Having the opportunity to feature Doug Gaudieri in our Man Crush Monday post is an incredible treat. Doug is the kind of man #mcm was invented for. A dedicated husband, loving father, and compassionate business man (owner of Rapid Print & Marketing), Doug puts his all into everything he does. I'm honored to be the preserver of some of his cherished memories. When I was picking out photos for this post, I was moved by how many shoots he and his family have done with me over the years. I am lucky to be his photographer, and also to call him my friend. But enough from me... let's hear the real story from his incredible wife - Danell...
"Doug and I met as young college students at Geneseo and were instantly smitten. The timing wasn’t right for a relationship and though I had a care-free and adventuresome spirit while Doug was focused and ready to take on the world with his fierce entrepreneur drive - there was no denying our strong connection. His clever wit and handsome smile won me over. Not long after graduating, Doug moved to Alabama while I lived in Syracuse. Our friendship continued to grow but I knew the only way to know for sure if this was THE guy was to make a move.
My defining moment - an offer from Doug to visit him in Alabama and road trip to New Orleans to see Pearl Jam in concert. After that trip, I packed up my car and moved down to be with him. There were so many unknowns at the time but somehow we always found each other. Proof of that – I was separated from Doug at the Pearl Jam concert and found myself on the ground in the mosh pit surrounded by crazed fans. Out of nowhere I felt a hand reach down and pull me up. That seems to be a theme in our marriage of 18 years. When one is down the other pulls ‘em up. It’s a balance we have that carries us through the daily challenges of juggling three kids, jobs, and everything in between.
Doug has many endearing qualities. He's always lending an ear to a friend or family member going through a difficult time. He’s encouraging and advises without judgement. He’s kind, patient, empathetic, and has such a generous heart. He continues to have a positive attitude even in the most challenging of times - and there are plenty with teenagers! He’s my soft-spot to land after a difficult day -my calming force.
I am grateful for the example he sets to our children through his dedication to work, family, and his faith. He continuously puts others first and encourages everyone to reach their best potential. I’m one of the lucky ones as he makes me want to do better and be better each day. Married for 18 years and together for 20 is no easy feat. The best life lesson that has kept our bond strong is to simply accept the other’s flaws and love that person for who they are. Doug loves unconditionally and is always there to lift me up when I'm down.
Our college days are a lifetime away, but that adventuresome spark hasn’t left either of us. Doug continues to inspire me to seek out adventures despite our hectic family schedule. Always reminding me of the importance to take time for myself and each other. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an evening walk together, Doug makes me a priority. I feel just as adored today as the day we married.
His wit still has me laughing like a young school girl and his curiosity to always be learning something new inspires me. And though we’ve both grown and evolved, we have grown closer and are excited about our future. Doug is my best friend and my love. I love the life we have and continue to build together. Our journey of many more adventures awaits! Pearl Jam said it best…can’t find a betterman!"- Danell Gaudieri