The ONE (For Jeff on Father’s DAYS)

We have a strong man who stands as the head of our family.

His name Jeff Ruffolo.

When I first met Jeff I knew he was the one I am going to marry. Several novels have been written about that giddy, nervous mix of emotions that one feels when he/she finds THE ONE. I used to think that such experience is only confined to the romantic and exaggerated psyches of writers and authors, who aim to put it in some spice in every work they do hoping that it will turn into a masterpiece loved by all (and hopefully end up in the New York Times Bestseller list).

But when I met Jeff, I actually saw my life unfolding in-front of me. The very first time I met him in Hong Kong, I saw my future laid out before me. I saw him cooking for me; I saw us travelling around the world; I saw us watching endless television series; I saw us planning out budget and talking about money.

I saw our children (yes, among them twins, which really happened).

Yes, I was certain he will become the father to my (our) children.

This year, on Father’s Day, as we settle down in our third country of residence (an adventure of three years moving around the Philippines, China and now, the United States of America), I took the time to make Father’s Day a special project for me and the twins with the special participation of Danielle, Jeff’s gorgeous daughter from his first marriage.

The plan was to celebrate Father’s DAYS; three days filled with little surprises for the head of our family.

We still write love letters and we love giving greeting cards to each other so I know these time-tested – or old-fashioned as many will call it – memory keepers will mean a lot to him.

I printed out Father’s Day coloring sheets for the twins to work. Yep, big mess and it was not easy to stop them from coloring the table or the carpet. I covered the table with old newspaper sheets to prevent major furniture heartbreak.

Newspaper covering the table to prevent major colored pen mess.
Newspaper covering the table to prevent major colored pen mess.
Serious business.
Serious business.

And later posted on the fridge’s door.

From Nick and Toni: Happy Father's Day!
From Nick and Toni: Happy Father’s Day!

I sought the help of Pinterest for a Father’s Day banner and I saw one from Amanda’s Parties to Go. I printed them out, tied them using a green jute string, which I had Jeff buy for me (because I told him I need it for the twins’ alphabet-and-number wall). At 11:30 in the evening of June 18, I tied them around two posts at the front porch. By midnight, I had him come out and Jeff, being the emotional creature that he is next to yours truly, shed tears.

No picture of that night because it was way too dark and I only have my tablet as my “camera” but here are photos of the banner which I took the following day.

Windy day when these photos were taken. :)
Windy day when these photos were taken. 🙂

Amanda’s Parties To Go also featured necktie-themed cupcake toppers, which were so cute that I printed them out even if I wasn’t too sure where to use them because I don’t know how to make apple pie and cherry pie (the only two desserts that Jeff eats).

But as it turned out, the toppers worked for strawberry ice cream (the only flavor Jeff eats) so they found their way to the surprise plan too!

Red eyed. Tears and conjunctivitis. Really, that's why.
Red eyed. Tears and conjunctivitis. Really, that’s why.

Danielle sent a message for Jeff which was included in the Father’s Day card from his children. I included pictures of them (Jeff’s children) in the card done with the help of Hallmark Print Studio.

The Ruffolos: Dani, Nick, and Toni.
The Ruffolos: Dani, Nick, and Toni.

Jeff also got this super cool Superman card which we found in Super 1 Foods while doing grocery. He didn’t know I bought it.

Why is it cool?

'All hero. No cape.'
‘All hero. No cape.’

It plays this cool “anthem” once it’s opened. Click here for the video.

Finally, I gave him a card and a letter.

One, two, and now three... Soon, four...
One, two, three… Now four…  Soon, five…
Once there was you and me… We skipped three… Proceeded to four… and we’ll be five soon.
Dear Mr. Ruffolo…

On Father’s Day itself (June 21), we had dinner at home, on a picnic table just outside the house with Joe and Sheryl. They made chicken with wild rice, and strawberries for dessert. It was a great way to cap off Father’s Day as we watched the twins play with water and get wet.

Summer solstice on Father's Day.
Summer solstice on Father’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!

Thank you for coming and being in our lives!

P.S. Hey, we’re not done yet! More surprises coming…