I kicked off my 32nd year of life while in Chicago for work with co-workers over dinner, drinks, dessert and candles. And then we celebrated a second and a third time which meant a total of three off-key rounds of ‘Happy Birthday’ from my co-workers. I felt sufficiently embarrassed and super special all at once. The celebrating continued throughout the week first at golf league on Wednesday night (again with the singing) followed by a Rosewood Wine Night on Thursday with my neighbor gals on the porch. Kelsey made lemon bars, Kari picked up a Cheese Lady tray (which is ALWAYS a good idea) and they brought ‘Kim’ (Kim Crawford is a bottle of wine I love) to the party. There were flowers and a balloon and it was awesome.
The birthday celebrations came to a grand finale this past weekend with a sunny round of golf with Jeff and my in-laws followed by an elaborate birthday dinner at the lake. Mari made coconut cake (my favorite) and Natalie sang with all her might into the Barbie toy cash register microphone as I blew out my candles. I could not stop giggling. It was a very happy birthday indeed.
Now, let’s rewind two weeks (back to the good ole days when I was still 31-years-old) when Jeff and I joined friends Timm, Emily and Josh for the Hope Network One in Five Team Marathon. Just over two months ago we were out for a fun night on the town with the group and Timm talked us all into signing up for the race promising us team uniforms. For those who know me you’ll understand how big of a deal this was for me - I do not like running. You might say I hate it. It’s right down there with accidentally eating olives. But, in the name of friendship and team uniforms… I signed up. Let me be clear, this was not a solo marathon. It was a team marathon so it was broken into 5 legs (hence the 5 team members) with my share of the race being 5 miles long - the longest distance I’ve ever run. I trained, some. But I certainly wasn’t prepared. I’ll admit, for the first mile or so I was distracted enough by the other runners, their chit-chat, their music and the energy that the time and distance went by fairly quickly. But come mile 3 I was all alone and it took all my might to push myself along. In the end, I finished 5 miles in less than 50 minutes which means I did less than 10 minute miles and frankly, I’ll take it. The race was for a very good cause bringing awareness to mental illness but it’s very safe to say that I’m retiring from my racing career. Next year I’ll take the role of cheerleader and snack provider.
On Saturday we took the kids up to Blythefield Country Club for the Meijer LPGA Classic and had the best time! I had attended the tournament the past two years with girlfriends from golf league but decided to change things up this year by making it a family affair and it did not disappoint. We were blown away by both the Grand Taste Tent as well as the kids space, Discovery Land.
Side note: someone recently gave us the advice about how to best introduce and get our kids interested in the game of golf. They said that in the beginning to not worry about teaching them the actual game of golf but to first simply get them excited about being at the golf course. They told us to let them enjoy riding on the golf cart, order them a Shirley Temple from the bar and point out the pretty colored pink golf balls. And once the base layer of interest is set you then teach them to swing a club. I bring this up because if every golf tournament was like that of the Meijer LPGA Classic my kids would never leave the golf course and we’d likely have full ride golf scholarships for two kids no problem.
The food at the Grand Taste was exceptional as always with plenty of options for kids and adults alike. The kids Discovery Land was new to me this year with kids in tow and it was completely over the top. They had glamor stations with an adjacent dance floor. There were Play-Doh stations, fully-staffed craft tables, a Shipt sponsored mock grocery store, Barbie houses, a snack counter, Paw Patrol mascots walking around and an entire outdoor play section where my kids spent most of their time. And that doesn’t even begin to cover all that was provided. They truly out did themselves.
And while the Grand Taste and Discovery Land was certainly something that’ll bring us back again next year, my favorite part was, by far, watching Lexi Thompson for three holes along side Natalie. Lexi caught her eye most likely because she was wearing a super cute pink outfit. But who cares… because again, at this point, we’re just laying the ground work, right?!
In other news, Natalie and Thomas are cooking up a storm in the backyard after taking the Tinkergarten class all about Stone Soup! Leader Krista Battdorff who’s background is in elementary education hosted the class for the kids in our neighborhood at Wilcox Park where she walked them through a series of play stations centered around the the book ‘Stone Soup’. At Tinkergarten the lessons are all play based and help kids develop the foundation of life skills such as empathy, collaboration and my favorite: problem solving. I’m currently reading the book ‘Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era’ by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith and because of that, I’ve got a lot more to say about our positive experience at Tinkergarten. I plan to write an additional, more detailed post about the class at a later date. Stay tuned!
We kicked off the summer concert season at Fredrick Meijer Gardens earlier this month with the Rosewood Neighbors and enjoyed the tunes of May Erlewine and The Motivations. This time we brought the kids and the Dads spent most of their time watching them roll down the far hill in the sunshine. A few lucky Moms, myself included, enjoyed the music with a glass of wine and some snacks. We’ve got 3 more concerts on our calendar later this year and highly recommend you add this to your bucket list this summer if you haven’t already. There are tickets still available for some of the dates and you can find those here.
And this past weekend we celebrated all the Dads in our lives. My Dad was in the U.P. all last week hanging out at their cabin in the woods. It’s his favorite place on earth and without even asking I know he thoroughly enjoyed his day. Jeff went golfing with his Dad in the morning and played well which always makes for a good rest of both our days! We had a meat and potatoes dinner and Jeff opened his gift from the kids, a double growler carrier - something he’s mentioned wanting for a little over a year now. Dads are awesome and we’re extremely grateful for the ones we get to calls ours.
And despite this ridiculous sweatshirt weather lately, it’s porch season on Rosewood and we’re happy to partake every chance we get. We’re making the rounds down our block with the happy hours and backyard BBQs. We’ve had a few houses recently flip ownership in our neighborhood and we’re looking forward to getting to know some new faces. Happy June everyone!
ON DECK - Things we’re looking forward to:
The Eastown Bizarre Bazaar is this Saturday from 9am to 7pm celebrating local art, entertainment, food and unique Eastown culture. It’s great for strollers.
This Thursday Peace & Toil plant shop is hosting a ‘Nurturing Growth’ basics of plant care workshop at the new Ferris Coffee location downtown at 7pm. The event is in collaboration with Grace’s Table, a group that supports teen Moms and their kids. There will be wine spritzers!
And Lee & Birch is celebrating their 9-year (in GR) and 12-year (in GH) anniversaries by giving you 20% off their entire store. You can hit them up on your way to the Bazaar!
POSTSCRIPT - Stuff we’re into lately:
Spoonlickers in Eastown - If you don’t already have one be sure to get your ‘Lickers License’ from Spoonlickers for punches each time you visit that lead to a free treat! It’s right around the corner for us and WAY too easy to visit.
Madcap on Fulton - Madcap is a Grand Rapids staple in the coffee realm and their place on Fulton is thee best during the warmer months because they can open up their garage doors. Great for heads down work or grabbing a cup with a friend for a chat.