Morning commute

It’s always important for me to take stock of all the factors helping me get my money’s worth here at Notre Dame. For instance, I traded an hour in the car each day for this twenty minute walk to my new “office”.


Bean counting

Within the scope of Memento, one blog-worthy topic I’d like to explore is Sustainability through frugality and creativity. In a nutshell, this comprises the tips, tricks and miscues related to our financial survival over the course of our three year stay at Notre Dame. Our survival, or sustainability will indeed require creativity, just as jumping out of a perfectly good airplane with an under-sized parachute might require some brainstorming prior to impact.

Creative solutions for self-funding and spending reduction can range in size and reach. Ambitious cost reductions may involve the exploration and utilization of Obamacare or the down-sizing to one vehicle. Smaller improvement examples might deal with our diaper, grocery or coffee consumption habits.

For us, the coffee example is low-hanging fruit (beans). When we lived on W. 9th St. in the Historic District of Holland, Michigan, we enjoyed a walkable proximity to a true artisan coffee shop called Lemonjello’s (

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Architecture supply shopping


The universe decided to drop a paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone into Mary’s lap this week. She read it in about a day (on to Chamber). After watching the movie together, we concluded that J.K. Rowling devised the Diagon Alley experience after reviewing an architecture student’s supply list. She even included accurately and insightfully the prerequisite withdrawal from the family vault at Gringott’s.

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Playing chicken with our future

Before providing a live play-by-play of our three-year journey, I thought I’d provide some context. How did a detour to architecture school come to be? How did incremental steps of tire-kicking evolve into a major life pivot? As we pick up steam, this blog will cover our experiences in all aspects of life, but before that, I’d like to share a detailed look back.

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