When Jeff and Danielle met at work in November of 2005, there was an immediate spark of attraction between them. Jeff appreciated Danielle’s kind heart and her very supportive nature. She was attracted to his positive attitude, his great patience, and his willingness to always help those in need.
They were friends for over a year before they started dating. Jeff told me, “… the natural chemistry drew us together. I feel like I met my soul mate.”
So on September 25, 2010, at the beautiful Wine and Roses Hotel and Spa in Lodi, and before their dearest family and friends, Jeff and Danielle were married. I was honored to perform their wedding ceremony.
Because of their great love for each other, Jeff and Danielle dreamed of creating a loving, supportive family … a family that celebrates everyone’s uniqueness … a family that truly enjoys spending quality time together.
Again quoting Jeff, “We have so much love for each other, and can’t wait to share that with our children.”
Gift From God
And on November 25, 2011, their darling son, Matteo — which means “Gift from God” — was born!
Danielle says, “Matteo has become the center of our family dynamics. He makes us laugh, cry, worry and stress all at the same time! :0: He is such a delight and blessing to be around. His warm smile, the sparkle in his eyes when he sees us melts our hearts and souls. He is so full of life and energy. We wish nothing but love and for him to follow his passion in life whatever that may be.”
Danielle and Jeff again included me in their circle of love by asking me to perform Matteo’s baby blessing.
So on an unseasonably cool August morning a few close family members and dear friends gathered at Jeff and Danielle’s home to celebrate the blessing of their son and formally welcome him into the community of family, friends and loved ones.
There is a saying that there are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings.
During the ceremony Matteo’s grandparents were asked to come forward and hold Matteo, while bringing to mind their own ancestry and those who loved them and helped shape their lives. In this way, we acknowledged Matteo’s roots.
Matteo’s godparents were also asked to step forward and promise to guide, encourage and inspire Matteo as he grows, and to support Jeff and Danielle as parents.
And then, of course, Jeff and Danielle made their own promises to Matteo, acknowledging their commitment to inspire him to grow to be a man who truly loves his life, and encourage him as he finds his “wings.”
- To love, nurture and teach him;
- To encourage him to have a sense of wonder, a love of God and the universe, and a sense of responsibility for and desire to give back to the Earth.
- To be patient and flexible with Matteo, and with each other;
- To do their best to be healthy and strong, in body, mind and spirit, and to continue to work together as a team to be the best parents they can be.
- To give Matteo the greatest gift of all, the example of a strong and happy marriage through their love and commitment to each other.
Jeff and Danielle, may you be blessed as parents. May you treasure each other and enjoy life together as a family.
May Matteo be a blessing to all he meets. And may he count us among his blessings as well!