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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 They transformed an outdated office building into the space of their dreams.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!


  • 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.