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Life on Rosewood

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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: NeoCon, Outdoor Concerts & My Birthday

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I saw a meme this week that said: “Running on coffee & Jesus” and it made me smile because at least through the month of June it pretty much defines my life. Between a busy work schedule, travel including a family vacation, birthday festivities and the regular summer fun... our lives are full! 

The air is buzzing with excitement over here at the Steelcase office as we continue announcing new partnerships (and acquisitions) and of course the ever important (and time consuming) Neocon. In the last week I've been back and forth to our Chicago Showroom in the Merchandise Mart for a handful of video work including 10 Facebook Live episodes! Last year during NeoCon I was still on maternity leave so it was fun to get back into the game with the team this year. Live productions are outside of our usual scope of work, however, as we continue developing our digital communication strategy I wouldn't be surprised if our work in this area continues to grow. And I think I can speak for most everyone on our video and social media teams when I say that we wouldn't mind one bit if this sort of work escalates because we had a blast running through the crowds and battling WiFi connections these last few days.

Before leaving for Chicago last weekend I was able to celebrate my 31st birthday with family and friends. Our Saturday kicked off with lunch with my parents and the kids. My parents gave me (and Jeff) a super solid birthday gift and took the kids over night for us so that we could celebrate with friends at the golf course. Girlfriend and golf-mate Amber planned a Trio Birthday Par-Tee for me and two others in our group out at Watermark complete with decor, prizes and dinner afterwards. Amber sells tea for a living and it's save to say that if she ever quits her day job, she'd be just fine planning parties for a living. Our team did not win, but Amber awarded me a medal anyway! 

Earlier that week we also celebrated my birthday with Jeff's parents over dinner (and GIANT homemade coconut cake by Mari - my favorite) and a very special wine tasting with family friends Dan and Kathleen Matson. We enjoyed 3 hours of red wine, snacks and great conversation. Jeff and I both enjoy wine and we are continuously learning from our parents and the Matsons. And so, the hobby continues to sneak up on us. 

And this month we kicked off our Fredrick Meijer Gardens summer concert series with our Rosewood neighbors for The Decemberists. There is something pretty awesome about these concerts in the outdoor amphitheater there but we got a total kick out of goofing about planning our own mock outdoor concert series... We should all bring our short lawn chairs to Wilcox Park and just pick an obscure Pandora station that's still common enough for one person in the group to know exactly two songs. And then we sell each other plastic cups of red or white wine for $9 each. Think about it, we wouldn't have to wait in any lines to park or go to the bathroom or to get a beer. We wouldn't have to scramble/battle strangers for a spot on the lawn and we could even have pizza delivered from Harmony! All that to say, COMING SOON: Rosewood Outdoor Playlists in the Park. But seriously, we do love concerts at FMGs and the expansion sure does look nice. 

The rest of June will be spent traveling! I'm heading to Boston for a quick trip for work followed by our ever anticipated family trip to Disney World! We are very much looking forward to a week away for some fun in the, what's predicted to be, super hot sun. I promise to pack our SPF and take lots of photos.

Stay cool and appreciate all your friends and family with pools and lake frontage! See you in July! 

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Kladder Update: Tulip Time, Mothers Day & Rosewood Happy Hours

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We're thrilled about the arrival of Spring in Grand Rapids and doing our best to celebrate accordingly.  Beginning now through the end of summer our calendar is packed with one fun thing after another and you won't find us complaining about it. 

This month kicked off both mine and Jeff's golf leagues. It's been great getting outside and back on the course again. A few weeks ago I got my very first birdie and the second week of league my team won first place - things are off to a good start. This week we both (separately) golf in our first tournaments of the season - wish us luck. 

On Sunday we celebrated Mothers Day with Jeff's parents and our friends the Matsons at Reds at Thousand Oaks for brunch. They've got a great set up in their event space that accommodates large groups and families. They even had a kids buffet complete with smiley fries and fish sticks which made my life easier. The dessert buffet was a different story. 

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My parents were out of town last weekend and so we celebrated Mothers Day early with my Mom the weekend prior. She made the trip up to Grand Rapids for the day and we had an action packed morning complete with a long walk to the festivities at Fulton Street Farmers Market opening day, lunch at Fruition (new spot in Eastown) and shopped at the newly reopened Rebel Reclaimed. Natalie got her face painted with a princess crown. I sent the pic to my Grandma and she asked me if Nat had a bandaid on her forehead. Close enough. 

In Rosewood Avenue news: tis the season for neighborhood happy hours! As soon as the weather warmed up we were reminded of how wonderful our 'hood' is to be a part of. The sidewalks flooded with activity and Friday night happy hours weren't too far behind. A few weeks ago we hosted on our porch before everyone retreated to their own homes for dinner and kids bedtimes. It's easy summer nights like these that we live for. 

We also made the trip out to Holland for the annual Tulip Time Festival again this year. Along with our friends the DeWittes we stopped and smelled all the flowers, walked Main Street and took a few rides at the carnival with the kids. Tulip Time is just about as kid friendly as events get and certainly has the Natalie seal of approval - she loved the carnival rides. After the festival we grabbed dinner with the kids at Tripleroot Brewing on our way home in downtown Zeeland. 

And last weekend I spent the evening out with girlfriends at the newly opened Jolly Pumpkin on the Westside of downtown. The Grand Rapids location is the newest of it's now 7 midwest locations. The GR location is considered a pub where they sell their beer and ciders (as well as a select few local spirits) and serve food like wood fire grilled pizzas. It's a 'seat-yourself' set up and there are no servers. Instead you order via the two different counters: one for drinks and another for food. Overall it was good and I'd return with friends for a casual drink and bite to eat. 

As we put the pedal to the metal on summer I'll be reminding myself to relax and enjoy the sunshine. We hope your next few months (and bellies) are full of grilled burgers, gin & tonics and lazy afternoons at the lake.

POSTSCRIPT - Stuff we're into lately...

  • The Dailey Method - Located in Eastown, it's convent in both location and schedule. Their one year anniversary party is Saturday June 23rd. Mark your calendars! There will likely be deals if you're interested. 
  • Rebel Reclaimed - Their brand new shop, less than a mile from their old location, is fantastic! More space and more items to shop for! Check them out. 
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