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I’m feeling pretty random today, so let’s go with it…

I love walks. Today was beautiful and warm. B and I met up for frozen yogurt at lunch and I think the temperature reached the low 80s! Tonight was even better, a lightly breezy 72 degrees. Stella, B and I took a nice, long walk tonight and explored a new part of our neighborhood. We found a new park (!) and saw the house B’s dad grew up in. Stella made many new friends, including a puggle named Buddy. He was a rescue and I think Stella overwhelmed him a little, but I saw his tail wagging.

We’ve been walking more lately and I’ve enjoyed getting to know our neighborhood better. The more I take the time to get to know this area and the people in it, the more I enjoy it… I think I’ve had some sort of mental block on the idea of living in Lansing post-graduation for awhile. So many of my friends and classmates have moved away and I guess I always thought that once I graduated I would move away or back home or wherever… And I think part of me felt like I needed to move on, physically, in order to begin the next phase of my life. I never really considered the possibility that I would live and work here. Well news flash, I do live and work here. And I’m now realizing, that feeling might have been keep me from really putting down roots here and getting to know the place. You know that? I love my home, I LOVE Royal Oak. And I miss it, a lot. But Lansing is growing on me… a little… don’t tell B that. And this time of year, it’s really quite beautiful. I think maybe the most important part of this discovery is knowing that I have exactly what I need to be happy, wherever I am 🙂

I didn’t take any pictures of our walk tonight. As beautiful and sunny and golden as it was, I just felt like walking and taking it all in. But here are a few from my walk with Stella the other night. It was just she and I so we headed to Francis Park. I’m happy to report that dogs are now allowed in the park! The sign at the front of the park which read “No Dogs or Alcoholic Beverages” has been repainted to read “No Alcoholic Beverages”. It’s the exact same color paint so I’m pretty sure it’s legit. I hope so because Stella and I have been enjoying the new park!

Imagine Stella’s excitement when she saw a field full of fuzzy dandelions! These might be her favorite thing ever. Well, aside from the dead rodent remains I’m pretty sure she got into at the park tonight. I’m sorry, even more sorry if you are eating. That was gross. Back to pretty things.

She immediately took off running, tearing through and darting around and getting herself covered in fuzzies in the process. The same can be said for me and my poor choice of footwear…

At least they are cute (and well weatherproofed). I spy something else tiny and cute…

We stopped for water…

And to smell the roses… Not sure if those are actually, need to brush up on my botanicals.

Ah, tulips…

And we continued around the trail where we could see sunlight bouncing off the Grand River and beaming through the trees.

I have to admit, Lansing has been laying the charm on a bit strong lately.

And it’s making me really excited for summer! I’m looking forward to…

Watching these lovely ladies grow. I can’t wait for my Easter Lily to bloom. After it blooms I’m going to try to save the bulb and plant it outdoors. What a happy bunch.

I spy paint samples. I’m thinking of painting the living room and a few other rooms… Maybe… But aside from that I’m looking forward to all sorts of sprucing up around the house.

My baby sister! She’ll *hopefully* be living with us this summer. SO excited. She’ll intern for me and another office and work part-time here for summer break. This will mean that I have lived with each of my sisters individually after moving out of our parents’ house. Meg and I lived together in college and Colleen and I lived together right when I graduated and started working, and now Grace will live with B, Stella and me. How awesome is that? Love my girls.

I’m also looking forward to more walks, more runs, Saturday morning farmer’s market runs for fresh eggs, fruit and veggies and B’s (soon to be famous) omlettes, Lugnuts games, running and exploring Fenner Nature Center, golf league, pool days, knocking doors, organizing events for our networking group, Saugatuck, visits with cousins, the fact that B is not taking 10 classes, camping trips (Nordhouse Dunes!), the absolute blast that has become our annual trip to the Grand Hotel for Father’s Day. It is a tradition in B’s family. A whirlwind of fun, family, delicious food, awesome conversation, chuckles, jokes–so many jokes! B’s family is hilarious, and they have a sense of humor very similar to my family’s. You don’t get away with much!– horses, bike rides, incredible views, the straights of Mackinac, bright colors, and patterns, tea cakes and toasts, pictures on the porch, rocking chairs and the scent of 2,500 geraniums, dancing (so much dancing!) and that extra special touch on everything. All in under 48 hours. It is a marvelous place and I love visiting.

I’m also looking forward to visiting B’s mom who has a place in Manasota Key this summer, getting together with girlfriends back home–I miss my best friend and her little girl!–preparing for law school, hanging out with my Grandma, bonfires, lots of time with mom and the girls, art festivals, fireworks, patios, corn-on-the-cob, watermelon, my dear friend Steph’s annual pilgrimage from Vegas back to the Motherland, DAVE MATTHEWS BAND (for my girls:)), and reading this book. I am making my way through her blog right now and WOW. Hers is one of the most beautiful, devastating, inspiring and heartbreaking stories I have ever heard. I am simply in awe. What a courageous woman, although I know she would not call herself that.

I am also looking forward to more cooking, baking, awful picture taking (work in progress) and sharing it all with you. Fun stuff.

On that note, I’ll segue not so smoothly to an idea I’m thinking about for a number of future blog posts. When B and I went to Iceland last year, we kept a daily record/journal detailing our activities, new discoveries and people we met, food we ate, places we visited and new, interesting and funny things we experienced. The journals, which are written mostly on random notepads and pieces of paper, have been in my nightstand for about a year now and it’s driving me crazy. I’d like to use them to make somewhat of a digital scrapbook/journal about our trip. It was such an adventure! I haven’t quite figured out how I’ll put it all together but I will be sure to include most, if not all, of our 600+ photos from the trip. I’m pretty excited about it and I hope you’ll enjoy a first-hand account of our backpacking trip through Iceland. It’s a strange, beautiful and utterly fascinating place that not many people really get the chance to visit. Should be fun recounting it!

What are you most looking forward to this summer? I’d love to know!

Whew, I’m exhausted after all that. Goodnight friends!

-S

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