Chapter 31-34

14/03/2012 13:09
Chapter 31

“Bruno, why can’t you just tell me that I’m wrong, why do you have to make me feel better about this? Can’t you just say, ‘Babe, you reacted wrong, you made an ass out of me yesterday.’?” He looks at me for a second, trying to figure out what to say I guess. “Because you weren’t wrong, you’re a human, and you’re entitled to be upset by all the hateful things being thrown at you. It gets to me sometimes too.” He kisses my cheek and then takes my hand, kisses my fingers and says, “I don’t want you to think for a second that I believe what they are saying, I don’t think you are a ‘gold digger’, you work hard for everything you have, and you fight with me every time I even try to help you pay bills even though I’m living here! People are crazy Lace, they make up crazy scenarios in their heads and blow things out of proportion.” He gets up and grabs his backpack and comes back to the bed.

“I had him fix the prenup to exactly what you wanted, I feel like I’m fucking you over by giving you your way on this, but here it is.” I put the prenup on the bed and look up at her. “Can we just not talk about it right this second Bru?” “Well I was thinking, what if we just have a little wedding, maybe in the park or something, before I leave for tour.” “Bruno, you want to get married in the next 6 weeks?” “I was thinking like in the next 2 weeks or something.” I look down at her engagement ring and give it a little twist. “How am I supposed to get everything together for a wedding in the next 2 weeks? Bruno this is just crazy!” “Booty,” I say, taking her face in my hands, “It doesn’t have to be anything big or extravagant, it could just be me and you and the kids, and then when my tour is over then we could have your big wedding, with the whole world there as far as I’m concerned. I just don’t want to go another day without you being Mrs. Hernandez.” I climb up on top of her and spread her legs, we’re both still naked. Climbing in between her legs I kiss her neck, shoulder blade, and bite her nipple, “Please baby, it would mean the world to me?” She lets out a little moan, lifting her hips to grind against me. “Ugh, Okay Bruno, but this isn’t fair, you always convince me to do things by pressuring me with sex! Isn’t that some sort of harassment?” “Since you’re gonna be my wife, I don’t think anyone would really give a shit,” I give her a wink and bit down on her nipple again.

“Alright babe, get up, let’s go get the kids from Day’s and go get some ice cream to celebrate!” I pull myself out of bed and head back to the bathroom, starting a bath. I climb in and wash myself off and get out. Bruno is already dressed. Pulling on his chucks, he looks up at me as I walk into the room, “You look tired babe.” I wave him off and walk into the closet. I do feel a little sluggish this morning. Probably just that emotional hangover I’m having.

 After getting around we head over to Dana’s apartment and get the kids. Then we head to the park and sit on the bench and watch the kids throwing rocks into the pond. “Booty, this is where I swept you off your feet. Maybe we should get married right here.” “Don’t get a big head Bru, this is where you conned my children into going for ice cream, so you could spend time with me.” “It worked though,” he whispered into my ear. I turn my head and look at him, “It did, and I’m so happy you did that. I love you Bru.” I kiss his lips and put my head into his shoulder, feeling tears flood my eyes. “I love you too, Lacey, so fucking much.” He gives me a little squeeze and yells at the kids to come back so we can leave.

“So,” Bruno says, “Your Mom and I have some news.” Both kids just sat down and have mouths full of ice cream. “What?” Brayden asks. “Well Bruno, and I are gonna get married!” “Duh, Mom, we already knew that, you have a ring on your finger,” Kensley is looking at me, like I’m stupid. “No, we mean like soon, like in the next couple of weeks,” Bruno lets a big smile take over his face.  “Oh! Can I be your fowler girl Mommy?” “Well I was thinking you could be my Maid Of Honor.” “What’s that?” I let out a little chuckle and explain to her. “Yeah, I want to be that.”

When we get home, Bruno and Brayden pick out a movie and we all cuddle up on the couch, Kensley and I end up falling asleep. I wake up four hours later to the smell of pizza, and laughter. When I peek my head over the couch, I find, Phil, Ryan and Dre in the kitchen with Bruno and Bray, stuffing their faces and talking about women. “Hey don’t be teaching my innocent baby bad things about girls! He has to wait 10 more years before he can date,” I yell at them. “Sorry Lace, but we decided that we are taking little man on tour. Do you know how many chicks we can pull with this dude by our side?” Ryan calls back laughing. “Probably more than Brunz pulls for us,” Phil adds. “Hey Philister, you’re married, you old lady, you don’t need to be pulling any chicks,” Bruno says smacking his arm. I just roll my eyes and walk to the bathroom. When I come back I grab a slice of pizza and pull myself up to sit on the counter in the middle of all the guys, Bruno coming to stand between my legs. “Did you sleep good?” “Mmmhmmm” I say with my mouth full.

We hang out and joke around for a little bit longer, Kensley attaches herself to Dre. “Mommy, Dre is my best friend.” All the guys start laughing, “How’s Dre supposed to be BFF’S with a 6 year old and a scary body guard too,” Phil says his head thrown back laughing. “Hey! Dre is not scary! He’s nice and he’s not a body guard either, he’s a teddy bear,” that send another round of laughter. “I told you Dre, you’re a teddy bear,” I say, smiling at my precious daughter. “It’s alright Kenny, I’ll be your teddy bear, but when I’m out with Bruno, I have to be scary to keep all the women off of him for your Mommy,” he squats down and scoops Kenny up and puts her on his shoulder. “That’s fine with me,” she says rubbing his head.

The guys leave and we put the kids to bed, Bruno actually argues with me over this almost every night. I want him to go sit somewhere while I do it, he wants to be involved with the bed time process. Last week I finally caved and just gave in, I’m too tired to fight over something that he’s going to do anyways. We go sit at the piano and I play while he sings, another one of our nightly rituals. After a little while, I get up and check on the kids, they are both out! “B, come to bed”, I yell from the hall way. He comes running down the hall and throws himself in the bed! “I’m so glad I invested in this staircase for your bed.” “Me too, I actually don’t have to jump or climb any more. Thank You Bru.” “What are you thanking me for? I bought them for me!” He pushes me into the bed and starts kissing me.

I grab her legs and pull them apart, climbing in between them. Slowly I push myself into her, grinding through our clothes, “Oh God Bru!” She’s got her head thrown back, biting her lip. I pull my hand out of her hair and put it between her thighs, rubbing her spot. She’s moaning louder now, raising her hips, pressing into my hand harder. “Bru, don’t tease me.” “I don’t plan on it babe.” I pull my shirt off over my head, and then pull hers off. She lifts up to help me. Then she starts working on my pants, kissing my shoulder and neck. “MMMM Baby,” I moan, I grab her hips and roll over so she’s on top. She works her way down my stomach, stopping at my hip bone, and gives it a little bite, “SSSSSSSSSSS,” she knows that spot gets me going. Finally she gets my pants undone and pulls them down, letting me loose finally. When she comes back up from pulling my pants down, somehow she manages to put me right in between her breasts, for just a second. “Holy shit, that was hot!” “What are you talking about?” She says looking at me confused. “Your boobies, they just gave my Brunswick a hug!” “Oh My God Bruno!” She starts laughing and rolls over beside me, “Wait! What are you doing?” “I don’t know Bru, I’m just feeling lazy,” “What! You just got me all worked up, now you wanna throw in the towel?” “No, I’m not saying that, I just don’t have the energy to be on top. I’m tired baby,” She says poking out her bottom lip. “Well, let me give you a shot of energy then,” I climb back on top of her and slide in, biting my bottom lip.

~

“Lace, did you notice anything different when we were having sex?” He climbs in behind me in the tub. “Yeah, I’m a little tender down there, I think I might be getting ready to start, I’ve been kinda crampy off and on the past couple days.” He digs his fingers into my neck, working his way up to my hair line. “You’re not supposed to start for like 2 weeks Lace,” He says as he starts scratching my scalp. I’m so relaxed right now, I can’t even think straight. “Oh shit Bru!” I jump up, grab a towel and run to my bedside table. “What! What are you freaking out about?” I look at my calendar, I thought we were in September still, but we’re not, it’s October. “Bruno, I’m pregnant.” 

 

Chapter 32

I slide down the wall and curl into a ball. Bruno jumps out of the tub, wraps a towel around himself and slips and slides his way to me. “What do you mean you’re pregnant? You know you are or you think you are?” He demands, his face is 50 different ways of excited. “I mean, I didn’t have a period last month, and for some reason, I thought I still had a couple days to go before I had it, but we’re in a completely different month now, so I’ve missed my period.” I put my hands in my face, how could this happen? I KNEW at around 3 weeks with Brayden and Kensley, something just felt off with my body, and I knew. Bruno grabs my face and pulls me up to look at him. “Baby, it’s okay, don’t freak out! It will be okay!” “Okay, I’m not going to overreact until I take a test.” “There you go, now come on, get up and let’s finish our bath,” he stands up and extends his hand out to help me up. “How can you even think about taking a bath right now?”

We get back in the tub, and I start scratching Lacey’s scalp again, trying to relax her. “Okay, one of us is going to have to go to the drug store and get a test,” she says. “I’m not going, people will know what’s up if I’m there buying it!” “Well I’m not going they will know if I’m there too.” At the same time we both say, “Ryan!” And then bust up laughing. I dry my hand off and send him a text. ‘Hey man, I need you to do me a huge favor….’ ‘What’s up?’ ‘Can you go get a pregnancy test for us?’ ‘Are you kidding me?’ ‘No, and please keep your mouth shut!’ ‘Zipped, I’ll be there soon’. We wash up and get out. I go to the kitchen and get a bottle of water and bring it back. Lacey’s lying in bed, flipping through the tv. “Here booty, drink this.” “You’re gonna make me take them tonight?” “Well yeah, I’m not going to wait till the baby starts kicking to find out if your pregnant or not!” A few minutes later I get a text from Ryan, ‘Which one do I get?’ ‘Shit I don’t know!’ ‘Well ask her!’ ‘No! That’s like asking what kind of tampon she uses! Just get one of each I guess?’

We’re lying in bed watching reruns of Full House when Bru’s phone goes off. “I’ll be right back babe.” He gets up and runs down the hall, opens the door and then closes it and runs back with a bag in his hand. “What in the world do you have Bru?” “It was Ryan with your test.” “That bag looks like it weighs 20 pounds!” “I had him get one of each kind,” he said, looking kind of embarrassed. He puts the bag in the bathroom and then runs to the kitchen and comes back with a plastic cup. “What is that for?” “So you can pee in it.” “Really? You don’t think the toilet will do a good enough job catching my pee?” “Shit I don’t know, I just see people on TV peeing in cups and shit! I’m nervous Lace give me a break!” I get up and walk to him and wrap him in a hug. “I’m sorry Bru, I’m not trying to be a bitch.” “I hate that word, now go pee in the cup, you’re doing this my way!” I go in the bathroom and shut the door, and pee in the cup, then I sit it on the counter and call Bruno in.

Bruno pulls out a test, “This one looks easy enough, + or -, pour some pee on this thing,” he hands me the test and I hold it over the toilet and pour pee over it, within seconds it says +. “Shit, give me a new test!” I’m freaking out. I already know what this means, with both kids I didn’t even finish peeing before the test came back positive. He hands me a second test and I repeat the process, again +, I’m breaking out into a sweat, and my hands are shaking. “Give me another test.” “Babe, both of those test came back positive, within seconds, they both can’t be wrong, taking another test isn’t going to give you a different answer.” I walk over to the sink, wash my hands and then splash cold water on my face.

Oh My God! I’m going to be a Dad! Lacey is looking really upset though, “Babe, are you okay?” She dries her face off and turns around, “Yeah, I’m just in shock. Give me a couple hours to let it settle in and I’ll be better, I promise.” She kisses my lips and walks to the bedroom. “Lace! Stop being a buzz kill! I want to jump up and down right now and start calling people! You’re killing my mood.” I chase after her, “I’m sorry Bru, with both kids it was planned and I still went into a mini shock. Babies are a huge responsibility, it’s scary.” “But you’re a great mom! And I will be there, right next to you every step of the way baby, you won’t be alone.” “I know Bru, look at it this way, what I’m feeling right now, is how you are gonna be feeling a week before the baby is born. I just think too far ahead, like what if we do all the right things, and then our child grows up to be a drug addict, or joins a gang or robs a bank. Those are the things running through my head right now, like I hope I can help this baby, that isn’t even a baby right now, it’s just molecules, turn into a responsible respectable adult.” “You are one crazy lady, stop worrying about 15-20 years down the line, let’s just be excited!” She takes a deep breath and smiles, “Your right, let’s call your Mom! You’re gonna be a Daddy!” If this is what I have to look forward to with these mood swings, I’m going to be one confused guy!

We end up doing a private tiny chat with his mom and all his sisters and Eric. Everyone is ecstatic! I’m finally over the shock after a few minutes, and I’m so excited! Bruno is bouncing all over the place, singing and dancing. After we get done talking with his family we call my mom, of course she has the same reaction that everyone else had. Bruno is on a roll, he’s bouncing from wedding ideas to baby talk. “Bruno! Calm down! I’m ready to wind down and go to sleep.” “There is no way I’m sleeping for a while, I think I’ll go to the studio for a while,” he says, pacing the floor. “Go, you’re driving me nuts!” When he leaves I call Dana. “Lacey, do you know what time it is?” “Day, I’m pregnant.” “Oh My God! Are you serious?” “Would I call and wake you up to lie to you?” “Hold on let me get out of bed, I don’t want to wake the bear.” “Day, I’m scared.” “Oh Lace, everything will be alright, you have an amazing man!” “I know, I have no doubt about Bruno, I’m just saying, I hate being pregnant. I’m going to get huge, and my skin is going to get horrible, and I’m so moody. I’m just scared,” I haven’t raised my voice above a whisper the whole time. “Where is he?” “Studio, he’s so excited. He couldn’t sit still, and he was driving me crazy with his pacing.” “Do you want me to come over?” “No, I just needed to vent. Thank You Day, I love you. Go back to sleep.” “If you need to talk again, call me, okay?” “Alright Day. Night.”

Here’s the thing about Dana, she is 8 years older than me , she gives me advice like my mother would. She calms me and listens to me without judging me. I would have never lasted 6 months in New York without her. Soon I fall into a deep sleep. Sometime later I feel Bru climb into bed, he’s naked. He curls his body around me and within minutes his breathing slows into a steady pattern. Laying there in his arms, I feel secure, the safety I feel just from lying next to him washes away all my fears. 

 

Chapter 33

“Tell me about labor with Bray and Kenny,” we’re lying in bed, the kids finally sleeping after our long day. “Bray came a week early, I was 19 and thought I was dying, so we went to the hospital as soon as I felt my first contraction, they gave me an epidural and I laid there for 18 hours, then I couldn’t figure out how to push cause I was so numb. But he finally came after an hour of pushing. He was 6 pounds. I was terrified to hold him, thought I would break him!” I can’t help the smile that creeps across my face, thinking about how scared I was at 19, how totally unprepared I was to be a parent. “I was a zombie for 4 months after that, he had colic so bad, I literally walked the floor 16 hours a day with this tiny little screaming baby, I was positive that his goal in life was to kill me from pacing.” Bruno looks terrified. “Babe, stop! Please tell me not all babies are like that?” I start laughing, “Kenny was the easiest baby ever. Well aside from her delivery, but she never cried, she was happy just laying around watching the world go by!”

“Okay, but what happened with her delivery?” I’m not sure I’m ready for this. “My labor with her went super-fast, I felt a contraction and then less than 2 hours later she was born. I did it natural. The easiest and hardest thing I have ever done.” “Are you going to do it natural this time?” I’m so nervous about this delivery thing, in all the movies the moms are sweating and screaming and the dads are freaking out. “Yeah, well you are probably going to think I’m crazy but I kind of want to do a home delivery,” she’s looking down at my hands. “Why would you want to do that? Isn’t that dangerous?” She starts smiling, “No, it’s safe, I would have a midwife come, and if something happens we are less than a mile from the hospital. It’s more relaxing in a home setting, I don’t really want random people walking in the room to deliver our baby. If I do it at home, I get to choose who is here, I will have 9 months to get to know my midwife.” “I guess that doesn’t sound so bad babe, but where would you deliver at?” “They have birthing pools, kinda like a blow up pool for kids, or the bath tub, our bed, there are a lot of options.”

We talk about the baby a little bit longer, and then we switch to our wedding, it’s in 9 days! We are just having a small get together, in the little patio/garden area next to my building. With the gate, nobody would have any idea what is going on, Bernie and the girls are flying in, along with Eric and Peter. My Mom and brother are coming in also, just a small wedding and then when tour is over, we are going to have a huge reception in Hawaii! Oh and Phil is getting ordained, to officiate our wedding! This cracks me up, but I think it will make it so special, and I can’t wait to for everyone to hear what he has planned.

~

Today is the day we get to see our baby for the first time! I’m so excited that I’m racing around the house getting the kids ready for school, picking things up and trying to get things done. We are surprising the kids tonight with the news of the new baby. “Come on kids! Out the door we go!” Bruno, has the biggest smile on his face. We walk the kids to school and then catch a cab to meet our midwife. “I’m so nervous booty,” Bruno whispers, twisting my ring back and forth. “It’s okay Bru, I think everyone gets nervous about their first baby, hell I was nervous about this baby until you calmed me down.” I pull his hand up and kiss it. “I love you Lace. This is making me sad about leaving for tour.” “Bru, I’ll come out and see you every chance I get, and you get a break for Christmas, and before we know it, the baby will be here!”

Lacey is laying on the table, the midwife just felt her all up, and now she is getting ready to squirt this Jelly on her belly. The screen on the monitor starts getting all fuzzy, “and here is your little baby,” she says. But all I see is a big blob. “Will you explain what is what, because I have no idea where to look.” “Well right now it looks like you are about 9 weeks along. Your baby is about the size of medium olive and weighs less than an ounce right now! This big thing is the head, and right down here are the arms, and hands, little fingers, they aren’t finished developing yet, but they are close.” I can’t believe I’m looking at my baby, this is the most beautiful little blob of fuzzy screen I have ever seen in my life. “We may be able to hear the heartbeat,” she moves the little scanner thing around a little and then says, “Well, maybe if I go internally.” She pulls this thing out that looks like a big dildo or microphone, puts a condom on it and puts it inside of Lacey. Lace tenses up a little, “Are you okay babe?” “Yeah, just a little uncomfortable.” “Oh, look, here is a better picture of your little guy.” “It’s a boy!” “Oh no, I’m sorry, it’s too soon to determine that yet, those parts aren’t even developed yet. I just refer to them all as little guys at this point.”

She twists a little dial and then says, “here, see this little flicker? That’s the heart beating!” Bruno’s face lights up and when she turns up the volume we can hear it. “It’s very faint because it’s so early, but it’s there!” I look up at Bruno, and his face is so full of love, tears flowing down his face. “That’s the best sound I have ever heard in my life,” he says letting go of my hand to wipe his face. Our midwife prints out some pictures, doubles since Bruno is leaving, so he can take them with him. And she pulls out the cd that she burned for him. “Well guys, I know you are leaving in 3 weeks for tour,” she says pointing to Bruno, “So why don’t you come back right before you leave and we’ll do another scan, and get you some updated pictures to take with you.” “That sounds perfect.” “If you need anything just give me a call, it doesn’t matter what time.” We thank her and leave. When we climb into the cab, Bru takes his phone out and snaps a picture of his ultrasound pic, and sends it to his family.

“This may be the best week ever babe, get to see my baby, my cd is being released tomorrow and we’re getting married in 8 days!” He’s so excited he can barely keep his voice at a whisper. “Bru, let’s go look at flowers or something! I can’t sit at home knowing we have tons of stuff to get done.” My boss is doing missionary work in China, and we have a month off, paid! We have the cab drop us off about a mile from home and we walk around, looking into little shops, we pick out some flowers for our wedding, and then we stumble upon a baby store. Bruno wants to go in, but I’m scared that people are going to see us and catch on. “Don’t worry about it baby, we can always tell them it’s for a family member,” he says. So we end up walking into this little baby boutique. And you would swear that we were two girls shopping for designer shoes, with all his oohing and awing. Every time Bruno picks something up, I agree with him that it’s cute, but then when I look at the price tag, (it’s a habit, single mom remember) I have a mini heart attack and make him put it back down.

This price checking thing Lacey has going on is going to have to stop. I pick up a yellow blanket that’s silk on one side and fuzzy on the other with little ducks and show Lace, “Look booty, this is so soft!” She rubs it between her fingers and then looks at the price tag, “Bruno, that blanket cost $50, we are not paying that much for something that’s going to get puked and peed on! No way!” “I’m buying this, and I’m taking it on tour with me. Excuse me ma’am, can we get a basket or a bag to put our things in?” The lady takes the blanket and puts it on the counter, “I’ll just keep bringing them up here for you so you don’t have to carry them.” After running a couple more things up there, without letting Lacey see, I sneak up to the counter and pay. When we leave we head straight home. Lace is tired and ready for a nap. “I think this is gonna be a boy, Bru. I was so tired when I was pregnant with Bray that I could hardly function,” she squeezes my hand as we turn the corner on our block. “I kinda want a girl.” “Really?” “I mean yeah, all us kids had boys, if this baby is a girl, she will be the first!” We get inside and Lace lays down on the couch. “You hear that baby,” I say as I get down on my knees and put my head on her still flat stomach, “You need to be a girl. Don’t grow any balls!” 

Chapter 34

Today is the day! I become Mrs. Hernandez today! Those are my first thoughts as I wake up, the next thought is, I’m going to puke! I get up and run to the bathroom, Bruno comes running after me. “Baby are you okay?” He grabs my hair and pulls it back into a pony tail, holding it there for me. When I can finally talk I say, “Oh my god this isn’t happening,” and then my face goes back into the toilet. After a few minutes I crumple down onto the floor. “Bru, can you get me some water and a cold rag?” He takes off running to the kitchen. Tiara comes into the bathroom and gets me a rag, “Morning sickness kicking in?” “I hate being pregnant Tiara, every fucking time, I would rather just die than do this for months.” She grabs me a hair tie, hands it to me and walks out as Bruno walks in. He sits down on the floor with me and wraps me in his arms. “I’m sorry baby, I wish I could take it away, I would trade places in a heartbeat if I could,” he takes my hair tie and pulls my hair up. “You’re too good to me Bru,” I say, my voice is scratchy from getting sick. “I love you babe, that’s what we do, we take care of each other. You take care of me when I get sick, remember a couple months ago when I had that horrible hang over and you laid in the dark with me on the bathroom floor and scratched my back for an hour until I decided I could get up.”

Lacey is weak, I help her back to bed, and then I head outside to help my sisters. They are decorating for our wedding in a few hours. We’re having a fall theme, the girls are wearing orange and brown dresses. Eric and Dad and Lacey’s brother Stephen and I, we’re wearing jeans and button downs and jackets. After we get everything set up we head back up stairs. The kids are running around and Mom and Ann are talking and getting to know each other. I head back to the bedroom to check on my bride, she’s in the shower. I shut and lock the door and head to the bathroom, strip down and climb in the shower with her. “Are you feeling better baby?” I wrap my arms around her from behind. “Yeah, it passed. I feel a lot better actually, I hope this doesn’t last long. With Bray I was sick for 7 months straight, every single day. With Kenny I think I only got sick 4 or 5 times.” She leans her head back on my shoulder and I tilt my head down and kiss her neck, running my hands up and down her stomach. “Bru, you have to wait. We have a lot of people here.” “I’m just rubbing baby, I can wait.” I kiss her neck once more and then grab the shampoo.

We get around and come out of the bedroom together. Everyone is here, food has been delivered and it smells so good! “So were not waiting on anyone are we?” Everyone looks around and shakes their heads. “Well then let’s do this!” Bruno says. We all walk outside and down the stairs. Once we get arranged and everyone sits down, Phil says, “Well I didn’t bring the paper that they tell you to read from. The traditional wedding speech they want you to give. You guys are a unique couple and so I’m just gonna freestyle this wedding. I just want to thank you guys for asking me to be a part of this special day, and I’m so glad that you found her Bru, this lady is one of a kind, and she loves you so much. Lacey, I have known Bruno for a long long time, and this is the happiest I have ever seen him. Well aside from the night he won his Grammy.” We all start laughing, he says some more things, but I get lost in Bruno’s eyes and I don’t hear him. “Bruno and Lacey have written their own vows. So I’m gonna let them take over.”

“So, I was thinking of a poem before when I was getting ready, and I think it starts, ‘I carry your heart in my heart. I am never without it. Anywhere I go, you go.’ I’m probably messing the whole thing up, but I think the end goes, ‘And this is the wonder that keeps the stars apart. I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.’ So I guess what I’m saying is, no matter where I go, where tour takes me, you’re always right here with me,” he takes my hand and puts it over his heart. “I promise to always get the kids wild, right before bed time. I promise, all of our important decisions will always be made in a bubble bath, I promise to take my shoes off at the door, and crawl on my knees to the bathroom if my feet get dirty. I’ll always scratch your favorite spot when you’re stressed, and I promise to throw my receipts away before I get home.  I promise you I will always go love sick over your piano skills, and I won’t make fun of you for sucking at the guitar. But more importantly I promise to hold your hair back when you’re sick, and to tell you that you are beautiful every single day, because you are truly, one of the most beautiful, inspiring, strong women I have ever had a chance to meet.”

Tears are threatening my eyes, “Wow Bruno, way to set the bar high! That was beautiful.” We all smile and then I take a deep breath and look into his eyes. “Dr. Seuss once said, ‘You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.’  I couldn’t agree more, my sleeping habits have changed so much since we’ve been together. I don’t know whether to blame it on you or on me. Either way, I would rather stay awake and just be with you, than go to sleep, even the best dreams couldn’t amount to just sitting next to you. You have changed my life in so many ways. You have brought laughter back into my life. You are so full of joy and passion for everything that you do. I promise to help you find that joy and passion if you ever lose it, to remind you how blessed you are when times get hard, and you get down on yourself. I promise to always stand next to you, holding your hand, giving a positive word when things go wrong, and I will always be there to celebrate with you when they go right. I promise to always be ready to cook for you when you get home from out of town, even if you were only gone for a week. I promise you the kids and I will always greet you like ‘happy little puppies’, okay so the kids may not in a few years, but I always will. I promise to clean up after your messy butt, and never complain if you offer to cook dinner, even though your food is usually not edible. I will force it down with a smile. I promise to always be your best friend, your partner in crime and forever your soul mate. Bruno, this moment, our whole lives have prepared us for this moment. All the struggle and heart ache, it’s made us stronger, it’s taught us to appreciate the beauty in life, and I’m so thankful that I get to share the rest of it with you.

We exchanged rings, tears running down every single one of our faces. Phil cleared his throat and said, “Now, Brunz remember, you only have one carrot, and your married now, your wife will not allow any sharing of it.” We all busted up laughing. “I guess this is the part where I now pronounce you Husband and Wife! Kiss your bride son!” Everyone erupted in cheers and Bruno grabbed my face, right as he was about to kiss me he whispered “I love you Mrs. Hernandez,” against my lips. When he kisses me, I no longer hear the cheers of our family, one of his hands is over my ear, and I can hear his heartbeat. I get lost in the sound of his heartbeat and the feel of his lips.