Not So Wordless Wednesday.

On day we looked at our new house, Sean and I came home feeling lot’s of emotions. The biggest was a shared need for escape from the city. The sun had been tucked behind clouds for days, and suddenly seeing it in the sky we had to grab our coats and hats, and go play under it! So where do we go when things get tough and need fresh perspective? Pickerel Lake, of course.

I have never hiked hiked the lake in the fall before. And this time, instead of taking the path that winds around the lake, we went higher into the woods, where I quickly learned that Sean’s long legged pace leaves me gasping for air and running to catch up. The entire time we hiked we talked about the house we had just seen. We talked it about like it was already ours. I said to Sean that we should be careful about getting our hopes up like it already happened. And Sean told me to think positively and send our confidence into the world through our speech habits. I smiled, remembering how we had met in a literature class, and how this part of our beings will always find a way into our lives. Even in conversations about houses there is language to discuss.

Leaving Pickerel Lake we felt content. We had found the peace we were seeking. And the next day, we got the house.

Going Home and Blackberry Picking

Sean and I went home to visit my family this past weekend. It was one of the last weekends of summer in Michigan and Sean and I were anxious to spend it Up North, on the beach, with family, eating too much, staying in the sun too long, sitting by a bonfire late into the night, picking through rows of my parent’s garden, and laughing at my brother’s ridiculous comment after ridiculous comment. It was a summer from my childhood and I was so happy to share it with Sean.woods 2black berry 2 big blackberrywoods 1 alex and brit blackberry woods 3hand blackberry

By the end of the summer, I always need an outlet from the noise of the city. Heading North this weekend was the best prescription! One evening, we went over to my parent’s house and roamed their property, looking for blackberries. My brother had been raving for hours about how many blackberries he had picked the previous week and we were ready to challenge the truth of his tales. Off we went, up the hill, like we had done everyday of our childhood; my sister and I walking quickly to catch up with him, to have him show us what he found. Wandering the woods, we picked and picked until Sean’s shoe broke and our buckets were full. There are few better things in life than being with your siblings and smelling your parents cooking dinner on the grill, knowing from the scent that it is time to go home. No matter how old I get, the moment I step into their backyard, I feel grounded and safe. There is peace in their property.

“Isn’t it nice and quiet here?” Sean asked me one night as we walked back to our car from a bonfire, “Isn’t it nice?”

Yes, Sean, yes it is.

Happy Monday! Hopefully this peace of the weekend will carry over as we make it through our last week of vacation!

Jamaica State Park, Vermont

Last week, Sean and I spent the night in Jamaica. Jamaica, Vermont that is. And it was perfect! We drove into our campsite a little later than we anticipated. But as the sun was setting and Sean set up the tent, I raced over to the nearest town for some pizza. After replenishing our bodies with grease and a beer, we walked down the steep hill to the river, dodging trees and holding hands. As we stood in the cold, rushing water, watching the river flow, it came upon me: this idea of how quickly everything passes; of how like water, our lives roll over rocks and into valleys, moving out of the way for new water, unknowingly caught in the current of river’s center, where it moves quickly and with intent, molecules into molecules, the unseen becoming the whole, simply because of the power they have as a united grouping.

I was thinking about how my relationship with Sean is so like this river. Standing together in that river, I couldn’t help but feel this metaphor run over my skin. I couldn’t help but feel how intimately I was connected to everything in that moment. And mostly, as I watched Sean jump from rock to rock like a mad wilderness man, I couldn’t help but feel how hyper-sensitive I was to this connection simply because he is in my life. Sean has shown me how to feel alive, everyday. Everyday we spend together, whether we are home or far away, we are growing into our life together.  That evening by the river, I began to understand the path our life is taking as a couple, as a family. My and Sean’s roots, I realized, have become entangled with one another, deep beneath the dark soil of a riverbank with water, running wild above us. You see, we are all connected: him and me, and this great world around us. But for now, in this instance we are safe, steadfast, and most of all together. Jaimaca State Park Rivertent shoes by the riverwoodpileriver through the treesThis was such a great campground. Very quiet and secluded! I highly recommend it to anyone traveling the East Coast!

Our Week in the Upper Penninsula.

Last week, Sean and I took a few days off from work and headed North to the Upper Penninsula. Sean’s mom owns an incredible piece of property: the Northern Walkabout; that will soon host their amazing Cord Wood home. But, as with any powerful dream, there is a lot of work required to make it a reality. Their positive energy and work ethic, however, are encouraging and contagious, and after just one week of work, it’s clear to see this land is their home, whether their house is completed or not. It was so much fun to be a pat of the process, even if the mosquitoes ate me alive. wood pile on propertybrothers hammeringRoof and Blue SkiesIt took three days, three men and two tough women for the foundations and barriers of the house to come together. By the time I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, there was already a solid structure in tact. I couldn’t believe that just days prior all there had been was a mound of dirt.

Sean and Danielle working on house Kennedy Lake Ryan on roofIt had been years and years since I’d visited the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. We are certainly fortunate to be surrounded with such amazing land. I’ll be sure to post some more pictures I took later on this week! As for now, we’re happy to be home and getting excited to head back Up North soon to spend some leisure time at the Northern Walkabout.

Our First Beach Day

I have been waiting for this day for months and months! Without further ado, I am pleased to announce that Sean and I have conquered our first beach day of the summer. Hooray! Hooray!

Each spring, I grow very anxious for my first trip to the beach. It can never come soon enough for me! The challenging part of where I live now is that it is some thirty minutes away from any lakes or bays in the area. Growing up, I was jaded by easy access to water. But, now that I’m living two hours south of home and away from all that water, I tend to go a little stir crazy in the city. It’s not always easy for me to be patient in a concrete jungle.

On Sunday, Sean and I finally had a day free of responsibilities! Anticipation paired with the warmth of sunshine to pull us from our normal routine, and we headed out for a hike. As we drove to the lake shore, I looked out the window at the green all around, and remembered, oh yah, this is why I live in Michigan. Because after waiting out all those inches of snow and long, cold weekend, treacherous commutes and frigid walks around the neighborhood, we are rewarded with plenty of sweet days. And Sunday was definitely a very sweet day.   toesfencesean and dani on beachantique beachd walkingtoes ant

Happy Monday, all!

In This Place// Aman Park, Grand Rapids, MI


Sky at Aman Park

After a week of zero sun (and I mean that quite literally), we woke up Saturday afternoon morning to it dancing through our south-facing windows! Ready to celebrate, I quickly finished my coffee and Sean & I headed out to collect as much vitamin D as we could in this place.  With a great segment playing on NPR, we rode to the outskirts of Grand Rapids, where one of our favorite hiking trails is: Aman Park.

There is a river in this place that you follow through the woods. And there are trees to crawl across, hoping you will not slip into the frigid water below.  There are trees to climb.  And there is inspiration to be found for new games and books for children. There are conversations between the crunching of snow and laughter that sneaks through the trees in this place. Roots in Aman ParkSean and Danielle at Aman Park 2River at Aman Park 2River in Aman Park

Did you all get a chance to stop and play in the sun this weekend? It’s not too late! Have fun.