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Kladder Update: ArtPrize, Apple Orchards & Football

Klackle Orchard Apples.jpg

We’ve got a running head start on Fall this month after embracing this incredible weather and heading outdoors. We began September with the Michigan vs. Western Michigan (my alma mater) football game with friends Kevin and Ashley. We went all out leaving the kids with our parents for the day and tailgating on the golf course next door to the Big House.

That same weekend we joined the party at Ideology, a video vendor I work with through Steelcase, at their new space off Cascade Road. They transformed an outdated office building into the space of their dreams. Complete with a ping-pong table, race simulator, shuffle puck, one wheels and who know what else… it’s a wonder any work gets done around there! They hired a food truck to cater and a DJ for karaoke. It was a hoot and complete validation that I get to work with some pretty fun people.

Natalie started preschool this month and she’s totally loving it. We keep catching her saying things and singing songs we know she must have picked up while in the classroom. She also began dance class at the East Grand Rapids Community Center (their class offerings and kids programs rock!) and it’s been fun to get the photos and videos that come from Grandma who takes her each week. She seems so much more grown up with her new schedule and we’re happy she’s enjoying the shift.

Earlier this month Jeff went on the Annual Guys Golf Weekend with his buddies from high school. The kids and I joined the other wives and kiddos in Hudsonville for brunch and a playdate on Saturday morning. We ate quiche, drank mimosas and sat in the sun watching the kids play. It was welcomed relaxation after a less than stellar Friday afternoon; around 2pm I got into a pretty bad car accident totaling my car. Both me and the other driver walked away unharmed and the kids were not in the car (thank goodness). We, the police included, are still not sure exactly what happened but in short, the other car had a very young driver who most likely made a mistake. Her tears indicated how upset and sorry she was and I know she likely lost some confidence in driving (as did I) after the experience. I’m pretty happy about having good car insurance and grateful for the engineering of airbags.

In other news, unless you’ve been living under a rock you cannot miss the ArtPrize commotion. We kicked off the event at the Opening Party at Varnum. They throw a fantastic party on their private rooftop patio which is (in my opinion) the best view of our city. This year they had a phenomenal trio of electric violinists played throughout the night. I also loved the prom style photo booth complete with a sparkle backdrop upon arrival.

Since the opening party we’ve been back downtown to see the art twice. Once as a date night where we didn’t actually see a whole lot of art and again with the kids. We were able to cover the GRAM, Ah-Nab-Awen Park, Ford Museum, Public Museum and the Blue Bridge. There was some great stuff in the GRAM per usual and if you haven’t been to see the art yet, I recommend making that a stop on your route.

Last weekend Jeff took the morning to golf and the kids and I met up with my mother-in-law Mari to check out Klackle Orchards. Klackle is just northeast of Rockford in Greenville, Michigan. While it takes a bit to get there I think it’s totally worth the drive. They’ve got a TON of stuff for kids including farm animals, blow up slides and bounce houses, countless things for them to climb on, wagon rides to pick apples and the list goes on. Natalie and Thomas both had a great time picking apples but we totally missed out on the donuts because they were sold out! Lesson learned. Next time we’ll call ahead and place our order for pick up and I highly recommend you do the same.

Tomorrow we head south to join the Smith Fall Festival to catch up with extended family in Kalamazoo. Then it’s back home to pack our bags for our big trip to Spain and prepare the kids to hangout with Grandma(s) and Grandpa(s) for the next two weeks. Jeff and I could not be more excited about visiting Spain and spending time together (and with friends) outside of our usual pace of life.

See you in October!

POSTSCRIPT

  • Little Bird - We had dinner with friends last weekend at Little Bird and loved it. The atmosphere is excellent and the menu is even better! I ordered the Phil Collins cocktail and it was super fresh!

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime - So good! It takes place in the 1950s and it’s about a housewife who decides to become a comic. It’s light, funny and entertaining.

  • Athleta Leggings - I asked and you recommended Athleta for workout leggings. They did not disappoint. I hadn’t been to the new store in Gaslight Village yet so this was a great excuse to check it out and check this purchase off my list. They are way more giving than Lululemon brand and seem to have more stretch but still support.

  • The Perfect Mother - I joined a winter book club and right now we’re reading this. I packed it for the plane and will likely have it done by the time we get home.

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Kladder Update: Where Did August Go?

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Whew... who's ready for Fall?! Jeff and I returned from San Fransisco early last week and while we were surprised by the 65 degree temperatures there (and wished we had packed more long sleeve options), we left excited for apple cider and football. The good news is that we won't have to wait long - we snagged two tickets to the U of M vs. WMU game this coming weekend and are looking forward to a good ole' fashioned tailgate with friends. 

Last week Jeff and I spent a long weekend in San Fransisco just the two of us. I was in town for a work trip and we jumped at the opportunity to explore the city together. We had a great time. The city has lots to see and do and we made the most of our 3 days together. I took way too many photos and plan to share those on a travel post soon! 

Just before leaving for San Fransisco I golfed in our last tournament of the year with the ladies at Watermark. The theme was Murder Mystery and all of the gals got really into it. Our board raised the bar this month and even buried a dummy body in one of the sand traps.  A bit extreme? Totally. Our pro staff has their hands full with our non traditional golf events - I can only imagine Mick, our lead pro, handing the greenskeeper a severed head and asking them to take it out to hole 10 and bury it. Our team took first in our flight winning credit towards the pro shop and bragging rights to my husband back at home! 

We recently enjoyed the Grand Rapids Jazz Fest downtown with the Dennis Family. We'd never been before and wouldn't have known about it had they not invited us. I have no clue how long they've been around because their website doesn't say, but the event itself was pretty great. Rosa Parks Circle is the perfect venue for easy listening and dancing, and what is more was the great view we had from the GRAM outdoor VIP space. Our friend's business was a participating sponsor for the event and through him we all got the best seats in the house. I appreciated the shade while the kids enjoyed the free snacks. There were also food trucks, a few tents for shopping and free face painting.

Earlier in the month I set off with my gal pals and fellow Moms from Rosewood Ave for the annual ladies weekend away on Crystal Lake. The entire weekend was a blast - we ate snacks, drank wine, played music, talked - but our Saturday morning was truly something to retell: one of our neighbors is a yoga instructor and she asked if she could teach a sunrise class that morning to which we all replied, "Duh," and then sweetened the deal with making us all Açaí bowls for breakfast - I've got the best neighbors. Mid reverse triangle a bald eagle soars over top of us and the moment could not have been more perfect. I'm not a very sappy person but in that moment I had completely and utter gratitude. A big shout out to Kari for providing such a fantastic morning and to Carol for planning the whole sha-bang. Be sure to check out Kari Bordoli Yoga on Facebook

And before heading out to the lake for our usual Labor Day festivities with family this weekend we got to celebrate our dear friend Amber's big 4-0 on a trolley to the lakeshore! Amber is from Boston so we all channeled our inner sailor for a nautical themed birthday bash. We started with lunch at the new Linear restaurant just north of downtown on Monroe. The menu was eclectic and the dishes we ordered were tasty. She opened gifts and blew out candles before the trolley picked us up and set sail for Sandy Point Beach House. We bellied up to the outdoor shipping container bar and danced to the live Reggae Band. We ate burgers and fries and played Bocce Ball - but not before Jeff and our friend Mark raked out the water puddled that had formed earlier that day. Amber was surprised and a good time was had by all. 

Later that night we joined our kids back out at the lake where they were hanging with their Aunt Stephanie and the rest of the family to cap off the holiday weekend. We spent the day tubing and laying in the sun. And in the evening we took what was likely to be the last post dinner family pontoon cruise of the summer.

At the lake they have a great hot tub that's tucked back under the deck in a corner but still has a great view of the water. For some reason most of the family would rather play late night games in the dining room than take an evening soak and so it's not uncommon that I end up in the tub all by myself. And I don't mind. It's pretty relaxing to sit alone sipping a cocktail reflecting on the fun filled day. August has provided us many wonderful moments to be thankful for and last night sitting and watching the lightening off in the distance while listening to the sounds of the lake was one of them. Maybe I am sappy after all? 

This week Natalie starts preschool and we're on the countdown for our trip to Spain in 4 weeks. But we've got a lot of ground to cover before then so stay tuned and we'll see you on the other side of these final weeks of summer! 

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Kladder Update: Enjoying Summer While It Lasts

Grandparents Day Meijer Gardens Thomas.jpg

Great News! The boot is officially off and just in time too! With a few more weeks of summer left to enjoy and a getaway to San Fransisco with Jeff next week, I'm glad to be moving at my normal-speedy pace again.

I wasted no time in literally getting back into the swing of things this week during Watermark's Womens League rejoining my partner Jamie on the golf course. She totally pulled her weight these last few weeks as I sat out on the sidelines keeping us in the running for first place in our division. But despite her best efforts in keeping us afloat in my absence, we finished the year in second place (due to some really terrible play last night) by a mere 2 points. Ego. Crushed!

On Monday we enjoyed Grandparents Day at Fredrick Meijer Gardens with Jeff's parents. The weather was perfect for being outdoors and for the popsicles they handed out to the kids (and the kids at heart) during the event. We walked through the Japanese Gardens - Jeff's Dad had never been before which is shocking - and we toured the farm house area in the back of the park which is something I had never seen - also shocking. They had live music and a mime and I think one of the most interesting parts for me was seeing all of the construction underway for the expansion. I cannot wait to see how it all turns out. 

Grandparents Day Meijer Gardens.jpg

All last week we spent time camping with my family in the Upper Peninsula just near Ontonagon. It's an 8 hour car ride - 9 if you count stops for the bathroom and gas. It was a good break from our normal routine and you can read more about our trip HERE

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Before camping up north we spent the weekend on the lake in Rockford soaking up the sun with the kids. These days Thomas is all over the place with absolutely no fear. Walk down the boat dock unassisted? Of course. Take a drink from that abandoned full glass of water? Yup. Push all the buttons on the TV remote control accidentally purchasing a movie again? Well sure! Now picture me running after this little dude while in my air-cast boot. It's been a sight. He's got lots of words these days including the usual Mama and Dada. He's really good at 'more' and this week he learned 'ut-oh' which seems appropriate.

Natalie is SO excited to start preschool in a few weeks. We got her welcome packet in the mail and I've filled out all the forms, got the doctors note, printed the requested family pic and tonight Natalie decorated her farm animal that she'll bring with her to orientation. It's a pig and it's covered in heart stickers and pink gems that I helped her glue on. I am going to crush this school mom thing. 

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Two weekends ago we finally made it downtown to the Movies on Monroe community event put on by Downtown GR. Movies on Monroe replaced the former Movies in the Park that was once in Ah Nab Awen Park on the Grand River. It's now just north of the highway downtown in a vacant parking lot that they covered in painted fish which I'm assuming was inspiration from the fish ladder that sits in the river on the other side of the retaining wall. They had a double feature that evening starting with Shrek which Natalie LOVES followed by Hidden Figures. 

It's a free public event and Downtown GR invites you to bring chairs, blankets, food and BYOB (you just have to get a wristband at the ID tent indicating you're old enough to drink). And if you're not into hauling your own cooler of food along, there are food trucks set up along the back side of the parking lot ready to serve you. We had burrito bowls and they were fabulous. Later in the movie we also grabbed Italian ice - cabernet raspberry flavor. Tasty! 

This weekend Jeff will take the kids while I head out of town with the ladies of Rosewood for some girl time on Crystal Lake. All moms. All awesome. And all love wine. It's sure to be a good time.

Enjoy your weekend and all the fun that comes with it! 

POSTSCRIPT

  • Dr. Scholl's Shoe Inserts - You guys, why isn't everyone wearing these? Post boot these were recommended and I feel like I'm walking on little pillows. I will never go back. This is what 30 looks like. 
  • Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis - Yeah, I'm likely late to the game on this one but thanks to friend Amber Ginop who's my personal librarian with her many books and interest in reading, better late than never. It's entertaining and relevant. I wrote some notes and have some good take aways. It's motivating and reassuring. Think girl power but with some humor. 

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