So far this week, we’ve covered celebrities from the worlds of music, cinema, and the culinary arts and today we’ll move on to SPORTS! Way back in 2001, we first only knew Lonie Paxton as this guy…#66, Long Snapper for the New England Patriots, 3x Super Bowl Champion, the original snow angel guy! Haha! When I found out this was Lonie, I laughed so hard because I remember thinking that the snow angel guy must have been awesome and loved to have fun!
In 2007 we got to know Lonie even more, but now he was just the “guy sitting next to Damion on the airplane” with his girlfriend Meghan. We won’t talk much about that plane ride home, (shall we Megs?, but we’ll just suffice it to say that Damion had a great chance to get to know them better. If I recall correctly, when Lonie said he played for the Patriots, Damion said “That’s football, right?” LOL. Let’s just say he hadn’t been a big football fan! Lonie told us all about the organization that he had started, Active Force Foundation, which was designed to allow those with physical challenges to still enjoy athletic activities, so seriously cool AND serious about their mission. Damion was fortunate enough to be able to photograph some of the killer fundraisers that they had for AFA. This is one of my favorite pics of the two of them at Lonie’s house, I think back from 2009!
And here they are at the AFA event at Northstar in 2010. Lonie & Meghan haven’t changed a bit since then!
Then, we knew them as fiancees….otherwise known as the “hot couple in the engagement photos!” Damion went out to Castlerock, CO where Lonie was then playing for the Denver Broncos and spent the day doing their engagement session. These two beautiful people are awesome in front of the camera, but more than that, you can see that they truly love each other. That’s part of what makes it so easy to capture them..they express their love for each other so easily. It’s in their smiles, in their looks, in the way they treat each other.
Next, we got to know them as “bride & groom.” OK, I feel like crying right now. This was just such a special day for everyone at St. Regis Monarch Beach in Southern CA. I remember asking Lonie which was more nerve-wrecking: playing in the Super Bowl or getting married? I loved his answer. He said “Well, in the Super Bowl, you don’t know the outcome and millions of people are watching, but today, I know exactly what I’m getting surrounded by the people that are important to me.” Again, you just have to smile at these two crazy love birds!! You can’t help it!
Of course, there were many friends from the years with the Patriots like Tom Brady (& Gisele) , Wes Welker (Broncos), Matt Cassel (Vikings), Julie & John Dorenbos (Eagles) and a bunch of other awesome people that I’m pretty sure I should know! (Sorry guys..you know our history with football!) My concern wasn’t so much the people, as that we were on the third floor and the party was pounding and with all these huge NFL guys jumping around to the music, the floor was shaking with every beat!! I was sure we were going to plunge through into the dining room below!! LOL!! Yeah, they definitely know how to party!
In spite of all of that, my VERY most favorite way of knowing them is now seeing them as “mom and dad” to their sweet little 1.5 yr old twins. I won’t go into detail and I have never told anyone this, but I’m sharing it with you…I had a gut feeling that Meghan was pregnant and called to ask her. No, she said. Well, guess what??? She was!! I can officially say I knew before even Lonie & Meghan did!!Truthfully, the little ones wouldn’t know me, but I feel like an aunty! I’ m so proud of them. A few weeks ago, Damion was able to visit their family and take pictures of these little sweeties in action. What a blessing and what a beautiful family.
Lonie & Megs, I just wanted to express to you our gratitude. You have such an ease and grace about you that allows you to accept the people you love into your circle so easily. At your wedding, I met so many of your friends that felt the same way..swept away by the grace, the charm, the love that you express to those around you. Thank you for “taking us into your circle.” You have taught us alot about being generous, about passion and hospitality, and about planning for the future. With that, I must tell you that this right here (in the picture below) is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever done. We are so proud of you guys and the mom and dad that you are to your darlings and just who you are (and who they will be!) You have a special place in our hearts always. We love you. (and now I need to stop crying.)