Month: October 2013

Is This Real Life?!

Relationships are tough, in the best way possible though. Paul and I aren’t even married yet, but I see what people are saying when they say that marriage is hard.

I am learning though that the hard part isn’t us, or making “us” work.  That is the easy part. The hard part is making sure that I am giving it my all every day, because that is what Paul does.  He is such a great example of what it means to love unconditionally, always treat me fairly, and to be consistent in his love and what he gives to the relationship.

And then there is me… the hot mess of the duo…

The great thing about a healthy, loving relationship (in my mind) is that it demands the best of you, but loves you still at your worst.  It forgives your faults, reminds you of your strengths, and kicks you in the ass when you need a push, making you grow. I can only give as much to my relationship as I am giving to myself, if that makes sense.  If I am suffering, my relationship suffers.

Paul, sometimes to my chagrin, knows what I am capable of, knows what I deserve, and is there to push me if he thinks I am accepting less or performing below my best.

I am a creative soul who happens to be a Gemini, and painfully stubborn (sorry about this, world, it is just the way my cocktail was mixed), so sometimes I need this push (as I am confident he will in the future… he can’t be perfect forever!), and a reminder that I owe it to myself to bring my A game every day.

Damn, I hate it when he is right.

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Just to prove I’m not the only child in the relationship

Adventures at Art Prize

Paul and I had the pleasure of heading to the west side of Michigan yesterday for a friend’s birthday party, allowing us to sneak into Grand Rapids on the way home to check out Art Prize.

I have referenced my love for Grand Rapids in previous posts, but I love the city more and more with each visit, and this time was no exception.

Art Prize is an art contest in which artists from around the world create, install, build, etc. art throughout the entire city; in restaurants, businesses, hotels, on the street, in the river, and the public vote on the winner.

This was my first Art Prize experience, and it did not disappoint. Image

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bridge color

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This guy, who was in Founder Brewing Co., was a little bit scary. Very cool at the same time because it was made entirely of natural materials like moss, sticks, etc. (except for the light up eyes).

My angle could have been better on this photo, but he is actually fishing...

My angle could have been better on this photo, but he is actually fishing…

There was an amazing Buddah fixture that looked to be made of hanging tiles

There was an amazing Buddah fixture that looked to be made of hanging tiles

buddah close

Buffalo sculpted out of wood

Buffalo sculpted out of wood

My favorite of the day

My favorite of the day

panda close

There was also a baby panda :)

There was also a baby panda 🙂

The pandas were made out of bike tires

The pandas were made out of bike tires

I am not even sure what this was made out of. Some sort of media art, but it was beautiful.

I am not even sure what this was made out of. Some sort of media art, but it was beautiful.

The art was amazing, but it was invigorating to see the city so alive with energy.  There were people every where! Grand Rapids always has a great vibe, but adding in street vendors and performers gave it a whole new atmosphere.

Juggler

Juggler

juggler bw

street player

And then there is the architecture in Grand Rapids.  There are streets that, to me, feel like Chicago collided with Europe.  It really is a beautiful downtown.

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lantern and molding

police

fire escape

windows

black and white building

Beautiful Grand Rapids

Beautiful Grand Rapids

The sweet sound of bath water “tap-tapping” onto your dining room table…

Not the norm for a Wednesday morning? … It was at least an exciting way to start the day.

I was taking a shower, all innocent like, when I noticed that the water wasn’t draining. After attempting to clear a hair clump from the drain, and only realizing there was not one there, I decided that the stopper must be down. Low and behold, the stopper was broken. The water continued to collect in the tub, but it was a shaving day, I had to keep going!

Five inches of water and two bare legs later, I step out of the shower, take one quick glance at our new plumbing issue, and decide it is best to wake up the manlier half for him to deal with (sorry, hun).

Assuring me he can handle it, I head down stairs to make breakfast and continue my beautifying ritual to start the day. My english muffin preparation was interrupted by a slow “tap… tap… tap” sound coming from the dining room. I walked over just in time to see it turn into a solid stream of water coming from the ceiling.

“Paul!?” I yelled up the stairs.
“Yeah, I need you!”

I can’t explain the mechanics of it all, but in an attempt to check the stopper, another piece of the drain system revealed itself as broken, draining water out of the tub.

Paul, kneeling in an attempt to stop the bleed made an ever so calm request: “I need you to hand me towels and go get a bucket or something to get the water out of the tub and pour it into the toilet.”

I frantically dashed downstairs, knowing full well the only bucket we own is in the basement. Forget that! I don’t have shoes on, it is scary, and it smells. I opted for a crystal bowl (it was the first I could find). FYI, lead crystal is not the easiest thing to scoop water with, but my arms felt amazing later that day.

Once that situation was somewhat under control, I headed back to the hazard zone that was our dining room. Water was now coming out of two spots in the ceiling and dripping down the wall.

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Paul came down to join me in the containment process once he had the bathroom situation under control. After tag teaming towel placement and the strategerie of various bowls and chairs, we stepped back to admire our work.

Paul just put his arm around me, kissed my head, and said, “good morning, beautiful. I’ll call a plumber today.”

And we just moved on with business as usual. I’m lucky to have such a calm, capable, loving partner in crime 🙂

I hope you all had a less adventurous hump day. I will have more to come later 🙂

A hiatus of the mind and the body:

I will be the first to admit it: I have been pretty lazy the past month, and I am completely okay with that.  Sometimes, you just have to give yourself some time off.

Running wasn’t fun or motivating for a while, it had become just a chore.  Workouts weren’t getting me excited for my next bout at the gym.  I didn’t know what to write about.  I just kind of wanted a break.

So, I took one.

This isn’t saying I was unhappy in anyway, I think I just recognized that things had started to shift from passions to items on my to-do list.  After taking some time to reflect on the first two-thirds of the year, I realized that my body had been through quite a bit.  I deserved some time to just slip back into neutral and recharge the batteries.

After about a month off, I started the final third of the year yesterday, went out for a great, fall run; no pressure, no goals, just a run, and kicked off a refreshed mind-set.

Sometimes we need breaks from personal pressures. I, personally, have a very hard time staying in the moment, always thinking about the future and my next run or where my career is going to take me.  Where am I going to go to grad school or where will my next job be?  How will I reach my goals?  I don’t want to be so caught up in the next step that I miss the beauty of getting there.  This is why I sometimes need to give myself time to do a status update on life. 

What have you missed?

A Michigan Society of Association Executives Diamond Award that I took home for my association’s e-newsletter.  It was a big win and a huge honor for my whole team who help put it together.

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George Blaha was the MC that night.  If you are not a Michigan sports fan, you probably don’t know who that is, but to Spartans, he is the voice of Michigan State athletics.  When I bounced across the stage in shock and amazement at our win, I was so excited I didn’t even shake his hand!  When I realized I had passed him by I just turned around and cheered, “Touch Down, MSU!”

I felt like an idiot the whole way home for not shaking his hand. Any respectable Spartan does not pass up the chance to shake George Blaha’s hand!

They always say when God shuts a door…

The very next night, who would happen to be sitting at the next table at the bar, but Mr. Blaha himself.

God had opened a window!

Freaking out, I told Paul that God does not present you with George Blaha two nights in a row only for you to not make up for your social blunder from the previous night.

So I walked up to his table, introduced myself and explained that I was the girl who was too excited to shake his hand the night before, and I just wanted to take the opportunity to do so now.  He couldn’t have been nicer and more congratulatory on my award 🙂 

Other than that, I am down about seven inches of hair. I decided that I needed to refresh my look while I refreshing my mind. I now look more like my mother than ever (not a goal, and not a bad thing, just something I noticed after it was cut).  

With my body and soul restored, I am feeling pretty damn good.

I hope all of you are also doing well 🙂

Cheers!

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