Life Lately

This week has been a good one. Life at work has gotten on a regular schedule which brings a peace to the pandamonium that is juggling a large family’s needs. Friday morning has brought cooling temperatures, with Sean making the rounds to close all of our windows and turn off our fans.  How one night has brought such a change amazes me, making me feel grateful for my life in Michigan. Good (or bad) we feel the impact of four seasons here; just when we tire of one, another shows it face, allowing us an opportunity to pack away our tank tops and find our box of sweaters, hidden in the closet. Yes, this week has been a good one. Cheers to the weekend, though. I am always glad for Friday.
3 clay jarsStenciling and cutting and designing our save the date cards.
Attempting to plan our meals better this month.
Playing games on the living room floor.
Rearranging our bookshelves.
Mailing invitations for a 1920’s bridal shower and 1920’s bachelorette party to follow
Appreciating that Sean will help me clean.
Re-watching the first seasons of Parenthood.
Waking early for mornings by myself.
Wondering what the kids are doing in preschool. 
Avoiding beer on weeknights.
Cooking a monster batch of breakfast burritos to freeze.
Talking to caterors about our wedding menu.
Running, again. Feeling healthy and happy about this.rummikub slippers on orange rug making granola red chicken on table

Wandering Smiles and Bus Conversations

Thoughtfully I had chosen my spot on the bus that rainy day as it rode back to the city. It was March and the air was unseasonably heavy. The clouds hung on my eyelids, weighing me down after an entire day on campus. I looked over at Sean, feeling happy and nervous, and altogether too tired to express either of these emotions. We had only shared a handful of insightful conversations with one another and knowing there was a limited time frame on the opportunity for another, I suddenly felt a wave of life brush over my skin. Looking at him made me feel alive for the first time all day. I listened as he spoke of the months he lived in Hawaii. He reminded me of what it was like to leave home and only have yourself to rely on. Our lives, we found, mirrored a gypsy path and only recently had we both come back to Grand Rapids, returning to start before we went around the board again. As the bus neared our stop I remember looking up at him, seeing the way his body leaned into the bus as held the rail above him. Feeling small in comparison to him,  I swayed with the turning bus, as well.”Aren’t you afraid?” I asked just then, only to have him stare blankly back at me.

“Scared of what?” he asked, furrowing his eyebrows.

“Of living like this. Of always going and never stopping. Of never being able to shake this inner need to go.”

And I remember his response, because I think of it often when things are harder than they should be, when I need to feel comforted, when I remember why it is I fell in love with him and why I continue to be amazed with him. “Nah,” he replied, as he rang the bell for our stop. “I’ve given up worrying. future. And anyway, this part of me isn’t anything to be afraid of.”

My time to answer him ended as the bus driver opened the doors. Letting me off the bus first, Sean crossed the street and looked back me. “Have a good night,” he smiled. And like always, when I see his smile, I had to smile back.Sean Michaels Wandering Smile

happy birthday, sean

Happy birthday, Sean! You’re quite possibly and honestly one of the most amazing men I have ever crossed paths with.

So who is this elusive character in my blog? This Sean that I write vaguely of? Well, to answer that I would need a lot more space and time, but since it’s his birthday, I’ll gladly dedicate an entry, just to him.

You might remember how I told you Sean and I met for the first time in this post. But on his birthday, here are some little-know Sean-isms that I haven’t mentioned about him before. Sean Playing Guitar


Reaches for his guitar after dinner each night…

Ends all of our “discussions” by making me laugh…

Enjoys Indian food…

Looks at me like no one else has before…

Loves to wear tank tops…

Is terrible at finding missing items…

Possesses an uncanny and witty mind…

Seldom speaks without intention…

Shares his beer with me, even though he doesn’t want to…

Listens to reggae music as much as a person possibly can…

Prefers to be in the woods than the city…

Always makes me smile…

Is possibly weirder than I am… Possibly…

sean posing on the beach(But not likely.)

I always tell Sean he is the best part of my day. And he is. I have a sneaking suspicion, he might always be. Sean driving to MilwaukeeSean Michael at PJ on Beach

Aren’t we all just looking for someone to come home to and smile with each night? I’m so glad I found that– I’m so glad it is Sean. Happy birthday, love. May we always be as excited for dinner together as we are today.

Stopping Along the Way// Ludington

“Hey Sean, can we go to the beach?” I asked, as we drove along the shore on our way home last night. It wasn’t very warm outside. It was already after nine and we had two hours until we would be home. And we were both already very tired.  But the sun was setting and the beach was pretty much empty, and how enticing it sounded to sink my toes into the cool sand on Memorial Day Weekend.

“You want to go to the beach? Now?” He smiled at me.

“Yes,” I smiled back.

“Okay,” he said, as he pulled the car over.

And I’m so glad he did. Even though it was only ten minutes, it was perfect. Because that’s what life is about for us: stopping to enjoy the little moments the world offers you along the way. What is life if you are not living? How blessed I am to have him to share my days with.

dunes with sunset in ludingtonsean in ludington 05:13sunset in ludington 05:13dune grass in ludingtonludington beach at sunset 05:13

Thank you, Sean, for encouraging me to say my impulsive ideas aloud. I will never tire of watching you walk through the dune grass in your black hooded sweatshirt. Love, Danielle

Our Love Story// Two Year Anniversary

I met Sean on a bus. Well, kind of.

In reality, I met Sean the first day of winter semester two years ago. Some months before that fateful day I had quite my job and life in Charlotte, NC and moved back to Grand Rapids, penniless, jobless and heartbroken. Thankfully my best friend, Crissy, took me into her home and suggested I go back to school to get my teaching certification. I agreed and off to Grand Valley State I went, again, two years after the first time I had graduated.

As I was sitting in class, feeling quite old and out of place, a guy walked in late. I turned around, annoyed. Who walks into class late on the first day? But when I saw him, tall, wide eyed and wearing a brown stocking cap, I literally had air sucked out of me. I’ve never been blown over by a person like that before. I had to meet him. The voice in my head whispered something to me and I knew this guy would be in my life. Unfortunately he didn’t take the empty seat next to me and I left class that day without talking to him.

To my surprise, I walked into another class three hours later and there he was again! I was so nervous I didn’t know what to do. So I sat in the back and looked at him. He was beyond cute.  We did a first day of class mixer and I stumbled over to him mumbling, “uh yah, we have another class together too.” To which Sean replied. “Huh, don’t remember you,” and I was crushed. How could he not remember me? Then I felt determined! I wasn’t about to be ignored by this guy. He may not have remembered me the first time, but now, I wasn’t going to let him forget me.

So, I followed him out of class that day and on to the bus. I know what you’re thinking: stalker. But sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do. Unfortunately he didn’t sit by me, either,  so instead of talking to him in person I spent the bus ride plotting ways to get to know him. When we got off at the same stop, I rushed home to Crissy’s house and told her I had met a guy in my literature and even though he didn’t want to talk to me, he would someday! She thought I had completely lost it, which I had, but for the first time in months, I was inspired to live again, to date again, to smile again. Life was getting better.

Eventually, Sean and I started talking in class. Mostly because I forced him too. And when I showed up at the bookstore to buy er, what did I come in here for? Oh yah, pencils, we really got to chatting. And finally after two months of strategically placing myself next to him on the bus, we got off at the same stop and he FINALLY asked for my number. I was through the roof! I raced home again, singing to Crissy that he was going to take me on a date.

And he did. One week later. We walked down and got a drink at a local brewery. Then we had dinner a few nights later. And we stayed up late writing term papers and reading and okay, kissing, too. And from then on whenever we got on the bus he was sure to sit by me. And the rest was history. Even though I knew early on that Sean was the guy for me, in the two years we have been together, he hasn’t stopped surprising me.On the Beach on Christmassean and d at bluffsTraverse City Picture

I couldn’t imagine my life with anyone else by my side. Thank you, Sean. I think I’ll keep you.

Our feet in the sand