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

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