Wordful Wednesday: Te Te’s Birthday Brunch

September marks the official beginning of birthday season in our family. My sister, brother and I are all born within two weeks of each other in late September and early October. And we have numerous friends and other extended family that are Libras and Virgos. So even more so than the holidays, this is the time of year for gluttony and excess, gifts and cocktails. This is our Awards season.

Sunday was my sister’s birthday, and sadly, the 10th anniversary of our father’s death. I will never ever forgive myself for not being with her on that day. The first and only birthday we’ve ever spent apart. But we have more than made up for it in the years since, and this year was no exception.

Just the two of us went out for drinks at my friend’s new spot, Imperial. (*If you live in D-town check it out, the tacos and the tequila are to die for.) We had a lot of laughs, a couple good heart to heart moments, caught up with friends and made a few more and tried a few tasty beverages.

It was cool. Just the two of us. We even managed to squeeze in a ‘Walk and Talk’ a la The West Wing. And take a really pretty picture.

We also managed to stay up way too late, talking and telling stories about Dad. WAY too late. Especially since little girls like to wake up early in the morning. The little sneaks.

So while Cedella and I went to the cemetery to pay our respects, Isora and Te Te took a birthday nap.

Then we all headed out for a family brunch at one of our favorite little restaurants, a Cuban place called Cafe Habana.

We’ve never had a bad meal there, and brunch was no exception. But the real reason for being there, spending time together as a family.

These days it’s quite rare for all of us to be together at once. And though Michael wasn’t there, the rest of us, including Tracey’s BFF (and my adopted little sister Kelly) were together.

Ella loved playing on my iPhone with Auntie Ky-la-la.

Izzie got some love from her Uncle Rob,

and Auntie Kelly.

Tracey showed us why she’s called Tracey the Cake Slayer.

My Mom and my brother. Aren’t they sweet?

Almost as sweet as this. Te Te and one of her two most favorite children in the world. (*Though couldn’t someone have done us a favor and switched those candles around. Cause if she’s 23 that makes me almost 25 and I like 25.)

Kel and Trace. BFFs. I love this picture. (*A huge thank you to Dr. Kelly for helping Tracey feel better ::wink wink::)

It was a really nice way to spend a couple hours on what would normally be a kinda sad day. Just being together, making jokes, catching up, eating way too much food, it was like medicine for my aching soul. It seems like my family is always good for just that.

Though I don’t understand why Mom’s afro is covering Ky’s face, nor what Ky is looking at, this is such a lovely family pic. Just look at my girls. Holding hands. Awwww, sisters.

Me and my sister…best friends from birth. Well…maybe not from birth, but pretty soon afterwards to be sure.

My dear sweet Tracey~

There aren’t enough adjectives to describe what you mean to me. Thank you for being born and making sure that I didn’t live my whole life as a spoiled brat and for being my very first friend. You inspire me, you crack me up and you make me cry. I love you so much darling sister. And I will ALWAYS be there on your birthday.

Love,

Your Big Sister

Happy W Wednesday everyone!! Hope this fall is finding you warm and toasty and well!!

Sorry I had to include this one. Cause it’s just too cute.

 

 

 

 

 

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Down Memory Lane

Today the Mr. and I are celebrating our 3rd Wedding Anniversary. 3 years since we put on the fancy clothes and said the magic words ‘I will’. I’ve written our love story here before. And last year I shared a whole bunch of my favorite wedding pics. So this year I thought I’d share a little bit of the past seven years together. Our story in photos. From dating to parents of TWO children (that’s still so weird to say…we have KIDS…plural…whoa).

Seven years ago when Mr. Eyebrowz had me at Badu neither of us thought that we would be where we are today. Snuggled up in bed with our second baby between us, fighting to stay awake for Jimmy Kimmel. It’s lovely and surreal. Cause we didn’t even know we would be here a year ago.

But we worked and tried so hard this past year to put our marriage and our little family first and foremost. To not allow outside influences to drive wedges between us. To always make our decisions together. To respect one another’s feelings. To get back to being partners, co-conspirators, best friends.

So let’s take a little walk down memory lane…shall we?


Spring 2005 – Charleston SC

This is our first trip together. We took an extensive road/camping trip through South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia the first year we were dating. This was in Charleston. Not sure why we’re posed like it’s prom. Or what those white socks are all about. But we had a really fantastic trip. So many good memories from that trip. Inside jokes we still laugh at. And DAMN I was skinny.

Spring 2007 – Barcelona, Spain

Our first trip together overseas. This was a day where we just wandered without much of an agenda. Just wandering around and going where the wind takes us has lead to some of the best days we’ve ever had together. Barcelona was probably around the time that we both decided in our respective heads that we needed to be together for the rest of our lives.

New Years Eve 2007 – Roma Cafe – Detroit MI

When Michael proposed. He surprised me. I had absolutely no idea what was about to happen. It was the only time anyone has ever surprised me like that. It was beautiful and so sweet. He said the nicest things. In front of 12 of our closest friends and an entire restaurant. Such a great moment for us.

March 28th 2009 – The Colony Club – Detroit MI

I LOVE this picture. One of my favorite wedding pictures. It was the moment that we were so incredibly happy and in the moment. Seconds after we became Mr & Mrs. Look at those smiles. Love.

April 2009 – The Parthenon – Rome, Italy

Our one week anniversary. Eating al fresco outside of the Parthenon. Amazing dinner. Amazing wine. Amazing company. And he bought me roses while I was in the bathroom. We spent the rest of the night wandering around Rome, eating gelato, drinking wine and making out. It was very romantic.

August 2009 – Little Critter aka Cedella

Look what we brought home from Italy!! And soon Baby would make three. I will never forget how thrilled and freaked out we were after this ultrasound.

January 15 2010 – Our House – Lansing MI

Our John & Yoko picture. All of us piled in the bed the morning we came home from the hospital. With our new little baby girl and our fuzzy girl. One happy little family. Those days were crazy and overwhelming and blissful.

June 2010 – Hoffmaster State Park – Muskegon MI

Our first family camping trip. Sure, Michael is a bit Edward Cullen here (but that’s cool, right?). This was our first tent camping trip with Cedella. She was a natural and slept like an angel every night. We have made many and more amazing memories camping. Every summer…that’s our thing.

Mother’s Day 2011 – Grandma’s House – Bloomfield Hills MI

This picture kind of perfectly sums up what was going on at the time. We were out of whack, but still trying to hold it down. Trying to put on the good face for our friends and loved ones. Trying like hell not to kill each other or call it quits. This is before all of the tragedies we suffered so there’s still a bit of humor there. We will always have that. Our undying need to out do each other in the funny department. It’s a good thing we’re both pretty damn funny, cause if it was always just me who was funny, it’d get kinda boring.

October 2011 – Our Home – Lansing MI

A kiss before work. This was part of the Capture the Everyday blogging project I did. And one of the ways we reconnected. We don’t leave each other without a kiss and an ‘I love you’. Because life is too short, and things happen, and why not kiss your spouse every single day without question? This is one of my favorite pictures of us. Ever.

November 2011 – Little Nugget aka Isora

And then there were 4!! Though he will be the first to admit he was hoping for a boy, neither of us could have been happier that we were having a healthy baby girl. And this precious moment gave him the chance to utter the unforgettable line “You know what this means, right? We’re gonna have to try again.” I will hold you to that Mr. Eyebrowz. 😉

March 17 2012 – Greenhouse Birth Center – Okemos MI

Just one more journey, one more adventure for us. Natural water birth out of the hospital. My man. My rock. He didn’t interfere, he didn’t judge or command anything of me. Just let me do my thing. Held me up and told me how amazing I was. And yes Isora…when you’re old enough to read this…Daddy wore a Jager hat to your birth. Don’t judge him. It was free.

Now all that is missing from this group is one of the four (five with Kira the Dog) all snuggled in our nest. Seems that we’ve been a bit busy in the past week to take a family picture. But I have a mental image of the four of us, the day Zorie was born, all piled into our bed, marveling at how stunning this new little person is. And then somebody farted. Cause even with a three girl to one boy ratio, that’s how we roll.

Michael…my handsome sweet prince. These have been three of the most challenging and rewarding years of my life. Thank you for being with me and sticking through this bumpy ride and for doing all you do to make sure we have the life that we want to live.  I will never be able to properly express to you all the joy you have given me. Nor will I ever be able to properly give thanks for all the sacrifices you make for us. But I can tell you that these two girls? Best. Gifts. Ever. Thanks for bringing them into the world with me and for making this little family so unique and perfectly ours. You are my best friend and my hero. I love you.

Two Years Ago…

Today’s our second wedding anniversary.  Two years ago we joined hands and committed to spending the rest of our lives together in front of our family, friends and community. Today that seems so very far away. I want to be back in that moment. I want to be in love and elated. I want our happiness back. Every day gets a little better. We’re working on it. But good god is it hard.

I’ve been working on our wedding album on Shutterfly.com for the past couple days. It really was the most elegant, beautiful and fun wedding I’ve ever been to. Our guests still tell us that it was the best wedding ever. Since I have never posted wedding photos, and since they are so present in my mind, here are many highlights that many people haven’t seen.

We were married on a brisk yet sunny day at a beautiful reception hall called The Colony Club right in downtown Detroit behind the Fox Theater. In it’s previous incarnations it was a ladies club, a police officer training center and a library. That’s right, the library was housed where the ballroom is now. And about 38 years ago (give or take) a young engineering student set his sights on one of the reference librarians. That student was my father, that librarian, my mother. And so it came to be that we were married in the exact same room where my mother and father met. And to say my dad’s presence was felt that day is an understatement.

So together with 200 of our closest friends and family, and with our dear friend Sterling doing the honor of performing the ceremony, we took our vows and agreed to spend our lives together. We are incredibly blessed by the people in our tribe. They came from Arizona, Florida, D.C., Chicago, Canada, Mississippi, South & North Carolina, New Orleans, Maryland, New Jersey, Cleveland and all over the state of Michigan.

The ceremony was short but sweet, the cocktail hour was swinging (thanks to Gino Fanelli’s Red Hot Sugar Daddies), the dinner was delicious and the reception was full of drinks and dancing. It was an absolutely amazing spectacular wanna-do-it-all-over-again kind of day. One we will forever remember fondly…

 With Mom & Sisters
 With Mom
 A little help from Jef
 The Aisle
 The Tables
 Loved this hair piece from Etsy
 The loveliest bouquet
 Perfect staircase
 My Dad ‘walked’ with me down the aisle
 Perfect place to hide a cocktail
 The synth ties the guys wore
 Centerpiece
 Picture of my Mom & Dad’s wedding 
 Head table all aglow
 Winter tree centerpieces
 Cutting the cake
 And choking
 A kiss
 Michael during his brother’s toast
 Cheers!
 Two of my oldest and dearest Niki & Robyn 
 My sisters Erin, Jilnar and Tracey
 Michael has known these guys since 3rd grade. But Amie & Kate – my girls!
 Pete, Radfan, Nicole, Rajin, Mike & Steve. The Fun Table
 Marta & Iesha. Lovely ladies
 Our first dance 
 Dancing with my brother to ‘Dance with my Father’
 My gorgeous sisters
 Michael’s sister & brother Jilnar and Andre
 Oops! Did I do that?
 Frozen in time
 The Hustle
The Debbke 
 The cutest girl in the room – my cousin Milan
 One of my bestest friends Jen sharing a laugh
 Love me some Natalie
I gave the toast at Kristyn’s wedding and made her cry
so she returned the favor. In a good way.