October 9, 2011

Pure Michigan.

Or, "The Weekend that Saved My Sanity."

School and life have been crazy lately, but I was fortunate enough this weekend to get a little reminder of just how lucky I am.  See, I have been blessed with some incredible girlfriends in my life.  But the best, and most miraculous, part is that not only have I made wonderful girlfriends during each big stage of my life--childhood, high school, college, career--I've been able to hang onto the ones that matter even as we've grown up and gone our separate ways.  See, once upon a time I met these four girls.  Not all in the same place or at the same time, but we just kind of stuck to one another and formed a pretty special friendship.  I can't tell you how many hours we've spent together over the years doing fabulous things or doing nothing at all.
This picture is not particularly flattering of any of us especially me (in the striped pants),
but for some reason I've always loved it. :)
Now, we all live in different states.  This makes me pretty sad, but I think sometimes being apart can make you realize just how special your friendships are.  This past summer, one of the girls, M, got married and we had our first "complete" reunion in years...

No reunion is complete without a group hug!
This weekend I got to visit M who moved to Michigan after her wedding!  You guys, I can't tell you how much I needed this trip.  Even though things have been running smoothly in my classroom, I've been feeling lately like school has been sucking the life out of me at a rapid pace.  So Friday afternoon I packed my bags (including a huge bag and cooler of vegan staples!) and hit the road.  I'm so glad I did  Highlights from the weekend include...
A much-needed evening of "relaxing" and heart to hearts after a loooong drive...
A drive down a gorgeous, twisty-turny-dirt road in the middle of nowhere... 
...to visit this adorable farm... 
...and, what else, pick apples!!!
The tree farm also featured a petting zoo...M and I were kind of obsessed with these tiny ponies and considered stealing one to bring home... 

...then we realized we are goofy enough on our own without being those crazy girls who steal tiny ponies from children's petting zoos...
We also heard about a little place holding free wine tastings and headed over at lightning speeds...

In my attempts to convince others that a vegan diet can actually involve yummy food, I actually did some cooking with M who is much more domestic than me.  We made pita chips... 

apple pie... 
and some other random vegan yummies.

This morning I started my day with a run down this gorgeous country road...
...loved every minute and saw 4miles again for the first time in months!

 We ended our trip with a visit to Grand Rapids, MI to check out Art Prize, an awesome display of art throughout the whole city.  I got a little camera happy, so I will attempt to select my favorite pieces to share. :)
Loved these decoupaged old ladies! 
...And this homage to Chicago Hot Dogs!!  Even if I'm a veggie, I still love anything Chicago. :)
This gigantic mixed-media piece was probably my favorite!
I was also THRILLED to see this piece--it's a "kid's lunch" made out of...wait for it...JUICE BOXES!!! AHHHH!!  Amazing. :)  
 Couldn't put my finger on what exactly I loved about this one, but I sure loved it.

What more can I say but that this weekend was good for my soul....
What have you done lately that's been good for your soul?


  1. Sounds wonderful! My soul was refreshed today with a 75 degree day spent at a local Fall Festival!

  2. Sounds great! Were you in Grand Rapids for art prize?

  3. This sounds amazing! I'm hoping to go apple picking soon! This weekend, I am participating in a walk for Breast Cancer at a local park. I hope the weather is as gorgeous as it's been. The fresh, fall air is so good for the soul!
    Congrats on your 4 mile run!

  4. Glad that Michigan treated you well *Welcome* - it was an absolutely gorgeous weekend! Art prize is always AMAZING :)

  5. Oh girl, you have no idea how close to my neck of the woods this weekend ;) "Art Expo" lol

    I've actually never been because I can't stand the crowds!

  6. This sounds like a perfect weekend to me and you guys took some great pictures too!

    It's funny how as we get older it seems like it takes weddings to bring our friends together.


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