I remember right before we got married someone said to us, “Take a moment. Forget about thanking people for coming or about when the next toast is, just take a moment. The day goes by so fast and you deserve one sliver of time for just the two of you.” I remember not understanding, but filing away the advice. I am grateful, because we did take a moment away from the crowd to drink each other in as well as the significance of the day.

I carry that advice with me and it came in to play Friday night. We had our industry’s big night, a regional award ceremony recognizing the work of 2012. The theme was Mad Men and it carried with it a special layer of importance because it was the first time ever that Patrick would not be there handing out the awards dressed to perfectly embody whatever the theme.

We committed to dressing up for the event without any reservation in order to carry on Patrick’s spirit of living every moment completely. Not many people dressed up, but then again, not many people lived life like Patrick did. We were delighted to be there dressed up in his mantra, “Don’t ever let them tell you that you have to grow up. Don’t let them!”

I put my highest hair forward and brightest color on in a dress from Laura’s Vintage.

Sean did his best Mad Men minus the infidelity.

Throughout the night we won 9 awards, but there was one that was truly unexpected. I walked to the stage and my tears came without apology, we had worked so hard on and never imagined to win. My screaming yellow dress and my tears were both over-the-top compared to the other faces and outfits in the room, but the advice of our friend rang in my ears. I let myself replay every door that I knocked on, every person who took a leap of faith and joined the campaign, and every weekend, school night and lunch hour that we spent pouring our hearts into this project.

We celebrated with our friends and partners.

We hammed it up.

We cracked ourselves up trying to vamp.

Then, when the evening was almost through, we shared stories with Patrick’s family and told them how honored we were to have known him and to be spending time with each of them. They took this photo of us, which was the next best thing to having Patrick there to hug each of us as we made our way up to collect our awards.

Before we took off our Mad Men finery, Sean and I found a quiet table to reflect on the year behind us and all that we have ahead of us. Lucky me, it ended with serious butterflies because I am, without question, mad about my man.