July Recap and Looking Ahead

Wowie wow! July has truly flown by in the blink of an eye—Please excuse my horrible rhyming, I thought of this intro at 6:45 this morning and decided it was hilarious in the midst of my sleep induced haze. 

This is a new segment of my blog I am excited to finally be introducing: a recap on the past month and also a look at the month ahead. Think of it as a news and to-dos feature. I know, I am on a roll with rhyming and have no intention of ceasing now. 

July Rewind

What can I say about July? It has been filled with an immense amount of happy celebrations (can you say Wedding?!), reunions, transitions, and discernment for what's to come next. I don't think I could have crammed any more joyful memories and new discoveries into thirty-one days. 

So what's on tap for August?

FAITH—Beginning with the utmost importance, Faith, I am settling into a new nine week scripture study and focusing on re-centering and strengthening my relationship with Christ. In the short three weeks I have been back in Kansas City, I have come to learn a great deal about what it means to give total trust and control over to God. While I have come to learn how hard and testing it can be to give over one's natural desire to control and plan each passing moment, I still have much to learn in this regard.

I do not want to keep my newfound joy to myself, therefor I am also discovering ways I might be able to share and revel in it with others. My cousin Bart, who is also very much an older brother to me, and subsequently a role model, has introduced me to City on a Hill; a Catholic ministry that holds events throughout the month to bring together young adults through scripture study, sports leagues, Masses, service projects, and social events all centered around Faith in the community. 

CAREER & WORK—On the work and career front, I am settling on making a few key transitions and decisions in terms of my education and professional career. I am still hard at work discerning the new essence of the blog—I want it to be just right and capture what I'm all about, to in turn, let you, my readers, experience and be inspired by what I have to share. 

In the realm of education I have decided to take a step back this fall semester to put a focus on adjusting and executing a new routine here in Kansas City. After that my hope is to begin an online study to obtain my Bachelor's degree in Marketing which will offer me chance to continue to work with graphics and design while also gaining further knowledge of the effects it has on a business standpoint. 

I am also excited to report that I am (FINALLY) beginning my studies to obtain my personal training and nutritional certifications, so I may share with others in my community my passion for a healthy, active, and engaging lifestyle. 

HEALTH & WELLNESS—On my personal fitness calendar I have jumped back into CrossFit here at home with my Meshugge CrossFit Family, although I miss my coaches and mates back at Momentum Training.*

I'm always deeply inspired by Pip, my dear friend and fellow blogger of Cherries & Chisme, who is so open in sharing her fitness and wellness journeys, that it has prompted me to put a greater focus on not only obtaining GAINZ in the gym but also learning to listen to my body and do what is right for it instead of comparing it to the strength and abilities of others who are at a different point in their journey. I have since been introduced to the idea of combining my passion for fitness with my love and devotion for Christ. In the coming months I aim to focus on my nutrition and physical fitness while also focusing on cultivating a healthy and balanced life with Christ. Knowing that God is omnipresent in every aspect of my life, I want to make a conscious effort to make sure I am actively including Him in each of those aspects. 

There is quite a bit more taking shape but I feel these are the prominent goings-on for August. More news and updates will follow in the coming months. This next month will be all about taking those crucial small steps in order to make it to the big parts. We cannot climb a mountain in one large leap, it's the series of small and trusting steps that get us to the top. It's a journey I can't wait to begin. 

 

*If you ever find yourself in London, and are a bit of a CrossFit nut, pop in for a session with the boys at Momentum, they'll whip you into shape and have a vast amount of knowledge they are always itching to share.

Harbor Springs: Up North

Last week I brought you the beauty of a wedding celebrated Up North, so naturally I must introduce you to the delights of life in Harbor Springs—where the days are slow and the ice cream is plentiful—over the 4th of July and life after the craziness of the holiday dies down.

We wasted no time jumping in to festivities of the Fourth of July as we awoke early the next day after the joyous wedding to run in the annual Paul Revere 5K Run- it was accomplished, although slowly, with our feet worn out from all our skillful dance moves and drinks consumed from the previous night's party. We were rewarded a short time later with another annual tradition: a group jump into the frigid yet refreshing waters of Lake Michigan to cool off from our efforts during the run. 

All lined up and ready to go.

Tackled. 

Shaking ourselves off afterwards, we headed back to put on our festive Fourth of July outfits and dashed down main street to grab a spot amongst the throngs of people relentlessly guarding their lawn chairs in hopes of having the best views of the annual parade. The littles rushed for candy, the adults chatted, and there was banter to be made between the young adults. 

Uncle Greg rides in style. 

Another big tradition that was upon us that evening, in addition to fireworks, was none other than the annual volleyball match, and this year it was epic. With everyone in town at once it turned into a 22 vs. 22 smackdown until one team remained victorious. I honestly cannot recall which team was the rightful winner, but what I can remember was the tremendous amounts of laughter, the ceaseless smack talk, and the grass stained knees from a game well played. 

The parents line judge from above. 

So many, not everyone made it into the frame. 

Like all Holidays, the Fourth met its closure on Sunday, with Harbor's inflated population reducing back to that of a tucked away and unhurried town. 

There are so many activities to be squeezed into a small amount of time when visiting. Even though we were staying for almost two weeks, it never does seem like enough time. 

There was a day trip over to Petoskey, the neighboring town across the bay, to crank out a workout before taking a few jumps off the break-wall into the picturesque waters below. When glancing out upon the clear waters of Lake Michigan, it's easy to see why they call it Pure Michigan, there's no filter needed because God already did an amazing job with this creation of his. 

Gracie Girl. 

There was a "cool" 24 mile mid morning bike ride over to Bay Harbor and back. Rather, it was only so we could stuff our faces with the infamous pancakes and waffles from the Original Pancake House before beginning the (much, much slower) ride back. 

The only two who pay attention for photos.

She's sweet.

I always have a soft spot for the early morning weekday masses followed by a stroll through the Farmer's Market that takes over Main Street on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Upon where, we stockpile fresh fruits, veggies, and the occasional pie from Suzie's Pies and stack of fresh baked cookies from Northern Bliss Bakery (nothing beats their chocolate chip oatmeal). 

Meandering through Main Street.

There's always a healthy dose of Tom's Mom's Cookies in-store as well. 

Harbor Springs is more than just a vacation destination or an escape from the “real world,” it has always held a higher and deeper meaning than that. It has always been a place where I can look inward and realize what and who are the most important in life, and what should hold the most importance.

It is the leisurely bike rides through Glen Beach drive with nothing but the wind rushing past your face and the laughs shared between your accompanying riders, the indecisive choosing of a flavor for your itsy bitsy ice cream cone from Yummies, and sneaking into American Spoon to sample as many jams and salsas as possible.

It is a leisurely boat ride around the harbor just to see the world with a new perspective. 

It is the the long winding drive out to Sturgeon Bay for an afternoon of wading through the waves and beachside volleyball, the late nights spent snuggled up in blankets up on the roof watching stars and contemplating life out loud with those closest to you, it is the late night table side chats and dance parties in the kitchen.

Gracie and her suit of choice. What a ham. 

But more than all the activities, it is the wonderful people that make them so enjoyable, whether I’ve known them my entire life or just met them the day prior; they are the most genuine, loving, and captivating people I know and have come to know over the years.