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 Summer Plans::: At Home

I’m a great list maker. This time, I’ve made a list of things I want to do and things I know I will do. It’s exciting to list everything out before yourself and realize, yikes! This summer sure is busy, but at least it’s busy with full filling challenges and adventures.

:::Go on a trip to the Upper Peninsula::: This is kind of guarantee for us, since Sean’s mom is building a home there this summer. But we’re really excited to get up there, help out, and spend some quality time with amazing friends and family.

:::Road trip out East with Sean::: We just started planning this little trip and I can’t wait. Sean’s brother is getting married out East and it’s going to be one of the best times we’ve had yet. I have a sneaking suspicion of that! Hotels are booked and campsites are in the works to be being booked. Gas money is saved and safely stored away where we can’t spend it. Baseball tickets are being purchased. Get us to the wedding, please!

:::Take my nieces putt-putt golfing::: They’re pretty awesome and they definitely deserve a little golf outing with their Aunt D and Mr. Sean.

:::Buy THE COUCH:::  I’ve been eying a couch from the shop down the road and I just think I have to have it. Like, I can’t live without it. And whatever if takes, I have to make it mine. (PS: some women from my Grand Rapids community and a partner at this great shop down the road started this awesome blog that you should totally check it out!)

:::Dance at a wedding together::: Duh.

:::Spice up this blog:: Changes, new topics… I can’t wait!

:::Submit some articles to Nanny Magazine:::  Have you logged on to check it out yourself?

:::Plan an awesome and ridiculous Bachelorette Party::: This winter my “person” in life is getting married. She’s hilarious and loyal and completely deserves the best party I can throw her! So I’m giving it lots of time and planning and doing just that!

:::Dedicate my off days to visiting the beach::: It’s a hard thing to do… a real big sacrifice. But I think I can manage.

:::Sit on my friend Ashley’s porch. a lot.::: because when you have great girlfriends, you should give them lot’s of great time

:::Write and send more letters::: Especially to my special friend in Africa. Because he deserves more letters in the mail.

:::Finish re-painting and staining our record player::: This undertaking excites and makes me a little nervous at the same time. When you’re re-doing a piece of furniture you LOVE, you want to make sure you’re doing it right! I will let you know how it turns out!

Girls Weekend::: Pentwater, Michigan

359 days ago we made a pact with one another:: to dedicate one weekend, each year to our friendships. Life is busy, you know? There are jobs to keep, and houses to keep up, families to see, weddings to attend, always there is something to do. But we matter to one another. We are the people that can count to one another. We hold one another up. We encourage one another. We are family. And our friendships are a break from this mad, mad world. So this year, we went back to that beach where we made our promise 395 days ago. And as we watched the sun set from the pier, I couldn’t help but realize how rich I am in life, to have sisters so dedicated to one another, no matter what, as these women are to me.  girls 2013Three girls on pierbonfire in pentwaterShoreIn our group there are some who build the fire, and then others who make the smores. I am the latter. And though they keep trying to explain the art of cavemen innovation, I still become distracted, unlearned and truth be known, unwilling to learn. I need friends in my life to make the fires for me. We all have a place and certain talents that define us, and we all keep giving our talents to support one one another. I try to always make room in my life for my friends to share themselves. This is the secret, I believe, that makes our group strong, perpetuating, undying.  flip flops in the sandView of Pentwater BeachThe Mermaid RocksWe spent an entire day parked on the beach. Sharing stories about work, sipping cocktails in the sand, laughing about memories from college we had long ago forgotten. We poured out plans for Crissy’s wedding, and became giddy about the pending incredible life changes to come this year. We hold a past, present and future with one another that is makes each of us irreplaceable.Pentwater Beach from the PierDune GRass with BeachWe looked up in the sky and felt warm, very warm for the first time all year. We drew a line in the sand, promising to always come back, each summer, for our friendships, for one another, because we matter. Four on Pentwater Beach

This Week’s Grand Summer Project:: Gardening

In addition to having these great high ceilings and monster windows (that never stay up on their own, but have classic white trim around them) inside our apartment, Sean and I are also pretty darn fortunate to have a community garden outside on the property to use. Last summer, Sean was gone and I was too bummed out to take advantage of this opportunity. Shame on me. But, this year, we’ve decided to try our hand at growing some tomatoes and hopefully giving life back into an awesome rosemary plant his mom gave us. We’re crossing our fingers and giving it our all.

I bought our tomato plants at the Farmers Market earlier this month. I almost considered starting from seed, but since we’ve had some unusual weather in our neck of the woods, I decided to get some that were already thriving. And yes, this was just a lot easier for us (and as anyone who knows me knows: I always try to take the easiest path). So now, Sean and I are farmers. In the city. An oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one, that I’m excited to make a reality.
Sean Farming our TomatoesWhenever we go out to our car, I have to check our tomatoes. Whenever I get home from work, I have to check our tomatoes. Whenever we finish dinner and go for a walk, I have to check on the tomatoes. I tell Sean, it helps them when we pet them. He smiles and said, he isn’t sure but maybe I’m right. And whenever Sean waters them I sing, “we’re farmers, we’re farming” in a ridiculous voice. This definitely helps– plants love songs.

And in another fun fact: we didn’t actually have a shovel to plant our tomatoes, so like any other resourceful city gal, I used a serving spoon and measuring cup. I figure because we will be eating them it’s okay to use our kitchen utensils in helping them grow.

I’m excited for my tomatoes to start turning red, my favorite color. There is nothing better than fresh vegetables on a summer’s day!