Personal Reflections: Love Always Wins {Waldorf Astoria Chicago}

What a difference a year makes!

A year ago, my groom and I were in Paris

at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome

celebrating 25 years of marriage,
both of us in terrific health.

A year later in Chicago at the Waldorf!

Much heartbreak, many surgeries, and multiple

illnesses later, we recently returned

to the Waldorf Astoria Chicago

with joy and gratitude in our hearts

for our annual anniversary weekend.

They will make you feel extra special at the Waldorf

sending up champagne and chocolate-dipped amenities!

I wanted to fully immerse myself in the wedding spirit
and paraded in this lacy gown belonging to to my
second mama…it is a gorgeous 1966 dress

(the year my husband and I were born).

I would swim in my own 80’s era 50 lb. dress.
I wish someone, anyone, had asked me at some point
during the dress shopping:
Now, you CAN MOVE in this suit of armor, can’t you?
Because weddings tend to involve movement and dancing.

Weddings by Tara Guérard (Gibbs Smith, 2010)

Were I planning a wedding today,

there would be yards of tulle and

a ballroom at the Waldorf.

I would take full advantage of resources

like this beautiful one above from Tara Guerard.

Weddings by Tara Guérard

My cake might resemble this romantic

deliciousness from a page in Tara’s book.

Ignore the hair.

Growing out layers is the devil.

The Tiffany crystal is my sister’s!

We all know I am tightening my belt and saving

pennies for a trip abroad…I spent 12 bucks at my

favorite: BHLDN a stone’s throw from our room.

Madonna? She aint.

Flower child? Probably.

If you read this blog regularly you’ll know

my physique has changed from a year ago

when I had never heard of the BRCA gene
and could not fathom ‘previvor’ or
amputation/reconstruction/surgical menopause.

My mind and spirit have transformed too.

But love?

Oh how love has remained.
And deepened.

* * *

Whatever battle you are fighting just now…

know that you are stronger than you think.

Acknowledge that becoming a more vulnerable soul
may just be the best thing to ever happen to you.

And be kind, very kind to that soul as it heals.

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. October 14, 2013 / 3:35 pm

    Oh how I love YOU and your beautiful words. You are stunning inside and out and it is a privilege to call you friend, xoxo Kathysue

  2. October 14, 2013 / 5:00 pm

    I remember your trip last year. My goodness, has it really been a year? I'm so happy to read your words today and hear the strength and wisdom in them. You are beautiful inside and out my friend …happy Anniversary!

  3. October 14, 2013 / 8:47 pm

    Congratulations! You are beautiful. I appreciate your blog and you. Blessings

  4. October 14, 2013 / 9:10 pm

    I love you Michele and your approach to life. It is truly admirable…you are my hero in a beautiful lacy wedding dress. You so deserved that special celebration..and I am a huge fan of Tara's' too..that cake to die for. You look like you are getting younger every day, think you need to spill the beans on your secret!
    You look amazing, and your groom is one lucky man to have you as his are fierce in every way that counts:)

  5. October 14, 2013 / 9:11 pm

    Look at you, beautiful girl. I love this post. Love your courage, your spirit and the wonderful soul that shines through. Thanks for the reminder to stay strong, no matter what headwinds life delivers. You're an inspiration, dear! Happy Anniversary!! XOXO

  6. October 14, 2013 / 9:43 pm

    What a lovely post. You look beautiful in that gown. The room is really nice. That bed looks cozy, cozy. Glad that you have that positive spirit. I am a cancer survivor and it changes you forever……and in agood way. You are so appreciative.

  7. October 14, 2013 / 10:58 pm

    You are too damn cute!!! Good for you girl!! I am so impressed by your strength and stamina and the fact that you can still fit in your wedding gown!!! Unbelievable, I hope you had as much fun as you look like you did!
    xo Karolyn

  8. October 14, 2013 / 11:16 pm

    Happy Anniversary….love that dress…its gorgeous! Your words are inspirational and your strength is admired by so many!

  9. October 15, 2013 / 12:20 am

    Happy Anniversary to you both, Michele! And know that you continue to be such an strong, courageous inspiration to me. Your depth of strength, compassion, determination, and love is amazing. God bless you, my friend. ♥

    xoxo laurie

  10. October 15, 2013 / 12:46 am

    I am going to come and steal that gown, my friend!
    Happy anniversary! May you share many more happy, healthy years together!



  11. October 15, 2013 / 12:51 am

    ohhhhh thanks, friends. such a fun anniversary and getaway. i think i may need to collect bridal gowns from the 60s. still so chic!

  12. October 15, 2013 / 4:59 am

    Beautiful post Michele and Happy Anniversary! I can't believe it's been a year already!! I remember talking to you before our trip to Paris two summers ago.. where does time go? Your are right. We can handle more than we think, love deepens, and we become stronger. Love the action shots here;) and you are as pretty as ever! xxooL

  13. October 15, 2013 / 4:31 pm

    Awwwww… so touching. You look so pretty. Isn't it strange to think of all the things that have happened. And just look at you, better than ever, and jumping on the bed. Flower child – yes…


  14. October 15, 2013 / 8:12 pm

    The best of luck to you. You are beautiful & brave! May you remain blessed.

    Tina Marie @ Turkey Hill Road

  15. October 15, 2013 / 9:28 pm

    Happy Anniversary, sweet Michele!!
    Wow, to look so beautiful in that dress!
    Beautiful post you created here, lady.

  16. October 16, 2013 / 4:31 am

    This is an awesome post! Happy anniversary!

  17. October 16, 2013 / 1:34 pm

    Oh, you're so beautiful, M!

    It's so nice to stop by and see how wonderful you are.

    Congrats on your anniversary! What a blessing!

    lots of LUV to you!


    Luciane at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let’s SHOP!

White Slipcovered Sofa
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Upholstered Dining Arm Chair
Shop My Breakfast Nook
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Wreath Doormat
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing