We met more than seven years ago when we were both serving as law clerks for judges. We were friends for a few months and then started dating. Our first official date lasted eight hours. We spent the day walking around all of New York City – from Central Park to Little Italy, where we ended with dinner at a quaint restaurant where Dan made reservations. Things just felt right that day, and we knew in the backs of our heads that we would probably spend the rest of our lives together. After that day, we fell in love pretty quickly and have been together ever since.
After fourteen months of dating, we became engaged. We got engaged in the courthouse where we met. Dan knew that I had a court appearance that day and arranged to propose to me with the help of the judge he worked for previously. He planned to ask me right before my court appearance. While I was waiting for my appearance to begin, Dan came out of the judge’s office and got down on one knee. He told me I was his best friend and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me (though Dan is not a big crier, he definitely got a little teary eyed when he proposed). It was the perfect proposal, and everything I dreamed of, because it happened where we met and with the people who were instrumental in bringing us together.
It was even more special because he arranged for me to not have to do my appearance (another attorney from my office covered it) and for me to be able to take the rest of the day off from work. After Dan proposed, we celebrated in the courthouse with the judges and court staff who knew us when we met. Sometimes I will think back on how much effort he put in to planning that moment for me and it still makes me smile the way it did when he proposed. He made the proposal so truly “us” and it showed me how much he wanted to make that day special. He is a really good person and will make such a great father.
Our wedding followed a year and a half later in the summer of 2017. We had a large traditional wedding with our family and friends. We feel blessed that our friends and family are so supportive of our relationship. We got married in the city where we met and where Dan proposed. Our venue had beautiful views overlooking New York City (this was one of Dan’s requests because of how special he thinks New York City is – and I certainly couldn’t disagree). Our niece, Sophie, served as our flower girl, and the judges we worked for served as our officiants. It was one of the most special days of our lives, and one fun party.
We feel so fortunate to have a happy and loving marriage. We know that we are so lucky to have found each other. Our marriage is a partnership and we balance each other well. I often get caught up in the small details of things, but Dan has the ability to see the big picture. We have very little conflict in our relationship and rarely argue. During our difficult times, such as when we were struggling with infertility, we were able to be very supportive of each other. We love and enjoy children and have always wanted to be parents. After more than 3 years of infertility, IVF treatments, and miscarriages, we realized that we didn’t need to have a biological connection in order to love and cherish a child. We knew we wanted to become parents and decided that adoption was the right choice for us to begin our family. In addition, adoption is close to our hearts as Maxine’s youngest cousins, Gemma and Dylan, are adopted. Gemma and Dylan both speak very highly about adoption and adoption is really positive in our family.
As a couple, we love to go out to eat, have friends and family over, travel and spend time outdoors. It is one of our goals in life to go to every baseball stadium in the country (we’ve done five together, so we have a ways to go!). Not only do we enjoy going to games, but it is also a great way to see the country. We are excited to expose a child to the things we enjoy. We enjoy going to museums, cultural events, and concerts. Spending time at the beach is one of our favorite things to do together. We also love to go into New York City, which is only about a 30 minute drive from our home, and explore all it has to offer. It also allows us to visit our niece and nephew, Graham and Sophie, who live there with Dan’s oldest brother, Kevin, and his wife, Emily, often. We are also really excited to learn about a child’s hopes, dream and talents and explore and support those too! We plan to expose a child to as many different things as possible until they find their own special interests and talents and support them in whatever these may be.
We both love music and will raise a child with lots of musical opportunities to explore. Maxine also loves to cook and hopes to cook with a child, just like her mom, Joyce, and grandmother, Janet, did with her. Dan is also an avid reader and guitar player and looks forward to reading to a child and teaching him or her to play instruments.
Education is also very important to us, and we will provide the best education possible to your child. We are both lawyers which means that we are lucky to have secure professions, and will be able to provide your child with a stable environment to grow up in. Our jobs are both very stable.
We are also fortunate that both our jobs will afford us the flexibility to have a family and be really involved and present parents. Dan has a lot of personal time off and can leave the office at 4:30pm. Maxine’s law firm is also very family oriented and she can work from home as often as necessary. Plus, she is a senior attorney and can make her own hours.
We are both extremely close to our immediate and extended families and spend a lot time with them.
Dan has two brothers, one older, Kevin, and one younger, Matthew. Kevin lives in New York City with his wife, Emily, and two children, Sophie and Graham. We spend time with them regularly and often babysit Sophie and Graham. We love to take Sophie and Graham to parks and our local zoo, which is one of the best in New Jersey; we also love to have them sleep over. During our sleep overs, we play board games and hide and go seek, watch movies, and give them treats (they both love ice cream and cookies). Maxine also makes them special breakfast before they go home. Matthew lives in California, and we try to see him as often as we can. Dan’s parents, Patti and Tom, live about an hour and a half from our house and they absolutely love being grandparents. They can’t wait to welcome your child. Dan’s mom was a preschool teacher and she is one of the most nurturing people you will ever meet. Dan’s dad came from a big family and loves having kids around.
We spend every Christmas with Dan’s family, with a tradition of going to a hibachi dinner every Christmas Eve after mass. On Christmas Day, we open presents in the morning by age order, starting with the youngest. We then have a festive dinner followed by dozens of cookies all handmade by Dan’s mom. We intend to carry on these traditions once we are parents; we also plan to start new traditions, including going to Rockefeller Center in New York City every year to see the tree and decorating our house for the holidays.
Maxine is an only child, but is lucky to have eight cousins, six on her mom’s side and two on her dad’s, with whom she shares a close relationship with and she sees often.
Maxine’s mom, Joyce, and step-dad, Frank, live about an hour and a half from us and her dad, Bill, and step-mom, Linda, live about an hour away. They are all anxiously awaiting their first grandchild to spoil. In addition, Maxine is fortunate enough to still have her grandparents in her life. Her maternal grandparents live about an hour away from us and we share a very close relationship with them and try to see them once a month. They cannot wait to welcome their fourth great-grandchild.
Maxine’s paternal grandparents live in Florida; and, we talk to them regularly and visit on vacations. They are very excited about the prospect of their first great-grandchild and looking forward to having us visit. We know that it will be very special to get out of the cold and take vacations to Disney World in sunny Florida.
We spend every Thanksgiving with Maxine’s mom’s family, which not only includes her mom and step-dad and grandparents but also her aunts, uncles, and cousins. In addition, we often spend time at her grandparents’ pool, which has a gorgeous view of the Hudson River, and is the central gathering place for her family during the summer.
We both also have a great group of friends, most of whom we knew before we started dating. However, once we became a couple we both joined each other’s network of friends. Now, Dan’s friends are mine, and mine are his. All of our friends either have children or are in the process of starting a family, so your child will have a built in group of friends from the start. In fact, Maxine’s closest friend from college lives a half hour away from us with her husband and two year old daughter, Olivia. We love spending time with Olivia; we recently went to a New Jersey Devils’ game with them, and Olivia spent a half hour teaching Dan how to put a fake diaper on her stuffed New Jersey Devil. We’ve also become very close to our next door neighbors, Megan and Mike, who have a two and half year old son and a three month old daughter.