Wedding Dress Re-purposed


I was not a typical bride. I did’t go to a bridal shop or try on a single dress. Instead Gina searched dresses on Angel Wedding dress and by process of elimination I found one I loved – at a price I couldn’t beat. I ordered my dress for $300 and hoped the women making it weren’t in sweat shops. At the same time it was set to arrive the local news stations were running stories about scam sites and horrible dresses. I started freaking out and was relieved when my dress arrived. It wasn’t the same as the picture online and for some reason it was ivory and not white but it was still perfect for me.

Almost all brides want to pick their own dress so I’ve never had the illusion that if we have a daughter she would want to wear my dress. Instead, I want to wear my dress for as many years as I can and, because it is special to me, I wanted to make an heirloom piece from it too. For $30 I had it cut knee-length for a cocktail dress and B sewed a baptismal gown with the extra material.

My goal is to fit in this thing for another 59 years or so.


Year 4


Marriage is a choice. Everyday you make a decision to spend your life with another person. Everyday you make decisions that impact another person’s life on superficial and serious levels. Do I make the bed? Do I buy the new television I want? Do I host a dinner?

You chose the actions and the responses.

My general rule is that I made the big choice – to spend the rest of my life with Danny – and I want a happy life. Griping about dishes in the sink or holding on to hurt feelings is not fun for anyone.

The result is that we don’t fight much. We make mistakes but we can move past them. Instead of getting defensive and distant, we own our errors, make improvements and move past them.

The other choice you make is to make time for each other. I haven’t been great at that these last few months but I know I can make excuses or a change. So I joined the gym to bring back our workout dates, I put Lucas in his cradle at night so I can hold on to my big man instead of my baby, and I disregard the budget to allow for lunch dates.

All little things that add up to a wonderful and amazing marriage with a man I adore.

Happy anniversary Wordbird!

Lessons in Marriage:
Year 1: The first year of marriage is REALLY hard! Even if you lived together and shared finances beforehand, the piece of paper changes things.

Year 2: Don’t take the good things for granted and share them with your family and friends. The little things you complain about will seem more serious to them if they don’t know the big picture.

Year 3: When you’re with the right person, you know it and it feels wonderful.

Year 4: Marriage is a series of choices. You decide how you act and react – all actions have consequences.


Snapshot: Grand Rapids


I’m a happy homebody but this week we decided to accept Cory’s invitation to visit him in Grand Rapids and I was reminded why it’s important to get out of the house and out of the county.

Cory’s neighborhood is in transition and from the looks of things it’s a great example of what a walkable, integrated neighborhood looks like. By integrated, I don’t mean race – although the area did appear to be ethnically diverse. There was a mix of multi-unit apartments, duplexes and single-family homes, stretches of commercial sections (new construction and renovated, corporate and independently owned shops) and green space. It was quite Utopian but you could tell it wasn’t always that way and that there is still work to be done because there are still abandoned buildings and homes.

Cory lives in a duplex from the 1800s and his neighborhood is almost exclusively beautiful old homes – including a Frank Lloyd Wright house.

I’ll admit I misjudged Grand Rapids and it was not the beacon of conservationism I believed. In fact it was the most liberal area I’ve driven/walked through in all of Michigan!  There were lawn signs for Hillary, #BlackLivesMatter and even a pro-immigration lawn sign! It was #NoH8 heaven.

Prior to this weekend, I felt that walkable living was a thing other states achieved and not Michigan. Now I think our community (southeastern Michigan) is even more impacted/influenced by the auto industry than I ever realized.  It was an eye-opening experience and I wonder what the potential is for a similar lifestyle in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs.

In the meantime, we’ll have to visit Cory more often!









Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘May House’




A picture without Lucas. Hard to believe but I’m trying to be a more attentive wife – mostly failing but still trying…

In other news, yesterday was a hard day. I literally cried and I don’t cry. But as Scarlett O’Hara says, ‘Tomorrow is another day’ so here we are. A new day and looking on the bright side.

Working out again. Well I worked out once – twice if you count a 5 minute standing ab workout that left me sore for 2 days. Danny and I had a gym date Sunday and it was needed. I’m joining the gym again and intend to get back into shape.

Planning meals. Here are this week’s item: Slow cooker beef stroganoff (AMAZING – we used egg noodles), Chicken in coconut mango verde sauce, and enchiladas.

Loving Luke Cage. MARVEL and Netflix really know what they’re doing and I’m obsessed with these shows. Luke Cage was probably my favorite because my current girl crush, Rosario Dawson (sorry Keri Russell), gets plenty of screen time.

Waiting for The Hamilton Affair to be available at the library because who isn’t talking Hamilton? Especially after this weekend!

Buying seasonal items for Lucas like these pjs. I selected Halloween and Election diapers for our recent Honest delivery but they ran out and sent all election ones – c’est la vie.  I’m thinking about getting this election item for myself.

Going to Grand Rapids this weekend so Lucas can visit Uncle Cory. We’re watching our budget but I’m hoping to get a nice meal or two since it’s the closest we’ll get to a vacation this year. Bon Apetit has an intriguing list – I definitely want to check out this ice cream shop.


Dear America

Trumps latest comments are keeping me up. I’m not any more outraged by these tapes than I have been about basically all of his behavior and comments to this point. What burns at my soul is the fact that it will not make a difference. That these actions that should be accepted by no one will be ignored, dismissed and rationalized by those who support him.

Fear and hatred runs far too deep in his following and it eats away at me. I take the attacks leveled personally.

As a woman I am offended by the callousness in which women are described, how our work is valued and the suggestion that sexual assault is no big deal.

As a person of color I am offended that the murder rate for unarmed or legally armed black men is treated as a simple incident/mistake and not an epidemic, that Hispanics are being labeled rapists and murders and have to fear for the unity of their family, that Muslims are not being treated like American citizens no matter how long they’ve been here or how they serve this country, that Native Americans have to continuously fight for the land they were promised after having been victims of an ignored genocide and the land stolen from them in the first place and that we will not open our doors, hearts or hashtags to those suffering in non-white countries. 

As a parent I am offended that procreation is considered an inconvenience and that fatherhood/paternity leave too often escapes the conversation.

As a person who grew-up at the poverty level, I’m offended that poor individuals and families and have to prove their value to society but Wall Street executives can commit vile crimes without punishment, celebrities can literally get away with murder and anyone who can afford a lawyer, accountant or doctor is far better off than someone who can’t.

As an American I am offended that we condemn those who kneel at the anthem but post lawn signs that say ‘Make America Great Again’ – we are either great and must be respected or we aren’t and what does it matter.

America is great. I am thankful everyday that I was born in a country where a hurricane, tornado, or terrorist attack is at the end of the day an inconvenient tragedy that we will recover from.

But I am ashamed that we are not doing great things. We do not value the dignity of human life – everyone should have access to quality education, a home and healthcare. We should value the service and dedication of police officers, fire fighters, and teachers more than football coaches  and we should pay them accordingly. We are all humans sharing ONE planet – we have no where else to go. There is no cost too great to protect our fresh water sources, the air we breath, the forests, farmland and oceans.

If we want to be a Christian nation that we must practice the message of Christ. It is not for us to judge others for how they live their life – we accept them, we love them, we sacrifice our comfort so they are cared for. We trust in God and do not let fear control our actions.

That’s all I can do at this point – have faith in God because right now I do not have faith in the American people. I pray that I am wrong because this is not a contest.


Office Space


More house picture! I’m lucky to work from home on occasion so a dedicated office space is nice. It’s also a space I would like to use for yoga (although I’ll admit I haven’t yet). Light and airy was my office goal and I initially envisioned an entirely white space but when I conceded to the fact I needed to paint the ceiling I decided to have fun with it. Since I wanted to use the gold pendant from our townhouse, I picked out a similar gold for the ceiling. It’s subtle but fun and leaves me feeling like I’m inside a jewelry box.


The extra ‘ceiling’ space on the wall is one of my favorite things about the house. It’s a small but appreciated architectural detail that makes painting SO much easier!


I’ve gone through so many book shelves over the years I hated to buy another one but I caved. Fortunately, it’s small enough to re-purpose in a number of ways should I need to and it’s from IKEA so not exactly pricey.


Danny has an office/man cave that he built with his own two hands. It’s surprisingly large (although sparse, hence the narrow picture) and he did a great job putting in the floor and trim. He found an office inspiration look online but I take full credit for the bright blue accent.

At A Glance

It’s easy to take the little moments for granted. So here are some weekend highlights.


Mr. B watched Lucas and we had dinner and watched BSG. B came over for some Lucas cuddles. Danny and I started Luke Cage.




Lucas and I visited Cara on bedrest. Lucas had some fun with Uncle Matt, he also managed to chill in bed for hours with no napping. Then we went to the big birthday party at Mary’s to celebrate Erin, Kensley and Kallan. Lucas watched the Irish with Grandpa. Our nieces are gorgeous young ladies now. Game night at the neighbors (aka Hakalas). Little Meatball continued to avoid sleep!







We woke up early for the London game. Then Raechel, Carlos and Estella joined us for the Lions. Lucas is smitten. Then we went to Mom’s for some kitchen demo. It was very Fixer Upper and I was very impressed with my Chip Gaines. As we worked Lucas continued with a day full of photoshoots. Then more football (I killed it in Fantasy – thank you Matt Ryan and Denver defense) and Luke Cage.






It was a 3 day weekend for me. Lucas and I went for a morning oil change. Then headed downtown to say hi to some work folk and Lucas got a chance to play boss. We picked up Danny for lunch at the Jolly Pumpkin and said hi to the President. I also stopped by Avalon to get my annual chocolate treat for the Hughes. Lucas and I checked out an alternative daycare option, visited Grandpa and then headed to the park to meet up with Lindsay and Henry.