Sunday, July 17, 2011

wedding bells and tales to tell.

There's something that's almost intoxicating about air that's filled with anticipation. Especially anticipation that surrounds the wedding day of one of your dearest friends.

There was a buzz around the bridal boutique, as bridesmaids and friends alike floated around from room to room with mimosas in hand and and their hair done up. The bride looked beautiful without any makeup; her skin tanned by the summer sun, and topped with a wedding day glow. Our Linds could have rolled out of bed, walked down the aisle, and still been able to gather whispers of how stunning she was, because she really is that beautiful.


Having the opportunity to be a part of the wedding day of a dear friend is something to be cherished. They're days filled with victory. Where true love has won, and God is at work, solidifying another piece to the puzzle of life. Being able to witness such an event, and share in the joy and commitment that is so meaningful to the people involved, gives my heart the opportunity to beat in its fullness.

I've been a part of a lot of day 1's. Where euphoric smiles are passed around from family to friend to pastor to bride. Where bridesmaids and groomsmen stand tall in support of their loved ones, and where two people who have found the love of their life become husband and wife. I've seen each marriage take its own unique path, yet each from the same starting point of faithful vows, and a "you may now kiss your bride". Each route with both the expected and unexpected. With times that really test the strength of two becoming one, and times with newfound joy, that not even the best of dreams could stir up.


I've always been a rather experience driven person. Always looking forward to the next event that has the power to break up the day to day. It can be a spontaneous outing on a week night, a week long trip with my best friends - 10 years in the making, or in this case, celebrating a momentus day with my dearest friends. I thrive on promise filled events. Weddings are always filled with hope. Always a celebration. and Always give back more than you give. And when you mix that into wedding days that belong to your nearest and dearest friends, you can't lose. I want to call it bittersweet. But there's not too much about them you can really claim as "bitter". I think it's moreso the realization that with a limited amount of close friends, means a limited amount of the monumental celebrations that weddings are. So the anticipation of those weddings build for weeks, and months, and even times years; to play out in these individually cherished days.

For Linds and Zach, all us girls from college watched their relationship grow from afar. And as time passed, Linds made sure to bring him alongside her on trips back home, and shared with him, her love for all things Michigan... especially 240.

And as we celebrated with the newly defined, Mr. and Mrs. Mosayebi, we took it all in. It's amazing really, what happens between the day to day that creates a moment like a wedding. Because even though they had a trip to Hawaii, shared experiences with TFA, owned a house, and already had a godson together, it was all those little inbetweens that made them what they had become that day. Husband and wife. Toasts were given by family and friends. Moments were discussed of interesting emails and first encounters. And in the midst of it all, loving glances went back and forth between bride and groom, as the lines of their love story were retraced for all to hear.


dances were danced, and glasses tipped. And as the bells that were rang for the new couple to kiss chimed less and less frequently, and people started to filter out of the beautifully decorated canery, a new antisipation started to build. This big night was ending, but the celebration of husband and wife, and what that meant for the next chapter of their love story was just beginning. The travels they would take, the challenges they would meet, the family they would grow! A future together so big, you couldn't successfully predict it if you tried. So as the clock struck midnight, and the last of the party goers were guided out the doors, we sent them off with a glowing multitude of sparklers...


almost as bright as their future as husband and wife.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


When Sunday turned out to be half as warm as Friday's mid-80's, it might have been slightly ambitious to make the seasons first trip to the Silver Dairy...

But there are some things that even double jacket cold weather can't ruin.

like chocolate dipped chocolate ice cream.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"our boys".

That's what Audry and I affectionately call our favorite players on any given Detroit sports team. Last night, the phrase was used to speak of our beloved boys in red. When we got in the car post game, Jay-Z's, "On to the Next One" was appropriately playing; and after exchanging a set of smiles that beamed with satisfaction, we headed home. "Our boys did it", Audry said through an unfading grin, high on the victory of a team that tied up a playoff series 3-3 after being down 3 games to 0. Our boys lived to see another day, and it was food for our Detroit sports loving souls.

I've always liked playoff hockey. I love the confidence that's seemingly infused in a team like the Red Wings. I love that it's assumed we'll be in the playoffs yearly, because no matter how much you might love any other team more, the numbers don't lie. It's a fact that our boys current 20-year post-season streak, gives them the longest active run of any team of the four professional sports leagues... Now that's impressive. I love when the Joe is packed with painted faced kids and pompon shaking parents. I love hearing echoed chants of, "let's-go-red-wings!" in the background as Mickey Redmond keeps the outside world updated on the happenings down on the ice. And I love playoff beards [even if the baby-faced captains of my lifetime never seem to be quite able to grow them :) ].

You know I love my city, and you know I believe that life is filled with things that are worth celebrating. Which probably explains why my heart is filled with equal parts optimism and grit when the playoffs roll around. Because like a lot of things in this city, the celebration of victory requires a hard fight.

I'm a sucker for nostalgic commercials. There's one on TV now that shows highlights from the teams of yesteryear as they went on to win the Stanley Cup. Awesome goals, skating that defies physics, and the ultimate sight... the hoisting of the cup. And at the end of it, there's a shot of confetti raining down over a victory parade with the words, "history makes a mess" across the screen. It gives me chills every time. I've skipped school and work to be at those victory parades. I have vivid memories of Scotty Bowman giving a celebratory speech in Hart Plaza, while a giddy team smiled behind him as they eyed the thousands that joined their party. I remember seeing our boys drive by in red Corvettes and thinking that my Detroit boys looked so good in those Detroit designed cars. And I remember what it felt like to walk those streets with other fans and feeling the closest I'll ever get to being a crack addict... because I just wanted more.more.more.

So it shouldn't come to much of a surprise to you that when I find myself amidst the playoffs, there are a lot of feelings and emotions that race through me. I love the anxiety of the opposing team being too close for comfort to our goalie. I can't control the, "get that out of there!" shouts, and deep sighs as one of my boys clears the puck down center ice. I even kind of like the rawness of the way I bristle a bit when one of my boys gets tripped or an elbow to the chin. How I won't back down until they get the justice they deserve, and someone gets thrown in the penalty box. But how I can always justify when a Wing throws off their gloves to punch someone in the face... because I mean, seriously... would you just stand there?!

I love throwing on my Wings shirt and red shoes, I love hoping that Bertuzzi will start a fight or that someone from the other team will find out what it means to be "Kronwalled", but most of all, I love this...

photo borrowed from

The hockey smile.

I mean it... It's one of my all time favorite things. In the time it takes for a tiny puck to cross over the goal line, an entire game goes from being in the big leagues to feeling more like the pee-wee leagues. You don't see celebrations after scoring like that in any other professional sport. The high-fives, the hugs, and man oh man... those smiles. Sirens blast, fans cheer, and my boys light that place up.

photo borrowed from

I love it when my boys succeed.

I love that that success is reflected in gap filled smiles, skips on skates, and arms raised high. This time of year, one more "W" for my boys really is the best part. I'm sure that sometime tomorrow there will be a youtube link in my inbox that will take me to a Red Wings highlight clip. And in the message box will be something pertaining to our boys needing us to be fired up for them going into game 7. And we will. Because after all they are our boys. And when they're doing what they can do to raise not only that cup, but our city... we will do what we can to rise to the occasion as well. Red shoes and all.

Go Wings!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I've been a part of a lot of memorable things in downtown Detroit. I've been to a block party in front of Michigan Central Station, I've seen a friend debut his art at a gallery showcase off of Michigan Ave., and I was one of thousands that cheered Justin Verlander on to his no hitter at Comerica Park in June of 2007. My heart swelled with pride when I walked the streets of Detroit in 2009 as NCAA fans from all over the country came for a visit to cheer on their teams in the Final Four at Ford Field, and I've been in awe of everyday people who've run marathons along the Detroit River.

You see, moments like that fill me with an energy that is unmatched by anything else. Moments where I get a glimpse of the potential of the city. Moments where streets are filled with people, and restaurants have waits to get in, and where life is pumped into the veins of a city that is too often dismissed as dead.

Saturday was a day that I'll add to that list of things that happen in Detroit that make me proud.

Aud eyed the skies as we drove down 75 to meet up with the other EACH walkers Saturday morning. "I wonder how many people are going to decide not to come because of the rain", I said. It was dark, cold, and windy. The wipers were on, the skies were grey, and we were both armed with rain jackets and umbrellas. Chances were it wasn't going to be comfortable, but we were committed to walking in prayer for the city and its people. And with the walk scheduled to go on at 9am, rain or shine, turning back wasn't really an option.

EACH (Everyone A Chance to Hear) is a movement taking part in the Detroit area. In a nutshell, it's a commitment from over 500 churches in Metro Detroit to spread the gospel, and to do our part to rebuild the city. The walk on Saturday was dedicated to prayer, but the full vision of the EACH mission goes far beyond that. In addition to prayer, believers in Metro Detroit are committing one million man hours to physically build up Detroit between Easter of this year and 2012. It's amazing.

Some might have shrugged it off to coincidence that by the start time of 9am the skies had cleared and the sun stretched its long rays all the way down to the parking lots in front of Comerica Park, but I know better. And as Audry and I waited to meet up with friends, we heard one elderly gentleman say to another, "look at the heavens opening!". Umbrellas were closed, and with a joke by one of the pastors about how it was helpful to have a local weatherman on the planning team for the walk, the events carried on as scheduled. And not one drop of rain fell on the group as we worshiped together.

There was a lot of representation from different churches, as pastors from all over the area stepped up to the mic to share greetings, scripture, and what their encouragement and vision was for EACH. It was powerful stuff, and mixed between the songs of worship were words of truth. Truths that reminded us of the following:

* The ground we were standing on was holy.

* There was healing happening in Detroit.

* Our city will rise. Because if Jesus is powerful enough to rise from a tomb, what makes you think He can't take a city like ours, and bring it to life?

As emotional and spiritual as it was to be worshiping with upwards of 20,000 believers in a parking lot in Detroit, my favorite part of that time probably had to do with a lone man in a red shirt. As voices were echoing the chorus of "How great is our God", I noticed a man standing in the window of an apartment, many stories up. He had the window open, and after taking a few pictures, was just standing there... watching. Watching because I'm sure it was the first time he must have been woken up on a Saturday morning, in the city of Detroit, to 20,000 voices singing praises to our creator. And trust me, it was an awesome sight. I had chills, I had watery eyes, and most of all, I was filled with thankfulness for all the people gathered, and their partnership in doing something positive, in the name of Jesus, for the city of Detroit.

Attorney Shannon Holmes, Director of Detroit's Human Resources Department shared the following scripture in the words she delivered to those gathered, "... if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves to pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive them their sin and will heal their land" - 2 Chronicles 7:14. And so with that, the appointed thousands took to the streets, and prayed for our city to be healed.

The walk was 1.6 miles. It went from Comerica Park, down Woodward to Jefferson before turning around and back to where we started. There were praise bands from different churches on random corners, filling the route with music; and as far as the walkers went, the group included verbal praisers, scripture readers, singers, silent prayers, and more impressively, one body of believers.

There are days when I get discouraged with what's happening in Detroit. Days when I'm disappointed, and am not sure what the answer to my question of, "what is going to make this better?" is. But shortly after the walk, the scripture from Matthew 9 came to mind, "the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few"... And I thought, "20,000 people doesn't exactly sound like a few". I know the work to be done in spreading the gospel and building up a crumbling city isn't going to be easy. But, I also know that it does something for your confidence in movement actually happening when you know you've got at least 19,999 other people wanting the same thing. and showing up.

I was encouraged by the turnout, and for the most part found myself thinking, "I'm so glad this is how we're reflecting Jesus today". I can't tell you how proud I felt seeing person after person thank Detroit police officers for not only coming down that day, but for being willing to serve daily in our city. These were people I was proud to walk alongside on Saturday, and it left me inspired about the year of service to come. Detroit is going to be transformed.

I'm excited that I've been chosen to be a part of something like this. I'm excited for the events that are yet to come in the name of this movement. I'm excited to sign up to do my part in chipping away at those one million hours for our city, and I'm excited to see what it will look like to have us Christians bring more Heaven to Detroit in the coming year.

For more information on what's going on with EACH, check out their website @ .

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Remembering where I hid the baby.

It's common knowledge that Audry is the family baker. But when time got short on Tuesday night, I had to step in to help the baker finish her Mardi Gras masterpiece.

Aud: "you know, this is what it would be like if we had our own bakery."
Me: "slaving away over frosting and pounds of cream cheese at night?"
Aud: "yup."

And so there we stood. Opposite each other at the kitchen counter. While the neighbors were going to bed, and as the clock struck 11pm, we were only getting started.

Audry worked hard to kneed the dough, and I created the filling (that when looked at as a whole was rather excessive - 2 pounds of cream cheese?!!?). So work we did. I manned the hand mixer, casually wiping away any sugary cream cheese that propelled its way onto the counter, and Audry rolled and stretched the dough, occasionally asking, "does this look 36 inches yet?"

If you're wondering, Yes, there was meaning to our "burning the midnight oil: bakery edition" madness.

The reason is tradition. When my cousin Teri joined our family years ago, she brought with her stories of growing up in New Orleans. All over her house there are fleur de leis', she loves talking about NOLA's streetcars, and you can bet that when the Saints won the Superbowl, she was telling everyone about how much she wished she could have been down there for the celebrations.

Last year, to bring a bit of home to Teri during Mardi Gras, Audry made her a Kings Cake. It's a Louisiana tradition, that is basically a cake where the colors of New Orleans (in sprinkles!) are used to decorate it, and a tiny plastic baby is hidden inside. There's more to it, but for purposes, I'll keep moving on. What you need to know is that whoever finds the baby in their piece is supposed to make/bring the cake to the next celebration. See. It's a fun tradition!

watch out... baby on a mixer!

Anyway, last year you would have thought someone surprised Teri with a member of her family when Audry walked through the doorway with that cake in hand. Teri's face lit up, her mouth dropped open, and an exclamation of, "you made a Kings Cakeeeeee!" sounded from her mouth. She loved it.

To have a family tradition exist, someone has to start it. So with 2010 being the inaugural year, 2011 had expectations of a Kings Cake being at the first family dinner after Fat Tuesday. I love the thought of Teri bringing our family that tradition. It's doubtful we would have ever had it without her, and because she packed it away to bring with her when she moved North, my whole family gets to share in the fun of the Mardi Gras season! We love it.

and if you were wondering, my mom left Audry a message tonight, "don't worry about who got the baby. Last night when I was cutting a piece for Nic to take home, it fell out and i just squished it back in for them". So I guess another year worked out nicely. Looks like mama Moiseeff is off the hook, and Ms. New Orleans herself will be providing the cake next time ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day.

They are the two words that held the power of instant bliss during my school age years. And today, those very words rang true for the first time as an adult. And I'm convinced I loved them just as much.

I love Winter. I really do. Sure, part of it was making a conscious decision to love it, but it worked, and now I embrace it. If it's going to snow, I want a huge blanket of it. I want every inch of nasty brown grass to be covered with fresh, white, crunchy snow! I want there to be shovels out and plows on the road. And if it so happens that every ten years I get a snow day... I'll take it.

The day has been full of things I daydream of when I'm at work. For starters, I actually got to watch the Today show. I sat on the couch in my PJ's with a hot cup of coffee, and watched Al Roker report from Chicago, 17" deep in what "Snowmagedon" left behind. I was snuggled up with the house blinds open, while the white flakes danced past the window. They blew left to right, and then in sudden gusts, plunged to piles of others just like them on the ground. It was pretty near perfect, and exactly what I like to see Winter looking like.

I had decided last night, that if given the day off, I would spend it in appreciation. So, when lounging time was over, Aud and I bundled up, put Walter in his dog sweater, and we went outside. The air was cold, but not bitter, and the feeling of snowglobe was all around! I just loved it. I loved the contrast of the intricate white flakes on my black sleeves, the quietness of outside as most people were still tucked away in, and the realization that Winter IS breathtaking.

The day has been lovely. It really has. And for now, it's time to focus on the movie we just started watching. Because this scene too, is a beautiful thing. All 3 of us at 2239 have the bonus of this snow day. So today, we're going to watch in the midst of each others company.

In the meantime, enjoy the day! Delight in the gift and beauty of snow, but most of all be safe! Including you, neighbor who is shoveling his snow as we speak... err... type/read.

Peace.Love.and Snowflakes.