"Picnic Balloons"

What a crazy amazing fantastic weekend we here at the house of Young and Gallagher have had.

It was full of THREE different BBQs, the May Fair, Aquarium with Susan and her new beau... and it all started with a wonderful surprise on Friday night.

I had talked about picnicing in Saddler Woods (in Haddon Township) for dinner, but after a day of work on friday, I lost my motivation... so stepped it down to - first - picnicing in the backyard and then... just picnicing on the floor in the front room.

All this time, my indecisiveness and laziness were giving poor PJ agida. But I didn't know it...

So, I make tacos, we start our lil' friday night picnic, sharing - each in turn - our "favorite part of our day"... and then PJ says he has to go get the special "picnic balloons" out of his car. WTF are "picnic balloons?" No idea. I think they are actually a made up construct... however,

Cut back to this recent Mother's Day:

Bax and PJ had brought me breakfast in bed along with a bunch of balloons anchored down with a mini-gift bag with a little weight inside.

Now, as whacky as it may seem given our timeline here, PJ and I have known we're going to get hitched for a few months. We've been together for six months, and I think it's safe to say that for at least 5 of those months, I've known that
this is my guy. Bold? Sure... but true.

So, anyhow, when they came in to my bedroom mother's day morning with this, I held the lil' weighted bag at the bottom of the balloon strings and it felt just about the right size and shape for a ring box. My eyes lit up... and PJ looked at me. Perplexed. Then processing what I was thinking, then downtrodden.

"No, babe. it's just a balloon weight. That's all."

We all had a good lil' chuckle out of that one.

SO... let us return to friday May 23rd here... he and Bax go out to his car to get these so-called "picnic balloons" and it's not until he's inside the door, handing me the lil' weighted gift bag at the bottom that it hits me that he's actually about to propose. Cause THIS lil' gift bag has a ring box in it.

Him: Down on one knee.

Me: lots of tears.

Baxter: giddy with the excited energy of the moment.

He asked if I'd marry him. I said yes. Bax opened the box and put this beautiful tanzanite (pale lavender stone) and platinum ring on my finger.

It's all very simple, really. We're a family - and we're getting hitched. If I think too hard about the contrast of the feeling of loss and how my sense of present and future had turned upside down in early 2006 - with the feeling of gratitude and optimism I have in my current life, it's just a little too overwhelming. Suffice it to say that this feels right. It feels easy and it feels so so freaking nice.

We're probably n
ot going to have the wedding until next Spring or Summer... and we'll likely do something quite small and low-key (but with his Irish Catholic family, "small" is a relative term)... but for now, we've made the promise to each other and will be reveling in the beauty of this engagement period for the next year or so.


Francine said...

Holy crap! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! I'm SO happy for all three of you :)

Anonymous said...

my heart is happy for you.
I am glad my nephew will have
a second daddy.
love you lots,

Stacy Denham said...

Danna I am just so unbelievably happy for you! Congrats to you, PJ, and Baxter! Much love to all of you...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! This is so great - you soooooo deserve this!!! Happiness for you all! mags

Heide said...

I think I'm going to go outside and skip around the yard!

rebar said...

I've been checking in on your blog now and again since you started it. I'm continually inspired by your spirit, grit and humanity - along with your willingness to shart those qualities with folks.

You remind me that the world is full of good things and bumpy things, and that ultimately the good things are what makes it all worthwhile.

Wishing you all much happiness in this next chapter!!

rebecca from chicago

weissman said...

w00t! now you're really going to need all those vegan recipes i've got! mazel tov to both of you!! just don't hyphenate this one...g-y-g sounds like an irish law firm joke in the making :) yay for love!

Anonymous said...

My parents went on a blind date and got married a month later (and no, I wasn't born until a full year later). They enjoyed 31 years of happy marriage.

Congratulations to you. May you find happiness and peace.

Anonymous said...

This is the most wonderful news I've heard in a long time. Best wishes for a happy life together. You deserve it. Oh, and Heidi cracked me up with her posting about going outside to skip in the yard. A warm heart and a loud chuckle. What more can one ask from a Blog??Amy J.

Anonymous said...

I think we already had it figured out but glad its not official!! LOVE the ring. Most of all, love the smiles on all the happy faces, especially Baxter's. Take your time. It will all happen when it should. In the meantime, just enjoy one another.

Anonymous said...

Duh, that should be NOW, not NOT official!! When I learn to type, it will be a happy day!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Been following your story for a long time and happy to see you so happy. Life is good!

Anonymous said...

Mazel Tov!!
that is so freakin'awesome!
I will send you all my quinoa recipes.

love you,


Anonymous said...


Be happy. I know that Victoria and I are happy for you.


Anonymous said...

Hmm. We'll have to get you a vegan/nut allergy cookbook!
Yay and Yay. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

I knew it before you did!!! Nah! Nah!

Words cannot describe how happy I am for you ALL.

SOOOOOO thrilled to see you smiling and in love!!!


Anonymous said...



Cheryl said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! Love to all of you!

Anne said...

why do I have tears in my eyes? I am so happy for you, Danna, and Baxter. PJ is damn lucky to have you both, but it seems like he knows it, which is good. I hope we'll get to see you again soon. Love, anne

Kate K. said...

Dear Lovely Danna,

Best wishes on your engagement. You sound very happy, and Baxter looks very happy in the pictures as well. We wish you, Baxter, and PJ much love and happiness!

Your friends in Arizona,
Kate, Jeff, and Henry

P.S. What a beautiful ring!

Liz, Scott, Noah, and now....Jonah too! said...

Hurray for you lovebirds! So happy for you. This is now my favorite post of 2008, second to the matchbox car plumbing fiasco story.

Can't wait to meet you JP!

(I'm happy to be a bridesmaid, as long as the dress involves wearing a big fat bow on my butt)


Anonymous said...

Danna, Danna, Danna, Danna!!!!!!

Peter said...

Alex and I are jumping up and down. This is the best news. PJ is awesome.

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...


Unknown said...

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