3 Years to the Day

On this our third wedding anniversary I have so much gratitude.

I’m thankful for Honeybee’s amazing family who show us so much love and support. Grandma Jo is a pillar of love, strength and mandolin (or Mando as she calls it). Grandpa Rod’s hugs are so tight they’re even transferable through the US Mail. Papa Shawn makes any and every situation better with a bass line or a crock pot or a fishing pole. Papa’s here, fun’s on. That’s just how they roll.

But more than anything I’m consistently baffled by a partner who is kind, thoughtful and very attentive to details. Sometimes life calls for logistics, sometimes whimsy. Either way, we’ve got it covered. Even if our toothy vagina and tuxedo penis cake toppers melt away, I know we’re in it to win it.

My Aunt Gloria said recently that I’m the only happily married person she knows. She just said it in conversation and kept going, but those words sat with me, heavily, for a while. Even still. I wish happiness and joy for everyone, single or married. And most people just say something along the lines of

marriage takes work.

And it does, but it kind of also doesn’t. My biggest challenge is remembering that there’s no malice in his heart, so tones or attitudes or whathaveyou I may feel are always checked against that fact. Which almost instantly dissolves tension, and begs the question what is at the root of this? And, boom, problem solved.


But then I also just genuinely feel lucky because Matt’s so easy to get along with. For real. I’ll tell you the most annoying thing he does to prove it, mkay. So Matt likes his coffee really hot. Like, scorched earth. He’ll take perfectly hot coffee and microwave it and then inhale / slurp it in such a way that he gets coffee and oxygen to cool it in his mouth all at once. That’s it. That’s all I got. The most irritating thing. He doesn’t leave shit everywhere (I do), he doesn’t yell, isn’t pretentious, or lazy or boring. His cuddle skills are unflinchingly on point. He’s just perfect [for me].


This year we moved into our own place for the first time. It’s a wee, tiny studio apartment that requires careful maneuvering for someone as tall and lean and Matt and small apartment living requires a certain finesse in general, but I still can’t come up with anything more annoying than the coffee!

That said, I know I have my moments when I’m particularly particular or fiendishly unpleasable or crabby wookie, yet this fellow insists that I’m easy to live with.


Looking out into the world where there is a lot of tragedy and pain especially recently, I know that we can overcome it because real love conquers all. Happy anniversary, Honeybee.

Love & Light,

Brianna Wray


Make: Honeybee’s Handmade Instruments

One of the best parts of partnership with a creative is this first-hand, front-line view at the creative process. While I’m deeply ensconced in my own project, I’ll hear Matt mumble something. Could be anything. One time it was, “you don’t look comfortable.” Then he built me the very lap desk I type from today.


This time he wanted to rig a banjo. No lie, my first response was, can you do that? Is that a thing you can do? We build instruments now?

Short answer: Yes. But not without much practice and patience.

He began with the prototype phase which had a pine neck and a cigar box for a body. It was determined early on, though, that the neck was bowing unfavorably. Rather than scrap it, Matt went on making, determined to learn everything he could from this first iteration.

These two, Mark I and Mark II built for Jared and Nathan, respectively, see an upgrade to basswood for the bodies. These necks are oak, hand sanded to smooth perfection by Matt’s very own fingers.

Mark III, below, is the largest of them all and the one Matt finally made for himself. While it’s my favorite, Matt considers it unsuccessful. He says the top is too thin, which bent and split. Still gorgeous, though.


Papa’s birthday guitar, Mark IV, is the most successful. Shorter one in front. I can’t wait to see him play it!


Even though he’s new to instrument building, Matt’s awesome at it and only getting better. Is it just me, or is a handy man a sexy man?

We’re heading to Walla Walla to celebrate today. See ya!

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Northwestern American Gothic

For no particular reason, except being a couple of silly geese, we dressed up and posed for Northwest American Gothic based on Grant Wood’s iconic painting. I also like the Scrapbook version with the little guitar between us. We do have our fun.


Are there any other paintings we should recreate? Ooh!

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