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Mr. Dish and I have known each other for many years.  We met back in 2001 through his twin brother, who was a good friend of mine, and we easily became friends too.  Back in those days, we lived on opposite sides of the Mitten, so we didn’t often see each other.  Mostly, we were the kind of friends who talked online and on the phone, sharing little bits of our day-to-day lives and dating disasters.  He would come to visit me now and then, and I visited him a few times too.  Mostly we just hung out, or went to movies, concerts, dinner, sporting events, or parties.

After some time, we started to become friends with each others’ friends, and much like the split-screen effect you see in romantic comedies, those friends were all telling us to ditch our current partners and just date each other, forcryingoutloud.  It went on like this for years, until one day in 2006, after my latest dating adventure had gone horribly awry, my girlfriends planned a get-the-heck-outta-town weekend trip for the three of us.  A few days later, rather than celebrating Cinco de Mayo with our usual homemade enchiladas, we all piled into my roommate’s Saturn and headed to Toledo…naturally.

Of course, the girls had ulterior motives for this trip, and we had no sooner checked into our hotel room when Mr. Dish and his brother waltzed in with the evening’s itinerary in hand.  It was supposed to be fun, something to take my mind off of the drama of everyday life, but something in life’s timing changed for us both that day, and we’ve never looked back.

I don’t think it was entirely the tequila, or the romantic atmosphere at the Bier Stube, but something undefinable happened that night that turned a friend into a love.  So even though we had spent lots of time together in the past, Cinco de Mayo has always been the anniversary of our first “date”.

Our first date: It may not have been storybook, but it was "us".

Between then and now, we’ve made a few additions:  two relocations, a new apartment, new jobs, new cars, joint bank accounts, a cat, a dog, a nephew, an engagement, a wedding, another cat, a niece, another nephew, and a wedding anniversary.

Clearly I said yes.

Mr. Dish and Remy, July 2007

Olive, April 2009

Charlie, March 2010

Just Married, December 2008

I may not always understand it, but I love my life, the places it has taken me, and the people to which it has led me.  I couldn’t ask for more than I already have, but I hope that God blesses us with a lifetime full of the same happiness we’ve been lucky enough to experience so far.

Te amo, mi amor!

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Late at night, when I dare to dream of my fantasy-chef world, Paula Deen is my grandma, Alton Brown is my quirky uncle, and Rachael Ray is just some homely, husky broad who once asked me for cooking advice in the produce section of my local market.

Grandma Paula

Uncle Alton

Rachael who?

In my real life, however, I am a displaced West-Michigander living with my husband in the Detroit suburbs, where he works for the auto industry and I am a wedding consultant for a small bridal boutique.

I went to college for business administration, and after that worked primarily in administrative, accounting and reception jobs.  It was totally mind-numbing, redundant work which, even though it brought in a decent salary, was beginning to suck out my soul, leaving me an empty shell of an administrative professional.

Sirius Black and I should go out and have drinks sometime to commiserate; it was that bad.

I came upon the idea of working in the bridal industry by accident.  I had lost my soul-sucking administrative job a month before my own wedding in what might be the best stroke of bad luck to ever have befallen a person, and while I was enjoying my life as a full-time newlywed, all of the cooking, redecorating, and watching soaps just wasn’t paying the bills.  At the suggestion of a friend, I applied for a job with a large, corporate bridal fashion retailer, and when they offered me the position, I figured “Hey, at least I’m getting out of the house and making a little money, right?”

A little money was exactly right.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing something that makes you happy but pays peanuts rather than doing something that makes you miserably rich, but this experience took the cake.  Pun intended.

After eight long months of working myself ragged for part-time pay and being constantly screwed out of commissions, I went out one day and decided to try my luck at a different type of bridal salon.  I walked out of my first prospect with a full-time job five minutes from home, making almost double what my previous employer could offer!  I’ve been happy there, and happy with myself ever since.

I have a new love for the bridal industry, and a new respect for my skills, which, in turn, makes me a better, more successful consultant, and—most importantly—a happier person.

at my wedding, where it all started...

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