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What did you do on your first date?
"The only thing he told me was that he would pick me up at noon. It was our first date. I had no idea what to expect. We were driving for about an hour when all of a sudden we pulled up to a beautiful farm to go horseback riding. We spent the day riding, chatting, and laughing together; he completely swept me off of my feet. Later that day I was feeling a little sad as we pulled up to my apartment to end the date, but instead of saying goodbye, he told me to go inside and get changed for part two! I was excited but immediately stressed out about how I was going to get ready so quickly.
When I walked into my bedroom, there was a new dress lying on the bed accompanied by a sweet note in messy handwriting (trust me - his handwriting is terrible). It was the same dress that I had tried on but did not buy a few weeks earlier. He had conspired with my roommate to get this intel. Right then, I knew Scott was the one. During part two of the date, we grabbed dinner and went on a Boston Harbor sunset history cruise. He knew more about the history than the tour guide and I have been enjoying his nerdy fun facts ever since."
"I knew he was the one the first time I sat next to him on the subway. I can't remember where we were going but he kept making me crack up the whole time and I just remember thinking to myself... 'Yep, this feels right.' "
They met at Stonehill College's freshman orientation. She was wearing a shirt that said, "Weird," which was exactly what he thought of her. He was wearing a hoodie and not smiling. She thought he was rude. Then somewhere throughout the first semester, they saw past each other's exteriors and he realized he liked her, but she didn't reciprocate the love at first. Finally, right before winter break, she decided they should date. He said, "No." He thought it was odd she would want to start a relationship before a month-long break from each other. When her birthday arrived on January 4, he sent her an AIM message a few minutes after midnight to wish her a happy birthday. They chatted for a very long time that night, and by the end of the conversation they were dating.
"It's very hard to be married to a fisherman. I constantly have to leave for days to roam the ocean and leave her with my two beautiful girls. The way she manages a full-time job and being a full-time mom is incredible to me. Amy is the most loving and caring mother and wife. She is capable of anything and is scared of nothing."
"Since the moment I met Heather, she has always been the picture of optimism - from her constant happiness to her always seeing the best in everyone she meets. As an RN she experiences some of the worst things life can throw at people. At the end of a long day after grueling and sometimes heartbreaking hours, she accompanies her return home with a smile and love. That has continued and grown withus starting a family and raising our two beautiful boys. As we all know, after your day of work is done and you arrive home, your day is far from over if you have kids. Heather tirelessly does things for the boys and myself. Most impressively, even when she is exhausted, she completes everything with a smile and laughter. I love her for this and it gives me great confidence that whatever life throws at us or my boys as they continue to grow too quickly, it will be handled with optimism and a smile."
What is the sweetest thing
he ever did for you?
"When we first started dating I was working crazy long bartender hours on the weekends, which because of Stephen's Monday-Friday job in the city, was really the only time we got to see each other. He made a point to walk me to work every morning, come back to the restaurant for lunch, and then stay up until 2 am waiting for me to get off so he could walk me home. He never complained, it was the only time we got to spend together when we first started dating. Fast forward a year and three jobs later, he still makes it a point to meet me after my shift wherever I'm working and walk me home. It's something as simple as those walks home or random phone calls halfway through the day just to chat that constantly remind me he's always thinking about me."
"When Megan was born Emily had just turned one and I was nervous that Emily was going to have a difficult time adjusting to our growing family. But actually it was such an amazing and easy transition! Once Megan was sleeping through the night, we had them sleeping in the same room. Emily loved looking over her crib and finding Megan. She started calling Megan "Neeny." Now that Megan is almost one, she can stand up in her crib and she finds Emily. When they wake up in the morning they have their "talk time." Emily makes up her own songs, while Megan babbles "baba" "dada" and "dis."
"Ever since Alivia was born she has had me wrapped around her finger like girls seem to do to their fathers. Luckily, Crissy is here to keep me in check so I don’t allow Alivia to get away with everything. When she does something she shouldn’t (and she knows it), she looks up at you with her big blue eyes, smiling and laughing, making it impossible for you to be mad at her. It seems like yesterday we were bringing home our baby girl for the first time and now over a year later, it is amazing to see how much she has grown. Everyone says Alivia looks like me, but I say that she got her good looks, along with her sweetness and smarts, from her mother."
"A couple of days before my heart surgery we were at our apartment and I was starting to work myself up about how much the operation was going to disrupt my life. I was stressing about leaving work for so many weeks and worrying about the scar I would have but Marc, being the older (by 7 months) and wiser (although not by much) half, knew exactly what I needed to hear. He stated the facts - this operation has been hanging over my head for 29 years and in a couple of days it would be over and done with and we could move forward with our lives. And always knowing how to put a smile on my face, he candidly joked about avoiding eating cheeseburgers since I would now have a bovine (cow) valve.
Following the surgery, it was definitely a family effort between Marc, my mom, and his mom to take care of me. The hospital stay itself was rough and despite Marc being 6’4” he stayed by my side, sleeping in the hospital chair. He arranged to have our friends visit and did little things to make me happy like having my mom sneak in the only thing I wanted to eat - orange ice pops. After he returned to work he would make the two hour drive back out east just to spend the night with me and drive back to the city in the morning.
I always tell people I love how much Marc makes me laugh, but really I should be telling them how fortunate I am that, above all, he takes care of me in every way possible. Being with him for the last seven years I didn’t need any reassurance but after going through the last few months together, he further proved how lucky I am to spend the rest of my life with him."
When did you know she was the one?
"Believe it or not I think it was the treadmill. I was running, doing the cardio portion of my workout routine, and a song came on...I think it was "Play the Game," by Queen. We had been together for over a year and had started living together, and taking the next step was on my mind. By nature I'm a very cautious person so I think in this moment it really just solidified in my mind that she was the one."
"We've been dating for long enough that our engagement was probably not much of a surprise to anyone. It might have been more of a surprise that we decided to forego the traditional ceremony and elope. We were married at City Hall and on a plane to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in a matter of hours. That started a week of firsts: our first time snowmobiling, our first time skiing together, and our first time on a summit above 10,000 feet. While we missed having our families to celebrate with us, eloping fit our personalities well because it was low key and shifted the focus from us to our experiences. We've already had so many and we're just getting started."
"It was never my plan to be a single mom. And in the beginning of my pregnancy that wasn't my reality. I was a few months along when Rafe's father and I split. He tried to convince me not to have Rafe but not having my son wasn't an option. Before I even took the test I knew I was pregnant and from the moment I thought I was pregnant I was in love. When his father told me he didn't want to be involved a large part of me was relieved. How could I raise my son or trust my son with someone who didn't really want him? I knew I couldn't do it alone but I would have if I had to. Luckily for me my parents wouldn't let me. It's not easy being a parent. Even with all the help I have it is still the most difficult thing ever. The first few weeks with Rafe were crazy. Just tears, feedings, diaper changes, and hoping for more than an hour of sleep at a time. Things haven't gotten much easier, although now he sleeps for three or four hour stretches on a good night, but they have gotten better. Now he smiles. He looks into my eyes and he smiles at me. It makes me forget about all the craziness. And at night after he falls asleep, which requires reading multiple bedtime stories, I sit there and just stare at him and I'm overwhelmed with happiness and pride. In the morning after a fresh diaper he lays on my bed and talks to me; he coos and grunts and smiles as I sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider or play This Little Piggy on his toes. No matter how hard it gets (and believe me it gets hard) he is worth it all. I wouldn't change a thing. Every struggle is worth it and every happy moment is priceless. He is my little angel and nothing could make me happier than being his mom."
"Before the Ninja Turtles, Ford was obsessed with Peter Pan. I took him twice to see Pan in the theater. (Spoiler Alert: Pan finds out his mother was killed by a pirate and, after an entire film about his search for his mother, he finally gets to speak to her spirit.) Both times Ford has crawled into my lap sobbing, with tears running down his face, heartbroken that Pan would never see his mother again. What was supposed to be a fun treat after school turned into an emotionally draining and heavy conversation afterwards about death and eternal love. I love that despite his love of weaponry and play fighting, Ford is still very much connected to his emotions and aware of others in pain."
"Brenna did not walk until she was about two years old. Not because she's slow or a procrastinator, both of which are true, but because I carried her everywhere she went like a doll. A live doll. I was obsessed with her every move and refused to let her walk. There are many home videos in which you hear my parents repeatedly yelling, 'Meghan, put her down, put Brenna down.' I suppose she had little choice...but we have always been very close. Except for a small gap in time, which Brenna will not let me forget, when I moved up to junior high and refused to play Barbies with her consistently after school as I was simply 'too cool.' I am hoping that one day she will forgive me for this, but she still has a sore spot for what I like to now call 'the lost years.' "
"We went on vacation with my family to Tuscany for a week and on the last day him and I left to spend the day in Rome before our flight the next morning. We saw the sights, ran all over Rome, and at the end of the day we went to this wonderful Italian restaurant. After dinner he organized for us to share a bottle of wine on the intimate rooftop terrace of our hotel which seemed like the perfect way to end our trip. We were talking about the week when I asked him what his favorite part was. He hesitated and said, 'Well I think I know what your favorite part is.' I was curious what he was going to say because I had no idea what my favorite part was. Then he said 'I think it is right now.' He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was perfect. That was the happiest night of my life."
"Growing up I spent summers with her and my Pop Pop. And when I moved back to Long Island I lived mostly at her summer beach house in East Marion. Some of my favorite memories with her are having tea with her (3:00 p.m. every day!) and trying to find something sweet [to pair with the tea], usually chocolate, and then watching Pride and Prejudice, always fast-forwarding to only the good parts."
"William is a big fan of his dad right now. Saying goodbye in the morning takes about twenty minutes while he and Wes go back and forth with 'Nooo, I love YOU more!' Then after Wes leaves we have to make trips to the window to wave and recap, 'Daddy's at work now, he'll be home soon'. We just started visiting Wes at work every Thursday to have lunch with him and it has become one of William's favorite things to do."
"The greatest part about becoming a mother is the uncontainable and unwavering love you develop for this little being you created. I catch myself looking at her aimlessly in amazement and with joy. I still look at her to this day in disbelief that I am this precious angel's mother."
"On the night of October 5, 2013 I was hanging out with some friends celebrating a birthday. I stayed at their apartment that night and had plans to spend Sunday with my mom. On Sunday morning I received a text message from a friend from Fort Benning asking if I had heard from Tom. I immediately knew something was wrong. I did what any other person would do (which is the worst thing to do), and checked the news for anything related to US soldiers in Afghanistan. The first article I found read, "4 US Soldiers killed in Afghanistan," and gave very little information other than revealing that the incident occurred in the area where Tom was stationed. As I was reading this, one of my friends who I was with at the time, and who had served with Tom as a Ranger and is the reason Tom and I met, walked into the living room and I told him what was going on. As worried as he may have been for his friend and other Ranger brothers, he assured me that Tom would be fine. From that moment on everything seemed like a blur. I spent the day at my parents house waiting for news.
Early afternoon, Tom's parents were notified that Tom was critically injured and that he had lost his right eye. The rest of the details unfolded once we arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to meet him. The months that followed involved a lot of what Tom called "quality time"! The A team of surgeons were able to reconstruct his eye socket, his nose and his cheekbone, which is now fitted with a titanium plate. They also worked to preserve the vision in his left and remaining eye.
The entire experience only strengthened our love for each other. Tom made the bold move of asking my dad for my hand in marriage while he was in the hospital bed! When the holidays were approaching and Tom was finally released from the hospital, we made a trip to visit his family in Minnesota. We met a friend at the Mall of America for lunch, where Tom insisted that I look at rings. Then, he gave me a gun for my first Christmas gift, so I figured that was my big gift. On Christmas Eve we were sitting on the couch at his dad's house when he said he had one last gift for me. He pulled out a gift bag that read, "You Are Loved - Helzberg Diamonds". I thought it was a trick, or maybe a necklace or earrings. I opened the small box and there was the most perfect ring inside. Tom was frozen, still sitting next to me since his foot was still healing from injuries and he couldn't kneel. He was so nervous he almost forgot to ask the question."
"The Christmas of 2013 Kevin surprised me with a card that had three envelopes inside. I was instructed to open each envelope on a specific day of the week and to do as each note instructed. Throughout the week I learned that I was to pack an overnight bag because we were spending the night in a hotel near Times Square. I then learned that we would be seeing the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular and that we would be going out to dinner at a restaurant called Hillstone. We left early Saturday morning. We checked in to our hotel, went out to a relaxing pub for lunch, and then headed to the show. Upon returning back to the hotel we waited out the rain and caught a taxi to Hillstone and even though our dinner was romantic and dimly lit I could tell that Kevin was fidgeting as if he had something he desperately wanted to do or say. Paying no mind to it we finished dinner and Kevin suggested we walk to see the tree. I remember he was so frazzled that we walked four blocks in the wrong direction! Ten minutes later due to my slow pace and my high heels we faced the Rockefeller Christmas tree and ice skating rink. We took the typical touristy couples photos and walked around to the back side of the tree when Kevin suddenly stopped. He looked at me and gave me the biggest smile and kissed me. The next thing I knew he was down on one knee proposing a long life of happiness and endless love. I remember hearing people cheering and snapping photos but all I could see was Kevin down on one knee pouring his heart out to me in front of all these strangers."
“It’s almost beyond comprehension that anytime over the next 5 weeks Richard and I will be parents. We will be in charge of another life. Another soul, spirit, human being will be added to this side. I never thought that I would be one of those people who was literally blown away by pregnancy, childbirth, and that milestone of becoming a parent, but turns out I am…”
"On September 10, 2015 I walked into Stony Brook Hospital at 27 weeks pregnant just hoping it was a false alarm. The hospital staff was able to stop my labor and put me on strict bed rest. Wally was by my side every second of that day and night. I thought there was nothing worse than lying in that hospital bed but I was definitely wrong. I woke up on the morning of September 23 feeling great, other than the little cramps I was having. I got up, took a shower, and sent my husband off to work. The nurse came in to do the babies' morning monitoring and they sounded great but my contraction chart was not so great. I was having contractions seven minutes apart and never realized. Thankfully Wally was only halfway to work when I called and told him come back immediately because it was suddenly delivery time! Being that I dilated to 4 centimeters, Lucas' feet were down first and Levi was laying across me, they could not risk my water breaking. After discussions with the doctors we had to make a decision as a team, and the decision was it was time to have these babies. Hearing the doctor say baby A born 14:32 and then hearing nothing was devastating, but finally hearing baby B born 1436 and a quick little cry gave me hope. My babies were so tiny but so beautiful. They were so small that Wally's wedding band fit on their wrist! But they were fighters. The next couple months was a roller coaster to say the least, five steps forward then ten steps backwards. I think finding the balance between Wally's job, our babies in the hospital, and my emotions was the hardest part. Looking back on the last few months now I don't think our marriage could get any stronger."
"To say that both Jayden and Lucy are independent little people would be an understatement. I used to pray that some day my kids would be confident and independent, but I never imagined this characteristic could be so strong. I can only imagine what their teenage years will look like."
“There isn’t a day that goes by that Gaetan doesn’t compliment me about the way I look, my style, or something I’ve decorated. I am so grateful to have someone as sweet and supportive as him in my life. For our wedding I had decided that I wanted to do most of the design details myself, including the flowers. I have always loved flowers – I think it is because when I was a baby my mother always used to put a bouquet of flowers near me. She wanted me to be surrounded by beautiful things, and so it meant a lot to me to have beautiful flowers at our wedding. I spent a lot of time researching what type of flowers I wanted and ultimately selected four that I thought would look nice together and match the theme of our wedding. The flowers arrived from the wholesaler two days before our wedding and they were gorgeous, but I soon realized while doing all the prep work that making all the centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres was going to be a lot of work! And as anyone who has gotten married knows, the few days before the wedding are the most stressful. That whole day Gaetan kept commenting about how amazing the flowers were and kept asking me how I had figured out which ones to pick. That evening after a long and busy day, I made a sample bouquet and decided that it was probably a good idea to start putting the rest together, even though I was exhausted. Gaetan made me a cocktail, told me not to stress and asked how he could help. We ended up staying up until 1:00 a.m. to finish all the flowers, which actually turned out to be a lot of fun. Gaetan kept taking photos of the whole process and even made a video tutorial of me putting a centerpiece together. It was so sweet of him to help me and tell me how impressed he was by me. It was in that moment, 36 hours before our wedding that I realized just how lucky I am to be marrying him.”
"He's always doing little romantic things or taking care of things so I don't have to. A few weeks ago I watched his niece for the weekend while he was at work. I took her to the city to go to the Museum of Natural History. When I got home there was a card waiting for me with a picture of Wonder Woman on the front and on the inside he had written 'You are my very own wonder woman and I can't imagine life without you.' "