Brian and I met at a Rebuilding Together "Dreams Happen" charity event on June 4, 2005. It was the Playhouse Auction at Stanford Shopping center and I had received an email at the last minute from a client that they were looking for volunteers to help out so I signed up for a bartending shift from 9pm-midnight. Brian is on the Board for Rebuilding Together and was there without a date that night (thank goodness!) I was walking around with three bottles of wine in my arms pouring tall glasses for the auction bidders. Brian and I started talking and I couldn't tell if he was single or not... I finally asked if he was going to buy a playhouse and was relieved to hear him say "What would I do with a playhouse?!" We couldn't stop talking and I forgot all about my bartending duties! He asked me if he could take me out sometime and I don't think I hesitated a second before I said yes! We ended up dancing (yes Brian was dancing) and talking until the end of the event when his friend/neighbor Mark Ryan pulled him away to take him home.
Surprise Proposal ~ January 14, 2006
Brian and I went up to his friend Greg Weber's ranch (Edward's Ranch) to go hunting early Saturday morning... I thought we were going out on the ranch with a bunch of friends, Greg, Tyler and Mary and the Flynn family but as we drove up one by one each friend called to say they weren't going to be able to make it and all of the sudden it was down to just Brian and me (and I was still clueless). We took the 4-wheeler out on the ranch but there has been so much rain we couldn't get across the river to make it up to the hills. Brian had to carry me on his shoulders through waist high rushing water in his jeans (he gave me the dry waders!) and then we hiked up into the cliffs with rifles and shotguns in tow. Looking out on the ranch he got down on his knee, pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him... of course I said yes. :)
(The picture is from a hunting expedition two weeks ago, we didn't have a camera with us Saturday! But you get the idea:)
Then- A Surprise Engagement Party!
When we came down from the hills to head back to his parents house he was trying to convince me to change out of my soaking wet jeans and boots (not to mention the waders and full camo jacket!) but I kept telling him I wasn't that cold and would change after a shower at his parents house. I thought his mom was having a dinner for the "trustees" of their high school over for dinner and was just going to sneak in the side door so I didn't even recognize all the cars in the driveway... he pulled right in front of the house where I was totally shocked to find both of our families and friends there for a surprise engagement party!
Our Road Trip Honeymoon! July 23-August 7, 2006
From a post July 2006: "We fly out Sunday July 23 in the afternoon after a post-wedding brunch and will have time to relax (finally!) at the Four Seasons before heading out on a road trip through Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and back through California. We ordered a new car (a new black Suburban!) we are hoping to have delivered to Wyoming so we can drive it back home as a married couple :) We're really excited for our laid-back, family-packed, road trip honeymoon!!
Jackson, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Bend and Tahoe
We'll stay in lodges along the way through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone as we make our way out to Bend Oregon for the Heffernan Family Reunion in Black Butte Friday-Tuesday July 28-Aug 1! Then we'll head down to Lake Tahoe for the Simonson family vacation at Brockway Springs on the Lake. We're looking forward to all of it!
Fly Fishing in Idaho
We had so much fun on our honeymoon! Brian got me all set up with all the gear I needed and we spent a lot of our time fly fishing in some beautiful places along the way. We managed to put over 2,000 miles on our new suburban (we love it!) on back roads and two lane highways from Wyoming to California. Brian was very patient teaching me how to fly fish and I even caught my first fish!
Idaho Rocky Mountain Lodge
The Lodge where we stayed for three nights in Idaho and took day fly fishing trips from here. It had great meals, good wine (despite the 22% alcohol tax in Idaho!), nice people and awesome views. This is a photo of the Main Lodge which was surrounded by 22 indivdual cabins.
Brian and I visited Cloverdale Cemetary and Mortuary on our drive from Stanley, Idaho to Oregon, where my gradparents are buried (my dad's parents). My cousin Tim owns the mortuary and we were hoping to catch him so he could meet Brian. Tim is a big hunter and breeds reindeer at the cemetary!
Heffernan Family Reunion!
Black Butte, OR
We landed in Black Butte on Monday during the second week of our honeymoon for the Heffernan Family Reunion. We were there for 4 days and had a great time with all of the Heffernans!
more fly fishing w Oma and Aunt Francy too!
Brockway Springs, Lake Tahoe
Wednesday we drove from Bend OR to Lake Tahoe, CA for the Simonson family vacation. We stayed at Brockway Springs where my family has been going every year since I was 4 months old :)
a little gambling of course
and lots of sun by the pool
always meant to photoshop the weird 12 year old girl out from this one...
Written February 2006 when we got engaged :)
*Brian Thomas Heffernan
Brian grew up in Red Bluff, CA, he is from a great family and is the oldest of 5 kids. Brian went to UC Davis for undergrad and then went on to Santa Clara University for his law degree. Brian is now a lawyer for DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary and does real estate law or "dirt law" as he calls it. His office is about 10 blocks from his house! Brian loves his job and is great at what he does.
Brian loves hunting, fishing, working on his house and his yellow lab Sage. (okay, maybe "love" isn't the right word for Sage but he's been around for 9 years and loves Brian!)
Here is a picture of Brian in his living room on Christmas with his dog "Sage" and my Jack Russell "Ollie." Ollie thinks he is a lab and tries to out-eat Sage, as you can see both dogs could use a trip to Weight Watchers.
Brian bought a house in Menlo Park almost 3 years ago that was a disaster and has fixed it up himself... it is a great house in the Willows, about half a mile from where my parents live and walking distance to downtown Palo Alto and Menlo Park (when we're really ambitious). It has a great yard and he has really fun neighbors. :) This is the "after" picture of the house... below you can see what it looked like when he bought it!
This house had "condemned" stickers on it when Brian found it! Leave it to Brian to take on a challenge... he replaced the roof, windows, doors and all of the electrical. He re-built the roof of the garage that was falling in and had a "squatter" living in it, he remodeleld the bathroom, landscaped and hardscaped and made the whole place look great. After we met, we put up bead board in the hallways and painted every room inside. We're waiting to remodel the kitchen after we get married, although I've tried to convince Brian on a few occasions we can tackle it in a weekend! Brian's done a great job turning this house around!
Mary Regan Simonson
(Written by Brian! February 2006)
Mary's from right here in Menlo Park. She's the oldest as well among the four Simonson siblings. Evenings at the Simonson House are always a good time and they may be the only family that makes it harder than mine to get a word in at the dinner table.
Mary went away to William and Mary in Virginia and came right back to Menlo Park after college with intentions of becoming a pediatric oncologist. Mary still works with kids but in a less clinical way. She owns Academic Trainers (www.academictrainers.com) which she started on the side while studying for the MCAT. Her flagship location is in downtown Menlo Park and she also has a second location in Aptos (near Santa Cruz). She keeps many of the Stanford students employed throughout the school year and it seems we can't go anywhere without running into a client praising her for turning their kid's grades around. She loves kids, loves what she does and was recently dubbed the peninsula's "Tutoring Titan".
Never one to sit idle, Mary also just launched GoGo Menlo! (www.gogomenlo.com). Her new venture keeps her busy matching GoGo girls (and GoGo guys) to families who need an extra hand with babysitting, car pool or just about anything else. It's a great service! If you're lucky you may get her brother, Jerry, or my sister, Katherine, GoGoing for you in their free time.
Mary's enjoys polo and long walks on the beach. (very funny Heff) She has three horses, Bob, Al and Santi who are chopping at the bit to get back out on the field for the new season. Most of her games are around the corner in Atherton and make for a great way to spend an afternoon.