It's been a very long time since I've cried, which isn't unusual for me. I'm a pretty tough cookie. Translation for tough cookie: cold, bitchy, harsh... or rather, it's going to take a lot more than a mean comment to hurt my feelings. Now, I do believe I've softened a bit since becoming a Mom, but despite babies, I do think I still wield a strong outer shell.
And this is why the smeared mascara and flushed cheeks caught me completely off guard at church two Sundays ago. Every once in a while during worship (which is singing along to a super loud band), I get a huge rush of emotion. And full disclosure, I work in video production so I understand how things like music, lighting and warmth can affect mood. And Mars Hill Church plays right into that: they lower the lights and turn up the base each and every Sunday. And on this particular Sunday, it hit me just right and for some reason I just stood there balling.
Twenty-Seventeen has been very very good to us and in that moment I think I was overcome with just how GOOD life really is. I turned 30 this year and I shared how I felt like each year keeps getting better and better. And that's the honest truth. But I know that life is not perfect and bumps are bound to happen. I see the bumps. They are happening all around us but for some reason our road has been smooth as Thomas' cute baby bottom. So for right now, we're going to keep riding this wave of good and be grateful for it. And that's what's been on my mind lately.
Onto the Kladder Update... what have we been up to these last few weeks?...
The weekend of the 21st was the Annual Member Member Event at Watermark and we had a blast! Jeff golfed with his league partner, Zach Dennis, for who-knows how many rounds of golf throughout the weekend. I attended the portions of the event involving cocktails including the family pool gathering on Friday, the 'horse-race' Saturday afternoon followed by a formal dinner that evening. Horses you say? A fantastic part of the weekend where the winners from each flight go head to head on a hole by hole, single elimination championship final. The crowd follows the rounds on golf carts creating quote the scene overlooking the green.
Last Friday we took Natalie and Thomas downtown for the movie in the park, downtown at Ah Nab Awen just outside the Ford Museum. We met up with friends and enjoyed the scenery of our two girls dancing to the final credits. Zootopia was showing and if your kids haven't seen it yet, it's actually got a good plot and excellent music. It was our first time to the event and I was so impressed. They had food trucks, face painting and free popcorn. They even allow you to bring your own alcohol (and snacks) which simply requires you to get your ID checked at a tent to receive a wrist band. It was a fantastic way to spend a summer evening with family.
With this incredible weather lately, we've been soaking up every bit of summer possible and spending as much time outside as we can. We've got an unofficial Summer Bucket List of things (outside of golf, porch drinking and laying by the water) that make summer in Grand Rapids complete. Here's the latest:
- Attend FMGs Outdoor Concert - DONE!
- Attend Outdoor Movies in the Park - DONE!
- Walk the Pier at Lake Michigan
- Host Friends for Dinner on the Patio - DONE!
- Play in the Wilcox Park Splash Pad
- Visit Bolder Ridge Zoo
- Attend Outdoor Concert in John Collins Park - DONE!
- Walk to Fulton Street Farmers Market - DONE!
- Take Evening Booze Cruise on Lake Bella Vista - DONE!
- Eat Ice Cream at Jersey Junction - DONE!
We're at a passing grade with 70% which is pretty good I'd say. And speaking of passing grades, Thomas had is 4-month appointment this week and measured in the 99th percentile for height, weight and head size. He's huge. He's a very happy little guy and certainly healthy - the Dr. assured me that his size is nothing to worry about! And this week he hit a huge mile marker by rolling over and sleeping 12 hours at night. Amen!
Natalie is... hilarious. She's bouncy and brave as they come. Last weekend she went down the big kids water slide at the pool which is leaps and bounds from where she was a few weeks ago when stepping foot in the water drew tears. Toddlers certainly keep life exciting. And the girlie-girl inside of me swooned over the fact she allowed me to put a ponytail in her hair for the first time this week. Big things are happening over here you guys.
This week Tuesday we headed out to Grand Haven to visit with family and to eat cake, celebrating my Grandpa and Grandma DeKoekkoek's 60th Wedding Anniversary. I asked them what the best part of being married has been and my Grandpa had an excellent answer: "Creating our family and spending time with you all now." Sigh... old men and their wisdom. Gets me every time.
And this weekend we head North for our annual trip to Ontonagon with family. What is Ontonagon you say? Here's more from our trips in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Ontonagon has been a family tradition since before I can remember and consists of mostly becoming 'one with nature,' taking our sweet-time and drinking plenty of Bud Light. We're looking forward to unplugging and going off the grid for a while. Now I just gotta pack the car.
POSTSCRIPT - Things we're into lately...
- Into Spray Tanning? Check out Smooched. I had one done for the Member Member event two weekends ago and loved it.
- Kirkland Brand Almond Butter from Costco. Holy moly it's so good.
- The Dailey Method - The newest parent friendly fitness place in town. Stay tuned for a review coming soon. Here's a fun pic of the class I hosted for friends two weeks ago!