Down with Detroit
I grew up in Rosedale Park, a neighborhood in Northwest Detroit. Rosedale Park is filled with gorgeous old homes, passionately loyal neighbors and a true sense of community. Along with my incredibly giving and driven parents and my three siblings, the city and this neighborhood in particular, helped to shape my spunky and scrappy personality. It is by far my favorite place in the city.
My husband Jon grew up on Grosse Ile, so we shared a desire to find a place that felt homey and valued education. We feel quite fortunate to have found our neighborhood in Troy that not only boasts great neighbors and schools but feels like going up north without ever leaving home.
Sharing my favorite Metro area places would not be complete without mentioning the Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck. Not only is it a great theatre to see scripted productions but it is also home to Detroit’s longest running improv show and where Jon and I studied improv. Improv has had a dramatic (pun intended) impact on our lives. Along with filling much of our free time performing around the metro-area, it has also gifted us with an amazing life lens as well as cherished friends and mentors. The theatre has now expanded to a space across the street called the Ant Hall and the Ghost Light bar. All three venues are cool without being pretentious.
I consulted my family for inspiration on favorite Detroit places and Jon suggested Vivios down in the Eastern Market. This iconic bar/restaurant is home to the best Bloody Marys I have ever had and also marks a special time in my life. I lived in a wonky little row house in Corktown and was incredibly busy teaching while finishing my masters. It was at this time that I met my awesome husband and my life truly filled with laughter. We met playing soccer in a pick up soccer league that met in Lafayette park behind the Atlas building. This time before children was one in which we played soccer for hours on end every Saturday, a feat I can hardly remember let alone fathom now.
Within the metro area I have also lived in Hamtramck and Clawson, so I hold each of these little hamlets near and dear to my heart. Life with kids means that I also love Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford, the Detroit Zoo, the Detroit Historical Museum, Rochester Play, and Troy Gymnastics. According to my entire family the only place for real pizza is Tomatoes Apizza in Farmington Hills and the best arcade and video game playing happens in our basement, thanks to the hubby’s ridiculous Nintendo collection. I am a passionate Detroiter at heart but I’ve embraced suburban living and want to share both with my children.
:: My Life ::
I am an English and Spanish teacher by training but have spent the last seven years as a S/WAHM. My original career goal was to hide away in a cave and write but learned quite by accident that I had an affinity for teaching. As much as I loved teaching, I realized I was one of those people that was absolutely miserable doing it while I had a little baby at home away from me. My selfless husband took the plunge to be a single income provider. It was a huge sacrifice that I will be thankful for forever.
I still try to work time in to write and have found writing for the theatre is my best fit. I also, as it turns out, enjoy writing reviews and interviewing people and do so by contributing to DetroitLaughsLouder.
Now that my youngest is a very mature almost four year old, I have started teaching very part time and prepping to return to working full time. I teach improv to middle, high school and adult ESL students in Detroit as part of the Detroit Creativity Project. It is a dream job for me. This teaching job also gives me the opportunity to work with some of the most talented local improvisers. I also teach drama to elementary students though our church, which sort of melds my love of teaching, drama and spirituality.
Although I often appear to be a hot-mess, I love organizing. I became really passionate about having an organized house out of pure necessity when we lived in a tiny shoebox with zero storage space. I spend an inordinate amount of time, trying to make our household and lives more organized. It is one of those unfeasible tasks I continue to work on. I am also a total paper planner geek, so much so that I started making planner stickers on Etsy about a year ago.
::Babies And Beyond ::
After being together for a bit over four years, Jon and I got married in 2007. Our oldest Julian was a honeymoon baby. Jon describes him as the most logical person in our family. At a very young age he aspired to be a police officer. This goal seems fitting considering his strong sense of right and wrong. He loves football and has an insatiable love for football stats that I pretend to understand. These traits do not come from my genetic line. What he did inherit from me is a passion for reading. If allowed, he would stay up all night reading Rick Riordan novels or non-fiction books to better understand the mythology of Rick Riordan novels. I marvel at the smarts my tender hearted oldest has, he is amazing. We have yet to find a team sport he is passionate about playing but he seems to love his golf lessons.
Our second, Desmond, arrived a year and a half after Julian. His complete disregard for rules and order has helped to balance his brother’s love for them. Desi keeps us on our toes and in stitches. He would like to create graphic novels like his hero Dav Pilkey or design video games when he grows up. He creates detailed drawings of Skylander characters complete with tag lines and packaging instructions. He has what we believe is a photographic memory and loves geography. Both Jon and I are baffled by his unique genius. He is also a total ham and loves singing, dancing and acting.
Our grand finale is Magdalena and I am still coming to grips with the fact that she is not a baby anymore. She loves cheating at cards, Frozen and planning her birthday parties. On a typical day you can find her in our backyard wearing a tutu, wielding a nerf-gun and shouting at the top of her lungs. My dad has great hopes that she is his future engineer. She loves trying to figure out how things work, including how to drive. She loves telling jokes like her daddy and has her mommy’s spit fire temper. She looks forward to dance class, doing gymnastics and learning to read. I feel so very blessed and lucky to have such amazing kiddos in my life and truly enjoy spending time with them.
I was interested in joining Detroit Moms Blog because finding my way into a moms club helped me meet some of my best friends to date. I think it is incredibly important to have other amazing mommies in our lives. We need good people to commiserate and celebrate with on this parenting journey. I was a baby wearing, breast feeding, cloth diapering momma, but I feel very strongly that each parent needs to parent in their own way. With each addition to our family, I found I needed to change every preconceived notion I had about parenting best practices. If our goal is to raise happy, giving and talented adults at the end of this parenting gig, it doesn’t really matter which route we each take to get there. I look forward to learning from and sharing with all the parents in this amazing community.