Can you believe Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s (did I forget anything?)are finally behind us?
I feel like the holidays flew by this year. And while they were fantastic… I have to be honest, I’m kind of relieved they’re over. It’s kind of like returning from vacation. It’s thrilling and wonderful to be gone… but also nice to return to your own comfy bed, homemade meals, and the car you’re used to driving every day.
I do feel this year that our country’s economic struggles made a sharp impression in how we all celebrated. Less material, more meaningful. Not such a bad thing.
So what were your holiday highlights? For me, I especially enjoyed getting our Christmas tree. We didn’t go over the top this year… just a nice little tree, cut fresh from Lenderink Tree Farm. My favorite gifts - soft Hello Kitty pajamas, a fuchsia scarf knit by my mom, and gorgeous pillowcases embroidered by my mother-in-law.
Some of my special holiday moments include seeing my sister’s eyes fill with tears when she opened our gift, a framed picture of her and her boyfriend. (She treasures it so much because they live so far apart. He’s in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!) Napping by the fire after eating a very large Christmas feast. And many moments pondering how different my Christmas 2009 will be - with a baby!
Oh yeah… I would definitely be remiss to leave out my New Year’s Eve highlight - the midnight kiss! What a way to welcome in a new year.
I do hope you had a wonderful 2008. If you listen to economists, scholars and pundits – this next year could end up being a tough one. But whatever the future brings… I wish you a wonderful 2009, pumped full of prosperity and love.
I have received some emails from people wondering about my belly these days. In fact, several weeks ago, one man wrote in with a pretty funny question. He asked if I’d eaten the whole Thanksgiving turkey myself, or if I was having a baby. I am indeed close to 35 weeks pregnant (my due date is February 2)… and everything is going great!
This is my first child, and I can honestly say it’s been a very educational and awesome experience. And as many parents already know, one filled with sleepless nights (it’s just so hard to get comfortable!) and a brand new respect for parenthood. Even now, I find it difficult to put into words. Forget about love at first sight… it’s more like love at first ultrasound and first kick.
When the baby is due, I will be taking some time off work. The plan right now is to return after my maternity leave is over.
So to all you parents out there… my hats off to you… I am so excited to finally join the club!
Unlike some election cycles, I am running into more people than ever who say they still haven’t made up their mind about who to vote for next month!
Today was an especially exciting one in West Michigan. Air Force One touched down at Ford International Airport for what is likely to be President Bush’s last visit to West Michigan, while in office. Barack Obama announced today he’s pulling campaign workers out of Michigan because he has double digit leads over John McCain in the presidential race. McCain made that same decision weeks ago when he pretty much conceded the state to the Democrats.
This Sunday, you have another opportunity to take part in the political process. You can check out the U.S. Senate debate between Senator Carl Levin (D) Detroit and Representative Jack Hoogendyk (R) Kalamazoo. It is scheduled to take place at the WGVU studios in downtown Grand Rapids. The debate will air live on PBS stations throughout the state, at 7pm on October 19.
I will be one of four journalists on the panel asking questions of the candidates. I haven’t finalized my question list, but I’m certain to inquire about the country’s economic overhaul plan, among other things. Any questions you feel we should ask? Feel free to drop me an email.
This could be one of the more controversial posts I’ve written. As a reporter, I try to stay objective. But there’s one thing I need to share with others… I honestly think I’ve found the best french fries in town!
I should have known what I was getting into just by the name. The restaurant where these fries are served even calls them “crack fries” on the menu. Translation: these fries are so good, they’re as addictive as crack. These fries are the crunchiest ones you’ll ever eat. And they have just the right touch of spice. You can check them out at “Hopcat” at 25 Ionia Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids.
I like to pair my crack fries with the turkey bruschetta burger. A weak attempt to balance all that french fry grease with something a little healthier. Ha!
Should we even delve into the subject of onion rings? I don’t have a lot of recommendations to offer there, but I can say the best I’ve had are at Russ’. My family used to always eat there when I was a kid.
If you have any suggestions, please pass them along!
Let me start off with my apologies! It’s been far too long since I’ve blogged. I’ve received some emails from some of you wondering if I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. Not the case.
I moved about two months ago, and the whole packing and unpacking thing has been extremely time consuming (I’m still a downtown Grand Rapids resident… not ready to leave the city yet!) And I don’t know about you… but I think the best thing about West Michigan is our summers. So I’ve tried to balance my “house work” with enjoying all the wonderful festivals and activities West Michigan has to offer (The weekend of Celebration on the Grand and The Hispanic Festival was the best.) Needless to say, with the 48 hour downpour we had this past weekend, I got a lot of home projects done.
What is your most memorable moment of the summer? I spent a lot of time on the lakeshore, mostly in Grand Haven. The Coast Guard Festival was a blast. I also checked out the Allegan County Fair this year, experiencing my first Demolition Derby! Another memorable trip was to Traverse City. My hairdresser moved there about a year ago. That is the coolest town! Fantastic restaurants and an awesome downtown. Early in the summer, I took two trips to Chicago and saw the Cubs play ball. I road tripped to Detroit as well, but the Tigers lost!
No plans to slow down anytime soon. I have a big trip planned for a few weeks from now. I’ll blog about that when I get back!