Christmas before Thanksgiving

What a wonderful evening at Frederik Meijer Gardens!FMG11252014santafaceout

I’ve heard that children help bring the magic back to the holidays and if today was any indication, I’ll be up waiting for reindeer hooves on my roof come Christmas Eve! We headed out for a night of Ho Ho Hos and Christmas carols, Christmas trees and and a peak into Christmas traditions around the world.FMG11252014santafaceoutcrop

Santa was wonderful. He patiently sat with children of all ages, listened to wishlists, gracefully managed the frightened child with beat red face and tears pouring from little eyes. When it was Emma’s turn, he made sure to let her see us for the first few pictures and then suggested that we take a picture of her facing him.

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I am so glad he did. Emma was so intrigued by Santa, looking intently at his face and beard. I had fully prepared for our own beat red, streaming tears picture with Santa but instead we captured a little bit of Christmas magic.

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And for that, I am thankful.

Life List 2010: Frederik Meijer Gardens (CHECK!)

I was so productive yesterday that I’ve slacked off already today. I’ve really enjoyed waking up early but today I didn’t even come to consciousness until about 10:30am. Haha. Figures. I will say, however, that yesterday was a great day!

This is how it started: I got a phone call from a friend telling me that he was outside of my house ready for our run. I quickly threw on my running shoes and we hit the pavement. It’s so nice to have a running partner! I held out for way longer than I would’ve on my own and I’ll admit my legs were sore mid day.

I’ve been doing a lot more moving lately. I’ve ready Bob Greene’s The Best Life Diet more than once and his advice is that for the first stage of the healthy lifestyle transition, you move more and cast aside your worries about modifying your diet; that comes later. I’ve done a little of both but I have definitely put more focus into movement. It’s a good way to go about it too, because exercising makes me want to eat healthy. On the reverse, eating healthy (first) makes me a) hungry and b) less inclined to work out because it doesn’t seem as necessary. Justification at its finest.

After our run, we went up to Biggby for a coffee and got in some small talk before I came back home to make a small breakfast (eggs and toast) for my roommate and me. I’m not a great cook and she is, but it’s nice to offer the skills that I have when I can. I got ready for my day and drove downtown to meet a friend to discuss bringing a non-profit from the east side to the west side of the state. I parked almost on the opposite side of town and walked over. Admittedly, I was more distracted than focused about the project but I did receive an e-mail about another job interview. I have my favorite college professor to thank for that. She left me a message a few days ago regarding a job opportunity she thought was a good for me. Thank you!

After the coffee shop, we headed over to Kendall to see his friend’s jewelery on display. She’s good and she brings such a unique perspective into creating. From there, we decided to hit up Gaia Cafe, a vegetarian eatery in Grand Rapids. Our meal was delicious. I could probably eat there every day. Picked up some good reads and caught up on the happenings of GR before heading to Frederik Meijer Gardens.

I have wanted to go there for years.

It’d never worked out in the past so when my friend suggested it spur of the moment, I thought it had to be right! We spent hours there and took ridiculous pictures (which I love) of art work, our imitation of artwork, and our interactions with art work. It was so nice to be outdoors and walking around appreciating everything there was to see (and there is a lot to see!). The destination was on my 2010 Life List and I’m glad to be able to put a check mark over it. It should not have taken me so long to get there, but I’m glad to have such good company for my first time. Museums and gardens are much more fun for me when I have people who can appreciate both the beauty and playfulness of art and history. Overall, I suggest you go if you get the opportunity. Make a day of it and appreciate the art work in any way you see fit; I certainly did.

By the time we wrapped up at Frederik Meijer Gardens, it had been a full day, but it didn’t end there. I went from the Gardens to a disc golf course to meet up with a friend and his friend (now my friend – I love the way that works!). 18 holes and probably an equal amount of mosquito bites (per person) later, we grabbed a bite to eat together. I must say, I’m getting pretty good at disc golfing.

I had left my computer in the car with my friend when we went to the Gardens so I met up with him at an indoor climbing gym where he instructs before calling it a night and heading home. A full day and a great day!

I love Grand Rapids and the people here. I love being active and enjoying the outdoors. I know, I know… I’ll get down to business soon. In fact, that’s my plan tonight after getting a new phone and before my roommate’s and my first weekly “Wine and Pizza Wednesdays.” But for now, I’m throwing on some work-out gear and heading to the park to rollerblade with a friend!

Ciao!