JAM Ode to 2019

We hope this greeting finds you and your family JOYful and healthy. 2019 was a busy year for JAM and a year of really settling into Reno life. My personal focus word for the year was JOY (Jesus, Others, then YOU) and if you saw my million FB posts, the mood was always finding JOY in whatever was going around our lives.

Early in 2019 we visited Ohio to co-host the wedding shower for my youngest sister Beckey, and since the visit was just before Audriana turned one, so we celebrated that as well! Back in Reno, we hosted a ONE singular sensational party for Audriana at our home with lots of sparkles, family and friends! A few weeks after she turned one she took her first steps and has been climbing stairs, playing in the parks and keeping us on the move since then. Audriana knows all her colors, she’s starting to learn the ABCs and knows how to recognize counting just about anything. She takes swimming once a week and really loves the water. She’s grown out of anything under 24 months and we’ve officially retired the onesies. This is where I start to cry. Lol. Every time I rotate her clothing sizes up I think, another stage gone by. It’s been a true gift to be at home with her for every stage. She’s just amazing to watch embrace the world around her with curiosity, focus and excitement. And so it goes on…

In March we headed back out to Ohio again to be a part of Beckey and Alex’s wedding. Jenn as matron of honor and Michael as a groomsman. Audriana took part by looking absolutely adorable in her beautiful matching color dress. The wedding weekend was amazing and it was great to see our entire family and friends together. It was two very busy visits but as usual we managed to squeeze it all in making sure to see as much of the family as possible and have some fun with local hometown activities. Like pierogies, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Football Hall of Fame. Good times!

We had many visitors this year, taking advantage of exploring the Reno and Tahoe area with them when here. Grandma came to visit us in July for 10 days and we kept ourselves busy during her visit! There is always a festival, an event or activity going on every week near to where we live.  

In August we took our first JAM family vacation traveling to Kauai for 12 days. Well it was seven, but we lost a day with flight challenges, so we very quickly on the trip decided to stay longer. Great choice! We LOVED the garden isle and took advantage of all the beauty and activities it had to offer. With a toddler you can imagine that meant scheduled naps, lots of snacks, and activities! Audriana was really the dream traveler (it must just be in her) adjusting easily to delayed flights, time changes and very full days. We took her to a Luau with fabulous entertainment (like a production theater show) which she fell asleep during, a helicopter ride which she fell asleep in and many car rides to Waimea Canyon, Wailua Falls, Hanalei Bay and around the island, where she was just a happy girl in the car or out. She especially LOVED all the birds and enjoyed feeding them.

We all loved the beautiful scenes of Hawaii- the beach, the blue waters, the green palms. We found Kauai to be slow paced (yay!), on the quiet side, super family focused, delicious food (and drinks) and friendly people.

We appreciated the Mahalo culture and found ourselves feeling at home after a few days. One of the special things we did was to take our annual family photos, in 100% Hawaiian made outfits on Poipu Beach, where we resided during our visit. The pictures came back just amazing! We absolutely loved Kauai and we plan to visit again.

We celebrated Halloween this year with our first annual fun festive and fearful party! Audriana did pretty well with Halloween, minus the part of the animatronics and daddy as Pinhead. She was the cutest little witch and we worked with her for weeks to get used to the idea of wearing a hat, costume, and broom. We had many Halloween celebrations to practice with.

We’ve all been getting more involved in our local churches with bible studies, play groups and organizations. Michael was recently initiated into the Knights of Columbus and since June I have been keeping busy with bible studies and groups with Audriana at my side for all sorts of outdoor and indoor fun with friends. Friends is one of Audriana’s most common words. That and “oats”, “no”, “ok”, “busy”, “come on”, “I do”, “funny”, “ice”, “cookie”, “read”, “mommy”, “daddy” and since a few months ago, her name. She’s just blowing us away with her understanding, expanding vocabulary and has quite the memory of what’s happening around her.

Both Michael (in March) and I (in June) rang in the Big 5-0 with fun celebrations and getaways. I was blown away by Michael’s surprise Lake Tahoe party having no clue what was up until the actual “surprise” moment. Both birthdays were adventures with snow tubing, bowling, games, exploring activities both in Tahoe and Reno. There’s never a lack of things to do.

Michael and I are still exploring what’s next for us, with Michael achieving his CPA for Nevada, making him licensed in both CA and NV. In JAM Team Ventures (our LLC) we purchased land and had it developed with a new manufactured home on the land, with Michael and our partner and friend taking a lead in all the activities. Michael is trying to golf more and is getting involved in the golf club in our community. We are both staying busy looking at what is next. Stay tuned…

That about wraps up the highlights of our year. We’ve celebrated holidays with friends locally and feel so blessed to have met so many wonderful people.

Reno has truly become our home and we love living here.

We are happy to be home for the holidays this year and we always welcome visitors to come and see us!

We wish you a JOYful 2020 and a beautiful Christmas season!

Love, JAM

Jennifer ~ Audriana ~ Michael

PS: I post frequent updates on Audriana and our Reno adventures so if you are on Facebook or Instagram, feel free to friend me on FB or follow me on Instagram

a JAMin Christmas time in Reno

Wow it’s December already… and that means we are getting ready to celebrate our first Christmas with Audriana and our first Christmas in our new family home!

We’ve already been bitten by the snow bug, and we are in love with what we see in our backyard winter wonderland.

If you didn’t already know, we moved from Millbrae to Reno, Nevada on June 12th. It’s crazy to think about all the events of 2018, commencing with the birth of Audriana, but here we are nestled in our forever home and lovin’ it!

Reno life has been beyond anything we could have imagined. Our move from Millbrae while a surprise to everyone we know, was also one we just ran with. We didn’t really know what to expect, but we had a good feeling about it. Short version of the “how we got here” story: In the middle of our second story addition planning (and just terrible customer service, frustration and poor engagement with the city of Millbrae) we had an Ah Ha moment. Were we trying too hard to stay here because we love it, or because we don’t know what else to do? When we thought about this idea of “what else to do” and how much we love Truckee, we thought maybe this is the answer. We looked and considered it and realized, there were a lot of things missing in Truckee that we kind of needed with a child and for us. During our search, our incredible realtors and friends introduced us to Reno, sharing all the excitement of development and growth, and the emphasis on it being a place great for families. Intrigued we visited Reno twice (during Thanksgiving last year, and a few days after Christmas) liking what we saw, we put an offer on a perfect house, after visiting it three times three days in a row, and it was accepted. Of course you know we had this little thing called a baby on the way happening, so we knew we wouldn’t move any time soon. But we would get there. At the New Year we realized,

oh my gosh, we just bought a house, we are going to move!

While we didn’t have a big grand plan that lead us to Reno, our core idea was to have a great place to live that would be easier for raising a child and to be able to enjoy our time with Audriana.

After getting through the early months after her birth, with not much sleep and adjusting to becoming parents, adoring Audriana every second of the night and day, we set the date to move. We closed on our home on February 28th when Audriana was just four weeks old. Audriana very quickly became a road trip baby! After the closing that we made the trip four more times with a couple of Uhauls and a few truckloads full of our treasures before our big moving day.

Since moving on June 12th, we’ve done quite a bit too! You know, besides the whole packing/unpacking, moving and selling two houses before the move…

We spent an awesome week in Ohio the week after we moved (I know great timing on that one Jenn!) for Audriana to meet most of my family and also Michael’s Ohio family and those nearby in Pennsylvania.  We attended a celebration of life weekend in Oregon for Michael’s Auntie Diane, who passed away earlier in the year, staying with Michael’s cousins Cindy and Grant to meet all of the Pelfini side of the family at the end of July and were able to squeeze in a visit with friends as well. Family came to visit and stay with us for 10 days, where we discovered more of Reno visiting with Aunt Patty, Uncle Ed and cousin Beth the first week of September. Mom came to visit for 8 days in October during Halloween, and most importantly Audriana’s Baptism.

Audriana’s Baptism was beautiful and beyond anything we could have imagined. It was held in front of the congregation at St. Alberts Church, a place we also have found as a home for our family. Mom stood up as her Godmother and Michael’s cousin Bob as her Godfather. Michael’s Auntie Marie and cousin Ashley attended as well. Father Tom Nelson who lead the Baptism, was both humorous and reverent during the service and Audriana took that oil and water bath he gave her like a champ! It was a truly special day. Audriana looked like an absolute angel wearing my Christening outfit that we had restored, after Mom saved it all those years, and we wrapped her in Michael’s Christening blanket on the way to the church. We had a very fun celebration afterwards with delicious food and cake with local area friends that could attend. It was a lovely day.

We have had good friends come to visit and experience the many fun local Reno events, enjoy time with our family and stay with us. The big advantage of our new home is that it is perfect for hosting, something the Pelfinis enjoy! We welcome guests and visitors!

Michael retired November 9th from 27 amazing years at Deloitte. We celebrated with a night out. When it was announced, Michael was flooded with notes from colleagues who are friends regarding his fabulous appreciated contributions during his tenure. He will truly be missed. He is ready to play some more golf (our community has a fantastic Tom Kite golf course) and enjoy more time with his family. We’re working on some new ventures, but nothing that will take us away from our priorities to enjoy our lives and our precious time with Audriana.

Thanksgiving week was a super busy and fun week with friends, who are like family to us, visiting us during most of the week. Special moments with all of them. We have so much to be grateful for!

Audriana at ten months… my gosh what to say about this baby girl? First, she sleeps all night and has done so, since around 5 months. When she’s awake, she’s super active, crawls and has us chasing her around the house, stands up against anything she can find, giggles and laughs, has 8 teeth and is truly a fabulous eater of almost anything we are eating, her smile brings us such joy. She loves talking to family and friends on FaceTime. She is focused, intensive, smart, sensitive, beautiful, loving, a happy sweet baby and we wish time would stand still with these changes as each day she lights up our life more and more. I’m not going to lie, staying at home as a mom is something I never could picture for myself and it is a definite labor of love every single day, but I am also reminded daily what a gift it is to not miss a moment of her daily development and dang, those snuggles really do rock! Better than any bonus I’ve ever received!

So what about Reno? Unless you are one of our new Reno friends reading this, you likely think the Biggest Little City in the World is just for gambling… Ah no it’s not. We live in a fabulous community that offers much on its own, but Reno, goodness it blew us away. Food truck Fridays, Hot August Nights, the Rib Fest, Great Reno Balloon Race, nearby Virginia City (we’ve been there 3x already and love that old western historical town), parks! Sooooo many parks for walks with Audriana and playgrounds, festivals (Italian, Greek, Hawaiian) something going on multiple days of the week and every weekend in this area most of which is very family-oriented. Reno has many excellent restaurants (YES! we finally found good pizza), concerts and theatrical events. And no, we didn’t have any idea about any of this. I remember researching Reno when we first were introduced to this idea thinking… hmm I’m not sure this will be anything like where we are living now in the Bay Area. It’s not. And we love it! The people here are wonderful and so friendly! We also have been blessed once again with great neighbors and we live in a fabulous community. We are meeting people, finding our way around and enjoying the experience as a family.

This Christmas we wish you all health, peace, happiness, lots of laughs and some serious downtime. As we’ve both learned, downtime is a good time. 2019 will never compare to the craziness of 2018, but we are looking forward to the calm.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a very Happy and Healthy 2019 to all! We hope to see and hear from you in 2019!

Love, JAM

Jennifer ~ Audriana ~ Michael

PS: I post frequent updates on Audriana and our Reno adventures so if you are on Facebook or Instagram, feel free to friend me on FB or follow me on Instagram

Our Blessing, Audriana Marie Pelfini

She’s here! Arriving via c-section on 1/31/18 at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, 20″ long, Audriana Marie Pelfini (formerly Baby Girl A and LBP) made her appearance known with the sweetest loud cry we ever could have imagined, indicating she was our healthy little baby girl. Setting the scene of the day she was born, Audriana’s Welcome playlist crooned in the background in shuffle-mode and happened to land appropriately on “Everything I Have is Yours” by Billie Holiday. Each time we watch the video of when we first meet her, we can’t help but shed a tear.

Unbeknownst to us when we chose her birth date for the first day of week 39 of my pregnancy, she was destined to be born on a once in a 155-year occurrence of a Super Blue Blood Moon. Michael latched onto this excitement and is able to share the story for years to come, with an article to be framed in her nursery for her to tell it, accurately of course! Our 5-day hospital stay was incredible. We could write a blog posting on just the birth experience/first days alone. But suffice to say it was nice to have a beautiful reason to go to the hospital for once, and we enjoyed the personal time together as a family.

Audriana’s the A in our JaM, a long-awaited dream that has been fulfilled for the two of us. At just about 6 weeks (where is the time going?) she’s had some fun adventures and has met many of her fans via visits to our home, being out and about and FaceTime chats for those that are not nearby.

Our home has been adorned with precious cards of welcome and gifts, of which we are extremely grateful for, and our dining table quickly transformed into her processing head quarters for gifts, announcements and baby projects. We’ve been fortunate with friends stopping by with a homemade dish to eat or freeze for us to enjoy which has been a huge time saver for us when bleary-eyed sleepless nights result in grabbing whatever is around to inhale easily! It’s true what they say, our home is primarily hers now. There’s no area in the house that hasn’t been christened with Audriana gear. Her dresser is full of clothes from those that love her. She’s well-dressed and fully stocked until around 9months of age. Everyone loves clothing this sweet child!

Our lives have changed for the better with her. A transformation we never could quite imagine until it became our every day life.

Michael took paternity leave so we could all be together to adjust and enjoy our transition as a family. He has some more time to use we are saving for throughout the year. It was a sad day for myself and her when he returned to work after caring for us both, but never fear he’s a super involved participating dad, we miss when at work. As parents we are taking a crash course in real-life stop and smell the roses, as her scent, her sweet faces, cries and coos all make us stop and wonder, what is she thinking, what is she looking at or seeing, what does she need? We Just Stop. It’s an incredible feeling to learn more each day about her and to experience her “firsts”.

She’s alert, a great sleeper, fantastic snuggler and is making all kinds of progress in her development everyday. We have adjusted to working around her schedule of eating and sleeping, but we have already created structure of our own. We start our mornings with lots of light, playing that birth playlist until we can’t hear “You’ve Got a Friend” anymore. She enjoys bathtime 3-4 times a week (plus those “blowout” bonus days) and sometimes we play the Italian Mambo station and dance around with her, which is definitely more fun for us! Our evenings are quiet with dim lights as “Ocean Waves” tracks mesmerize all of us in whatever room she is in until she wakes. Part of her sleep ritual includes Tippy the turtle, with sparkling blue sea lights reflecting on the ceiling and that nameless song we can hum in our sleep. Nights were tough at first, but now she sleeps more.

Without further bragging (yeah, I guess we have become those parents that can’t stop talking about their kid), here’s a very special set of pics taken during her 5th week by our cousin visiting who is both a photographer and a nanny (double score!).

Thank you for all your good wishes, prayers, cards and gifts as we went through the journey to get here and after her arrival.

We keep saying we are blessed. We are. That’s the only way we know how to be grateful for this precious angel from God.

We hope to see you soon via visit or FaceTime, if you haven’t met her yet! While she’s alert and awake more now, she’s still on a heavy sleep schedule… so you might meet her “eyes wide shut”… often just as entertaining as when they are very wide open.

Photography credit below to Emily Bucholz @tellthebeesphoto

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 match.com 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.