and discovered the specific spot in Berwick Park at the morning of our wedding, the Seven Gables Inn-we booked after only seeing online, and the team– we placed trust in all hired by our elopement coordinator from Blue Sky Elopements, could all turn out to create this magical, dreamy, fairy tale by the ocean experience.

I felt like Cinderella and Michael was certainly my Prince Charming. Our court was filled with love and support, with each person having a role that we, or they, could not have anticipated either. And those roles were incredibly important to us, beginning with the planning all the way to the arrivals, and through the day of…

Our day came together absolutely beautifully, and we are thankful to God that we were so very blessed.

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Do I? I Do!

Stay tuned… we’ll be posting all of the amazing photos and video in the upcoming months. The photos on here so far are just a preview of what’s to come. We feel so amazingly blessed and are super pumped to be married! There are just no words to convey enough how incredibly amazing our experience was…

Our last first “match” date

We both confessed when we met on that we were tired of dating and “kissing the frogs” –as Michael likes to say. How we connected was kind of a crazy happening of events. I had just returned from a “heritage” trip to both Poland (I’m Polish) and Czech Republic (I’m Czech as well and went on this trip and had the opportunity to discover my grandfather’s birthplace and documentation). Tired of doing the online thing, I was intrigued by a pretty direct message from Michael who seemed really together. In his profile, he mentioned he was both Italian and Czech! I thought, who mentions they are Czech and I just returned from there- and a real Italian with roots in Italy? I had a feeling our values would be similar. Michael caught my attention and we traded emails trying to set up a time until we were able to meet. The timing was crazy, as during the end of my trip I was interviewing for a job with my dream company, resulting in a final interview upon my return and then to my delight, a job offer immediately following! My first conversation with Michael was in-between waiting for the offer call. We talked on the phone for over an hour and we both remember laughing and smiling during the all over the map chat- during which our call was interrupted with the good news I had the job. After that phone connection, we knew we had to meet! Between his trip to Tahoe, mine to Orlando and Memorial Day weekend, it took us a few weeks of patience to be able to meet.

Our first date was a few days after I returned from my first business trip with my new employer to Orlando. My suggestion was to meet somewhere on the water in SF. I picked Waterbar, he agreed. When we met on June 7, 2014, we both had that feeling, something was different here. This had potential to be something really good and lasting. I convinced him it was a good idea to take a photo. Michael was a a bit photo shy (having no idea then that I am a photo fanatic) but he agreed. We laughed, shared what we wanted in life, which to our surprise pretty much “matched” what we said on our profiles. An occurrence we both agreed was rare. Our date was amazing and magical in its own way. We enjoyed rounds of oysters and champagne and talked the entire time ending up closing Waterbar. Afterward we walked along the Embarcadero to the Bay Bridge lights dazzling and this random guy playing guitar, that to us, seemed like a private serenade!

Not wanting the date to end, we continued on to Route 101, a total dive bar, and jammed to some rock and heavy metal- Michael’s favorite and we both found out we love a good dive bar. After that date, we both knew more dates had to happen. And so they did! A month later (and no other dates in between with anyone else) we said, “this is it for me”. We committed to be with each other and in our minds and hearts, this meant eventually we would get married. Pretty crazy now thinking about the journey we’ve been on… but we both knew what we wanted, and we were willing to work together for a different kind of relationship, one that would grow, evolve and be forever.

Sim! in Portugal

After two years together Michael and I decided to take an international trip and have some real adventure. We were seeking a coastal destination where we could explore, relax and experience the tastes and cultures of a new place and we wanted to feel like locals as much as possible. Michael and I always find the best places off the beaten path. Within no time I had (as it later turned out) booked the perfect spot at the Vila Gale Collection Palacio Dos Arcos– in the lovely town of Paco de Arcos- an easy 15 minute train ride into Lisbon with beaches and views. Oh my! We were in for such a treat that surpassed our expectations. Portugal was a complete delight and we can’t wait to go back. Little did I know that the resort would hold forever the memory of our magical engagement.

During our trip, Portugal won the soccer/futbol semi-finals (on the night of our engagement). And when we were on our way home, on our layover, we watched Portugal win the finals against France, making history! We are convinced that we had something to do with it and helped them to win (after all the Cavs won when we attended the NBA finals game)!

Below is a short story of our Portugal trip, a lovely country and people. Obrigado Portugal! We will return… If you want any tips please reach out to us!